Shredded Chicken for Burritos

Tonight for dinner Victoria was having a friend and her family over for dinner. I suggested to do a ‘make your own’ burrito bar for the kids.

1385571_10204184062314687_8572399207958168530_n

My first though was my using my mums recipe which she came across for mouth watering tender chuck steak. She would put it in the slow cooker along with taco seasoning mix and water of a morning and by dinner time it would have shredded and absorbed the seasoning in was cooking in. It was exactly like burrito bars and a favourite dinner of mine.

Victoria doesn’t have a slow cooker so I was going to have to go old school in creating a shredded style meat. She suggested using chicken which I was happy to discover how to shred. I went to Pinterest and was surprised on how long it took me to actually find a shredded chicken recipe that didn’t use a slow cooker.

Eventually I came across one and when reading it was surprised by the simplicity of it. Chicken breast, taco seasoning and water with the addition of a tablespoon of corn starch right at the end. Why wasn’t his recipe easy to find? It was so simple?

I decided to start on the chicken after lunch just incase it was to good to be true. I was surprised how fast the aroma of the chicken boiling took over the whole house. I kept checking on it and peering into the closed lid even flipping the chicken a couple of times (although I don’t even think it was that necessary).

Eventually when finished I had to have a try. It was the perfect tenderness and flavour was sensational. The only thing I would make sure of not doing next time was reducing the taco stock down to much! I ended up having to add at least another cup of water to get some moisture into the pot. I can’t wait to make it again.

10421612_10204184062194684_3147606590440297347_n

The family friends didn’t end up coming but everyone in the house was still excited of my burrito bar idea. I laid out mayonnaise, greek yoghurt, tomato salsa and avocado for a spread and lettuce, tomato, capsicum, corn and my favourite mexican addition coriander for the fillings.

10155829_10204184061874676_8764192831012003562_n

Shredded Chicken

serves 4 – 6

6 Chicken breasts
1 Packet Taco Seasoning
Water
1 Tbsp Corn Starch

Place chicken breasts, 4 litres of water and 4 Tbsp of Taco Seasoning in a large pot.

Bring to the boil and then turn the heat down to a simmer. Cover for 30 minutes or until chicken is tender and cooked through.

Take chicken from pot and let cool. Bring liquid in pot back to the boil and let reduce (should take around 10 – 15 mins). *leave about 2-3cm of liquid in the pot.

Once chicken is cool shred with two forks or fingers.

Mix together 4 Tbsp Water, 2 Tbsp Taco seasoning & 1 Tbsp of Corn Starch.

Add chicken back to pot as well as mixture previously made. Stir together until thickened.

Remove from heat.

10702068_10204184063154708_3014509060100568282_n

10628055_10204184063754723_2091580441148074989_n

10378073_10204184062994704_8596968516856328518_n

535906_10204184062754698_6069850968115927092_n

British Flapjacks

After all the ribs were devoured, Skye wanted to bake something seeing as she had finished school for the term. I told her to google some recipes and she was instant on making something incredible and somewhat complicated.

I persuaded her into something less complicated and we came up with Flapjacks. Before coming to the UK I hadn’t heard of ‘flapjacks’ before and I thought they were a pancake or something along those lines.

When I was at the ‘London Cake & Bake Show’ I saw a pop up shop selling them and from what I could see they looked like a moist tray version of an Anzac biscuit and I was right, they were exactly that and it was absolutely delicious.

IMG_8987

I tired another ‘healthier’ one the other week when grabbing a coffee before traveling up to Birmingham and again it was delicious again. So I was pretty excited to make them – even though they were the most basic recipe I could find.

After they cooled we cut them into triangles and dipped them in white chocolate. I didn’t take a picture but they looked super cute.

British Flapjacks

120g Butter, cubed
1/2 Cup Brown Sugar (packed)
1/4 Cup Golden Syrup
2 1/3 Cups Quick Cooking Oats
Pinch of salt

Preheat oven to 180 degrees and line a baking tray (8×8) with baking paper.

Place butter, brown sugar and golden syrup in a saucepan and combine over low heat until butter melts, sugar dissolves and mixture is smooth.

Pour over oats and combine until coated.

Transfer mixture to baking tray and fallen out into an even layer.

Bake for about 20 minutes or until top is slightly brown.

Cool completely in tray.

Fall off the bone Pork Ribs

This is the first time and definitely won’t be the last time I cook ribs. This has to be the most flavoursome and delicious item I have cooked and I think as well as baking I will soon have a passion for general cooking. I can feel it and i’m loving it.

IMG_8983

As I hadn’t slow cooked ribs before I turned to my favourite inspiration site – Pinterest. I didn’t know which direction I wanted to go flavour wise. The only time I ever eat ribs is at Sydney’s famous rib resturant – Hurricanes and I couldn’t even describe the flavour in that apart from the best tasting ribs in the world.

I knew ribs usually have some type of BBQ flavour so I was looking out for something along those lines as well as not to complicated and child friendly.

I came across this recipe and was a bit skeptical of mixing mayonnaise with the bbq sauce although i’m so glad I did because this will be one to put in the all time favourite recipe categories.

The pork fell off the bone and I used all the excess marinate over rice. A winning recipe that I can’t wait to make again and again.

Fall off the bone Pork Ribs 

serves 4

2 Packs Pork Ribs (supermarket bought)
1 Onion, sliced
2 Tbsp minced garlic
1 Cup Mayonaise
1 tsp Salt
1 tsp Pepper
2 Bay Leaves
1 Bottle BBQ Sauce

In a large mixing bowl combine sliced onion, garlic, mayonaise, bay leaves, salt and pepper.

In a large baking dish rub mayonnaise marinate over ribs, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate a minimum of 4 hours.

Pre heat oven to 180 degrees.

Place foil over dish and bake for two hours.

Remove from oven and spread BBQ sauce all over ribs. Place foil back on and bake for a further 15 minutes.

Remove foil and bake for a further 10 – 15 minutes.

IMG_8975

IMG_8980

IMG_8984

IMG_8986

Chicken, Bacon and Vegetable Risotto

The other night Victoria found this recipe in a magazine and after reading it I couldn’t wait to make it for the kids (and myself) for dinner.

I really haven’t made too many risottos before and usually stick to my favourite Jamie Oliver “Twice Baked Mushroom Risotto” adding chicken recipe or a very basic recipe I learnt during my Certificate II in Hospitality which consisted of onion, butter and chicken stock.

So I couldn’t wait to expand my risotto recipe collection and try this one.

1902949_10204170328251344_6354597777463889070_n

I wasn’t to sure on the vegetables because I hadn’t used vegetables in a risotto before although I knew the chicken and bacon would create an amazing flavour together. Freddie there youngest son wasn’t to keen on the vegetables in there either so I cut them up so small so he wouldn’t detect them – although he did and questioned eating it for a couple of minutes until he actually tried it and wanted another bowl.

This is definitely a winning recipe and I cannot wait to make again, next time though I will double the recipe because there was nothing left of it and I could of eaten so much more.

Chicken, Bacon and Vegetable Risotto (Cop’s Chicken Risotto)

serves 6 – 8

2 Celery Sticks
1 Large Onion
2 Medium Carrots
8 Tbsp Olive Oil
2 Garlic Cloves (2 Tbsp minced garlic)
1 Sprig Rosemary
6 – 8 Slices Bacon

6 Chicken breasts or 8 Chicken thighs
100 ml White Wine
300g Risotto Rice
1 – 1.5 Litres Chicken Stock
50g Parmesan, finely grated
30g Butter

Peel and finely chop vegetables.

In a large saucepan, fry vegetables, garlic, bacon and rosemary in olive oil over a low heat for around 10 minutes or until vegetables are soft.

Season chicken and fry until cooked through. Add to vegetable mix.

Add wine and allow to evaporate for two minutes.

Pour in 1 litre of stock and bring to the boil. Cover and cook for 10 minutes.

Add rice and stir through.

Add more stock as it absorb, little bits at a time. Stirring regularly. This process should take around 30 minutes.

As soon as rice is cooked and stock is absorbed take off heat and stir through parmesan and butter.

Cover and let sit for a few minutes before stirring.

536255_10204170328411348_2257245488474264645_n

1901491_10204170327931336_8608093742732474398_n

Apple Crisp

Victoria the lady who I work for asked if I could bake something using the apples that hadn’t been touched from the fruit bowl since I have been here. She was having guests staying over and wanted an after dinner dessert for both the kids and the adults.

As you know I have an addiction to Pinterest and find so much of my inspiration off it, so I went straight onto it to decide what I could make. It came down to two recipes ‘Apple Crisp’ or ‘Caramel Apple Shortbread Crumble Bars’. I decided on the Apple Crisp even through the bars looked and sounded so delicious.

IMG_8947

I decided on the crisp because it used up all the apples, can be made in advance and most importantly can be served straight from the oven (and as we are coming into a London Winter I thought it would be appropriate).

I was linked from Pinterest to ‘Tastes Better From Scratch’ where I found my recipe. (http://tastesbetterfromscratch.com/2014/10/apple-crisp.html)

Apple Crisp

Crumb Topping
1/2 Cup Flour
1/2 Cup Oats
1/2 Cup Brown Sugar
1/2 tsp Baking Powder
1/4 tsp Cinnamon (ground)
1/8 tsp Salt
1/3 Cup Butter, diced into small chunks

Combine the crumb topping ingredients with a fork until it resembles small crumbs.

IMG_8929

Refrigerate while you prepare the apple filling.

IMG_8931

Apple Filling
4 large Apples, peeled and sliced thin
3 Tbsp Butter, melted
2 Tbsp Flour
1 Tbsp Lemon Juice
3 Tbsp Milk
1/2 tsp Vanilla Extract
1/4 cup Brown Sugar
1/2 tsp Cinnamon (ground)

Peel and thinly slice all apples.

IMG_8932

In a small bowl, combine melted butter and flour. Add lemon juice, milk and vanilla and stir well.

Stir in brown sugar and cinnamon.

Pour butter mixture over apples and toss to coat.

IMG_8933

Pour apple mixture into an 8×8-inch baking dish and spread into an even layer.

IMG_8934

Sprinkle crumb topping evenly over the apples.

IMG_8945

When ready to bake, pre – heat oven to 180 degrees.

Bake for 30-35 minutes or until golden brown and top is set.

Serve with ice-cream.

IMG_8949