Making the Most of March

James Claire shows a soft spot for the month of his birth with recipes for honest comfort food, break out the cream, wrap up warm and enjoy…

Chicken Casserole with Herbed Dumplings
60mls canola oil
750g chicken breast sliced
pinch salt
pinch cracked black pepper
100g plain (all-purpose) flour
2 white onions, finely chopped
2 medium carrots, diced
2 tbspns capsicum, diced
2 cloves garlic
2 sprigs thyme
1 tspn salt
2 tbspns tomato

Herbed Dumplings
125g plain (all-purpose) flour
1 tspn baking powder
1?4 tspn salt
pinch cracked black pepper
1tspns chopped chives
½ tspn chopped fresh thyme
½ tspn fresh rosemary, finely chopped
2 tbspns olive oil
125mls milk

• Preheat an oven to 185°C.
• Spread the chicken on a chopping board and season with salt and pepper. Coat each piece lightly with flour.
• Heat the oil and fry the chicken, browning on all sides, then remove and place in a casserole dish.
• In the same frying pan used for the chicken, sauté the vegetables for about 4 minutes.
• Add the tomato paste, salt and thyme and a little of the water to deglaze the pan and pour this over the chicken.
• Add the remaining water and cook in a covered casserole dish for 1 1?2 hours during which time prepare the dumplings.
• Combine all the dry ingredients for the dumplings together in a bowl.
• Add the milk and oil and using fingers bring the mix to a dough.
• Break the dough into pieces and place on top of the cooked casserole.
• Return the dish to the oven for 20 minutes.
• Serve immediately.

Pear, Almond and Chocolate Cake
March-2015_Food_03250g dark chocolate
150g cream
3 egg yolks
12g cornflour
50g Acacia honey
3 egg whites
2 fresh pears (peeled, cored and cut into
1cm chunks)
50g roasted almonds

• Preheat the oven to 180°C and grease a 20cm round cake tin.
• Place the cream into a small saucepan and bring to the boil. Add the finely chopped chocolate and mix it to melt. Add the egg yolks and whisk to incorporate.
• In the bowl of an electric mixer whisk the egg whites with the honey until stiff peaks hold it together.
• Fold the chocolate mixture into the egg whites and at the same time sprinkle in and fold through the cornflour. Spread the mixture into the greased cake tin and into the centre of the chocolate mixture, sprinkle the chopped pear chunks and the roasted chopped almonds
• Place the cake tin on a baking tray and bake in the pre-heated oven for 35 minutes.
• Remove and cool before serving dusted with powdered icing sugar.

Salmon and Chive Frittata
March-2015_Food_02240g grated cheddar cheese
200g turkey bacon, chopped and lightly fried
(without oil)
2-3 slices fresh smoked salmon
5 large eggs
250ml cream
100ml milk
pinch Salt
pinch cracked black pepper
3 tbspns fresh chopped chives

• Heat the oven to 165°C.
• Sprinkle the cheese into the base of a lightly oiled casserole or ceramic pie dish, and sprinkle the lightly fried turkey bacon pieces on top of the cheese. On top of this lay the smoked salmon.
• Combine the eggs with the milk and cream in a bowl, season with the salt and pepper to personal taste and whisk until the eggs are broken up and the mix is smooth. Strain the mixture and pour over the turkey bacon and cheese. Sprinkle the chives on top.
• Bake for 30-40 minutes or until set. Remove from the oven and allow to cool, for the egg mixture to solidify. Serve slices warm or serve cold with chutneys or salads.

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Star Gazing

March 2015: Editor’s Note