“Chicken with Shallots” from “How Easy Is That?”

Do you want to make Chicken with Shallots too? Click through on this link and it will take you to the recipe on foodnetwork.com.

Andrew (13): Why did you give us so much chicken?

Maureen: Well actually, you were only supposed to have a breast each. But the chicken needed to have skin on it, and I didn’t get to Dring’s before they closed, so I had to buy the chicken legs because they did have skin on and the breasts did not.

Andrew: It still looks like a lot of food.

Maureen: Well, it probably is, but the funny thing is if you buy the leg with the thigh and the drumstick, it’s super cheap compared to the chicken breasts.

Nicholas (9): This chicken is delicious!

Maureen: What do you like about it?

Nicholas: Usually, the chicken has some sort of after taste, or some other flavour. This one doesn’t. I like that it’s plain.

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Maureen: it’s definitely that. The sum total of its flavouring is olive oil, salt and pepper.

Nicholas: I like it even without the sauce. It’s very very very very very very very good.

Maureen: This is the first recipe from the new cookbook.

Nicholas: That gives me high expectations for the month.

Maureen: It has to be said that you’re not having the full meal because you didn’t want any shallot sauce. Your loss.

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“Chicken with Shallots” from “How Easy Is That?”

“Crunchy Thai-style Beef Salad” from “Virgin to Veteran”

Peter: Thai? This reminds me more of Vietnam. The fishy, cold dressing and cucumber.

Anna: Fishy doesn’t make it sound very appetising. I think the word ‘salty’ is better. But I know exactly what you mean. It’s the dressing. The proportions of fish sauce to lime and sugar just feel wrong. 90ml of fish sauce for two people? I don’t think so. I added more sugar but didn’t have anymore limes. It was fine, but I agree. More Vietnam than Thailand.

Peter: I did like it anyway. But as I’ve got a mouth ulcer it wasn’t the best meal to have.

Anna: That will be the limes.

Peter: I’m not sure beef is the best thing to go with this salad.  But it was nice.

Anna: I think it’s supposed to be like ‘Tiger Cry’, which I enjoy very much when we have it at Thai restaurants. What do  you think would have been better?

Peter: Maybe a firm fish. Like seabass or monkfish.

Anna: You are getting sidetracked by the overpowering fish sauce I think. If the dressing had been better balanced you would have found the beef very good with this salad. So, we probably won’t be doing this again. Unless I steal one of Bill’s Thai dressing recipes to go with it!

“Crunchy Thai-style Beef Salad” from “Virgin to Veteran”

“Slow-Cooked Pork Belly” and “Potatoes Boulangere” from “A Taste of Home”

Ian: This pork tastes really lovely.

Aine: It is so tender. It’s really hard to get pork that isn’t tough.

Ian: I was tortured with dry pork chops as a kid. And I wasn’t allowed to pick them up and eat them with my fingers.

Aine: Pork chops were made to eat with your fingers!

Anna: You have to gnaw at them!

Ian: Well this was lovely. No gnawing required.

Anna: That’s what happens when you cook it for 4 hours. Yum. Pork belly, crackly crackling. One of my favourite things.

Ian: Does it have any spices on it?

Anna: Nope. But it was cooked on a bed of garlic, shallots and herbs so that’s why it might taste as though it does. I have to say this was the easiest pork belly recipe I’ve ever cooked. No peeling of garlic or shallots required. Just smash them, halve them and bung it in the oven. And it’s delicious.

Aine: How did you make the gravy?

Anna: It was just the cooking juices. I forgot to put any on yours Ian.

Aine: The potatoes are lovely and creamy. They go really well with the pork.

Anna: There’s no cream in them, just chicken stock. Potatoes Boulangere….

Peter: Which is?…..

Anna: Well the Boulangerie is where you get croissants. I have no idea.

Peter: Are there any apples in them?

Anna: The sweetness comes from the onions.  I used waxy rather than floury potatoes, I don’t know if that was right. But it’s worked, hasn’t it?  The best thing about this meal, apart from the yumminess of it, was I got to nap in the garden for part of the afternoon. This is my sort of cooking!

“Slow-Cooked Pork Belly” and “Potatoes Boulangere” from “A Taste of Home”