Tuesday, 26 October 2010

The modern sympathy with invalids is morbid. Illness of any kind is hardly a thing to be encouraged in others. -Oscar Wilde

I've had a funny old few weeks here at Oh Mammy Towers. Miss B has been ill with one thing or another for the past four weeks and at varying points we have all caught something off of her!
I am the latest victim. Despite bleaching everything (and wrecking my hands to boot), I have her gastric bug and am still in my PJ's. I cannot enjoy this rare leisure time as I have a migraine and just generally feel floored...

As an added bonus I have had to plan dinners, cook and feed everyone. And at the moment, talking about food, the smell of food and the sight of food is not nice.

Anyways...here are a few dishes for you to possibly try and enjoy (Sainsbury's has that shed loads of meat for a tenner deal this fortnight) seeing as you all have the capacity to eat without offering it up to the porcelain gods. 

Pot Roast Chicken


  1. 60g butter, softened, plus a knob for frying
  2. 1½ red chillies, 1 deseeded and diced, ½ thinly sliced
  3. Large handful of fresh flatleaf parsley, finely chopped
  4. 4 large garlic cloves, 3 crushed, 1 thinly sliced
  5. 1 lemon
  6. Medium (1.8kg) free-range chicken
  7. 2 tbsp olive oil
  8. 8 large shallots, thinly sliced
  9. 620g pumpkin or butternut squash, peeled and cut into wedges
  10. 200ml white wine
  11. 750ml chicken stock, hot
  12. 100ml crème fraîche
  13. Handful of fresh tarragon leaves


  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C/180°C/gas 6. In a bowl, mix the butter with the diced chilli, parsley, crushed garlic and grated zest of the lemon. Ease the skin away from the chicken breasts with your fingers, starting from the neck end. Spoon in the butter, smoothing the skin with your fingers to cover the breasts evenly.
  2. Season the chicken inside and out. Halve the lemon, squeeze the juice inside, then put the halves inside. Tie the legs with string.
  3. Put a flameproof casserole over a medium-high heat with the knob of butter and the oil. Add the shallot and fry, stirring, for 5 minutes until softened. Add the sliced chilli and garlic for the final 2 minutes.
  4. Add the pumpkin or squash and stir. Nestle the chicken in among the veg. Pour over the wine and bubble for 2 minutes or until reduced by half. Add stock to halfway up the side of the chicken (you may not need it all). Bring to the boil, cover, then cook in the oven for 1 hour.
  5. Uncover, then cook for a further 15-20 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through and golden and the juices from the thigh run clear when pierced with a skewer.
  6. Remove the chicken to a serving dish to rest, loosely covered with foil. Return the pot to the hob, skim off any fat from the surface, then bubble for 5 minutes to reduce the juices a little. Stir in the crème fraîche, adjust the seasoning, then spoon around the chicken and scatter with tarragon.
  7. Carve into pieces at the table and serve with the juices and squash spooned over, with crusty bread for mopping up the juices. 
Cider Pork with Apples


  1. 850g king edward potatoes, diced
  2. 4 x 125g pork loin chops
  3. 1 tbsp sunflower oil
  4. 2 braeburn apples, cored and cut into 8 segments each
  5. 2 medium onions, sliced
  6. 2 garlic cloves, sliced
  7. ½ tbsp plain flour
  8. 500ml strong dry cider
  9. 1 tbsp cider vinegar
  10. 8 fresh sage leaves, finely chopped
  11. 1 tbsp wholegrain mustard
  12. 4 tbsp 2% fat Greek yogurt
  13. 300g cooked green beans, to serve


  1. Boil the potatoes in a saucepan of lightly salted water for 15 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, season the pork chops and fry in half the oil in a large, non-stick frying pan over a high heat for 2-3 minutes, until browned on both sides. Remove and keep warm.
  3. Add the apples to the frying pan and brown on the cut sides. Remove and keep warm. Add the onions with 200ml boiling water and simmer for about 5 minutes, until reduced.
  4. Add the remaining oil and stir until the onions are caramelised. Stir in the garlic and flour and cook for 1 minute. Gradually stir in the cider, then place the pork chops back in the pan with the apples, vinegar and sage, and simmer for 10 minutes.
  5. Meanwhile, drain and mash the potatoes, stirring in the mustard and yogurt. Season well and keep warm.
  6. Remove the chops and simmer the sauce for 5 minutes to thicken, then season well. Divide the mash between plates, place a chop on each, pour over the sauce and serve with some cooked green beans.
Creamy Bacon and Potato Soup


  1. 200g pack smoked lardons, or 6 rashers smoked bacon, roughly chopped
  2. 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  3. 1 onion, finely chopped
  4. 2 celery sticks, finely sliced
  5. 2 large potatoes, cut into bite-size pieces
  6. 1.2 litres fresh vegetable stock, hot
  7. 198g can sweetcorn, drained and rinsed
  8. 142ml carton single cream
  9. Handful fresh parsley, chopped


  1. Heat a large non-stick saucepan over a high heat. When hot, add the lardons or bacon and cook, stirring, for 5 minutes, until golden. Remove and set aside. Add the oil to the pan, reduce the heat slightly, then add the onion and celery. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes until softened.
  2. Add the potato and stock, bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 10 minutes, until the potato is tender but still holding its shape. Add the sweetcorn, cream and bacon and simmer for 2-3 minutes to heat through. Stir in the parsley, then season to taste. If taking to a picnic or to warm your cockles whilst watching fireworks, pour into warmed flasks. 
Chicken, Butter Bean and Pasta Ramen


  1. 600ml chicken stock, hot
  2. 2 skinless chicken breasts, sliced
  3. 75g dried spaghetti, broken into short lengths
  4. 410g can butter beans, drained and rinsed
  5. Good handful of halved cherry tomatoes
  6. 1 red chilli, deseeded and finely sliced
  7. Handful of chopped fresh parsley


  1. Pour the stock into a large saucepan. Bring to the boil over a medium heat, then add the chicken breasts and spaghetti. Simmer, partially covered, for 5 minutes.
  2. Stir in the butter beans, tomatoes and chilli. Cook for 2-3 minutes, until the chicken and spaghetti are cooked.
  3. Season and stir in the parsley. Divide between deep bowls and serve with crusty bread.


  1. Yummy recipes as usual. Hope you are feeling a bit better.I had gastric flu when pregnant with Tiddler (ended up in hospital). Never felt so ill in all my life. Even worse when you still have to cook for everyone else!

  2. Thanks Tilly. I'm getting there. A bit worked up as its been four weeks of constant illness for me and Miss B. Her walking etc has stopped and she sits and reads!

    That sounds awful! I hated food last week but have just polished off chicken with apples, cabbage and black pudding so I think I'm on the mend... ;)


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