Chicken and Smoked Sausage Alfredo Pasta

It’s been quite a while my last post, and I thought it was about time I started blogging again.  I don’t think I could have chosen a better time than to post a new recipe!

Ingredients

2 chicken breasts

1 smoked pork sausage

1 courgette (for those who live in the USA, you would call this a zucchini)

1 small(ish) unsweetened double cream (Elmlea is perfect.  Again, if you’re in the US, you may call this heavy, or whipping cream)

A couple of handfuls of cheese – I used 1 handful of white Cheddar, and 1 handful of red Cheddar

1 small pot of garlic paste, or if unavailable, 2 garlic cloves – crushed / chopped…  Whatever your preference

A good shaking of smoked paprika

Pasta – I used five handfuls of fusilli

Tablespoon of olive oil – for frying

Method

  • Dice your chicken breasts, slice your sausage, and ‘stick’ your courgette.

WP_20160304_003

  • Add your pasta to a pan, and cover with water.  Put on the heat, on the hob.

WP_20160304_001

  • Warm your wok / frying pan up, and add the oil just as the pan begins to smoke.
  • Add the chicken, and fry until fully cooked, stirring occasionally.

WP_20160304_004

  • When the chicken has cooked, add a decent shaking of your smoked paprika, and add your garlic paste / cloves.

WP_20160304_006

  • Stir thoroughly, and allow the paprika & garlic to be absorbed just a little.
  • Add the sliced smoked sausage and sticked courgette, and allow to fry – stirring occasionally – until the courgette has started to soften slightly.

WP_20160304_007

  • Pour in the cream, and stir thoroughly.

WP_20160304_009

  • Ignore the look of it now…  It’s gone from “pretty” to a mess in less than 5 seconds.
  • Add the cheese – about half a handful at a time – and use the ‘lift & stir’ technique.  (If you don’t know what this is, it’s simple.  Push your wooden spoon / spatula under the mixture, then lift – as if you’re folding the mixture – then stir around, until all the cheese has melted.)

WP_20160304_013

  • Turn down the heat completely, and sort out your pasta…  I usually drain off the pasta, pour boiling water over it, then redrain.  Add a small amount of butter (small – ha ha!!) and stir until the butter has melted.

WP_20160304_014

  • Turn off the heat to the cheese sauce & meat mix, and add the pasta directly to the pan.

WP_20160304_015

  • Give it a good stir, then turn out in to a fancy (if you have one) serving dish.

WP_20160304_018

  • Help yourself, and enjoy 🙂  I served this with a couple of garlic baguettes, straight from the oven.  Yummy.

WP_20160304_019

Lemon Meringue Pie

This is the first time I have made a lemon meringue pie from scratch…

Being 37 weeks pregnant, I found this quite hard going to make, as the constant standing, and the heat in the kitchen got to me, so this whole recipe took MUCH longer than it was supposed to, but I have to sa it was worth the effort.  Not only does it look good, it also tastes good.  Just ask the hubby!!

With the ingredients in this recipe, I managed to make two whole lemon meringue pies.

Ingredients

For the pastry
  • 225g/8oz plain flour

  • 175g/6oz butter

  • 45g/1¾oz icing sugar (really!)

  • 1 large egg, beaten

For the lemon filling
  • 6 lemons, zest and juice

  • 65g/2¼oz cornflour

  • 250g/9oz caster sugar

  • 6 egg yolks

For the meringue topping
  • 4 egg whites

  • 225g/8oz caster sugar

  • 2 tsp cornflour (helps to ‘thicken’ the finished result)

Preparation method

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 180C (160C for fan assisted)
  2. First make the pastry. Measure the flour and butter into a food processor and blend together until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Add the icing sugar, egg and one tablespoon of water and whizz again until combined to a ball.
  3. Tip the pastry onto a work surface and roll out to a 3mm thickness. Use the rolling pin to lift the pastry up and transfer it to line 2x9in loose-bottomed flan tins OR foil pie/flan trays. Be careful not to stretch the pastry as you tuck it into the corners. Cover in cling film and place in the refrigerator to chill for 30 minutes.
  4. Take the pastry-lined tins out of the fridge and trim the excess pastry. Press the top edge of the pastry so that it stands slightly higher than the top of the tins.
  5. Line the pastry cases with parchment and fill with baking beans OR you can use a fork to prick all over the bases (if you don’t have any baking beans). If you have used the beans, bake for about 15 minutes then remove the beans and parchment and return to the oven for a further five minutes.  Otherwise, bake the pastry for 20 minutes, until a lovely golden colour.
  6. Remove from the oven and reduce the temperature to 170C (150C for fan assisted ovens)
  7. For the filling, mix the lemon zest and juice with the cornflour and stir to form a smooth paste. Measure 450ml/16fl oz of water into a pan and bring to the boil. Add the lemon cornflour mixture to the hot water and stir over the heat until the mixture has thickened, then remove from the heat.
  8. In a bowl mix together the sugar and egg yolks and carefully whisk into the lemon mixture in the pan. Stir over a medium heat until thickened. Set aside for a few minutes and then pour into the baked pastry case.

WP_20150525_002

    9.  For the meringue, whisk the egg whites in a free-standing mixer until soft peaks form when the whisk is removed. Add the caster sugar a little at a time, still whisking until the meringue is stiff and glossy. Add the cornflour and whisk again.

    10.  Spoon on top of the filled pastry case and spread the meringue to completely cover the lemon filling. Then create a        swirl on the top of the meringue.

WP_20150525_006

    11.  Bake in the oven for about 20 minutes until the filling is completely set and the meringue is lightly golden and crisp.

WP_20150525_007

WP_20150525_009

Serve warm with a blob of vanilla ice cream, or cold on its’ own…  No matter how you end up serving the finished result, enjoy!

The Good Wife’s Guide

I read this for the first time when I was searching for a 1950’s style dress pattern…  This was an actual article in a 1955 issue of Housekeeping Monthly!!  Oh how the times have changed…

 

 

The Good Wife’s Guide

  • Have dinner ready. Plan ahead, even the night before, to have a delicious meal ready, on time for his return. This is a way of letting him know that you have been thinking about him and are concerned about his needs. Most men are hungry when they come home and the prospect of a good meal (especially his favorite dish) is part of the warm welcome needed.
  • Prepare yourself. Take 15 minutes to rest so you’ll be refreshed when he arrives. Touch up your make-up, put a ribbon in your hair and be fresh looking. He has just been with a lot of work-weary people.
  • Be a little gay and a little more interesting for him. His boring day may need a lift and one of your duties is to provide it.
  • Clear away the clutter. Make one last trip through the main part of the house just before your husband arrives.
  • Gather up schoolbooks, toys, paper, etc. and then run a dust cloth over the tables.
  • Over the cooler months of the year you should prepare and light a fire for him to unwind by. Your husband will feel he has reached a haven of rest and order, and it will give you a lift too. After all, catering for his comfort will provide you with immense personal satisfaction.
  • Prepare the children. Take a few minutes to wash the children’s hands and faces (if they are small), comb their hair and, if necessary, change their clothes. They are little treasures and he would like to see them playing the part. Minimize all the noise. At the time of his arrival, eliminate all noise of the washer, dryer or vacuum. Try to encourage the children to be quiet.
  • Be happy to see him.
  • Listen to him. You may have a dozen important things to tell him, but the moment of his arrival is not the time. Let him talk first – remember, his topics of conversation are more important than yours.
  • Make the evening his. Never complain if he comes home late or goes out to dinner, or other places of entertainment without you. Instead, try to understand his world of strain and pressure and his very real need to be at home and relax.
  • Your goal: Try to make sure your home is a place of peace, order and tranquillity where your husband can renew himself in body and spirit.
  • Don’t greet him with complaints and problems.
  • Don’t complain if he’s late home for dinner or even if he stays out all night. Count this as minor compared to what he might have gone through that day.
  • Make him comfortable. Have him lean back in a comfortable chair or have him lie down in the bedroom. Have a cool or warm drink ready for him.
  • Arrange his pillow and offer to take off his shoes. Speak in a low, soothing and pleasant voice.
  • Don’t ask him questions about his actions or question his judgment or integrity. Remember, he is the master of the house and as such will always exercise his will with fairness and truthfulness. You have no right to question him.
  • A good wife always knows her place.