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Chicken Strips with Honey Mustard Dip

Chicken Strips with Honey Mustard Dip



I think I am probably a combination of a  really cheap date and a pain in the arse when it comes to dining out.  I either always opt for the fish and chips (providing I know the providence of the fish and exactly what kind of fish it is.), or I go for the chicken strips. (Again, only if I know that they are totally made from actual strips of chicken breast, not chewed up chicken reconstituted into whole strips.)  I know. Picky me.  I have had far too many poorly cooked steaks to want to risk good money chasing after one of those.  More and more however, I am finding that if I really want a delicious meal that is affordable, I will stick to home. You just can't beat good home-cooking.


And I can't afford to eat in fancy restaurants that give you good, cooked from scratch food.  Truth be told, most restaurants today bring in their food frozen and all they are doing is re-heating it.  I can do that at home, thank you very much, and at a fraction of the cost!


These chicken strips I am sharing today are really, really good.  Nicely flavoured and spiced and made from real whole chicken breast which has been sliced into strips.  Its always a bit of a faff when you are breading things. There is no getting around it, but I find that if I do it in steps, then things run rather smoothly.  Usually I will cut and bread the chicken earlier in the day, laying it on a plate and putting it in the refrigerator to chill until I am ready to cook it.


This saves me from being rushed at the last minute, at the end of the day, when I am usually really tired. It also means that the breading has had a nice long time to set up and so it really sticks to the chicken when I go to fry it.  Win/win in my books, but you do whatever you find easiest!


On this particular day I decided to whisk together mustard and honey for a dipping sauce. I love honey mustard, and this turned out really nice.  I used French's American style mustard and plain old liquid clover honey. 


It was just runny enough to make a lovely dip, and yet not too runny if you know what I mean. If you want a milder mustard flavour, and a less runny dip, you can whisk in either some mayonnaise or some sour cream, or both.


We were happy with it just as it was.  Todd always says that American mustard isn't really mustard. He likes  British mustard, which is really, really hot, not mild like American style. 

Funny story. When we were first married, I used to make him a bag lunch to take to work each day.  I would often put mustard on his ham sandwiches if that was the kind of sandwich I was making, and I used to really smear the mustard onto them, like I would have done back home.  He was so polite, he never said a word.  It wasn't until I did it for myself one day that I realised just hot hot it was!  Poor Todd. He must have had his head blown off every time!


In any case, this is a really lovely dip for the chicken.  Not too spicy and with a tangy sweetness. 


It goes really well with the peppery bite of the chicken.  YUMMY!  We love these.

Yield: 4

Chicken Strips with Honey Mustard Dip

prep time: 25 minscook time: 25 minstotal time: 50 mins
Spicy chicken strips served with a delicious honey mustard dipping sauce.

ingredients:

For the chicken:
1 1/2 pounds skinless, boneless chicken breasts
1 cup plain flour
1 tsp sea salt, rubbed in your fingers until fine
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
2 large free range eggs
1 cup seasoned dry bread crumbs (if you can't find these, use plain dry
bread crumbs to which you have added some garlic powder, dried parsley
flakes, dried basil and dried oregano)
1/2 cup finely grated Parmesan Cheese
unsalted butter
good olive oil
For the sauce:
60ml prepared mustard (1/4 cup)
(I used French's American style mustard)
3 TBS liquid honey

instructions:

Put the chicken breasts on a cutting board and cut through each, diagonally, into four or five large strips.

Take three shallow bowls. In the first one combine the flour, salt and
pepper. In the second one beat the eggs together with 1 TBS water. In
the third one combine the bread crumbs and the Parmesan cheese. Take
your chicken pieces and, working with one at a time, dredge them into
the flour mixture, then into the beaten egg and then finally roll them
in the breadcrumb mixture to coat. Place them on a plate without
touching until they are all coated. (Your fingers will get all clumped
up with doughy squidge, but that’s OK. Fingers are easily cleaned off!)
Let them sit for about 15 minutes.

Heat 1 TBS of butter along with 1 TBS of olive oil over medium heat in a large skillet. When the butter is foaming, turn the heat down to medium low, and cook the chicken
strips in the hot fat for about 3 minutes on each side, just until they
are cooked through. Don’t crowd the pan or they will steam instead of
fry. Add more butter and oil and cook the rest. Serve warm with the
dipping sauce.

While the chicken strips are cooking, whisk together the mustard and liquid honey for the dip.
Easy Peasy.

Created using The Recipes Generator



These are great for game nights when you are watching the football, hockey or rugby, or when your teens are entertaining their friends, and to be honest, they are great for supper, served with your favourite sides.  We had homemade sweet potato wedges and peas. Yummy!



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Marie Rayner
4 Comments
Spiced Pear Chutney

Spiced Pear Chutney



All the pears are ripening on our tree now and I am in a rush to get as much done with them as I can before its too late.  I made the crumble the other day and then I made this delicious Spiced Pear Chutney!  I call it Autumn in a Jar!



We love chutneys in this house.  In fact chutney was one of the first things I learnt to make when I went to Culinary College. It is a very British thing. I think I could make a chutney out of just about anything.


A chutney is a spicy condiment/relish which contains the perfect balance of sweet, sour and spicy!  Mango chutney is a favourite, but there is no end to the types of chutney you can create if you stick to the rule of thumb that whereas relishes mostly contain vegetables, a chutney is largely based on a fruit.  And you want a perfect balance of the trinity of chutney which is as I said above, sweet, sour and spicy!


This one is largely composed of pears and onions with some dried cranberries. You could also use sultanas if you wished.  DO be sure to use firm pears, not soft ones. Mine were not very ripe which is perfect for chutney as they held up their shape well in the long cooking process.  You want to be able to tell that there is pears in it, or why make it?


The sour comes from the use of Cider Vinegar!  I love Cider vinegar and it goes very well with the fruity orchard-infused flavour of pears.  Apples and pears, pears and apples  . . .


There is plenty of brown sugar in this chutney, which adds an almost sweet smokey depth to the flavour and then there is the spice  . . .

Spiced Pear Chutney

Ground cumin, ground coriander, ground cinnamon and  . . .  for some heat, ground cayenne pepper!  I used 1/2 tsp for the while recipe, which might seem like a lot, but trust me when I say it balances out well in the mix. You want your chutney to have a bit of a kick without going over the top.



We are really going to be enjoying this over the winter with all sorts.  Perfect on cheese trays, in sandwiches, with cold meats and . . . .  I will let you in on a little secret here . . .  a dollop or two added to a stew, or soup, or . . .  yes  . . .  Swiss Steak, goes fabulously and will have your guests and family wondering just what is that special ingredient you use to make your cookin' taste so good!


Yield: 3 Pints

Spiced Pear Chutney

prep time: 35 minscook time: 1 hour and 45 minstotal time: 1 hours and 80 mins
Something delicious to make with your pear glut.

ingredients:

2 pounds firm pears, peeled, cored and diced
1 1/2 pound brown onions, peeled and diced
2 fat cloves garlic, peeled and minced
150g dried cranberries (1 cup)
400g soft light brown sugar (2 cups, packed)
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 1/2 tsp salt
710ml cider vinegar (3 cups)
160g tomato puree/paste (5 1/2 ounces)

instructions:

Prepare the pears and onions. Place them into a large deep saucepan. 
Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally.  Add the remaining
ingredients.  Bring to the boil, then reduce to a low simmer.  Cook for 1
 to 1 1/2 hours until it is the consistency you want, stirring it
often.  Ladle into hot sterilised pint jars, wipe jar rims, and seal.
Created using The Recipes Generator



Pear Chutney  . . .  so delicious and it will have your kitchen/home smelling great for a few days after cooking it!  Bon Appetit!



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Marie Rayner
4 Comments
Barleycup & Chocolate Chip Muffins

Barleycup & Chocolate Chip Muffins



As a Latter Day Saint, I subscribe to a law of health which is called the Word of Wisdom.  As a part of that law,  we have been asked to abstain from drinking tea and coffee. This can be somewhat of a challenge, especially if you enjoy the flavours of teas and coffees. I have not imbibed them as hot drinks for a very long time now, but have still used them in baking. Recently however I challenged myself to come up with an alternative so that I could follow the WOW in every form, and so I have been using Barleycup as a healthy alternative.  For those of you who are not familiar with the product,  Barleycup is a range of instant hot drinks created from roasted cereals and chicory root, which are completely free from caffeine and artificial additives.


It is a very easy product to use.  Simply spoon the Barleycup into a mug and add boiling water.  This hot drink contains no sugar but has a tempting aroma and mild taste, coming in at only 10 calories per cup.  You can enjoy it on its own or with milk (including soy, almond or rice milk) as a part of a balanced diet.

There are four variations of Barleycup to choose from. Barleycup Powder, Barleycup Granules, Barleycup Organic and Barleycup with Dandelion. 

It is available in 200g jars from independent health food stores nationwide and on line. Our friends Tony and Tina actually use it to make milkshakes, which I haven't done yet, but it is on my list of things to try. 

Basically however, I have been trying to use it in my baking as a suitable substitution for coffee.  First I used it in my Coffee & Walnut Cake recipe, with excellent results.  It was used both in the icing and in the cake itself and worked very well.  In fact I could barely tell the difference!


I love muffins.  They are like little cakes for one . . .  but not too sweet. I  like to think of them as a healthy alternative to cake.


Muffins are great for packing into lunch boxes!  Perfectly portable, they are great for breakfasts on the go, and they make great bring-alongs to work for break time and are probably a lot healthier than anything you could buy at a bake shop.


Adding Barleycup to these muffins adds some extra fibre, along with a mild flavour that is caffeine free and tastes good! Its also low in calories, so win/win/win! 



I like to use dark chocolate chips because they pack a lot of flavour and dark chocolate is actually quite good for you.  Try to find a chocolate chip with a high level of cacao.  Alternately you can chop of a bar of high level cacao chocolate into smaller bits.  This works fine.

 Barley Cup & Chocolate Chip Muffins 

As you can see these muffins rise tall with beautiful domed tops!  I love domed tops, and these muffins are just the perfect size.  You don't need, and shouldn't be,  eating anything larger than this!



Why not enjoy them along with a nice hot cup of Barleycup? A beautiful combination.  Caffeine free, filled with fibre and delicious too!


Yield: 12

Barley Cup & Chocolate Chip Muffins

prep time: 15 minscook time: 25 minstotal time: 40 mins
Moist and delicious and stuffed full of semi-sweet chocolate chips.

ingredients:

315g plain flour (2 1/4 cups)
135g caster sugar (3/4 cup)
1 TBS baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 TBS Barley Cup powder
2 large free range eggs
240ml whole milk (1 cup)
120ml melted butter (1/2 cup)
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
180g semi sweet chocolate chips (1 cup)
A few more chocolate chips to sprinkle on top (optional)

instructions:

Pre-heat the oven to 200*C/400*F/ gas mark 6.  Line a 12 cup muffin tin with paper cups. Set aside.

Sift
 the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and Barleycup powder together
into a large bowl.  Stir in the chocolate chips.  Set aside.

Beat
 together the eggs, milk, melted butter and vanilla.  Make a well in the
 dry ingredients and add the wet all at once.  Stir together just to
combine. Spoon into the lined muffin cups, filling 2/3 full..  Sprinkle a
 few extra chocolate chips on top of each if using.

Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until risen and a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean.  Serve warm with a hot cuppa.
calories
343
fat (grams)
7
sat. fat (grams)
0
carbs (grams)
66
protein (grams)
7
sugar (grams)
19
Created using The Recipes Generator




For further information and recipe inspiration, visit:  www.barleycup.com or @BarleycupUK on facebook. 

#BakingWithBarleycup 


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Marie Rayner
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Three Fruit Crumble

Three Fruit Crumble



I am determined this year to use all of the pears from our pear tree.  I struggle with this each year.  We have a Conference Pear Tree, (Bosc Pears) and they are not the best pears for eating. (Lesson learnt.)  They are however great pears for cooking with, so bring on your crumbles, cakes and pies! 


Our landlord brought us a big bag of cooking apples yesterday and I looked at the pears that Todd had picked and the apples and thought, crumble . . .  and then I thought why not add blackberries.  But I had only a handful of blackberries, so threw in some frozen cranberries I had to make up the difference.  But you can use either all blackberries or all cranberries if you wish.



I can't think of anyone who wouldn't love a crumble . . .  not quite a pie, not a cake . . . fruity and sweet and topped with a nutty/buttery/crispy/crumbly topping.


I love to make crumbles. There is no faffing about with rolling out crusts or beating together batters . . . you just prepare your fruit, pop it into a baking dish . . .


Rub together a few ingredients . . .  flour, butter, sugar, oats, nuts, etc.  . . .  scatter them over top and then bake! 




Until the fruit is soft and jammy . . .


And the topping is golden brown. If you find your topping browning before your fruit is ready, cover it lightly with some aluminium foil. 


Let it sit for a bit . . .  you don't want anyone burning their mouth, and then spoon it out into bowls for eating  . . .


There is rather a lot with this one, so make sure you have plenty of people around to help you heat it, either that or prepare it in two bakes, and freeze one for later. (Without baking it, just wrap well and pop it into the freeze. Thaw completely prior to baking as below.)



Todd loves cream or custard poured over his  . . .  I prefer ice cream  . . .


Although cream is also very, very good  . . .


and what is ice cream, but  . . .  frozen custard.


Todd managed to scarf down two bowls of this on the day  . . .  and another big bowl the day after. 



In fact, I think he would have it for breakfast if he could . . .



Yield: 6 to 8

Three Fruit Crumble

prep time: 20 minscook time: 45 minstotal time: 65 mins
This delicious crumble makes use of three kinds of fruit. Don't be tempted to do the crumble mixture in a food processor. You will loose the rough texture that makes crumbles so fabulously crunchy and crumbly!

ingredients:

175g self raising flour (1 1/4 cup)
75g butter (5 1/2 TBS))
25g oats (1/3 cup)
100g demerara sugar (1/2 cup, turbinado)
600g ripe pears (1 1/3 pound)
650g cooking apples (1 1/2 pound)
100g cranberries or other berries (1 cup)
2 to 3 TBS sugar or to taste
a handful of flaked almonds

instructions:

Preheat the oven to 180*C/350*F/gas mark 4.  Have a baking tray upon which you have laid out  a large shallow baking dish.

Measure
 the flour into a bowl.  Cut the butter into bits and drop in. Rub in
with your fingertips until it resembles coarse bread crumbs.  Stir in
the oats and demerara sugar.  Set aside.

Peel
and core the pears and apples. Slice thinly into a bowl. Toss in the
berries and the sugar. Toss all together to coat and them pour into the
prepared baking dish.  Scatter the crumble topping over top of all.
Don't press it down, you don't want it compact.

Bake
 in the preheated oven for 25 minutes.  Sprinkle with the almonds, then
return to the oven and bake for a further 10 to 15 minutes, until golden
 brown and crisp in places.  Serve warm with either cream, ice cream, or
 custard for pouring over top.
Created using The Recipes Generator



Crumbles speak Autumn to me  . . .  not quite there yet, I know  . . .  but only a few more days to go. This is a lovely one. Bon Appetit!



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Marie Rayner
6 Comments

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