Category Archives: Tried and Tested

Bacon Pancakes

Saturday morning is my favourite time of the week; the whole weekend stretching far out in front of me, full of opportunities and possibilities for eating. It is a magical time, a time when I come up with some of my most genius of ideas.

The follow recipe, I feel, I will never be able to top. This will be the pinnacle of my life achievements and I’m fine with that. If there was some way to eat this dish for breakfast, lunch and dinner without getting morbidly obese, I would do it.

It’s possible I’ll do it anyway – I could just Skype into work…

Ingredients (Serves 2 hungry people or 3 normal people – makes 8 thick handsized pancakes)

6 slices bacon/300g bacon lardons
300g plain flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
Pinch of salt
2 eggs
500ml buttermilk
50g butter
Maple syrup

Steps to deliciousness

1) Turn on oven to a low temperature – 50 degrees.

2) Fry bacon in a little oil until half cooked, and remove from the pan. Shred – It is easier than shredding them raw. Put back into pan until fully cooked. (Or fry lardons instead.)

3) Wipe pan, or use a new pan and put the butter in to melt.

4) Sieve flour, baking powder and bicarbonate of soda into a bowl. Add a pinch of salt.

5) Crack eggs into a measuring jug. Beat with a fork for a minute.

6) Add buttermilk to the eggs, and beat.

7) Pour most of the liquid into the dry ingredients while whisking. You will end up with a thick, sloppy batter and probably won’t use all the buttermilk/egg.

8) Tip in the fried bacon, and most of the butter, and mix well.

9) Put two/three tablespoons of batter into each pancake.

10) The bacon will prevent the telltale bubbles from rising to the surface, so keep a close eye on the bottom, and when golden brown, flip the pancake
If you are me, the uncooked batter on top will go everywhere.

11) When cooked, place on a plate and into your warm oven. Add a little more butter to the pan, and start on the next batch.

12) Serve with maple syrup, and a steaming cup of hot coffee – and enjoy your Saturday morning.

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Koh, the way to my heart

Writing about perfection is difficult. Impossible almost, but that’s my burden to bear.

I’d like to let you in on a secret, share with you one of the best places to eat in Dublin, my steady favourite, my go-to joint; Koh.

What is it about this restaurant that places it so highly in my heart and makes me recommend it to every single person, whether they want to hear about it or not?

Is it the cocktails? The perfect end to a meal Toblerone, the award winning Citrus Flower or the delicious Chilli Mango Caipiroska?
Or the decor? A dark, well designed lounge, backed by rows of illuminated bottles gleaming like jewels behind the cocktail masters at the bar, which leads into a comfortable restaurant where individual booths with curtains can be booked, making everyone feel like Very Important Persons.
Perhaps it’s the food? The extensive list of starters and mains, touching all bases including Vietnamese, Thai and Chinese, as well a melt in the mouth steak?

No – What makes Koh outstanding is all of these things, and more; The absolutely unparalleled service by friendly, highly trained staff, the welcoming atmosphere, the low level hum of happiness that can only be created by fantastic food and drink, small touches like incense in the bathroom, and freezing cold jugs of water packed with ice on the table.
I cannot find fault, and I will not find fault.

Two omnivores, a vegetarian, a dairy intolerant coeliac and a vegan walk into Koh.

You think one of them would’ve seen it.


(Attributed to Karamell)

I didn’t need to open the menu, the chicken cashew nut being far and away the superior dish, but the motley crew hummed and hawed for what seemed like hours before coming to a consensus.

One chicken cashew nut, one sweet and sour duck, and three Phad Thais.

But these were not just any Phad Thais – These were special Phad Thais. One tofu, no egg, no fish sauce, one tofu with egg, no fish sauce, and one prawn with egg, coeliac, no soy, no dairy.
However, as soy sauce is an integral part of Phad Thai, the waiter assured us the chef could tailor a dish specifically to suit.

And tailor he did. It was absolute lovely, and lived up to every standard I set for Koh. As did the the vegan and vegetarian versions. The chicken and cashew nut was, as always, stunning; the quality of ingredients shines through, and I find it difficult not to lick my plate to clear every last drop of the salty garlic, ginger, soy based sauce that soaks into the sticky rice, making it completely irresistible.

The mango mojitos were on special offer, and were so good, I had to snatch a sip while an owner was away from the table, as I was reticent to ask any of the three to share, their exclamations of enjoyment were so exuberant.

I must also mention cheesecake at this juncture, the white chocolate and raspberry cheesecake, that no matter how full I am, I will order.
I will order, and devour, and spend an hour holding my splitting stomach in pain if I have to.
It is unbelievably creamy, and the exact mix of tart cream cheese, swirls of raspberry and sweet white chocolate to make this blogger dizzy with delight.

Too long, didn’t read?

Go. To. Koh.

1 starter, 5 mains, 1 dessert – €95
Drinks – Oh, hundreds. (Or, more likely, I don’t have the receipt, and don’t remember how much the cocktails were)
Koh Millennium Walkway, Dublin

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Vegan (Or not so much) Maple Pecan Caramel Squares

I must admit, I love a challenge. The sense of achievement after a hard fought success is particularly nice, especially for the chronically competitive such as myself. So, when a vegan friend bemoaned and lamented the lack of dairy, egg and honey free desserts, I immediately thought

and my mind began ticking over. It did take a while, but when it struck me, I knew it was simply the only way to go; how to combine the two most complimentary dessert flavours into a sufficiently interesting vegan dish?

Maple Pecan Caramel Squares (capitalisation deserved)

As the work crowd demolished the dairy filled version of these in mere hours recently, I will also supply you with the substitutes that should be made, in case you would like to attempt them instead.

Ingredients
Base:
200g plain white flour
150g vegetable shortening/Butter
75g castor sugar

Condensed soy milk:
1 litre soy milk (unsweetened)
150g soft brown sugar
Half teaspoon vanilla
Or replace these three with one tin condensed milk

Caramel:
2 tablespoons golden syrup
100g soft brown sugar
100g vegetable shortening/Butter
1/2 tablespoons real maple syrup

Pecans
Chopped mixed nuts

10inch x 7inch deep baking tray.

Steps to Deliciousness

1) Pour soy milk and sugar into pot.

2) Take book in one hand, wooden spoon in the other, and reduce to one third over a moderate/high heat while stirring. Do not let it stick to the bottom of the pan.
This took one hour, despite my staring at it accusingly, knowing it could condense more quickly, it just didn’t want to.

Jean’s tip of the day: Pour one third of the soy milk into the pan first. Then mark the height on something – a straw, a knife, the wooden spoon. Now you have a measure of height so you can identify when it has reduced enough.

3) When the mixture has reduced , it will be slightly thicker. Add the vanilla essence.

4) Preheat your oven to 180 degrees celsius.
5) Line the baking tray with greaseproof paper.

Cut a rectangular piece of the paper, and slit the corners. It will slip nicely into the tray.

6) Beat the vegetable shortening/butter into the castor sugar. If you’re using butter, it should go a little white.

7) Rub in the flour with your fingertips. Do this quickly, and do not over work it. You want the consistency of breadcrumbs. If it goes greasy or grey, start again.

8) Press this evenly into the baking tray and bake for 20-25 minutes until it’s golden brown. It will be soft to the touch.
(Warning: Do not actually touch – From experience, as it is just out of the oven, it is very hot).

9) Put a small plate in the fridge, and move onto the caramel creation.

10) Add the condensed soy milk/milk, vegetable shortening/butter, brown sugar, golden syrup and maple syrup to a pan.

11) Keep this at a gentle boil and stir like your life depended on it. Make sure you are covering the whole base of the pan. Unfortunately, in order for the sugar to dissolve, the temperature needs to be high enough that it will burn if it’s not stirred.

12) The vegan caramel thickens in about 20 minutes, but the butter version can take almost an hour. When it turns rich golden brown and seems thick, drop teaspoons of the mixture onto the cold plate to see if it sets solid and holds its shape.
It is essential to eat these testers to ensure that you are, in fact, making delicious maple caramel.

13) Pour onto the base, and smooth out. Top with toasted mixed nuts and pecans, and leave overnight before attempting to cut it.

14) Success. Sit back and reap the rewards of being victorious, and possible diabetes.

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How I lost the weight (Page 2)

Page 2: Exercise More

Welcome back to my diatribe against unfit Jean!

Today I would like to bring you on the journey from gasping as I walked up stairs, through finding my legs still worked, and out the other side to jumping at any opportunity to go for a walk.

One day, I walked to the DART station from work, leather shoes slapping against my heels, huffing and puffing through the fifteen minute walk.

I was delighted.

The next day, I got the bus, but the day after, I walked again… And the day after that… and the day after that. I remember calling my parents to boast; it was the first voluntary activity I had completed since school.

I continued walking the fifteen minutes until, a couple of weeks later, I walked home; Thirty minutes. My thighs and calves ached the next day, but I had done it. I had progressed, I had improved and the walk to the DART didn’t even lose my breath any more.

This is how I started. I didn’t try to run a marathon, or take up a team sport, or hike a mountain.

I walked fifteen minutes.

I integrated it into my daily routine because when I get in the door, I find myself overwhelmed by the unusually strong gravity pull of the couch and, with that, I’m lost for the evening.

There came a day, months down the line, where walking just wasn’t cutting it any more. I didn’t feel as good about it, and this gave me the push I needed to resist the couch for short amounts of time to begin Couch to 5k. There are many words I can use for this program; inspired, rewarding, brilliant… and a frustrating, heart wrenching hell. It is a great beginners running program, with short jogs (starting at one minute in Week 1), interspersed with walking breaks. I choose the GetRunning app to assist me. It comes with a female Scottish voiceover who promises you that “You’re doing GREAT, and to just keep GOING!”

I wanted to find this woman, and slap the chirpy enthusiasm right out of her voice. Did she not realise that I was, figuratively, dying? I couldn’t breathe, my legs felt like lead, the elderly on walking frames were zooming by me, and she was taunting me with, “FanTASTIC, you’re half way there!”

Then eight weeks in, the day I jogged twenty whole minutes in a row, I felt a sense of reward that eclipsed any amount of satisfaction I had ever gotten from food.

So, if you are thinking about moving more, start slow and small. I was not able to walk for long distances when I started, let along go for a jog. Had I tried, I would have failed and been so discouraged that only mountains of food would have made me feel better.

Use apps and logging websites. Nothing compares to the superior, elite feeling you get as you look back over the past month and see how many miles you’ve walked or cycled, weights you’ve lifted or how your pace has improved.

Don’t try to conquer the exercise mountain in one day. It is simply not going to happen. It takes time for your body to crave movement as much as it craves food.

Integrate moving into your daily life. If you’re starting off, don’t promise yourself that you’re going to go for a ten mile walk or go to the gym for an hour. Making a big deal of exercise will put you off. You don’t need to be in a certain place, or wearing specific clothes; Use the stairs, walk to the shop, get off the bus a stop early, walk home, offer to carry heavy bags; Most of all, walk everywhere with purpose, arms swinging, pushing yourself, the attractive faint sheen of sweat on your forehead (Oh, nobody cares anyway – no one’s looking.)

If you do decide to try jogging:

Proper runners. Proper runners. Proper runners. These are not just Dunnes fifteen euro “sports shoes”.
These are correctly designed, supportive proper runners that cushion every pounding step. Mine are called “The Beast”.

Enough said.

Learn how to warm down properly. Seriously. Youtube it, ask a physiotherapist, ask your sporty friends, but just do it

Don’t let one bad day bring you down. It’s very easy to curse the world, give up, and eat the entire contents of the fridge. But why would you do that? You didn’t lose anything, you weren’t competing with anyone; you just couldn’t jog properly one day. The next day will be better… and maybe get a take away as a reward for trying anyway.

Day on, day off, but never two. Take days off from running to recover, but don’t take off more than a few days in a row. I physically start to sink back into the “Sure, why would I do exercise?” mentality and each additional day makes it tougher to get back in runners. Do not let this happen.

Do not let your body tell your brain what to do. Your body doesn’t know what’s good for it and your brain does. If you let your brain make excuses for your body, you are only fooling yourself.

Be responsible for you and, as before, hold yourself accountable. You will not fail.

Get Running App is perfect for the Couch to 5k, lets you listen to your own music, and despite her highly irritating levels of happiness, the coach and her reminders are definitely motivational.

Run Keeper connects straight into an app that records distance, pace, calories, and has tiny map so you can watch when your GPS suddenly decides you’re somewhere on mainland Europe and have run in the region of 1000mph.

Fitocracy is a great idea, mixing a social side with exercise – but only 350 points for 100 burpees? Ludicrous.

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How I lost the weight (Page 1)

I was a little over seventeen stone at my heaviest. I lost four.

Jean at 17 stoneJean today

It’s a running joke that if I wrote a book on weight loss, it would be two pages.

Page 1: Eat Less.
Page 2: Exercise more.

Perhaps three, if I decided to put in a page about how I managed to get to where I was.

Page 3: Food.

I have always adored food. This adoration did not quite extend into actual appreciation. I ate too much of it, all at choking speed. Pairing this with my natural propensity for laziness was a recipe for an extremely unfit Jean.

I was not unhappy and I didn’t simply ‘decide’ one day to change my lifestyle. My weight did not make me sad, I could not have cared less about my BMI – I still don’t. My happiness, my friendships, my self worth, my successes and failures are not dependent on my weight. My health, however, is a different story.

I’ll never know what the original spark was that started the slow burn but, over months, there was a progression, a change in my attitude towards exercise, food and therefore my health.

My changing attitude did not make it in any way easy so I can expand, ever so slightly, on the first two pages of my weight loss book over the next couple of blog posts.

Page 1: Eat Less

I love Burger King’s XL bacon double cheese burgers. I would happily eat one for breakfast, lunch and dinner. They taste insanely good, are cheap, fantastic after a few beers, and close to one thousand calories a pop.

Each burger equals a ten mile walk – two and a half hours of plodding one foot in front of the other.

Like I have the time – I have TV to watch, and a couch to lie on.

Sleeping
(Attributed to Pyry)

The slow change in lifestyle included considering calories – a small amount – but thinking about them nonetheless; In my mind is always the question, “Is this worth the calories?”

Before, I didn’t think. I didn’t taste, I didn’t appreciate. I ate all foods, at all times, equally. When I started questioning, I realised that some things are worth every single last calorie – cheese, bacon, a take away on the weekend – these are essential, integral to my happiness. A bag of midget gems, coke every day, sausage rolls for breakfast, the entire tub of rice with my Friday night korma? Nope.

The breakneck inhalation of food, mostly, stopped. I started to listen to my stomach, pause during eating, pile my plate with vegetables, and quickly realised I had never actually needed as much food as I was taking in. My portion size shrank dramatically – from a baking tray of pasta, smothered in melted cheese with a roll of garlic bread, to half a plate of pasta (with a similar amount of cheese, to be honest), and a couple of pieces of garlic bread.

The quality of my food increased equally as dramatically – I started to cook again, as opposed to always falling back on quick, greasy meals. I remembered how good home cooked meals were and the smug sense of satisfaction I got from being able to provide for myself, like a proper adult.

I was hungry. My stomach rumbled a lot for the first couple of weeks. My body was used to vast quantities of fuel; sausages with butter and ketchup on a roll for breakfast, a full dinner for lunch, and then a second in the evening – and now I was feeding it normal amounts of food. It took time to adapt. Then, it had to adapt again when I started jogging. Learn from me – I didn’t increase my intake, even though I was burning extra, and ended up faint and tired for weeks. I wasn’t able to push myself on my jogs and had no energy. Not a good feeling or situation, but easily remedied by raspberry and yoghurt smoothies, and handfuls of nuts on my jogging days when I realised the correlation.

So, if you are thinking about changing your lifestyle to get fitter or lose weight, start slow, and keep eating almost everything in moderation. If I denied myself foods, I would crave them, and my willpower is already all used up with getting myself off the couch and into runners.

Think of it as a lifestyle change, not a diet. Diet implies an end point, a specific date, or goal. I do not have an end point; I will be fitter and healthier and attempting to increase both as time goes on.

Start cooking, learning your favourite restaurant dishes, and get in the kitchen. Once you know the recipes, you can adapt the serving size and ingredients to suit your needs. Few things are as satisfying as that first mouthful of a new dish, and realising it will become a dinner on the regular rotation.

Spend a little time looking into the calories of your everyday foods. I automatically compare treat foods to the length of a walk that it would take to burn them off. This helps me decide whether it’s worth it or not.

Branch out. In an attempt to eat healthier meals, I started selecting different dishes in restaurants, and discovered a world of foods I had never eaten, never gotten to enjoy because I’d asked for steak and chips every time previous.

Know what you are taking in. Use your new found knowledge of calories to keep an estimate of your intake in your head, or you’re going at the thing blind. What goes into the mouth is more important than how much exercise is taken.

Eat three meals daily, eat properly. If you’re increasing exercise, increase calories – what’s the point of getting fitter if you feel terrible? If you’re losing more than two pounds a week, you are pushing too hard.

It has to come from you. You have to want to change, you have to hold yourself accountable, and you will not fail.

Stay tuned for Page 2 from the best-selling book, “Sure why would I go for a walk?” by your fearless food blogger.

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The one, and only, Brown Bread

Passed down from generation to generation and finally, with the tweaks and additions that make it perfect, passed onto to me at the tender age of 25. Of the innumerable things my mother has given to me, allowing me to post this recipe on the internet ranks right up there with Snape’s sacrifice.

Or, for the less nerd-inclined of you, an extremely selfless act, and please go read Harry Potter.

This brown bread, fresh from the oven, is an enduring memory of my childhood. Eight in the morning, shoving spoonfuls of cereal into my mouth, watching with sleepy eyes as my parents spread it with marmalade to accompany the cup of tea that wakes and greets the day. Then, as my own taste palate expanded, dipping the bread with cheddar cheese into fresh vegetable soup straight from the pot, or making sausage and ketchup sandwiches, or simply smothering it with real butter as I could never, and still cannot, resist nabbing a slice while it’s cooling on the wire rack.

Dragging myself out of bed before noon on a Saturday morning, and with moderate adult supervision, I set about making my version of this family classic, in the hope that I wouldn’t royally screw it up and ruin lunch.

The pressure was on.

Ingredients (Creates one 9 inch circular brown bread, 4 inches deep)

Vegetable oil
300g wholemeal flour

30g sunflower seeds
30g sesame seeds
30g pinhead oatmeal
30g oatbran
30g porridge oats
(Or any combination of the above to make 150g)

A handful of sunflower seeds and sesame seeds
225g self raising flour
1.5 teaspoons bread soda
Half teaspoon sugar
Half teaspoon salt
1 egg
750ml buttermilk

You will need a some sort of a pot with a lid, rather than cake tins, as it needs to be cooked covered.

Steps to deliciousness

1) Oil the pan, and put in the oven as it is preheating to 200 degrees C.

2) Put a big mixing bowl on the scales, and add the wholemeal flour, the 150g seeds, salt and sugar.

3) Sift the self raising flour and baking powder into the bowl.

4) Beat the egg with two dessert spoons of oil, and add to the mix.

5) Add most of the buttermilk.

The baking powder and self raising flour will activate when you add the wet ingredients so you need to move quickly from here on in.

6) Mix well, and add more buttermilk until you have a sloppy concoction that just about holds a shape. If you add too much, even it out with a little wholemeal flour – this recipe is very forgiving, lucky for me.

7) Sprinkle sesame seeds and sunflower seeds into the oiled, preheated pan.

8) Add the dough, spread evenly to the edges with a fork.

9) Top with more seeds.

10) Pop on the lid and put in the oven.

11) Leave for 50 minutes/1 hour until the top is dark brown, and the bread sounds hollow when you tap the bottom.

12) Add butter, and enjoy!

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Not-Vegetarian Vegetarian Chilli

Today I would like to talk to you about my chilli.

It does hurt me a little to send this recipe out by itself into the big scary unknown, but I need to stop being so selfish. You deserve to eat good food, and I am here to assist you in that.

I don’t like mince – I can’t remember the last time I willingly ate it outside burger form – so this is a (mostly) vegetarian chilli.

I find it particularly good piled high with cheese, sour cream and served with taco shells, or with cous cous.

Somehow, I inevitably manage to make even the healthiest of recipes into a cheese and carb fest through my serving suggestions – ignore me at your peril however; certain foods are simpy worth the calories!

For example, Aldi’s specially selected vintage cheddar is just beautiful – tangy, crumbly, creamy and tart, all for a ridiculously low price (€2.79 the last time I checked). It never lasts long in my fridge, and it is absolutely worth the lifetime of long, fat burning walks and short, heart clearing jogs that await me.

And, on to the chilli! Due to the size of the tins, it’s difficult to halve this recipe. But it freezes fantastically well, and microwaves in a few minutes.

Ingredients (for 6)

2 peppers
1 onion
5 garlic cloves
2.5 teaspoons of squeezy chilli. This is equal to about 2 chillis – stick in more if you like it hot, as this is a mild.
3 dessert spoons of vegetable oil

1 tin kidney beans
2 small tins of corn (400g in total)
1 tin black eyed beans
1 tin butter beans
2 tins of chopped tomato
1 small tin tomato puree

2 beef stock cubes dissolved in a half tin of hot water – Use vegetable stock cubes for vegan chilli.
1 teaspoon of cumin
1 teaspoon of coriander
1 teaspoon of cayenne pepper.
3 teaspoons of cocoa
2 teaspoons of black pepper
3 second “glug” of soy sauce

Steps to deliciousness

1) Chop the onions, peppers, and garlic,

2) Saute the onions in vegetable oil until softened. Then add the peppers, onion, garlic, and chilli.

3) Let this simmer away for a few minutes until the peppers start to look really bright in colour.
4) At this point add.. well, everything else!

If you’ve bought the tinned beans with the pull lids, washing them is so simple – Half open the tin and let it drain. Fill it with water and let it drain. Repeat, then dump in pan!



5) Leave simmering (bubbles lazily and slowly coming to the surface) for as long as you want. I generally cook for about 45 minutes before eating. It will reduce a little, and darken slightly in colour in this time.

6) I recommend eating half of it from the pot, as I normally do.

I do not have a nice picture of how I usually serve this, as “I don’t care, all over my face, as long as some of it gets in my mouth” is apparently not an acceptably classy serving method.

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Chicken à la King

Or, as someone who tried this recipe recently put it, “Chicken à la fookin’ delish”.

This is my ultimate comfort food – quick to make, tastes great with fresh bread, and absolutely packed with butter – A ‘recipe’ for success, if I ever heard one.

It’s the very first dish I learned to cook from the wonderful Mammy, as I loved it so much, and I make it every Christmas day for my family. It is gorgeously creamy, and can easily be made vegetarian by substituting the chicken for extra vegetables, and the stock for vegetable stock.

Ingredients (for 4)

3 Chicken breasts
1 or 2 peppers
1 or 2 onions
(These quantities can be changed, depending on your taste – I used 3 chicken breasts, 1.5 peppers and 1 onion, for 4 people)

Vegetable oil
50g Butter
Three/four dessert spoons white, plain flour
Three quarters of a pint Chicken stock (1 stock cube)
Half pint Milk
Three dessert spoons of mayonnaise
Pepper

Rice/Cous cous/bread/quinoa – whatever you want to serve it with. I love a little rice, and some crispy bread.

Steps to deliciousness

1) Chop the onions and peppers.
2) Sweat the onions in 25g butter on a low heat until the smell in your kitchen makes your mouth water (and the onions are transparent – this is clearly less important)

(Make sure to peek..)

And finally, they will look like this

3) Add peppers.
4) Chop the chicken, and fry in small batches in vegetable oil, as you are cooking the vegetables. You could bake these also, if you wanted to reduce the calories (PAH!)

5) Add another 25g butter to the peppers and onions, once the peppers are cooked (this is not exact – it depends on how much sauce you want – you could increase this, increase the flour, and increase the stock/milk mix to give more sauce. However, this will lead to you being incredibly impolite, and lifting your bowl to pour the remaining sauce into your mouth. It’s ok – I won’t judge)

6) Add flour until the butter is soaked up – generally, for my quantities, this is 3/3.5 spoons. The picture below will give you a good idea of what this looks like. Depending on the freshness of the onion/pepper, this changes a little bit from time to time. Do not stress about this – this can be fixed later!

7) Dissolve a chicken stock cube in three quarters of a pint of hot water. Add the half pint of milk.
8) Throw this into the pan with the vegetables, and stir with the joy that comes from knowing dinner is almost ready.

9) Bring to the boil, then back down to simmer to thicken. Add the chicken.

(My favourite moment of this recipe is when it turns from the picture above into the picture below)

10) If you didn’t add enough flour at 6), you can add a little more now (if the sauce isn’t starting to thicken up after a couple of minutes). You’ll need to be careful to avoid lumps, so use a sieve (Fishing around with a fork to break them up delays dinner which no one, least of all me, appreciates), and then bring back to the boil again to get rid of the floury flavour, and then straight back down to simmer.

11) Season with a good amount of pepper – there’s plenty of salt in the stock.
12) Finally, turn off the heat, and add your mayonnaise just before you serve. Depending on your taste, add more or less mayo – I use a good three or four heaped dessert spoons. Try adding two, and tasting to see how you feel about it.

Last year for Christmas, my plate looked so nice, I took a picture – This is the finished product, in all its tasty glory.

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