Monthly Archives: December 2012

N’s chicken salad.

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Niall, or ‘N’ as he’s called in this post (to add a bit of mystery, as he doesn’t appear in these images) enjoys linguistics, plays guitar incredibly well, loves to read and has been my lesser half (kidding!) for the past four years. N is studying in Salamanca for the year on Erasmus. It’s great living somewhere else for a while and make some new discoveries, and I get to enjoy the perks of student life with a grown up job!

Last weekend we took a stroll down to Calle Toro, a street in Salamanca lined with the usual high street  favourites including not one, but TWO Zara stores. Not long after our arrival, my shopping spirit was crushed when an ATM chewed up and swallowed my bankcard. Despite N’s thoughtful attempts  to share his cash, I decided to reschedule. Feeling sorry for me, we went to the supermarket on the way home where N bought ingredients to make a chicken salad for lunch to cheer me up…and what a chicken salad it was.

It was full of delicious flavours that went so well together. The chicken was perfect, the roasted garlic had a nutty taste and mixed with the sweetness of the peppers, the peppery rocket and the yoghurt dressing, I couldn’t get enough of it. I asked him to make it several times since and lucky for me, he gladly obliged. N says it’s incredibly easy to make.

If you’re not mad about strong flavours, you can omit the roasted garlic and substitute the rocket for iceberg lettuce or something not so ‘peppery’.

Ingredients:

Skinless chicken breasts (As many as you like, depending on whether it’s lunch or dinner. For lunch, we halve a large chicken breast)
1 bell pepper
Rocket (1 small salad bag, or half a large one)
4-6 garlic cloves
Light soy sauce
Olive oil
Salt
Pepper
Yoghurt or yoghurt dressing (We use Heinz yoghurt dressing)

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Preheat the oven to 180C. Cut the chicken breast into chunks using a scissors. It’s a much faster method..just make sure it’s washed properly afterward. Slice the pepper into 6 thick pieces. Separate the garlic cloves (leaving the skin on) and place them in a small bowl, cover them with a teaspoon of olive oil and ensure each clove is covered in oil. Fingers are best for this.

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Place the chunks of pepper onto a baking tray, drizzle with olive oil and season with a good pinch of salt and pepper. Roast in the oven for 5 minutes, then add the garlic cloves to the tray and cook for another 15 minutes in total.

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While the pepper and garlic cloves are roasting, pour a little olive oil in a pan and cook the chicken chunks until they brown.

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Move all the chicken into the centre of the pan, and pour 2-3 tablespoons of soy sauce 0ver the pieces. The soy sauce will start to carmelise, giving the chicken a lovely flavour and texture. Leave it to bubble and carmelise for 60 seconds, then flip the pieces and let them sit again for a further 20 seconds.

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Remove the garlic and pepper from the oven, and squeeze the garlic out of the skin. They should almost fall out!

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Carefully cut each garlic clove in half and place on a bed of rocket (about a handful) along with the peppers and the chicken. Drizzle any type of yoghurt dressing on top and serve.

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You could also roast. whole peppers, and stuff them with the salad if making for guests. Mix the chicken, garlic and rocket with some yoghurt sauce in a bowl before spooning into the roasted peppers.

 

♥ ♥ ♥

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Peanut Butter Cookies

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Cookies are good. Peanut butter is even better. So when I discovered I could make a delicious hybrid with minimal effort, I hopped to the kitchen excitedly, for this recipe calls for only three ingredients, ingredients that I’m sure everyone has in their homes! Unless you suffer from peanut allergies, which is never fun. Sorry.

I can’t really describe the self-righteous feeling you experience when you randomly browse recipes online, find one you want to try and realise you can start creating. Right now. No fancy ingredients that you can’t pronounce. Nobody wants that, when in the midst of a craving attack! Anyway, all this recipe calls for is peanut butter, white or brown sugar and one egg.

These cookies take no more than 12 minutes to make and bake and about 5 minutes cooling time. If you whip them up in a flash right before serving dinner, they’ll be  sitting there, looking glossy and delicious, waiting for you to coo over their beauty…before you viciously drown them in a hot mug of tea/coffee.

Makes 18 Cookies – Ingredients:

128g Peanut Butter (Smooth or crunchy. I opt for crunchy, for little crunchy peanut surprises)

100g Sugar

1 Egg

Preheat oven to 180C. Line a baking tray with a cookie sheet or tin foil.

Combine all the ingredients, and using a teaspoon, scoop a small ball on to the foil/sheet. Flatten it with your finger, as the spoon will get stuck on the sticky dough and it’ll come right back up, along with the foil.

Bake in the oven for 6-8 minutes. Do not over bake! Usually 7 minutes is the perfect amount of time, the corners will look a little browned. If they still feel soft, don’t worry – when you remove them and leave them to cool, they will solidify.

Peel the cookies off the sheet/foil and serve.

These cookies remind me of the ones from Subway. You could mix in chocolate chips or M&Ms/M&M Peanuts to emulate the Subway ones, but they are just as nice on their own!

Embarrassing admission: I ate my half in one sitting, in the space of 30 minutes on Sunday. Oink.

♥ ♥ ♥

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