Category Archives: Quick & Easy

Meatless Monday: Homemade red and green pesto

Meatless Monday: two homemade pesto recipes

Homemade red and green pesto

Homemade red and green pesto Photo: Russell Bowes

We are always being told that we should eat less meat and more vegetables. If you are an old school carnivore like me then that doesn’t always come easy too you. I admit that I like nothing better than a nice big bit of meat for dinner but it’s not always good for us (or me) to have it and as we (all) get older it is often good to go meatless, not for every day but a day here and there of vegetarian meals and a day or two of fishy food and suddenly you’ll find you are only eating a meaty meal a couple of times a week. It sneaks up on you without even realising it.

The biggest plus point of meatless meals, like these two pesto recipes? They are really quick and easy to prepare – just right for a weeknight diner!

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Christmas made easy: leftovers

Leftover roast chicken recipe

Ultimate leftover chicken sandwich Photo: Russell Bowes

Ultimate leftover chicken sandwich Photo: Russell Bowes

I hope you are all looking forward to Christmas. As Hana pointed out this morning there are just 12 days left till the big day itself (which reminds me I really should start that Christmas shopping……). With that in mind over the next twelve days I will be bringing you more festive inspired treats from Russell’s Kitchen including some quick and simple foodie gifts you can make for friends and family and more suggestions for alternative Christmas dinner recipes, after all turkey every year can be a little boring.

In my previous post in this series I looked at a simple alternative Christmas dinner recipe with a classic mediterranean roast chicken recipe, Chicken with 40 cloves of garlic. I know that sounds an awfully large amount of garlic but slowly roasted it becomes sweet and almost creamy. I served it with crisp and fluffy roast potatoes, winter vegetables and a homemade gravy.

But no matter how big your appetite or brood, there always seem to be Christmas dinner leftovers for boxing day. When I made the roast chicken we were left with this problem too, there was still a bit of chicken a few roast potatoes, lots of garlic and some of the lovely silky roast chicken gravy. Keep the potatoes, chicken, gravy and garlic for the boxing day leftovers for the ultimate Christmas leftover sandwich.

Christmas leftover sandwich

Mega Boxing day sandwich Photo: Russell Bowes

Mega Boxing day sandwich Photo: Russell Bowes

Boxing day lunch time comes round and there are still leftovers from yesterday’s Christmas dinner, time to transform them into an epic sandwich. The shops are open again and you will need a couple of bits to make these but it’s worth the trip, trust me!

Christmas leftover recipe

For 2 mega sandwiches

From your Christmas dinner:
Roast chicken
1-3 bulbs of roasted garlic (two for decoration)
Leftover gravy
Roast potatoes

From the cupboards:
1 beef tomato
1 bag winter oak salad leafs
Mayonnaise
½ ripe avocado
1 baguette
Pepper to taste

Method

Slice the baguette into appropriate sandwich sized bits and set to one side. Take the chicken carcass and remove the remaining meat, hopefully you should have a good mix of white and dark meat.

Cut the chicken into small pieces and add to a mixing bowl. To this add 3 cloves of roast garlic and mash it into the chicken, the garlic should be nice and soft – so easy to mash down. Add mayonnaise and pepper to taste.

Take the bread and evenly spread it with the leftover gravy. Slice the beef tomato and put 3 chunky slices on each of the sandwiches, top this with chunky slices of avocado followed by a generous topping of the chicken mayonnaise mix. Finish with the other chunk of gravy spread bread.

Serve with the roast potatoes, winter oak leaf salad and garnish with a bulb of garlic for presentation.

Recipe, text and photos By Russell Bowes

Find me on Google Plus, catch up and message me on Twitter and see more great pictures on Flickr and Pintrest

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Christmas made easy: how to roast a chicken

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Family meal ideas: homemade Salmon fish fingers

Childhood Classics, fish fingers recipe

Salmon fish fingers collage Photo: Russell Bowes

Salmon fish fingers collage Photo: Russell Bowes

If you have been following my blog for awhile you’ll know that I love eating good old comfort food recipes, curled up on the sofa with a good bit of TV or a movie. I think some of the best comfort food meals are things which come from childhood, those foods which stay with us through our life. When I am looking for a comfort food recipe to make, I think back to the sorts of things I ate when I was growing up. And it’s those childhood memories of dinner I was thinking the other day when fish fingers popped into my head.

Of course a lot of these childhood favourites ended up being things which you could cook on a baking tray. I remember growing up and coming home to treat dinners like fish fingers with chips and peas, a classic kids dinner. I was always really happy when we had this, as long as there was enough tomato ketchup! I think we had this almost every week when I was little, my gran did like to feed me up! A few years later I was introduced to a novel fish finger sandwich by a friend, it involves bacon, potato waffles and a roll, awesome!

I have made homemade fish and chips before and making these fish fingers recipe wasn’t too different to that. I tweaked a recipe which I have used before for a kind of posh (well, with salmon) fish and chips so it didn’t take too long to come up with a recipe to make this. It was really simple and easy to make with not too much prep work before or tidying away after. All in all a no fuss recipe which is friendly and tastes great!

Homemade fish fingers and chips

Homemade chips Photo: Russell Bowes

Homemade chips Photo: Russell Bowes

I shared a homemade healthy chips recipe recently. As with the salmon fish fingers, they are really easy to make and perfect for a weeknight treat for the whole family

Ingredients

For 2 people – just double up if making for the whole family.

600g salmon fillet. Try to buy a piece the same thickness throughout.
2-4 slices of bread – works a little better if it is a day old.
flour
2 eggs
Grated zest of 1 lemon
Salt and pepper (optional)

Fish Fingers Recipe

Salmon fish fingers

Salmon fish fingers

Preheat your oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6. Begin by slicing the salmon into chunky portions or fingers. I made mine about 1.5-2 inches wide, but you can make your fish fingers whatever size you prefer.

Take a baking tray or shallow dish and brush the bottom with a little olive oil, you don’t want too much – just enough to stop the fish fingers sticking.

Blitz the bread in a food processor and mix it with the lemon zest. You can add salt and pepper to taste here. Beat the eggs and pour into a shallow dish or plate. On two other dishes add flour to one and the bread crumbs and lemon zest mix to the other.

Have your salmon ready to go. Take a piece of salmon and coat in the flour, then dip in the beaten egg. Now roll in the breadcrumb mix making sure to coat the whole ‘finger’. Pop this on the prepared baking tray and repeat with the rest of the salmon till all your ‘fingers’ are coated in breadcrumbs.

Bake in the oven for around 20 minutes. The breadcrumbs should be crisp and the salmon flaky. Serve with homemade chips and some peas for a classic kids meal.

‘Adapt’

You can adapt and change this recipe by adding herbs or spices to the breadcrumb mix or using another fish. For other fish I’d recommend a firm ‘meaty’ one like cod or haddock, though they aren’t always on offer these days. This recipe for coating fish can also be used for meaty dishes like pork or chicken escalopes.

Recipe, text and photos By Russell Bowes

Find me on Google Plus, catch up and message me on Twitter and see more great pictures on Flickr and Pintrest

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