Sunday, 7 November 2010

Thou shouldst eat to live; not live to eat. -Socrates

To hell with what Socrates said! This bust from the Vatican Museum is supposed to represent Socrates. Does this man look underfed? Hmm....

The eats for this week have been difficult. Miss B's birthday is coming up, I seriously need to do a store cupboard shop and all the kids activities are up for renewal so we're tightening our belts at Oh Mammy towers (in more ways than one). A lot of these recipes can be adjusted to accommodate leftovers.

Chicken Casserole with Peppers and Ham


  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 8 chicken thighs , on the bone
  • 1 red pepper , seeded and quartered
  • 1 green pepper , seeded and quartered
  • 2 garlic cloves , finely chopped
  • 1 leek , trimmed and thickly sliced
  • 225g cooked ham , cut into chunks
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 300ml red wine
  • 400g can chopped tomatoes
  • 1 tbsp tomato purée
  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme or ½ tsp dried
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley , to serve                                          

  1. Heat oven to 160C/fan 140C/gas 3. Heat the oil in a large flameproof casserole and fry the chicken over a high heat until browned all over. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside. Reduce the heat slightly and add the peppers. Cook for 2-3 mins, turning, until they brown. Add garlic and leek, cook for 2-3 mins, then stir in the ham.
  2. Sprinkle over the paprika, cook for a couple of secs, add the wine and bubble for a few mins. Tip in the tomatoes, purée and thyme and mix well. Pour in water to just cover the chicken, and season. Bring to a simmer, cover and transfer to the oven. Cook for 1 hr, until the sauce thickens and chicken is tender. Sprinkle over the parsley and serve with mash.
  Roast Chicken Risotto


  • butter
  • 1 onion , finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves , finely chopped
  • 350g risotto rice
  • 1 large glass white wine
  • 1½ l chicken stock , heated to simmering (vegetable stock can be substituted)
  • a large handful frozen peas , defrosted
  • cooked chicken , torn into strips, no skin
  • 50g Parmesan , grated                                                 
  1. Melt a knob of butter in a large pan, add the onion and garlic and cook until soft and translucent. Stir in the rice until coated with butter.
  2. Add the wine and stir until evaporated. Add the stock a ladle at a time until the rice is cooked but still with a little bite (add the peas and chicken in the last 5 minutes of cooking to heat through). The rice should be creamy but firm to the bite.
  3. Stir in the Parmesan.
   London Particular


  • 2 small or 1 large (2kg) smoked gammon hocks
  • 4 carrots , diced
  • 3 celery sticks, diced
  • 1 leek , chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves , crushed
  • 450g yellow split peas
  • 1 onion , chopped
  • celery leaves and flatleaf parsley , to serve            
  1. Simmer the smoked gammon hocks in 3 litres cold water with half the carrot, celery and leek and the garlic until the hocks are soft enough to shred, this may take up to 2 hours, check after 11/2 hours. Strain off and reserve the stock and shred the gammon when it is cool enough.
  2. Meanwhile, rinse the split peas until the water runs clear to remove any starch. Cover with plenty of water and simmer until soft, about 45 minutes. Drain.
  3. Blend half of the cooked peas with a little of the ham cooking water (taste it first to make sure it isn't too salty, if it is use chicken stock or water instead) until smooth.
  4. Fry the onion with the remaining carrot and leek in a little oil until tender. Add the puréed peas, whole peas and the shredded ham hock to the vegetables and mix them with enough ham stock (or chicken stock, as above) to make a thick soup. Heat through.
  5. To serve, sprinkle with celery leaves and flat-leaf parsley.
  Gammon with Mustard Potatoes


  • 200g new potatoes , halved if large
  • 4 spring onions , sliced
  • 2 tsp red wine vinegar
  • 2 gammon steaks
  • 2 tsp honey
  • 2 tbsp mayonnaise
  • 1 tsp wholegrain mustard
  • watercress to serve                       
  1. Cook the potatoes in boiling water until tender. Drain then toss with the spring onions and vinegar while warm.
  2. Brush the gammon steaks with a little honey and season, then grill on high for 3 minutes on each side until glazed and cooked through.
  3. Toss the potatoes with the mayo and mustard and serve with the gammon and some watercress.   


  1. Noms is indeed the word - it looks gorgeous!Also my word down here is froodsm, which is probably the word for food photography which makes you hungry

  2. I love risotto...gotta try that one! XXX


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