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From the Galley: Moroccan Chicken, Pumkin and Lentil Soup

Posted in: Featured, From the Galley on Saturday, May 10th, 2014
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Winter is coming and apart from hordes of white walkers from the North it also means it’s soup weather. YAY!

I cooked my first soup of the season Monday night.  A Moroccan Chicken, Pumpkin and Lentil soup.  Not only was it the first soup of the season but it was also my first pumpkin soup and it was soup-er delicious.

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 chicken thighs, diced
  • 4 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 tablespoon Moroccan seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 6 cups chicken stock
  • 1kg pumpkin, diced
  • 1 cup dried red lentils
  • salt and pepper
  • fresh chives, chopped

Method

    1. Heat the oil in a large saucepan. Over medium heat add the onion and garlic and cook until soft, add the chicken thighs and cook for a further 10 minutes.
    2. Stir the Moroccan seasoning and ground cumin.
    3. Add the stock, pumpkin and lentils. Bring to the boil and simmer for 30 minutes or until pumpkin is soft.
    4. Puree the soup in a blender until smooth. Season with salt and pepper.
    5. Spoon the soup into bowls and garnish with chives. Serve with crusty bread.

Notes

  • Butternut pumpkin is the best pumpkin to use for soups. It is easy to cut and remove the skin and it tastes real good.
  • We don’t have a blender on board. They are too big and power hungry not to mention we didn’t have one to bring with us. But we do have a Kambrook stick mixer on board that is finally earning it’s keep. It worked just as well.
  • Make sure you have a big container to store the left overs. Because there will be left overs. Ben and I got two meals out of it with a few lunches thrown in. A very economical meal.

 

Dice the onion fine and crush the garlic.

Dice the onion fine and crush the garlic.

Butternut Pumpkin is the best.

Butternut Pumpkin is the best.

Ain't nobody here but us chickens.

Ain’t nobody here but us chickens.

All together now, in the pot and cooking.

All together now, in the pot and cooking.

 

Mmmm pureed pumpkiny goodness!

Mmmm pureed pumpkiny goodness!

Served and ready to eat with crusty fresh bread.

Served and ready to eat with crusty fresh bread.

 

 

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From the Galley: Mexican Chicken Stew

Posted in: From the Galley on Friday, June 14th, 2013

 

Mexican Chicken Stew from Woman's Day Cheap Eats

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 8 chicken drumsticks (1.2kg)
  • 1 Large red onion (300g), sliced thickly
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 2 fresh long red chillies, chopped finely
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 4 medium tomatoes (600g), chopped coarsely
  • 1 cup (250ml) chicken stocik
  • 1/3 cup loosely packed fresh oregano leaves
  • 420g can kidney beans, rinsed, drained
  • 1 medium yellow capsicum (200g), sliced thickly
  • 1 medium green capsicum (200g), sliced thickly
Method
  1. Heat half the oil in a large saucepan; cook chicken, in batches, until browned all over. Heat remaining oil in pan; cook onion, garlic, chilli and cumin, stirring, until the onion softens.
  2. Return chicken to pan with tomato, stock and 1/4 cup oregano; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, covered, 30 minutes.
  3. Add beans and capsicums; simmer, uncovered, 20 minutes. Divide stew among bowls; sprinkle with remaining oregano. Serve with sour cream, if desired.
Notes
  • Our local IGA didn’t have any yellow capsicums so I used a red one instead. They also didn’t have any fresh oregano and we haven’t got any growing in the boat garden so the dish went without. I would have substituted basil because we have a lot of that, but I just didn’t think it would work with the recipe.
  • I’m not a big fan of very spicy/hot dishes so I only used one chilli but I think two would’ve been okay.
  • I browned the chicken in a large saucepan as per the recipe but if I did it again I would use a non stick fry pan to brown the chicken and add the chicken to the saucepan after. Sometimes trying to cut down on the washing up just leads to chicken getting stuck to the bottom of the pan and oil spitting up at you.
  • I served this stew with rice because in my opinion stew without rice is like drinking coffee without sugar.

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From the Galley: Bacon and Butter Brussels Sprouts

Posted in: From the Galley on Saturday, June 8th, 2013

Vegetables I didn’t like growing up; beans, peas, broccoli and brussels sprouts. I disliked brussels sprouts most of all. I would painstakingly pick out all the peas from dinner and trade my broccoli with my sister for her carrots. It was a fair deal and everyone was happy. Beans I tolerated.

Vegetables I now enjoy as an adult; beans, peas, broccoli and brussels sprouts. Who’d of thought it? And what’s not to enjoy when you add three other things I love, butter, bacon and onion.

This is a recipe I cobbled together in my head after reading a bunch of other brussels sprouts recipes involving bacon and butter. It is by no means an original but it sure is delicious. It’s quick and easy and makes a lovely side to steak and mashed potato or simple no fuss meal on it’s own.

Buttery Bacon Brussels Sprouts

Ingredients

  • 200g Brussels Sprouts
  • 4 short cut rashes of bacon
  • 1 small brown onion, frenched
  • 1 unhealthy large chunk of butter, I was aiming for 2 tbsps
Method
    1. Heat a medium sized frying pan over medium heat, add butter and swish around until it melts.
    2. Add the bacon to the pan and fry until it starts to crisp around the edges. Add the onions and stir until beginning to soften.
    3. Peel the outer leaves from the sprouts, chop the small stalk off and slice in half. Then once the onions have started to soften add the halved brussel sprouts and fry for approximately 8 mins or until you’re happy with their softness.
    4. Season to taste.
    5. Enjoy! 

If you try this recipe we’d love to hear from you…

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From the Galley: Potato and Pesto Soup

Posted in: From the Galley on Friday, April 12th, 2013
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Here in the southern hemisphere cool weather is coming and it’s becoming perfect weather for soups of all kinds.  Soups are especially great because they rarely use more than one pot, we’ll be eating a lot of them over the coming months.

Ingredients

  • 3 slices rindless bacon
  • 450g floury potatoes 
  • 450g onions
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 625ml chicken stock
  • 625ml milk
  • 100g pasta
  • 150ml double cream
  • chopped fresh parsley
  • salt and pepper
  • Parmesan cheese shavings (to serve)
  • Basil Pesto

Method

  1. Finely chop bacon, potatoes and onions. Cook the bacon in a large saucepan over medium heat for 4 minutes. Add the olive oil, potatoes and onions and cook for 12 minutes, stirring constantly.
  2. Add the stock and milk to the pan, bring to the boil and simmer for 10 minutes. Add the pasta and simmer for a further 10-12 minutes.
  3. Blend in the cream and simmer for 5 minutes. Add the chopped parsley, salt and pepper and 2 tablespoons of basil pesto. Transfer the soup to individual serving bowls and serve with Parmesan cheese shavings.
Notes
a) The recipe originally contains ingredients and directions for making the basil pesto yourself, but since we think the simpler a recipe the better we just used a jar of ready made pesto. It keeps in the cupboard unopened for a decent amount of time and once opened, if you get a small enough jar, it wont’ take up too much space in the fridge.
b) Floury potatoes…hmmm I don’t know much about the world of potatoes other than I LOVE them! I usually just use which ever ones I grab first or are the best priced.  Although for this post I actually looked up ‘floury potatoes’ and found a good guide to potato varieties, you can check it out here. I think I used Sebago and they worked a treat.
c) The milk used was UHT long life and the stock was dissolved from chicken stock cubes. Both keep well in the cupboard for long periods of time and take up little space. Great boat ingredients.  Eventually we will start trying powdered milk as it takes up even less space than UHT long life milk but i’m a bit worried about how it will taste. Does anyone else use powdered? Does it taste okay? Is it good for cooking?

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From the Galley: Brown Lentil & Pasta Soup

Posted in: From the Galley on Thursday, February 7th, 2013
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The ‘before’ shot

Lentils are members of the legume family and have been part of the human diet since approximately 9500BC. They were one of the first crops domesticated in the Near East and come in colors ranging from yellow to red-orange to green, brown and black.  They’re a great source of protein, iron, zinc, dietary fibre, vitamin B5 and potassium.

This was a simple and delicious one-pot  lentil recipe that is well worth a try.

Ingredients

  • 4 slices of bacon, cut into small squares
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 2 celery stalks
  • 50g of farfalline or spaghetti, broken into small pieces
  • 400g canned brown lentils
  • 1.25 litres hot vegetable stock
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh flat leaf parsley
  • fresh parsley to garnish
Steps
  1. Place the bacon in a large pot with the onion, garlic and celery. Dry fry for 4-5 minutes, stirring, until the onion is tender and the bacon is just beginning to brown.
  2. Add the pasta to the ppt and cook, stirring, for 1 minute to coat the pasta in the fat
  3. Add the lentils and the stock and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 12-15 minutes, or until the pasta is tender but still firm to the bite.
  4. Remove the pot from the heat and stir in the chopped parsley.  Transfer the soup to warmed soup bowls, garnish with fresh parsley sprigs and serve immediately.

The ‘after’ shot

Notes
  • The recipe originally required the use of a frying pan but due to the quantity of stock required I thought it best to use a large pot.
  • For the stock I used a powdered vegetable stock called Vegeta. I usually use the cartons of Real Stock but they take up a lot of space and won’t be a solution when we’re cruising.  Captain was of the opinion we should make our own stock which I said he was welcome to do…until then, Vegeta will be just fine.
  • I don’t like mint so and as it’s cook’s choice I substituted the mint with flat leaf parsley.
  • Captain suggested that the addition of potato would be nice, and since there aren’t many things that aren’t improved with potato, next time it’s going in the pot!

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From the Galley: Parmesan and Parsley Crumbed Fish

Posted in: From the Galley on Tuesday, January 22nd, 2013
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Parmesan and Parsley Crumbed Fish

This is an easy and delicious way of enjoying your freshly caught fish.

Ingredients

  • 4 fresh fillets
  • 1 cup bread crumbs
  • 1/4 grated fresh parmesan cheese
  • 2tbps finely chopped parsley
  • 1tbsp milk
  • 2 eggs
  • Masterfoods lemon pepper seasoning to taste
  • Salt and pepper to taste

 Steps

  1. Combine eggs and milk in bowl, and whisk
  2. In another bowl, combine bread crumbs, parmesan, parsley, lemon pepper seasoning and salt and pepper
  3. Dip the fish fillets in the egg wash and then coat with the crumb mixture
  4. Heat oil in fry pan over a medium heat, add fillets and fry until crispy and golden brown.
  5. Serve with salad
Notes: There is usually always crumb and egg mixture left over so this recipe could do more than four fish fillets, we did six fillets and still had some left over.

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From the Galley: Pasta Caprese

Posted in: From the Galley on Monday, September 24th, 2012
Pasta Caprese

The finished product

A quick and easy pasta dish, Pasta Caprese comes from the small island of Capri in the Campania region of Italy. Although it uses few ingredients and simple flavours, the resulting dish is rather delicious, certainly one I’ll be making for a long time to come. Fresh tomatoes, basil and spring onions and a fruity olive oil are crucial in bringing out the distinct flavour of this dish, so it’s best saved for after a trip to the farmers markets (Jan Powers Farmers Market here in Manly is a great place to pick up fresh fruit and vegetables).

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 spring onion, finely cut
  • 3-4 fresh tomotoes, cored, seeded and 1cm diced
  • 250g mozzarella cheese, 1cm diced
  • 400g penne pasta
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped
  • Salt and ground pepper

Steps

  1. In a large bowl, add olive oil, 2 teaspoons of lemon juice, garlic, spring onion, salt and pepper and whisk until combined. A rather large bowl is essential as we’ll be adding the mozzarella and pasta later.
  2. Add tomatoes to the mixture and gently toss. Allow them to marinate for about 30 minutes.
  3. While the tomatoes are marinating, bring some water to the boil, add the pasta and cook until al dente.
  4. Dice the mozzarella, but make sure it’s nice and cold before we add it to the pasta and tomatoes, otherwise it’ll end up clumpy and chewy (not nice!).
  5. Drain the pasta, then gently combine the pasta and mozzarella into the tomato mixture. Let it sit for 5 minutes.
  6. Before serving, stir in the chopped basil and season to taste. I also add the leftover lemon juice at this stage, if desired.
  7. Dress with some fresh basil leaves.

Enjoy!

[Source: Cook’s Illustrated]

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From the Galley: Chicken and Cheese Chimichangas

Posted in: From the Galley on Monday, July 16th, 2012

The 'before' shot

If you like burritos and tacos you’ll love these fried treats!

1/2 roast chicken

200g jar medium (we used mild) taco sauce

400g can of refried beans

8 soft tortillas

1/4 cup olive oil

Baby spinach

1 red capsicum cut into strips

1 small iceberg lettuce

1 1/2 cups of grated tasty cheese

1/2 cup of sour cream

Lime wedges, to serve

On the fry pan, two at a time.

1 Shred the chicken and place in a bowl with the taco sauce. Mix to combine. Lay tortillas on a clean work surface. Spread 2 tbsp refried beans over each tortilla. Top with spinach leaves, chicken, capsicum and 1 tbsp cheese.  Roll up tortilla, tucking in ends, to enclose filling.

2 Heat 1 tbsn of oil in large frying pan on medium. Cook chimichangas, in batches, adding extra oil when required, for 2-3mins, turning, until nice and golden in colour.

3 Cut lettuce up into wedges. Serve chimichangas with lettuce, sour cream and lime wedges.

Notes:

This recipe looked so simple and easy and contained so many things we love we just had to give it a try as soon as we saw it. Which was funnily enough, as we were driving away from one Coles while I was flicking through the free Coles mag I saw the mexican delight, showed Ben and the decision was made to head straight to the next nearest Coles to get the ingredients.  We weren’t disappointed, it is as simple and easy as it looks and tastes just as good as i hoped it would.  I do have some suggestions if you plan on trying it yourselves.

    • They can be a little hard to wrap. This job should go to the one most skilled and patient in the kitchen, which in our case is Ben. Mine were okay in the end, but I got a little too obsessed with attaining perfection in the wrapping process and I got a little frustrated.
    • We recommend Mission tortillas over El Taco branded ones. We enjoyed the first batch so much we made them again the next night, but with one big change.  We used El Paso “soft” tortillas instead. They fried up a little different and had a different taste than the mission ones, and were harder to use.
    • Heat the tortillas prior to wrapping, if you can. We have no microwave on board and couldn’t think of a way to heat the tortillas before wrapping, usually they get nuked for 1 minute, so we used them as they came out of the pack.  I think this is why we had some trouble with them breaking and crumbling when we tried to tuck the ends in. The El Paso ones out of the pack were stuck together and hard to separate when cold.
    • Add guacamole! How can adding guacamole (or mashed avocado with sour cream as I make it) be a bad thing? Spread it over the refried beans for something extra. I haven’t tried it yet, but I will be next time.

The finished product, they tasted just as good as they look!

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