You know how sometimes you're starving and feel like you have nothing in to cobble together a decent meal? Yeah...well I do it too. So I got to thinking and scrolling back through my food pictures and realised that I have a lot of great recipes that consist of 5 ingredients or less and that is what I want to share with you guys.
I may or may not have mentioned a few times that I LOVE Italy (as you can tell by the shouty caps) and this first dish is completely inspired by my love of the country and it's food.
The thing I love about Italy is it's fresh ingredients made the most of. I decided to take that philosophy and use the idea and make potted chicken as a snack when I had friends round. Lovely chunky pieces of chicken, well seasoned and livened up with fresh herbs, what's not to like? As this is a terrine style dish, you have to wait for it to chill but in terms of cooking, it's a 20 minute job max! I poach the chicken breast in stock then shred and add fresh parsley then season with salt and pepper. When layered up in ramekins with the excess stock reduced then poured over it sets wonderfully. I usually served it on doorstep slices of crusty bread as part of an antipasti starter board. It works just as well straight out of the fridge but I prefer to pull it out 10 minutes or so before I serve it so it's just at room temperature.
Every now and then I have carnivorous cravings... all I want is meat, meat and more meat. It was on one such night our picky tea was born. It literally consists of a variety of meaty offerings to be eaten by hand so obviously ribs featured in there. I always poach my ribs in stock as I fully believe it makes them more tender and the flavour sinks in deep rather than just being in the sauce. I have a range of sauce recipes I like using but when we are talking keeping it simple, 3 ingredients is the winner. Ketchup, chilli & garlic sauce and spiced rum... that's it! If you haven't tried any of the Maggi brand of sauces you need to, if only for this recipe. I use equal quantities of ketchup and the chilli & garlic sauce then and a good splash of rum, the alcohol cooks out when baked but leaves a wonderful underlying flavour making these ribs absolutely immense! It works just as well on wings too. Ok, so it's not all savoury, got to throw a couple of sweet treats in there to satisfy my sweet tooth right? A few weeks ago I made loukoumades with my students and I've been dreaming about them ever since. All I'm saying is it's a good thing we don't have a deep fryer at home otherwise these delicious balls of goodness would form 80% of my diet. The recipe itself is very simple, mix flour, baking powder and egg white and greek yoghurt together, allow to rest while your oil comes up to temperature then deep fry until golden brown. Once they have colour on one side these bad boys actually flip themselves over which is pretty cool. What makes them extra special though is what you serve on them. My go to choice always and forever will be roasted, salted pistachio nuts and honey. The contrast of salty and sweet works perfectly and adds texture to these greek style donuts. Just to geek it up a little I made a spun sugar basket for them to sit in : ) I'm sat on the bed, post shower listening to the wind as it rains sideways as I'm writing this and all I can think of is whether it'd be wrong of me to make cookies this early in the morning. Who doesn't love a warm cookie? The idea of being all cosy eating warm cookies with a glass of milk is what makes us always have the ingredients in the cupboard. I make 2 variations of this cookie, simply because JB doesn't do peanut butter (weird I know but I've forgiven him for it... just). The beauty of this recipe is that you can adapt this recipe in any way you like adding whatever ingredients you're in the mood for. If it looks a bit dry just add a splash of milk to loosen the consistency.
The must have ingredients for these cookies are plain flour, butter and sugar, after that it's up to you. Once you've weighed out your ingredients just add your chosen flavour. If you do want to use a chocolate bar, use it from the fridge as chopping it into smaller pieces is easier and it melts into the cookie not your hand or board. I've tried everything from lemon to snickers, to mars bar but I keep coming back to these peanut butter and choc chip ones. Perfect consistency and so gooey when they're cooked. Hopefully I've given you a few ideas about what you can throw together for an easy meal or snack when you only have a few ingredients : )