Monday, 26 April 2010

Chicken and Chips and Felafels

Squash and Ginger Soup

Felafels (on a Scooby Doo plate...... classy!)

Being a veggie is sometimes a lonely existence.  Bombarded with meaty delights from TV chefs such as Hugh Fearnely-Whittingstall and Gordon Ramsay, us poor herbivores are left wondering what on earth we can slap on the barbie, and what to cook for tea tonight alongside meat-eaters' chicken and chips!

I have also been searching and searching and trying felafel (chickpea patty) recipes, without a satisfactory result.  So, tonight, as I had a bag of chickpeas in the fridge waiting for something.... I tried a patty-type mixture which turned into felafels!  The result was a little dry, and I have yet to adjust this, but the taste was just right for me; subtle and delicious!

Chicken and Chips   (serves 5)

1 chicken portion per person (I used breast pieces with skin on)
Olive oil
Floury potatoes, cut into 1cm chip lengths
Clove of garlic, crushed

Heat the oven to 200 degrees/Gas mk 5.  Brush the chicken portions with oil and crushed garlic.  Season well.
Coat the potato pieces in oil and spread out on a baking tray.  Put into the oven and set the timer for about 35mins.  Put the chicken in to cook for the required time (my pieces said 30 mins approx).

Meanwhile make the felafels:


300g chickpeas, soaked and boiled, or one can, drained and rinsed
1 onion, very finely diced 
Olive oil
1.5 tsp salt
0.5 tsp ground cumin
4 tsp chopped, fresh mint
1 egg
Splash of olive oil to mix

Fry the onion in 1 tbs of oil until softened.  Keep the frying pan on the heat.  Tip into a food processor and whizz with everything else until well mixed and still a little coarse.  Taste to make sure the seasoning is ok.
Now I was a bit cheffy!  Make quenelles of the mixture - take a dessertspoonful, and scoop it off the spoon with another spoon, until you have a sort of three sided, spoon-shaped patty.  Place into the oiled frying pan and cook until golden on all three sides (about 10 mins).  You may have to add some oil during the cooking.

Slice the chicken into pretty slices and serve with the chips and mayo and ketchup.  I added a handful of spinach and rocket to my plate with my felafels.  Yum!

What I have been cooking:

I read a recipe a few weeks ago for Squash soup with Ginger.  Could I find it again??  So, I had a go.  SO EASY and SO DELICIOUS!!  Here it is:

Squash Soup with Ginger

1 butternut squash, or some kind of pumpkin, peeled and diced
1 onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, crushed
A knob of butter
500ml  or so of vegetable stock
2 tsp grated fresh ginger (peel it first!)

Fry the onion in the butter until softened.  Add the squash pieces, stir, then add the garlic and stock and simmer for 15 mins.  Add 1 tsp of the ginger and season well, then taste.  I found that 2 tsps gave the kick I wanted without overpowering the squash, but you can do what you like.


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