Our latest feast

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Oregano and Chilli Crispy Potatoes

To accompany the Chicken Parmesan Bake I decided that as I had already broken the mould of the traditional Chicken Parmigiana I may as well go all out and not serve it with hot chips.  

Instead I decide that I would take some baby chat potatoes and toss them in some herbs, bake them in the oven and voila a really nice and tasty side dish.  Everyone loves oregano and crispy potatoes - who doesn't love potatoes anyway?  I decided to add some chilli sprinkles to give them a little lift.

Oregano and Chilli Crispy Potatoes

Serves: 6

1 kilogram baby Chat potatoes, quartered
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried chilli flakes
1 teaspoon sea salt

Heat oven to 200 degrees Celsius.

Line a baking tray with baking paper.

In a large bowl combine potatoes, oil, oregano, chilli and salt.  Mix well.

Lay in single layer on baking tray.

Bake in oven for 30 - 45 minutes, turning several times, or until crispy and golden.

Serve immediately.

Chicken Parmesan Casserole

It's no secret in our circle of family and friends that both my kids (and even my son's girlfriend) are massive fans of Chicken Parmigiana - every time that we go out for dinner to a bistro it's almost instant when I ask have you decided what you want for dinner the instant reply (unless something really catches their eye) is Chicken Parmigiana, Chips and Salad.  

I am going to be totally honest here - I am not a fan of Chicken Parmigiana!  Yep!  I find the deep fried crumbed chicken fillet at times greasy along with the generally rather large amount of melted cheese on top too much for me.. too much grease on some occasions.  Sadly I just don't get the phenomena!! And I sasy phenomena as it seems to be people's most go to dish when they are out for dinner.

So with this in mind, I came across an American recipe for Chicken Parmesan Casserole.  After a little more reading I actually found many different versions of the same casserole (as we do with most American recipes depending on with US State you live in).  Many different versions from whether the tomato sauce is on the top or the bottom, whether you crumb the chicken and fry it beforehand or whether you use croutons in the topping..... so in my quest to please the family I morphed a few recipes together and came up with "my" version (like Jo has never done that before - I can see my family rolling their eyes in the back of their heads LOL).

I have to say that this dish is absolutely amazing.  For a start it was very easy to prepare not to mention cook.  I am not overly fussed with plain tomato passata so I add the element of making a quick tomato sauce to top the chicken fillets with.  If you want to use a jar or two of plain or herbed passata or pasta sauce please go right ahead. That will only make this recipe even easier.

Yes it was cheesy - the gooey mozzeralla layer laced with fresh basil was soft and comforting.  I know the cheese is a major component to the parmigiana.  And for those who do like the crumbs, they are not omitted completely.  Panko breadcrumbs mixed with Parmesan cheese and parsley make a beautiful crunchy topping - completing the dish perfectly.  

Even though I did not serve with the traditional hot chips - I served it with Oregano and Chilli Crispy Potatoes and salad, I do have to say this dish was a hit at the House of Murray and I am sure that it will be when served at yours also.  You may just want to double the recipe - just like I did!

Chicken Parmesan Casserole

Serves 4

cooking spray
1 onion, finely diced
1 bottle tomato passata 660 gram
1 can diced tomatoes 440 gram
freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons crushed garlic
1 teaspoon crushed chilli flakes
4 skinless chicken breast fillets, visible fat removed
ground white pepper
1 cup grated mozzarella
20 grams fresh basil leaves, chopped
1 1/2 cups panko breadcrumbs
1 cup grated Parmesan cheeses
1 tablespoon dried parsley flakes

Spray a small saucepan with cooking spray and heat over low heat.  Add onion and cook, stirring, until softened.  Add passata and tomatoes.  Season with black pepper.  Simmer until thickened and liquid has slightly reduced, stirring occasionally.

Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius.

Spray a large casserole dish with cooking spray.  Place olive oil, garlic and chilli flakes in casserole dish and stir to combine.  Ensure this is spread around the surface of the dish.  Place chicken breast fillets in a single layer in the dish.  Season with salt and pepper.

Evenly spread the tomato mixture over the chicken fillets.

Top with mozzarella cheese.  Sprinkle basil over mozzarella.

In a bowl combine the panko breadcrumbs, Parmesan cheese and parsley.  Spread evenly over the mozzarella.

Bake in oven for 1 hour or until chicken is cooked through.

Serve immediately.

Monday, May 1, 2017

Beef and Mushroom Casserole with Parmesan Dumplings

Another winter warmer to make an appearance on this blog is Beef and Mushroom Casserole with Parmesan Dumplings.  

Who could want more on a colder evening that fills you to your toes? A nice thick rich beef casserole with mushrooms and thyme as the main stars with secretly hidden carrots and zucchini complimented with nice soft dumplings laced with Parmesan cheese.  

This recipe was slow cooked in the oven but could easily be cooked in a slow cooker for those that need to be prepared (normally I have the slow cooker on at least 3 times a week in our house).

Beef and Mushroom Casserole with Parmesan Dumplings
(recipe adapted from Taste.com)

Serves: 8

1.5 kilograms gravy beef, cut into 2cm chunks
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 onion, chopped
10 bacon rashes, chopped
500 grams button mushrooms, halved
4 whole garlic cloves, peeled
2 tablespoons plain flour
2 cups beef stock
1 cup red wine
2 cans 400 grams chopped tomatoes
1 bunch fresh thyme sprigs
4 carrots, peeled and grated
2 zucchini, grated
freshly ground black pepper
75 grams butter
3 cups self-raising flour
3/4 cup fresh parmesan grated
1 1/4 cup milk

Preheat oven to 150 degrees Celsius.

Brown diced beef in 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium heat. Transfer to plate.

To the same pan add onion, bacon, mushrooms, garlic and cook until soft. Stir in flour.

Add beef stock, red wine, tomatoes, thyme and smoked paprika. Bring to the boil. Reduce heat to low, add carrots and zucchini.  Return beef to the mixture and simmer covered for 1 1/2 hours. Season with salt and pepper to taste.  Spoon into a large ovenproof dish.

Cook covered for 2 hours, stirring occasionally or until beef is tender.

Increase oven to 200 degrees Celsius.

In a large bowl rub butter into self-raising flour. Stir in Parmesan and milk. Bring together. Roll into 24 balls. Place on casserole mixture.

Bake uncovered for 20 minutes.

Alternatively slow cooker directions:

Place in beef mixture in a slow cooker vessel and cook on low for 8 hours.

Preheat oven to 200 degrees Celsius.

Transfer mixture into a large oven proof dish.

Make dumplings as above and place on casserole mixture.

Bake uncovered for 20 minutes.

Serve with steamed vegetables.

(Click here for a printable version of this recipe)

Sticky Asian Chicken Wings

Well it's definitely been a long time between posts for me and to be honest I have so many recipes backed up it's kind of embarrassing.  We at the House of Murray have been ridiculously busy with life in it's entirety.... work, school, junior and senior football, etc., that by the time we sit down we fall asleep.  Oh well, I guess a busy life is still so much better than no life, correct?

I have been eyeing off carious recipes for sometime as we have been experimenting quite a bit with Chicken Wings over the last few months with one of our favourite recipes being Heston's Barbecue Chicken Wings and of course, the recipe that started our wing obsession off Buffalo Wings with Blue Cheese Dressing.

This recipe not only lives up to it's name with the stickiness of the sauce but the wings are also mega crunchy.   Baked in the oven makes them a win win in the fat stakes also but they could easily be deep fried if preferred.  I liked the fact that the wings are quickly tossed in the sauce just before serving and that the wings were not cooked in the sauce as then they would not have that crispy crunch.  The sprinkle of crushed peanuts and spring onions over the top added to the texture and the flavour which only made the dish even yummier.

We were lucky enough to buy nice sized wingettes (no wing tip or drumstick) but you could use the full chicken wing if you prefer - that's totally up to you and wouldn't change this recipe at all.

Sticky Asian Chicken Wings

Serves: 6
SmartPoints per serve: ?

2 kilograms chicken wingettes
1/4 cup plain flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground pepper
cooking spray
2 teaspoons crushed garlic
2 teaspoons crushed ginger
1 tablespoon chilli sauce (such as Maggi)
2 tablespoons tomato sauce
4 tablespoons honey
3 tablespoons soy sauce
2 teaspoons chopped roasted peanut
2 spring onions, sliced

Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius.

Rinse and pat dry chicken wings with paper towel.

In a large snap lock bag combine flour, salt and pepper.  Add chicken, seal and toss until chicken is covered with the flour mixture.

Line an oven tray with non-stick baking paper.  Spray with cooking spray.  Line the chicken wings on the tray in a single layer and spray with cooking spray.  Cook in oven for 20 minutes, turn over and increase oven heat to 220 degrees Celsius.  Continue to cook for a further 20 minutes or until crispy.

In a small sauce pan, combine the garlic, ginger, chilli sauce, tomato sauce, honey, and soy sauce together. Simmer on lower heat until thickened and slightly sticky.

Toss the chicken wings and coat well with the sauce.

Transfer the chicken wings onto a serving platter, top with peanut and spring onions.

Serve immediately.

(Click here for a printable version of this recipe)