Try And Try Again

By Abigail Jury

Leaving You With a Few Tips

I’ve really enjoyed cooking again over the past few weeks, and if I can find time to cook at least meal from scratch each week then so can you! It’s all about getting the hang of cooking different recipes. Once you’ve made risotto or pie once or twice, cooking them will soon come easily to you and you’ll want nothing but fresh home cook food. I thought I would leave you with a few tips I’ve learnt throughout the years and the past few weeks for cooking.

Cooking tips.

When slicing meat into strips, partially freeze the meat first so it is easier to cut.

To keep your beef burgers juicy, add cold water to the beef before cooking.

Add a little milk to the water when cooking cauliflower to keep it white.

To get more juice out of your lemon, microwave for 15 seconds.

To check whether your eggs are out of date or not, fill a bowl with water and pop the eggs in, if they sink they’re bad, if they float your all good!

To prevent potatoes from budding add an apple to the bag they’re in, no idea how why it works but it does!!

For poor students, in stead od throwing away left over wine, freeze it and use them as ice cubes or for casseroles and sauces.

Use a funnel when separating eggs by pouring the egg into it. The yolk will stay in the funnel and the whites will fall through.

Roll up your pack of bacon before opening it to help separate the rashers.

When cooking spaghetti hold it with both hands, twist it and drop it in the pan to prevent it from sticking together.

·      When preparing a cucumber cut down the middle of the cucumber horizontally and vertically before slicing it to create segments for a salad.

             

Easiest way to chop up a sweet pepper:

             

For more great tips and recipes visit www.jamieoliver.com/recipes

For those who want to continue cooking, Sainsbury’s has a surprisingly good list of recipes for you to try, just follow this link:

http://www.sainsburys.co.uk/groceries/index.jsp?bmUID=1323347491057

Or if you want something a bit more challenging try some Delia recipes at www.deliaonline.com/recipes

Happy cooking!

Abby x

“The greatest glory in living lies not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall - Nelson Mandela”

Chicken Sushi

My attitude towards sushi has always been a little bazaar. I think it looks delicious and I’ve always wanted to try it, but because I thought all of it contained raw fish, I’d been put off. Not very logical I know.

That is until a few months ago, when a friend informed me that some sushi contains chicken instead of fish and some dont have any meat in them at all. I was delighted!

I immediately went on the hunt for a sushi recipe that my fussy taste buds would agree with so I could try some, and I found one:

Ingredients.

  • 300g Smoked Sweet Chilli Chicken Breast, sliced.
  • 6 Sheets of Nori Seaweed.
  • 1 Red Pepper, thinly sliced.
  • 1 Cucumber, thinly sliced.
  • 2 cups of sushi rice.
  • 1 tbsp rice vinegar.
  • 1 tbsp sugar.
  • Soy Sauce and Wasabi to serve.
  • Bamboo mat. 

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You can get all the ingredients needed for this recipe at Adsa, Just following this link:

http://groceries.asda.com/asda-estore/home/homecontainer.jsp?cmpid=ahc-ghs-home-sub_title

Method

Cooking Sushi Rice

I discovered that cooking sushi rice is not as simply as basmati. The recipe I followed told me to follow the directions on the packet of rice, but I found these to be too vague and they failed me. It took me 3 attempts before I found the perfect instructions in a YouTube video:

  • 1. Place two cups of sushi rice into a sieve, run cold water over the rice until the water runs clear.
  • 2. Place the rice into a saucepan and fill with 2 and a quarter cups of cool water.
  • 3. Put the rice on the stove and turn onto a high heat, cover with a lid and bring to boil.

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  • 4. Once the water is boiling, turn the heat down to the lowest possible setting and simmer for 20 minutes. Do not take off the lid.
  • 5. Once the 20 minutes is up, if there is still some water in the saucepan, take off the lid and simmer for a further 3 minutes until the all the water is absorbed. Once completed take the rice off the heat and leave to cool down for 15 minutes or so with the lid on.
  • 6. Meanwhile add the vinegar and sugar to another saucepan and bring to boil on a medium high heat, stir regularly until the sugar has dissolved. Once completed take off the heat and leave to cool down.
  • 7. Once both the rice and vinegar have cooled down, stir the vinegar into the rice. 

             

Who knew sushi rice was so complicated! Here comes the fun bit.

Making the Sushi

  • 1. Place one sheet of nori, shiny side down, on the bamboo mat. Cover two thirds of the sheet with rice and gently press down. I found this easier to do with wet hands so have a bowl of water close by.

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  • 2. Place the strips of chicken in a line just below the centre of the rice, followed by the pepper and cucumber. You can put as much or as little in as you like.

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  • 3. Roll up the sushi using the bamboo mat, starting with the edge closest to you. Wet the end of the nori sheet with water to stick together.
  • 4. Cut the roll of sushi into 6 pieces and serve with soy sauce and wasabi.

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Here’s a video I created to help…

Once I perfected how to cook the sushi rice, this recipe was so much fun. For something you may think is difficult to make, it’s actually rather simple. I got all of my ingredients from Asda and all my housemates said it tasted as good the sushi from Yo Sushi. I had never even tasted sushi until I made it today, let alone thought of making it myself. Unfortunately, however, making it was more fun than actually eating it. Again my fussy taste buds let me down and I was not a fan of the nori sheets. I should have really known seeing as I’m not so keen on seaweed. Determined to like it though, I did look into some substitutes for the nori and discovered soy wraps are commonly used, so I may give these a try at a later date.

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If you feel like getting your friends involved with the sushi making fun, there are classes in most larger cities that hold evening classes to teach you and your friends the basics. Here are a few websites to check out…

www.sushi-course.sorestaurant.co.uk

www.sushi-courses.co.uk

www.yoursushishop.com

Until next time!

Abby x

Beef Stew

With the weather being so rubbish and cold is week, I decided to cook a home recipe that always makes me feel warm and leaves me full and satisfied; a hearty beef stew. I was going to find a recipe on line, but decided who better to get a recipe off than the man who has made hundreds of perfect stews for me in past, my Dad.

So here is the Jury family’s recipe.

Ingredients

  • 3 Carrots, sliced
  • 2 Large Potatoes, chopped into chunks
  • 1 Large Onion, sliced
  • 1 Glove of Garlic, finely chopped
  • A Large Pack of Stewing Beef Steak, diced
  • ½ a Pint of Water
  • 3 to 4 Beef Stock Cubes
  • 1/3 of a Bottle of Red Wine
  • Tsp. of Salt
  • 2 tbsp. of Tomato Puree      

Jamie Oliver gives a great tip on how to prepare onion and garlic for cooking. Follow the links below to see how its done.

Onion - www.youtube.com/watch?v=ts3G5MKz3_E

Garlic - www.youtube.com/watch?v=KaUtS24RjAo

You can get all the ingredients needed for this recipe at Sainsbury’s, just go in store or follow this link:

http://www.sainsburys.co.uk/groceries/index.jsp?bmUID=1323366811013

Method

  • 1. Put the kettle on so that you have boiled water ready.
  • 2. Prepare the carrots, potatoes, onion and garlic and put into your slow cooker.

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  • 3. Put the oil and beef into a large bowl and coat the beef with oil using your hands. Slightly cook the beef for 2 minutes until brown to hold in the flavour and keep the beef tender.

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  • 4. Then add the beef to the slow cooker and add the stock cubes. Slowly pour the hot water into the cooker stirring in the veg and beef with the stock. Add the red wine, salt, pepper and tomato puree to the cooker and cover. Leave on a high heat for 7 hours.

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  • 5. Be sure to taste throughout cooking when possible to see if the stew needs any more wine, stock, salt, pepper or onion. If too thick add more water. It all down to personal preference so listen to your taste buds.

Serve with rice and crusty bread and enjoy.

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This meal was so easy to make, even my much undomesticated boyfriend could prepare it. Being a student I think the slow cooker is genius! This recipe is so easy to execute you can prepare it in the morning before heading out, then come home to a healthy, descent meal at the end of the day. All of the ingredients came to just under £10, and the amount I made fed me for 5 nights! A lot of my friends say they rarely make such large portions because they won’t want to eat the same meal 5 nights in a row. However it is possible to freeze this stew and reheat it at another time, or even better invite some friends over to join you!

For dinner I will normally eat meatballs in sauce with spaghetti, not exactly nutritious. If most students eat the same way as me if not worse, I am not surprised that everyone falls ill at uni. With the lack of some simply food such as onion, our immune system is fighting a losing battle! This meal can help you keep colds at bay and generally make you feel healthier. My boyfriend drunkenly stumbled into my house the night I had made this stew, and demanded I reheat some for him. Granted he was drunk, but he did say it was the best food he’d ever eaten after a night out, so there’s an added bonus. Instead of eating kebabs and pizzas after a night out, heat up a nice bowl of Jury’s Stew!

Until next time!

Abby x

“For attractive lips, speak words of kindness. For lovely eyes, seek out the good in people -Audrey Hepburn”

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Chicken & Pea Risotto

I love risotto but have always thought it to be a difficult recipe to get right. Also I can be a very fussy eater, therefore most recipes I find for risottos include an ingredient I don’t care for. For these reasons I’ve never tried cooking it.

I found this recipe in the most unlikely place, Sainsbury’s recipe website. The recipe actually included mushrooms, but I’m not a fan of mushrooms so I didn’t include them.

Ingredients.

  • Olive Oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, chopped
  • 350g of Arborio risotto rice
  • 300g of diced chicken
  • 1.2 litre hot chicken stock with 1 stock cube
  • 200g of peas

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I got all of my ingredients for this recipe at Sainsbury’s, just go in store or follow this link:

http://www.sainsburys.co.uk/groceries/index.jsp?bmUID=1323366811013

Method

  • 1. Heat 2 tablespoon of oil in a large frying pan, add the onion and cook for 5 minutes until starting to soften. Add the garlic and risotto rice for the last minute.

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  • 2. Meanwhile, in a separate frying pan, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil, then add the chicken. Cook for 5–10 minutes over a medium heat, until the chicken is cooked through and brown.

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  • 3. Add the stock to the rice pan, a ladleful at a time, waiting until almost all of the stock has been absorbed before adding the next lot. This should take about 20 minutes.
  • 4. Stir through the peas and cook for a further 2–3 minutes. Just before serving, stir through the chicken. Season to taste and serve.

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To make it veggie: Add 200g of mushrooms, try swapping the chicken for 410g kidney beans and the chicken stock for vegetable stock.

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This recipe went so well I’m thinking of cooking it every week! It was really easy to cook and it made my kitchen smell amazing! It cost me about £6 and made enough to feed 4 of my friends. It taste’s amazing but I did need to add some bread as a side dish. I’m also thinking of adding more ingredients next time time such as more onion and garlic, and maybe some peppers to give the recipe more variety in taste.

Until next time!

Abby x

Back Story

Personally I’ve always loved to cook and try new dishes. As a kid I would always pay attention when mum and dad cooked us dinner, so I could teach myself new recipes and I wanted to be able to cook them dinner now and again. Coming to university, however, and not having the time to cook everything from scratch, I’ve been forced to buy jars of sauce instead of creating my own. I’d hate to become lazy with my cooking, as one day I want to teach my kids how to cook simple recipes in an attempt to prevent them from becoming “jar junkies“.  Therefore I’ve decided to start a blog to document my return to the kitchen. 

I’ll be covering a few traditional English recipes that I’m slightly familiar with, but also delving into the unknown by experimenting with foreign dishes. So, utensils at the ready, lets get stuck in! Watch this space.