Chicken Laksa

This is a personal favourite of mine that I used to make with my mum all the time when I still lived at home. But since I move out I’d completely forgotten about it – it’s so easy to just have a general list of recipes that you just go over and over without having to think about it after work.

So I’m taking time this Saturday evening to sit down, have a glass of wine and rediscover an old classic!

If you want to do this with prawns, or even vegan, replace/ remove the chicken and add good quality king prawns or more sweet potato and the chicken stock with fish/vegetable stock!

Chicken Laksa

Creamy, coconutty chicken curry packed with veg!
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Total Time45 mins
Course: Main Course
Servings: 2 people

Ingredients

  • 1 large onion
  • 1 thumb sized piece of fresh ginger
  • 1 red chilli
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 1 tsp coriander seeds
  • 1 sweet potato
  • 2 lemongrass stalks
  • 2 tsp ground turmeric
  • 6 skinless chicken thighs
  • 1 1 red pepper, sliced
  • 100 ml chicken stock
  • 100g green veg (I used kale and tenderstem broccoli)
  • 1×400 ml tin tin coconut milk
  • 150g sugar snap/ mange tout peas
  • 1 tbsp tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • Handful of coriander, chopped (to serve)
  • Handful of lightly toasted cashews

Instructions

  • Blitz the onion, ginger, chilli, 3 garlic cloves and coriander seeds in a food processor.
  • Whilst blitzing, chop the sweet potato into cubes and roast in the oven on 200C for 15 minutes.
  • Once you have your onion/ginger/chilli/garlic paste, heat some oil (olive or coconut) in a pan, and add the it in with the lemongrass and turmeric (you can bash the lemongrass a bit before adding for more flavour, but not a necessity). Soften over a low heat for 3 minutes.
  • Add in the chicken thighs and coat in the spice paste and fry for 5 minutes.
  • Add in the sweet potato and red pepper and soften for 3 mins, and then add in the chicken stock. Bring to a simmer on a low heat and cook for 15 minutes (or until the chicken is cooked).
  • Meanwhile in a separate pan, blanch your tenderstem broccoli for 3 minutes and add in your kale at the end for one and a half to two minutes. Transfer to a frying pan and lightly fry with the remaining garlic clove for flavour.
  • Once the chicken is cooked through, add the coconut milk, sugar snap peas, the lime juice, the soy sauce and half of the coriander and cook for a further 3-5 minutes, depending on how crunch you like your mange tout.
  • Serve with noodles of your choice (I prefer rice noodles with this), with the greens on the side and scatter the remaining coriander and cashews on top!
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Harissa Butter Chicken Curry

Harissa Butter Chicken Curry

So my mum found the inspiration recipe for this dish in a trashy magazine whilst at the hairdresser… can’t credit which one as she only tore the corner our. 

Since the first try where I stayed true to the recipe I’ve made it about 10 times, tweaking it each time until I got it just right (cue Goldilocks references)!!

This is such a warming dish and has become a firm favourite in my house (regularly requested on a Sunday evening by the boyf!!) It’s also really simple and easy to make, it uses one pot for the curry (you need an extra one for the rice), so minimal washing up too! BONUS!!

This is by no means a traditional butter chicken (sorry to all traditional hardliners that might be offended it’s even in the name), but it has butter, and chicken, SO THE NAME STAYS!

Give it a whirl and let me know how you get on. The ultimate test will be when my cousin Xav manages to successfully make it and gives it the seal of approval (shakshuka and potato hash have all been certified). 

Harissa Butter Chicken Curry

A gorgeous, warming curry that's easy to make in one pot and is guaranteed to put a smile on your face!
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time1 hr
Servings: 4
Author: Millie Munch

Ingredients

  • Olive oil
  • 1 large red onion
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • 2.5 inches fresh ginger finely sliced
  • 1-2 red chillies depending on your spice tolerance
  • 50 g butter
  • 3 tbsp harissa I use shop bought paste
  • 1 tbsp garam masala
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 8 chicken thighs can do skin or no skin, I alternate
  • 2 tbsp tomato puree
  • 300 ml chicken stock
  • 250 ml single cream
  • 3 tbsp sugar
  • Fresh coriander
  • Salt and pepper

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 200C.
  • Heat the oil in the pan over a low head and add the onion. Sweat down until soft (usually takes 3-5 minutes).
  • Add in the garlic, ginger and chilli and cook on a low heat for a further 3-5 minutes - until the garlic goes golden and before it turns brown.
  • Add in the butter, the harissa and the spices (garam masala and turmeric) and stir until it forms a thick paste. Add in the chicken and try and coat it in the sauce as much as possible (without flinging it all over the kitchen - which I do regularly).
  • Once the chicken is coated, add in the tomato puree, chicken stock and cream. Cover the pan with a lid and put in the oven for 45 minutes.
  • Once out of the oven, return to the stove over a medium heat to evaporate off some of the water (usually for the time it takes for my rice to cook - about 10 mins).
  • Add in the sugar to taste and stir. It should taste sweet and creamy. I sometimes add in black pepper here if I think it's needed. Once cooked sprinkle some chopped fresh coriander on top.
  • Serve with rice, paratha/naan and a good dollop of natural yoghurt on the side.

Notes

If you want to make the yoghurt fancy, add the juice of one lime, a handful of chopped coriander and salt to 250g of natural yoghurt.

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Brunching to the Beat at The Piano Works, West End

So last weekend I was kindly invited by the guys at The Piano Works, West End to visit their new bottomless brunch (sister venue to in Farringdon, which I visited and had an absolute hoot at last year). 

They’ve just started a bottomless brunch – Brunch to the Beat – on the weekends, and I can assure you, if you’re after all of the fun of Piano Works, but with a slightly classier vibe… this is the place for you!

I signed up for brunch from 12-4 (yes I’m an animal) because I wanted to see the venue across the entire brunch sitting. It started off a little quiet, mainly because nobody knows they do brunch yet… but it picked up as the afternoon went on. We also ended up staying until gone five when the venue refills… and had another two bottles of prosecco… so no complaints here!

The bottomless brunch with food is £50pp, which seems expensive, BUT the prosecco is entirely drinkable and is actually prosecco (yes I’m talking to you, bottomless brunch venues flogging low rate ‘sparkling wine’).

The food was also great – you get two courses, I went for fried chicken and waffles, followed by a key lime pie. Both banging. I ate the pie before I remembered to take a picture (a running struggle in my life), but you can see the chicken below (menu available here).

The band were also FAB. As good if not better than at the piano works. They played a number of my requests (sorry for the randomness guys..) from Dolly Parton to Sean Paul, which is really testament to their talent. Sean Paul vid below hahaaaaa!

Shoutout to my waitress who had the exact same music taste as me and validated my weird and wonderful choices by dancing her way between tables – pictured in the vid above (great staff seems to be a theme at these venues!!)

I also never seem to be able to go to a Piano Works brunch without making friends… while I was tearing up the dancefloor with the gals from the table next door to Jolene… they boyf started chatting up @leah_panther’s mum! And I now have a new instagram pal!

I think that really speaks to the vibe of the place to be honest. Great music, friendly atmosphere and just general good quality, wholesome but boozy fun!

But anyway, you can book here – I’d really recommend it, particularly for a special occasion when you want to get a bit tiddly and listen to some absolute classics. 

P.S. Lost my mind at this shaggy cover… actual lol… just put the video in because you need that entertainment in your life on a Monday!!

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Cheat’s potato dauphinoise

Cheat’s potato dauphinoise

So my go to meal when my flatmate is sad/stressed/hungry/anything actually is roasted duck breast, creamed spinach and dauphinois potatoes. We eat the a lot.  Like at least once a week. Don’t judge us. 

So I thought it was a bout time I stuck the recipe on here (and also because I’ve been TERRIBLE at recipe posting recently). 

So here goes, they’re extremely simple and easy to make (more so than a normal recipe) but for what they lack in complicated steps, they make up for in pure tastiness!

Give them a try and let me know how it goes!!

 

Ingredients:

  • 300ml single cream
  • 3 large garlic cloves (finely chopped)
  • 6 large King Edward or Maris Piper potatoes
  • 250g bag of grated cheese (I use cheddar but you can use anything)

Instructions:

  • Heat the oven to 180C. Peel the potatoes and slice into thin disks (as thin as possible, approx 3mm in width).
  • Layer the bottom of an over proof dish with potatoes, sprinkle a small amount of garlic and cheese over the top and season with salt and pepper. Layer on more potatoes and repeat this step until you run out of potato and/or dish!
  • Once you’ve filled your dish, pour the cream evenly over the top of the potatoes, making sure it sinks down to the bottom of the pan. Sprinkle the top with cheese (so it goes extra crispy) and put in the oven for 45 minutes until the cheese is brown and the cream has all been absorbed by the potatoes. BOSH!
  • Handy tip: if the cheese starts to brown too quickly, stick some tinfoil over the top to avoid burning
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Amazingly Simple Avocado Pesto

So this recipe has been a long time in the making. I’ve been desperate to perfect it and I think I’ve just about nailed it!

A slightly different twist on a classic recipe… I like mine mixed into wholemeal pasta with chicken, cherry toms, spinach and mushrooms… with a snowstorm of extra parmesan on top (ohhhh yeaaaaah).

If you want to mix it in to additional ingredients, mix it in cold after you’ve cooked everything through and turned the heat off just before serving. Deeeelish!

It should also keep in the fridge for 2-3 days, so I always make extra for lunch another day #adulting. 

Amazingly Simple Avocado Pesto

A novel take on an old classic
Prep Time10 mins
Total Time10 mins
Servings: 2

Ingredients

  • 1 bunch of basil approx 30g including stalks
  • 1 large clove of garlic
  • 30 g pine nuts
  • 20 g parmesan add more if you like it cheesy
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • Juice of half a lemon
  • 1 medium avocado
  • Salt and pepper

Instructions

  • Toast your pine nuts in a dry pan until golden brown
  • Add everything except the avocado into a food processor and whiz until smooth
  • Season with salt and pepper to taste
  • Add in the avocado and blitz until smooth - depending on how big your avo is, you may need to add slightly more parmesan, lemon and garlic - but these quantities feel just about right to me!
  • Dollop onto some steaming pasta, sprinkle on extra parmesan and enjoy!

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