Category Archives: Cooking

Chicken and bacon wraps

Bacon/chicken wraps!
Bacon/chicken wraps!

I’ve not done a cooking post on here in ages, and I tried something a little new last night so here it is. Dead simple (as I prefer) and dead cheap (which I also prefer).

Equipment:

  • A George Formby ((Foreman? Whoever…) or similar) grill

Ingredients:

  • Chicken fillet(s)
  • Bacon (2 per slice of fillet – I had smoked, thick cut)
  • Chips/waffles/hash browns
  • Mixed veg
  • Brown sauce / ketchup

Recipe:

This hinges on the meat. For the potato / mixed veg, just heat it so it’s ready serve at the same time as the meat. It should take around 20-30 mins to cook through.

Switch the grill on so it’ll be warmed up for when you need it.

Get a chicken fillet. Slice it down to size if required. I found one medium fillet sliced down the middle to make a “finger” about an inch wide and four inches long is fine.

Wrap two slices of bacon around each chicken “finger”, covering as much of the chicken as possible. Don’t worry about the ends, though. Just leave them bare.

Drop them onto the grill and close it over. Leave to cook for 20-ish minutes. You may want to slice through one of the fingers to ensure it’s cooked through.

Put everything on a plate, add sauce (I prefer brown, ketchup would be OK I suppose) and enjoy.

Told you it was simple.

Alternatives:

It’s been suggested that I slice the fillet and stuff it with something before cooking. I may give it a go with some grated cheese, though a couple of people have mentioned chives, garlic and so on. Go wild – it’s your meal!

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Mmm… fajitas

After dinner last night, I can definitely recommend Tesco‘s own-brand fajita box set. At a pound, it looks too cheap given that the likes of El Paso can be twice that. This just isn’t the case.

However, a couple of changes to the recipe on the back of the box will improve it.

First off, we used nearer 400g of chicken for the two of us rather than the recommended 550g. This means you’ll get the right amount of food for two. It also means that there’s more spice per unit weight of meat so the fajitas are hotter!

Secondly, the instructions state that you just chuck the powder in with the chicken that’s cooking in oil. I’d change this. First of all, you don’t want to be using that much oil. Secondly, the powder would just sit there. Instead, get a small mug and use it to dilute the powder with boiling water. Once the chicken’s started to cook, pour the spice/water over it and leave it to bubble away. This soaks the flavour into the chicken far more effectively.

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Cheap recipe: egg on toast

two slices of toasted white bread
One essential ingredient

I was just rattling this off to @driahades on Twitter and thought I might as well pop it on here to show exactly how lazy a “cook” I am. It’s cheap and very customisable depending on taste and ingredient availability.

You will need:

  • 3 large eggs
  • two slices of bread and a means of toasting them
  • microwave
  • small microwaveable square bowl, preferably just smaller than a slice of toast
  • salt
  • pepper, ketchup, HP sauce, sliced ham, cheese… anything else you’d like to mix with the egg

Prepare the extra ingredients first – chop up ham into small pieces, grate cheese finely, hack away at a green pepper until it’s in tiny chunks… whatever you plan to add, get it done now.

Crack the eggs into a mixing jug. Sprinkle some salt in and then whisk like hell. You want to get a lot of air mixed in there.

Pop the toast on. Ideally you want to have the toast popping up just before the eggs finish in the next step. Adjust timing to your toasty preferences and the equipment you have.

Add the extra ingredients to the egg and whisk like mad again. Pour the resultant goo into the microwaveable bowl. Shove it in the microwave on “high” for about 3 mins. As it cooks it’ll rise up like some kind of yellowy sponge monster. It’s done when there’s little or no liquid egg left at the bottom, but don’t overcook.

Hopefully your toast will eject before the egg’s done. Spread some sauce (your choice) on each slice to taste. I go for HP.

When the egg’s done, whip it out and run a knife under it to separate it from the dish. Drop it onto one slice of toast, put the other on the top (sauce sides “inside” – duh) and squish. Hold it for a few seconds and the egg will grip the toast and hold the sandwich together as it cools.

Eat and enjoy. Note how, if it’s done right, the scrambled egg doesn’t fall out of the toast the way it would do it you made the sandwich up off a plate. Neater and tidier! And less washing.

As ever, please feel free to comment with any ideas you have for extra ingredients of anything.

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Cheap recipe: stew

Beef Stew
Unmashed - mine's easier on the teeth

Another one of my dodgy recipes following on from the fairly popular “best chicken burgers ever“. This is another based around four simple provisos:

  1. Cheap
  2. Fairly healthy
  3. Little effort involved in preparation
  4. Hardly any washing up involved

So it’s ideal for students, skinflints and blokes.

First up, ingredients:

  • Stewing steak (“real” or tinned)
  • Peas
  • Carrots
  • Potatoes
  • HP Sauce
  • Salt
  • Other veg, spices, sauces to taste – your preference

The recipe is pretty simple. Heat everything up. If you’re using “real” stewing steak you’ll need to get it going quite some time beforehand – one reason I tend to use the tinned stuff. So have this to hand, whichever version you’ve chosen.

Get a huge pot. Something about 6″-8″ deep. Fill it about half or so with hot water, and drop in a palmful of salt. This adds flavour and gets the water boiling faster. Chop the potatoes into thick slices or chips (don’t peel them, but do wash the dirt off if necessary) and drop them in. Do the same with the carrots.

Those vegetables go in first as they take some time to boil to the point where they soften. Keep checking them until they’ve gone past “crunchy” and start entering “firm”. Drop the meat in at this point.

After a minute or so, you’ll be able to skim any excess fat off the top of the boiling water. Remove it and ditch it – told you this was healthy.

Finally, add the peas. These cook quite quickly. If you’ve got them in a tin, just throw the juice in as well. It lowers the temperature of the water, but adds flavour.

We’re getting to the fun bit. I hope you have a potato masher handy (the one you use for cooking, not the old German stick grenade), because once everything’s nice and soft, you’re going to pour off a little of the water (or filter it out using a sieve)  then pummel the hell out of the contents of the pan. Squish everything. All of it. Mashy-mashy.

Make sure you’ve got all the water out by pouring what’s left through a sieve if you’ve not already done this. Get a large plate and plop the resulting mush onto it.

Cover it in HP Sauce. I usually use about a third to a half of a bottle. Mush it all up.

Eat.

Looks awful, tastes awesome.

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