FINAL-Gordon-s-Steak

Steak with Gordon’s shallot and red wine sauce

So I fancied steak for dinner this week, but wanted something lighter than potatoes to accompany it, so I choose asparagus and teamed it with Gordon Ramsey’s shallot and red wine sauce. To make the sauce you must be patient as it needs reducing a couple of times, but boy is it worth it! The sauce was quite literally mouth-watering and will definitely become a favourite in my house and would be a great choice for a dinner party. I made a few tweaks to Gordon’s recipe, but no major changes.
 

For Gordon’s recipe click here!

Tip
This recipe really does call for penitence with the sauce. Gordon states that it takes 20 minutes to cook, but I found it to be more like 30 minutes, but well worth the effort. 
FINAL-Stir-Fry

Stir fry to sing about

Good afternoon foodies, today i’m demonstrating how easy the perfect stir fry really is, and there are so many reasons to sing about it. It’s healthy, versatile, quick, not to mention mega tasty! Pack it with crispy delicious vegetables, and remember the more colourful it is, the better for you it will be. Red peppers, chillies and onions with mange tout and baby corn are the perfect combination. And, you thought getting your five a day was difficult!



Remember to prepare your meat and vegetables before you begin cooking anything. I like my stir fry with a spicy bite and I’m mad about garlic so I add three chopped finger chillies and probably far too much garlic than is necessary, but this really is a dish you can make to suit your taste.
Serves:                           4
Preparation Time:         5 minutes
Cooking Time:               12 minutes
Ingredients
3 large chicken breasts cut into strips
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil (or stir fry oil if you have it)
2 tbsp soy sauce
5 cloves garlic
3 fresh red finger chillies
2 tbsp freshly copped basil
1 red bell pepper sliced
1 red onion sliced
1 bunch spring onions chopped into 2cm pieces
1 pack mange tout and baby corn (whole)
2 portions of ready to wok, medium soft noodles
Pack Sainsbury’s hoisin and garlic stir fry sauce
Pinch of salt and pepper
Preparation
  
  1. Prepare your meat and vegetables before you begin cooking. Chop the vegetables so that they are of equal size. Finley chop the garlic, basil and finger chillies.
  2. Add the oil to a large wok or frying pan, heat for 30 seconds before adding the chicken, garlic, basil and chillies, cook on a high heat for 4-5 minutes allowing the flavours to develop. Add the soy sauce, vegetables and salt and pepper. Stir fry for 5 minutes, or until the vegetables begin to soften. Stirring continuously.
  3. Stir through the sauce and noodles, making sure that the sauce coats all of the noodles and vegetables, cooking for a further 2 minutes. If required add 2 tbsps of water to thin the sauce.
  4.  Adjust the seasoning to taste and serve immediately in a deep noodle bowl.

Tips
The secret to a good stir fry is a high heat and a watchful eye. The high heat will seal the juices in the meat and keep it really moist.
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Miss Friday’s Infused Oils

Happy Friday my fervent foodies!
I have recently discovered a new found love of homemade produce, infused oils, pickled onions and even rhubarb vodka. All of which will feature in Miss Friday’s Feast in the coming weeks.
Today’s Friday feature is Infused Oils. They are wonderful bases for salad dressings, marinades, and sauces, look great on kitchen shelves or counter tops, and are always an impressive gift.

There are a few things to be aware of; firstly there are safe and unsafe ways of making them. I didn’t know this until I did my research, so I’ll assume those of you reading this don’t know either. I’ll start by talking you through the important stuff, then move on to the exciting part, making and experimenting with ingredients and flavours.
When selecting ingredients for your oil you should avoid anything with water content or moisture, for instance fresh garlic, ginger, chillies, lemon peel and herbs. Don’t panic! It’s not to say you can’t use them, just not in the fresh state. You must first begin a drying process. The reason for this is that the water in the ingredients will support bacteria growth, with can be very harmful. For more information on the safety aspects of making infused oils I found this website invaluable.

So, I began by drying my ingredients, which included garlic, ginger, chillies, rosemary and thyme. For the fresh herbs and chillies the simplest way to do this is to leave them in the sun for a week, a sunny window seal is ideal.
The drying process for the garlic and ginger is a little more time consuming, but it’s really not difficult. Set your oven to the lowest temperature setting, peel and slice the garlic and ginger and place on a non-stick baking sheet or pan on the middle shelf. A pizza pan is a great choice as the holes will allow the air to circulate. Check after 30 minutes, the garlic and ginger should be dry and a little brown, but not burnt. If it needs more time, place it back for 10 minutes and check again. Repeat as necessary. The garlic will break apart easily in your hand when it’s done.  
What to store you oil in? Well, a glass bottle of course. I found these super cute glass bottles in an antique/ charity shop for fifty pence each, but you can pretty much use any glass bottle you like. You can buy small clip top bottles at most good kitchenware stores which would be perfect. Alternatively, you could just steam the label off of the olive oil bottle you are using and replace it with your own. Preferably you want a clear bottle so you can see your wonderful creation in all its glory.
These little beauties will spice up your stir-fry and make that chicken dish extra special! They look wonderful on the kitchen counter and would make gorgeous little gifts. To my delight, my dear friend Emily spotted mine in my kitchen and asked where I bought them from. I was chuffed, and quite smugly told her that I’d made them myself.
There are many variations you can try, mix and match them, but mostly just have fun with them.

I won’t go into the ins and outs of how many garlic cloves or how many sprigs of thyme to use. Make them to suit your taste. These are the three I created:
  • Garlic, Ginger and Soy– a great stir fry companion
  • Chili – provides a superb spicy kick to liven up any dish
  • Garlic, Rosemary and Thyme– great with chicken

Tips

For more information on the safety aspects of making infused oils visit this website.
You can also create spiced oils using whole or ground spices.
IMG_1840

Chicken lumaconi with tangy tomato sauce

This is a delicious weekday fix, chicken pasta with my home-made tangy tomato sauce. The chilli gives a slight spicy edge, whilst the balsamic vinegar gives this otherwise normal pasta sauce a rich and complex flavour. I made it using Lumaconi pasta (giant pasta shells), but you can use which ever pasta you like, or whichever pasta you have in the cupboard. 

Serves:                            4
Preparation Time:         10 minutes
Cooking Time:               20 minutes

Ingredients
360g Lumaconi pasta (giant pasta shells)
3 large chicken breasts cut into 2cm strips
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil (I used my home-made garlic infused oil)
1 can of chopped tomatoes
1 red onion diced
Bunch spring onions chopped into 1cm pieces
3 cloves of garlic chopped
1 red finger chilli chopped
2 tbsp good balsamic vinegar
1 tbsp caster sugar
3 tbsp freshly chopped basil
1 tsp dried marjoram
Pinch of salt and pepper


Method
1.    Heat the oil in a frying pan; add the chicken, fry on a medium heat for about 6 minutes. Add the red onions, spring onions, garlic and chilli, fry for a further 5 minutes.
2.    Add the tomatoes, balsamic vinegar, caster sugar and marjoram, season with salt and pepper to taste, cook for 5 minutes, throwing in half of the chopped basil at for the last minute.
3.    Meanwhile cook the pasta for 12 minutes in a large pan of boiling water.
4.    Drain the pasta and add to the frying pan with the chicken and tomato sauce, stir thoroughly and add the other half of the chopped basil.
Tip
I used my homemade garlic infused oil instead of normal extra virgin olive oil. Look out for my post on infused oils coming soon.

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Welcome to Miss Friday’s Feast

Welcome to Miss Friday’s Feast. If you are reading this then, like me, I’ll assume you are a devoted foodie with a passion for all things delicious. In my kitchen I like to create fresh tasty meals fit for a king, or in my case a queen.
If its inspiration you’re after, then you’ve come to the right place. Miss Friday’s Feast will provide you with easy to follow recipes including weekday meals, weekend feasts, dinner party dishes, tips and ‘how-to’ instructions.
A little about me, I’m Nicole and when I’m not working you’ll find me in the kitchen. I simply love cooking, but it’s the eating part that really gets me excited. Some of my favourite foods are sausages, chilli, garlic and red onions – and now I’m hungry.