Tuesday 27 March 2012

Honey Mustard Chicken Pot with Parsnips

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One pot meals has got to be everyone's favourite dish to cook when one is tired or lazy. The less to wash the better right? Of course, this will probably not apply to those with dishwashers but sadly, I still do not own one of those time saving kitchen appliance. One day perhaps!!!
This dish may not look terribly beautiful but it sure is tasty. Honey and mustard has been proven to be a winning combination, as a salad dressing, a baste, a condiment and now in a casserole as well!
Adapted from Good Food

1 tbsp olive oil
8 bone-in chicken thighs , skin removed
2 onions , finely chopped
350g parsnips , cut into sticks
5 medium potatoes
300ml vegetable stock
2 tbsp wholegrain mustard
2 tbsp clear honey
few thyme sprigs
flat-leaf parsley , to serve (optional)
1) Heat oil in a large frying pan or shallow casserole with a lid. Cook the onions for 5 mins until softened.
2) Nestle the thighs amongst the onions and add the potatoes. Mix the stock with the mustard and honey, then pour in. Scatter over the thyme, then bring to a simmer. Cover, then cook for 15 mins, then add the parsnips.  Cook for another half hour until the chicken is tender. At this point, you may want to add more mustard or honey according to your taste. 
3) Garnish with parsley and serve.

Sunday 25 March 2012

Brockley Market

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I love checking out markets especially ones where food is involved. One recent new discovery thanks to Giulia of Mondomulia is Brockley Market, the brainchild of Toby Allen, who felt that there was a lack of seasonal produce in the area. Brockley Market was born and it was definitely a welcomed addition judging from the amount of people walking around, eating, buying produce and just enjoying the day. I for one absolutely loved it! The market was filled with various kinds of street food, cakes, bread,  pies, fresh seasonal produce, fish, meat, herbs, Spanish Artisan food and coffee, things that will make a foodie very happy!
Brockley Market, only a 7 mins train ride from London Bridge Station is opened from 10am to 2pm on Sats. The best thing to do is to go there for breakfast, have a walk around to buy some produce and then have lunch before heading off! ;) Benches and tables are placed around the market makes for a comfortable eating experience. 

Without further ado, I present to you, some of the sights of Brockley Market!!!

There's Flavours of Spain who brings in various kinds of charcuterie, chorizo, cheeses, Spanish spices and Spanish store cupboard essentials.
Pies from Marsh Produce
There's of course Egg boss with one of the best scotch eggs in the London!! Perfectly seasoned and isn't that egg yolk perfection!!! My only regret is not buying more!!
Astons with it's range of fabulous artisan bread and pastries.
Cakes from the London Particular, a cafe in New Cross.
Fresh reasonably priced produce from Perry Court Farm
Coffee from Dark Fluid, Brockley Market's resident Barista!
Besides the above, there are still quite a few traders such as Motherflipper, Mike & Ollie, Red Herring, Laurdos, Honest Carrot, Blintz boy, Wild Country Organics, A G Brookman and Browns of Brockley to name a few. It'll probably take a few more trips to try every stall but it'll definitely a worthwhile hike from the North of London!!

Visit with an empty tummy!!!!

29 July 2012
We finally made another trip to Brockley Market and this time, we couldn't miss the much talked about Mother Flipper cheeseburger, a moist, juicy, medium rare, no tendon, well seasoned beef patty topped with melty, gooey cheese sandwiced between a soft broiche bun. It was simpley luscious!

Mother Flipper Cheeseburger
On the day we went, Cinnamon Tree Bakery made their debut at the market. Usually trading at Borough and Broadway market, they have now expanded and will be a regular at Brockley Market too. I've heard about their famous Shortbread owls and Cinnamon Elephants so I was really excited to try them. Freshly baked crunchy biscuits with the right amount of sweetness that goes so well with a cup of tea. The cinnamon elephants were well spiced with no over powering after taste. And aren't they cute!!!?
Shortbread Owls
Cinnamon Elephants

Brockley Market
Lewisham College Car Park
Lewisham Way, 
Every Sat, 10 - 2pm
Closest station: St Johns(London)

Wednesday 21 March 2012

Ultra easy beer bread

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I love recipes whereby everything is thrown in a bowl, mixed together and whacked into the oven to do it's magic. These yummy coconut cookies I made sometime ago and another one I came across recently, the beer bread over at Sugar & Spice & Everything Nice, both fall nicely into this category!
When I first saw this recipe, the words that caught my attention were 5 mins + No kneading + No proofing = EPIC WIN!!!!!! Oh Yeah!! Easy Peasy! The result was a very moist and chewy bread mildly flavoured with whatever beer you choose. Since it was the St Paddy's weekend, Guinness Stout was my beer of choice but feel free to replace these with a beer to your liking.
The main thing I changed was to use self-raising flour as I didn't realise that I've run out of plain flour. Note to self: Always check on the ingredients the day before...not on the actual day!!! Silly! ;)
Adapted from Sugar & Spice & Everything Nice 

Ingredients: (Makes 1 loaf 9 x 4 inches)
3 cups self-raising flour
1 tsp salt
2 tsp sugar
350ml Guinness Stout or any beer
2 tbsp olive oil

1.  Grease a 9 inch x 4 inch loaf pan.  Pre-heat oven to 190C/375F.
2.  Sift all the dry ingredients together into a bowl.
3.  Make a well in the centre, and mix in the beer until incorporated.  You should get a thick, lumpy batter.
4.  Pour the batter into pan and bake for 40 minutes.  
5.  5 minutes before time, brush the olive over the bread and finish up in the oven.
6.  Bread is done when you insert a toothpick and it comes out clean.  Turn out and cool on a wire rack before slicing.

Monday 19 March 2012

Thank you Perry Court Farm!

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About 2 weeks ago, I saw a tweet from @PERRYCOURT_FARM which said 'Retweet for a chance to win a 5 min shop' and so I did. I totally forgot about it until last thursday when I woke up to a tweet from the good people at Perry Court Farm to tell me that I won the 5 min shop!!! Woohoo!!!

After a few emails, we decided to drop by the stall in Notting Hill Farmers Market early Sat morning to do our shop.The market had just opened and there were already a queue for in front of the stall! That's just shows how popular they are! I could see why too as the stall was filled to the brim with ultra fresh looking fruits and vegetables!
The husband and I joined the queue, told the stall owner that we had won the 5 min shop. She then gave us 3 plastic bags, told us to take anything we like within 5 mins and we went on our fresh fruit/veg spree!  Here's what we came back with and I can't wait to finish everything all up!
One of the first things I've tried was the pippin apples and sweet apple crisps. The apple was wonderfully sweet, crisp and flavourful! It was indeed refreshing! Perrycourt Farm also sells apple crisps made from apples grown and prepared by hand in their farm in Kent. Warm air is blown over sliced apples for hours until they are ready. I wonder if i could just use a hair dryer to do the same but it'll be much easier to just buy these delightful crisps! haha The crisps were amazingly crunchy! I've had apple crisps before but never were they as tasty and crunchy as these ones.
The Sweet Apple, Tangy Apple and Dried Pear crisps can all be bought online from the Perry Court Farm website. Perry Court Farm Stalls can be found in Brockley Market  and all over London. Details of their locations can be found at the London Farmer's Market website.

Thank you once again for a great shop, Perry Court Farm. We'll definitely be back to buy more amazing produce!

Sunday 18 March 2012

Pearl Barley Water

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In most Chinese households in Singapore, Barley Water is a popular and healthy drink. One known to have a cooling effect on our bodies so what does one do when it's hot outside? Yes! make this drink! :) The barley grains are also a good source of fibre, has anti-oxidant and healing properties so it's better to eat rather than discard the grains to enjoy the full goodness from it. Also, the best thing about it is that it's so easy to make!!!
100g Pearl Barley (Rinsed under running water)
3 Pandan/Screwpine Leaves (Rinsed and tied into a knot) - Optional
10 candied winter melon - Optional
1.2l of water
Rock Sugar to taste
Pandan/Screwpine Leaves
Candied Winter Melon
1) Place Pearl Barley, Pandan Leaves, Candied Winter Melon and water in a pot and bring to boil.
2) Once boiled, lower the heat and simmer for about 45 mins.
3) At this point, add rock sugar to taste. I didn't add any as the water was already slightly sweet from the candied winter melon.
4) Strain off the grains immediately as it'll start to soak up the liquid if it's left sitting in the water. Just add the grains back to the water once you've scooped it into a cup.
5) Drink hot or cold. It's pretty refreshing when it's cold. 

Sunday 4 March 2012

Pork Adobo (Filipino Pork Vinegary Stew)

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When I was working in Singapore, I had my first taste of Filipino cuisine when my Filipino colleagues brought me to a cafe in Lucky Plaza along Orchard road. It sure was tasty and a few of my faves are Sinigang(Tamarind Soup), Sisik(Hot plate minced pork and other parts of the pig.:P), Bicol Express(Coconut Pork Stew) and of course the very appetizing Pork Adobo. It's essentially a pork slowed cooked in a vinegary marinade. Other variations of Philippines National dish, Adobo include chicken, pork and chicken as well as squid.
 I haven't yet found a Filipino restaurant in London but will definitely be on a lookout for it. In the meantime, I shall just have to cook some of the dishes myself and hopefully do them well -ish. :)
It could have done with more browning(totally my fault as i should have waited a little longer when sautéing the pork) but it still tasted fab!
Recipe adapted from Pinay in Texas
Ingredients (serves 3-4)

800g pork shoulder, cubed
9 cloves garlic, minced
1 medium-sized onion, sliced
3 shallots, sliced
3 pcs whole bay leaves
3/4 cup vinegar
1/3 cup soy sauce
3/4 cup of water
1 Tsp black peppercorns
2 Tbsp honey
2 Tbsp vegetable oil

1. Marinate pork in soy sauce, vinegar, honey, bay leaves, 6 cloves minced garlic, and  sliced onion for at least 30 minutes. 
2. Remove pork from marinade and gently heat marinade.
3. In a large saucepan over medium heat, sauté remaining garlic and shallots in oil until shallots are translucent.
4. Add pork and sauté until juice starts to come out. Add the marinade, water and peppercorns. Mix well. Simmer for about 45 minutes or until pork is tender. 

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