STICK TO WRAPS! Slow cooker BBQ chicken in taco’s.

So, Tuesday, or Taco Tuesday as it is commonly known, should not include Slow cooker BBQ chicken unless you plan to shower afterwards. Stick to wraps for this filling or even just have rice and enjoy it as it is. Just don’t do tacos, not even the fancy stand and stuff variety.

Back to the chicken, this is a good keeper of a dish. Not something we would have often but a good one all the same. A nice easy dish to get ready the night before, put the meat in the sauce and turn on as you leave the house. When you get in, shred the chicken and leave to cook a bit more.

This recipe comes from my folder and is dated 2005, I must admit to not knowing the origin of the print out.

Photo 24-03-15 5 03 05 pm

Don’t be fooled, the juice ran everywhere.

Slow cooker BBQ

  • Servings: 4
  • Print

2 boneless and skinless chicken breasts

1 1/2 cups tomato ketchup

3 tablespoons brown sugar

1 tablespoon soy sauce

1 tablespoon white or cider vinegar

1 crushed garlic clove

1 teaspoon chilli pepper

1 teaspoon coffee granules

Add all of the ingredients to the slow cooker, stir to coat.

Leave to cook for 5 plus hours, shred chicken in sauce about an hour before serving.

Serve with wraps, rice, salad but not TACOS

A Perisian Inspired Feast.

I did a Wellington Foodies thing with the lovely Susan from My Persian Feast. After this I decided I had to have a dinner party with a Persian influence. I also went for a Ottolenghi angel knowing the ideas would blend well. As usual, I spent many hours planning, culled the menu and got sensible. I even took a day off to cook on the Friday. I had a happy day off dancing, cooking and eating mixture. I did the usual subject- bread and dips. I also made Ka’ach Bilmalch. They are somewhere between a cookie, bagel and bread roll. They are rather moorish, as was the Tahini Dip that goes along side this recipe. You can find the recipe in Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Taminmi’s book Jerusalem. If you are interested enough to read my post, you need it any way. Photo 16-08-14 4 20 08 pm The main event was Chicken with Summer Fruit. I did this in the slow cooker, it was on all day making the house smell lovely. It was wonderfully different and went down very well. I used a mix of chicken cuts and I browned the meat under the grill to do it in one bulk lot.  The slow cooker was on all day and I turned it down to low at about 3pm. We ate around 7pm. Photo 16-08-14 4 20 31 pm This is the recipe Susan from My Persian Feast emailed me. Chicken with Summer Fruit 

This is a sweet and sour dish with hint of spice. I usually make this dish with lamb in slow cooker and change the fruit depending on what I have at home. Dried fruit such as cranberries, barberries, plum (hard to find) and raisins are good to use for this recipe.

Chicken with Summer Fruit-

  • Servings: 6-8
  • Print

6 Chicken thighs, skin removed (any part of chicken is fine)

1 Large onion, finely chopped

3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped

12 Apricots

1 cup dried cherry, wash and soak in water for few hours (Countdown/ Moore Wilson’s)

3 table spoon Pomegranate molasses

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon turmeric

½ teaspoon chilli flakes, fresh or powder is fine

salt and pepper

Vegetable Oil

Rub the chicken pieces with little turmeric and black pepper.

Heat a frying pan, add oil and brown the chicken.

Transfer to a casserole dish and pour 2 cups of boiling water over the chicken.

Simmer for about 30-40 minutes (for slow cooker-  brown chicken add to slow cooker, carry on with recipe and add the ingredients as follows below, add ingredients to slow cooker)

In the same frying pan sauté the onion until softened.

Add little oil if needed. Add garlic, turmeric, chilli and cinnamon, stir well.

Add fruits and Pomegranate molasses cook for few minutes

Add the mixture to chicken and cook for another 20 minutes/ or 6-8 hours in slow cooker

Add more boiling water if needed

Taste the sauce after 10 minutes if its too sweet add more pomegranate molasses and if its too sour add 1 tablespoon of brown sugar or honey.

Serve with Persian style saffron flavoured fluffy rice, garlic yoghurt and baby spinach. Nooshe Jaan!

I also used her recipe for Smokey Aubergine Dip  ( Mirza Ghasemi)

2 medium aubergines

5 cloves garlic, finely chopped

1 cup chopped canned tomatoes or 5 tomatoes, skin removed and chopped (not the Italian tomatoes, cheap can tomatoes are the best. The acid from normal tomato will bring freshness to dish)

Generous amount of olive oil Chilli powder optional ( I added a fresh red chilli too)

1 teaspoon turmeric salt and pepper

  • The best way is to cook aubergines whole over an open flame (either on a barbecue or over a domestic gas stove) on low heat until the skin blackened and the flesh has softened right through to the centre.
  • Alternatively, to bake them, Place the aubergines in a roasting tin and roast them whole in the oven 40-45 minutes.
  • Remove the skin and mash the with fork
  • In a frying pan sauté chopped garlic until soft. Add turmeric and stir
  • Add the mashed eggplant and cook for about 10 minutes, stirring thoroughly.
  • Add chopped tomatoes, salt and pepper to the mix, stir well and cook for further10 minutes over medium heat.
  • Serve warm with crusty bread and garnish with chopped parsley and olive oil.

And my new favourite salad, I doubled this. Marinated Feta Cheese (Noon-o-Paneer)

75 g feta cheese, cubed
1/4 cup walnut, coarsely chopped
3 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoon parsley, chopped
1 tablespoon spring onion, chopped
1/2 tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon nigella seeds (got these in a local Indian Store)
Add walnuts to a glass jar or small container, add enough water to cover the walnuts. Soak walnuts for 6 hours or overnight in the fridge. Rinse and discard water.
In a small bowl combine olive oil, herbs, spring onion, lemon juice, chopped walnuts and nigella seeds.
Stir until well mixed.
Add cheese cubes and toss very gently to coat.
Let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes before serving.
And… drum roll…..
Photo 16-08-14 8 08 04 pm
And lastly, I made- Walnut and Almond Crescents ( Ghottaab) you can see them on the left of my mega platter. They were lovely and would go rather well with coffee.
In the middle is the very interesting Baklava Cake , it does not have pastry and is rather like an India sweet. I loved it, husband was not sure.
On the far side is a Dish magazine Cherry Tart, I soaked the cherries in rosewater to keep with the theme. I wanted to do something familiar and it was good too. All up, this was a lovely meal and we had a great evening,

Dinner party- Indian slow cooked beef, Chocolate Tart and Chewy Orange and Almond Cookies

Just can not turn it around.

Just can not turn it around.

The dinner party-

I decided to have a dinner party on a Friday. I planned all the ‘making life easy’ moves and ensured I wouldn’t have too much to do when I got home from work at 3.00pm. I, of course, still ended up on my feet until dinner was served at 6.30pm.

The menu was Indian themed.

Nibbles were bhuja, popadoms and Indian frozen snacks (cooked of course)

The main-
Pakistani “old clothes” beef curry (nihari)
Cumin Potatoes
Cauliflower and tomato curry
Naan bread

The pudding –
Chewy orange and almond cookies.
Chocolate macaroon cake

The slow cooker beef was a bit of a gamble, but one that paid off. Beef and Indian food are not usually a match but in the north of the country beef is eaten. This sounded appealing and like a Indian version of pulled pork. It worked and was very tasty and lovely. I would recommend any Indian food/ slow cooker fans to get the book it came from as it gives a real idea of how to get flavour into the meal and quantities needed.

The Indian Slow Cooker: 50 Healthy, Easy, Authentic Recipes
By Anupy Singla

Pakistani “old clothes” beef curry (nihari)
2 medium yellow onions, peeled, cut in half, sliced
2 lbs beef brisket, trimmed of fat
1 2-inch piece fresh ginger root, peeled and cut into chunks
10 cloves garlic, peeled
1 heaping tsp ground (powdered) ginger
4 green or white cardamom pods
3 bay leaves
1 4-inch cinnamon stick
1 Tbsp garam masala
2 Tbsp ground fennel
1 Tbsp ground mild (red) chili pepper
2 pinches ground nutmeg
1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp black salt (or substitute kosher salt)
1/2 cup canola oil
Place the onions in a 4- or 5-quart slow cooker, and set the meat on top. In a food processor or mortar and pestle, grind the ginger and garlic to a paste, and add it to the slow cooker.

Add the remaining ingredients and drizzle the oil over everything; no need to mix! Cook on LOW for 9 hours (after 5 hours, turn the meat), until the beef falls apart.

Remove the meat to a bowl, and shred it with two forks. Return the meat to the slow cooker and toss with the sauce. Serve with naan or over white, brown or basmati rice.

My main adaptation was, I drained the juices off the meat into a saucepan. I shredded the meat and placed back in the slow cooker with some of the juices to cook for a further 40ish minutes.

This dish was really, really tasty. It was different from the normal India food but I would certainly make it again.

Not a pretty picture but had a pretty taste. Full of flavour.

Not a pretty picture but had a pretty taste. Full of flavour.

Now to talk about my favourite bit, PUDDING.
I did 2 choices but we all had both.
With the tart I left out the coffee liqueur and substituted the hazelnuts for ground almonds. This was one impressive pudding and easy to do. I made the base the night before and then did the chocolate mousse as soon as I got in from work. I will be making this again.

So, so good. look at that base. Gluten free too.

So, so good. look at that base. Gluten free too.

Chocolate Macaroon Tart (GF)
2 x #6 egg whites
¼ cup caster sugar
50 grams hazelnuts, finely ground
¾ cup desiccated coconut
¾ cup icing sugar, sifted
½ teaspoon ground ginger
Chocolate Mousse
½ cup water
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon brown sugar
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
pinch sea salt
200 grams dark chocolate, 62% cocoa, finely chopped
50 grams butter, diced
2 tablespoons liqueur, I used a coffee liqueur
¾ cup cream, softly whipped
24 cm spring form cake tin
Grease the cake tin and line the base and sides with baking paper.
Preheat the oven to 170°C fan bake.
Whisk the egg whites and caster sugar until thick and glossy.
Combine the hazelnuts, coconut, icing sugar and ginger then fold into the egg whites in two batches.
Spoon into the tin and smooth the top.
Bake for 20 minutes until firm to the touch and a pale golden. Cool completely.
Mousse: Put the water, vanilla, sugar, oil and the salt in a small saucepan and bring to the boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Take off the heat and immediately add the chocolate and butter. Leave for 1 minute then whisk until smooth and shiny. Stir in the liqueur, transfer to a large bowl and leave to cool. Fold in ½ of the cream then gently but thoroughly fold in the remaining cream, stopping as soon as it is combined. Don’t over mix or the chocolate will go grainy.

Pour the mousse over the base and very gently shake the tin to settle it in an even layer. Decorate the edges with extra shaved chocolate if desired then chill for several hours until firm.

To serve: Remove the sides of the tin and carefully peel off the baking paper. Remove the tart from the base and transfer to a serving plate. Serve well chilled straight from the refrigerator topped with fresh raspberries. Serves 8-12

I have made these next biscuits several times. I was directed to the recipe by a fellow almond lover, Micky. It took me a while to make them and they are now requested fairly frequently. They are mouth wateringly good. The recipe is from Chelsea Sugar, use their ingredients, they are quality.

The yoghurt is a sneaky preview sample, boy, it is good.

The yoghurt is a sneaky preview sample, boy, it is good.

Chelsea Sugar Chewy Almond Orange Biscuits – Gluten Free
2 cups ground almonds
1 cup Chelsea Caster Sugar
finely grated rind of one orange
2 egg whites, beaten to soft peaks
1 heaped Tbsp honey, warmed
Chelsea Icing Sugar to dust
Preheat oven to 160°C.
Line 2 baking trays with baking paper.
Dust this with icing sugar.
Mix all ingredients to a thick paste.
Sieve a layer ofi cing sugar onto the work surface and roll small balls of the mixture in the icing sugar to coat well.

Press down on the trays leaving plenty of room to spread. (Biscuits just need to be pressed down slightly not flattened out with a fork as you do with other biscuits).

Bake for 15— 18 minutes then cool on a wire rack— store in an airtight container.

Mexican chicken stew, Easy Good Food Slow Cooker Favourites

OK, sorry, I forgot about this one and over a week has slipped by. OK, I may not have forgotten but more hidden. I had a moment

Image OK, sorry, I forgot about this one and over a week has slipped by. OK, I may not have forgotten but more hidden. I had a moment when making this and put a whole small tin of chipotle chillies in and made it more or less inedible. I did manage to fish out the chicken and me and Mr ate them in wraps. There was no way of having a bit of sauce. I would say I will learn from this but I probably wont.

The original recipe was from The Easy Good Food Slow Cooker Favourites.

1 tbsp vegetable oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
½ tsp dark brown sugar
1 tsp chipotle paste (we used Discovery)
400g can chopped tomatoes
4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts
1 small red onion, sliced into rings
a few coriander leaves
corn tortillas, or rice to serve
Heat the oil in a medium saucepan. Add the onion and cook for 5 mins or until softened and starting to turn golden, adding the garlic for the final min. Stir in the sugar, chipotle paste and tomatoes. Put the chicken into the pan, spoon over the sauce, and simmer gently for 20 mins until the chicken has cooked (add a splash of water if the sauce gets too dry).
Remove the chicken from the pan and shred with 2 forks, then stir back into the sauce. Scatter with a little red onion, the coriander, and serve with remaining red onion, tortillas or rice.

Beef Rendang and other lovely bits.

I love beef rendang and found this post on the spice paste I had been using.

The Brahim’s Rendang paste is good on its own but the hints on the blog really enhance its flavour and give it depth. I buy the paste for around $3.50 a sachet at David’s trading in Petone and am pleased it should be available in Australia too.
The past 2 times I have cooked this I have used the slow cooker and my own method.
Using just one frying pan/wok-

Toast 1/2 cup coconut  and then grind gently in a mortar and pestle, I will not shoot you if you don’t grind.
Sear beef cubes in same pan with a little oil, place in slow cooker.
Thinly slice 1 onion, 2 cloves of garlic and chilli to your taste. Sauté in a little oil in the pan. Once they are getting soft add spice paste and cook until it starts releasing its flavour.

Add 1/2 c water as per directions on the packet. Add to slow cooker.
This can be left on for ages. Today I also added some par boiled potatoes, not true to a Rendang but they tasted good.
I served with some peanuts (not salted),  tomato/onion/cucumber salad and some Acar which was ready made and from a jar.  Finding Acar in a jar was a personal mission of mine. I got it in the Dutch shop, I mean, where else would you look for a Malaysian pickle?
We also had roti and rice. Oh it was all very nice and we have left overs. Tuesday night will be Rendang pie in my house.

 An Indonesian version of Acar


Christmas dinner.

This year I am going to make my blog a bit more personal and write a bit about each food and our families experience. I will also try to take more food pics because they are lovely and spice up a blog.

Christmas was at our house this year so that made me food boss. My mission was to make it easy and do as much pre the day before, I am pleased to say that I proudly achieved this. Our Christmas day menu was-

Water melon, olive, feta salad with mint.  I used a recipe from Feast Bazaar.The recipe is everywhere if you google and find one to your taste.

Main was Lamb Tagine with Figs and Almonds. (cooked in slow cooker). Normally things taste like they were cooked in a slow cooker and have the generic taste . This didn’t. I got it all ready the night before and stuck it in the fridge in the slow cooker liner. Christmas morning I got it out of the fridge for a bit to reach room temp and them stuck it on. It was served with cous cous which I added some roast veg to & 5 minute bread.
I would do this again, it was so nice not to be in the kitchen missing everything.
For pudding we had  ( all homemade) Baklava, Turkish delight and Mikey’s minty delights.

Lamb Tagine with Figs and Almonds.
From- Hamlyn 200 Slow Cooker Recipes    p 110  I got it here.

1 tablespoon Olive oil
750 grms Lamb fillets diced
1 onion, sliced
2 garlic cloves
2.5 cm fresh root ginger
2 tablespoons plain flour
600 ml Lamb stock ( I used beef)
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 large pinches of saffron
75 grms figs stalked cut off and fruit diced
40 grms toasted flaked almonds
salt & pepper

– I added another step and marinaded the lamb with ground cumin, paprika and all spice.
Preheat the slow cooker
Heat oil and brown lamb
Remove from pan and add to slow cooker
Add onion and fry until softened, stir in garlic and ginger
Mix in flour

Gradually stir in stock. Add spices, figs and a little salt and pepper
Bring to the boil, stirring
Spoon into slow cooker and cover.
I cooked it on high for 5 hours.
Sprinkle with almonds before serving.