Tidy Carbonara with Chicken Meatballs

About this time last year, I shared a recipe for Baked Meatballs with Penne in Arrabiata Sauce. It’s become one of my firm favourites, but when I was presented with some Chicken Meatballs in a recent Musclefood order, I wondered if I could do anything a bit differently.

I’d have to agree with any accusations that a lot of my recipes are on the spicy side, and I also have a tendency towards tomato-based sauces, so I thought that a  Carbonara would fit well, and might also make a nice change to the blog.

Lo and behold, Slimming World’s Little Book of Sauces contained a Carbonara sauce, so this week’s recipe is my (very similar) take on that.

Read on, for a healthy take on the Italian classic!

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A Partridge & A Pear. Squee!

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I love a turkey Christmas Dinner, but for my blog I wanted to do something a bit different, so I’ve gone back to something even more traditional and added some modern/non-traditional twists.

Today’s recipe is Roast Partridge, served on a bed of Rosemary, Sage, and Parmesan Polenta, with a Pear wrapped in Pancetta on the side. Not included in the recipe (but in the photographs) is a bit of a lower-brow side that might seem out of place. Can’t think what on earth inspired me to include those 😉


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Simple Chicken Kiev

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I’ve always loved Chicken Kiev. I think I’m of a generation that does; we all have fond childhood memories of those supermarket bought oven meals.  But my first memory of Chicken Kiev is different from the pre-packaged staple that saw me through many subsequent years.

My mum and her sisters are pretty close, but for several years (the youngest ones of my life) her older sister was absent. I’m not sure if they’d grown estranged as such, but they’d certainly not been in touch for years. Then one day, my mum announced that she was taking me on a trip to London (I don’t remember the announcement, just the subsequent trip).

I’m not sure how old I was – somewhere between 5 & 7, I’d say. So let’s call it 6. I also have no idea how they got in touch with each other again, but I’m glad they did. There aren’t many details I remember clearly; I’ve no idea about the getting there or the getting back, though I’m pretty sure it would’ve involved very long train trips. I do remember meeting a friendly, loving (cleanliness-obsessed) Auntie & Uncle, and a platoon of new cousins. I remember Raymond (he wasn’t Ray, back then) was about 16, and the coolest person on this planet. Or so he seemed, to a 6 year-old. He let me play on his computer, which was a big deal for the earlier half of the 80’s. I want to say the game was “Wimpy” but who knows.

The other very clear memory I have is going out for food. I have recollections of it being a very posh affair, but I could have that completely wrong. I had Chicken Kiev. I don’t know if I’d ever had the ready-meal kind before, but in any event I suspect that my mum expected something like that to arrive. I couldn’t have been any more wrong. An actual chicken arrived (or so it seemed). I don’t think I’d ever tasted anything like that succulent chicken, and the potent garlic butter before, but it was delicious.

And so, my gift to you, fellow foodies, is Lisa Faulkner’s take on Chicken Kiev (with a few of my own tweaks, of course). It’s somewhere in between the store-bought stuff, and that extravagant memory. Simple, but oh, so very tidy!


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Cheesy Mac Bites with Home Made Chilli Mayo

IMGP3075bI spent last week at Casa Mamma Tidy Munch, and most of that week I spent in the kitchen trying out new recipes for future blogs. Via the medium of my personal Facebook account, several of my friends had requested more vegetarian recipes. I wanted to do something for them, so explored some new ideas. (I should point out that this recipe is not vegetarian).

One of the ideas I tried was a disappointingly bland four cheese macaroni. I’d loved the thought of the recipe, as macaroni is one of those feel-good childhood favourites of mine, but the reality was just dull and far too mild for me. I did note that the sauce was particularly thick, though, and when the Macaroni was mixed through I commented to Nell that perhaps the mixture could be shaped into bites to be deep fried…

… well… guess what happened this week! I’ve changed two of the cheeses in the recipe, and tweaked the seasoning to create the best cheese sauce I’ve ever tasted (and I’m not one to blow my own trumpet!)

Despite being deep fried, these are surprisingly light, and the home made chilli mayo adds a pleasant warmth (with a kick that’s all in the after-taste) that we’re not particularly used to finding in conjunction with macaroni cheese. I like to think it’s a welcome quirk.

This one’s (ch)eeeeeeeasy – so go on, get stuck in!


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Pao de Queijo

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I think I’m in love, and if you’re a fan of cheese, you will be too! These puffy cheese delights are irresistibly crisp on the outside, and deliciously chewy on the inside. I’ve lifted this from Cabana The Cookbook again, and you’ll find out why in the Tidy Tweaks section.

The key to this recipe is the flour. I couldn’t find Cassava flour anywhere, apart from some toasted/roasted stuff that I didn’t think was the same… I thought this was more like a topping for other dishes. David Ponte, Lizzy Barber & Jamie Barber do advise that Tapioca flour is a suitable alternative… and I did eventually manage to track some of that down (in the end, I found it in the “free from” section, as it’s gluten-free!)

It’s a really simple recipe, so well worth hunting down the flour!


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