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Easy Chicken Parm for Two



I've been super busy this week, prepping, photographing, etc. recipes for a new site that I am authoring on.  Its been a lot of work for this first week, but from now on it will only be one recipe a week, so shouldn't take up too much of my time.


I am hoping that it does well, because so long as it does, then I have a job. If not, then back to square one.  I'm okay with that because I love what I do here in The English Kitchen and always have done.


I just wanted to let you know that's why there hasn't been a lot of new recipes on here for this week, but I am here today to share something new with you and that I hope you will enjoy!


Right in line with my plan to highlight more Cooking for Two recipes this year I present Easy Chicken Parm for Two!


Deliciously tender and flavour filled crisp coated chicken breasts, baked atop a flavourful mix of spaghetti and marinara, and topped with oozing mozzarella and Parmesan cheeses.


You can use a good jarred marinara sauce, but if you have plenty of time do make your own.  I have a great recipe here.   I can't believe that I don't have my sauce posted here.  Although I do have a really great Crock Pot Marinara Sauce recipe posted. 



I like to make this when I have the time and then freeze it in smaller quantities to use at other times. You can't beat a great marinara!



The chicken is cooked from scratch for this.  I simply pound boneless, skinless chicken breast fillets to an even thickness.


Then I dip them into a seasoned flour, beaten egg and a panko /Parmesan mixture before frying in a bit of hot oil until golden brown all over.


If you are really in a rush you could of course cheat and use ready breaded and cooked chicken breast fillets, but do try to do your own if you can. The taste is so much better!


The less preservatives and additives you put into your body the better!  From scratch is always best!


Two portions of spaghetti are cooked and then mixed with some marinara sauce.  I, personally, also like to add a couple of TBS of grated Parmesan and some garlic Italian seasoning.  This then gets poured into a baking dish and topped with the cooked chicken pieces.


Spoon a bit more marinara on top and then a dusting of grated Parmesan and Mozzarella and then bang the dish in a hot oven long enough to melt the cheese and heat everything nicely through.  Bob's your uncle, or should I say Roberto  . . .  mama mia . . .  dinner is served!

Easy Chicken Parm for Two

Easy Chicken Parm for Two

Yield: 2
Author:
Quick, easy and really delicious, this hearty dish for two is sure to please!

ingredients:

  • 115g of spaghetti, uncooked (4 ounces)
  • 400g marinara sauce , divided ( 1 1/4 cups and 1/2 cup)
  • 35g plain flour (1/4 cup)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 3/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 large free range egg, beaten
  • 1/2 TBS water
  • 45g Parmesan Cheese + 1 TBS (1/4 cup + 1TBS)
  • 90g Panko style bread crumbs (3/4 cup)
  • 2  chicken breast fillets, boneless, skinless
  • 40g grated Mozzarella cheese (1/3 cup)
  • Oil for frying
  • fresh basil to garnish

instructions:

How to cook Easy Chicken Parm for Two

  1. Preheat the oven to 200*C/400*F/ gas mark 6. 
  2. Arrange 3 shallow dishes side by side.  In one mix the flour, garlic powder, salt and pepper.  In another place the first quantity of Parmesan cheese and Panko bread crumbs.  In the third whisk together the egg and water.
  3. Place each chicken breast between two pieces of wax paper and pound to an even thickness.  Dip first in the flour, shaking off any excess. Dip into the beaten egg/water and then coat generously in the bread crumb/cheese mixture, pressing lightly to make sure it adheres.
  4. Heat some oil in a skillet.  Add the chicken and fry on both sides until golden brown and cooked through, about 5 to 7 minutes per side.  Place onto a plate and keep warm while you cook the spaghetti.
  5. Cook the spaghetti in lightly salted boiling water according to package directions. Drain well and then return to the pot.  Add the first amount of marinara sauce, stirring well to combine.  (I also like to add some grated Parmesan cheese and Garlic Italian seasoning to taste. Its up to you if you do this or not.)  Pour the spaghetti into a buttered baking dish large enough to hold both chicken breasts.  Place the chicken breasts on top.  Spoon the remainder of the marinara sauce over top and sprinkle on the mozzarella cheese and remaining Parmesan cheese. 
  6. Bake in the preheated oven for 5 to 10 minutes to melt the cheese and heat through.  
  7. Serve hot and garnished with some fresh basil.

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I like to serve this with a salad on the side.  Italian dressing of course!  Mmmm . . .  some good. Even Todd enjoys this. He will admit now that out of all the pasta's he does enjoy spaghetti somewhat! 




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Mapled Pork Chops



I'm here today with another recipe that I have downsized for the smaller family, Mapled Pork Chops.  Oh boy, but these chops always make my pork chop loving husband drool when he knows I am making them!


They are so simple to make and oh-so-delicious!  There is no frying involved. You simply pop the chops into a baking dish, top them with a special flavour mixture, cover and then bake! Easy peasy lemon squeasy!


The original full-sized version comes from a cookbook I have entitled,  Recipes Worth Sharing, recipes from America's most loved Community Cookbooks.  



Its original attribution is the Community Cookbook entitled,  If You Can't Stand the Heat, Get Out of the Kitchen, by the Junior Service League of Independence Missouri.



I have always loved Community Cookbooks. They are real gems filled with the favourite, tried and trues of communities of good cooks! You can't beat them, and this recipe is a prime example of that!


The original recipe served 6.  I have downsized it so that it is perfect for just two pork chop loving hungry people.



You want to make sure you use really good and meaty pork chops for this.  I buy mine at Costco and then break them down into groups of two and freeze them for whenever I want to serve red meat.  I buy the bone in pork loin chops.


You get a tender, succulent section of rib type meat, next to the bone, along with a lean and juicy medallion of loin.  You will also want a healthy layer of fat along the outer edge.  These two things, the bone and the fat, will help to keep your pork juicy, tender and  tasty


One thing which I always do with my chops, bone in or out, is to slash the fatty edge of the chop with a sharp knife at 1/2 inch intervals, just through the fat to the meat.  This helps to keep them from curling up when they cook, whether you are frying them or simmering them, baking them, whatever.  Trust me. It keeps them nice and flat.


The flavour ingredients are simple. Dried minced onion, vinegar (apple cider is nice), Worcestershire Sauce, mild chili powder, salt, pepper, and pure maple syrup.  These get mixed with some water, poured over the chops in the baking dish and then you tightly cover it and bake.  Oh baby.  Some easy and some good!


Yield: 2
Author:

Mapled Pork Chops

Mapled Pork Chops

Tender and delicious this recipe serves two but can easily be doubled to serve more.  These chops are spicy, sweet and tangy as well as being incredibly simple to make.

ingredients:

  • 2 thick meaty, bone in pork  loin chops, the fatty edges slashed at 1/2 inch spaces (this helps to keep them from curling up when they are cooking)
  • 1 1/2 tsp minced dry onion
  • 1 1/2 tsp vinegar
  • 1 1/2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp mild chili powder
  • pinch black pepper
  • 2 TBS pure maple syrup
  • 2 TBS water

instructions:

How to cook Mapled Pork Chops

  1. Preheat the oven to 200*C/400*F/ gas mark 6.  You will need a shallow baking dish large enough to hold both chops side by side.
  2. Place the pork chops in a single layer in a lightly buttered shallow baking dish.
  3. Whisk together all of the ingredients until well combined. Spoon evenly over the chops. Cover the dish tightly with foil. Bake in the preheated oven for 45 minutes, basting occasionally.
  4. Uncover and baste again, then return to the oven, uncovered  for a further 15 minutes, until cooked through and golden.  Serve hot with some of the juices spooned over top. Delicious!

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Just look at how tender that chop is.  I served it with my Byron Baked Potatoes,  baby frozen peas, Cauliflower Cheese and sweet potato that I baked in the oven while I was baking the chops.  The whole meal was quite simply fabulous!




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Crepes with Lemon & Sugar for Two



Continuing on with my quest to present to you smaller sized, delicious recipes, today I present some dessert crepes!


I used to be a bit intimidated by crepes. In the Christmas Market you always have that stall selling crepes and they are very popular on the continent, all at a pretty high price.  Somehow the brain fools us into thinking that is something is expensive like that we can't make them at home.


If you can make a pancake however, I am happy to say you can make a crepe!  A rose by any other name, a crepe is merely a very thin pancake without leavening, I might add. 


I was really surprised when I moved over here to the UK and ordered pancakes one day. They were crepes, not the thick fluffy ones I was used to. Those type are called Scotch Pancakes here.  Anyways, crepes . . .


Crepes are not that hard to make.  The key to making good ones is to make sure that your skillet is heated properly  from the get go.  I like to oil mine lightly, and then leave it to heat over low heat while I am mixing up my crepe batter.


You want to check that your pan is properly hot before you begin.  Once my batter is done, I use a piece of paper towel and remove most of the oil, leaving just a light film on the bottom and sides. (Use a good non-stick skillet as well!)


I always do a little test pancake crepe first.  Just a teaspoon full of batter.  Pour it into the centre of the pan, and tilt slightly. If you pan is the right temperature, it will cook to golden brown on the bottom in about 20 seconds.


If it doesn't your pan isn't hot enough. so increase the heat a bit and try again.  Once you have your skillet properly heated you can start cooking the others.


60ml/1/4 cup full of batter at a time, pour it into the heated pan, swirling and tilting it slightly to coat the bottom.  Leave it to sit, without moving it, over medium low heat until it looks dry on top, the bottom is golden brown and the edges are starting to look a bit brown.


Loosen it around the edge and carefully flip it. You can continue to cook it for about half a minute longer, just until the other side blisters a bit with some golden brown spots.  Carefully lift it out to a wire rack and start cooking your remaining three crepes, one at a time.


Each time you will want to lift them out as they cook and stack them on top of the first one on the wire rack. Why a wire rack?  The wire rack allows excess steam to escape so that they don't stick together.



This recipe makes exactly five crepes. The first one is always a bit of a trial and error thing as you work it out to get it just right.


Cooks treat I call it  . . .


Once all of your crepes are cooked you can sprinkle them with sugar and fold them in half and then into quarters.  I do like to sprinkle a tiny bit of sugar on them to finish . . .


These are gorgeous served with lemon juice squeezed over top.  Before moving over here to the UK, I would never have thought of serving them with lemon and sugar, but trust me, it works beautifully.  If you have it some fresh berries would also be nice served with these.

Crepes with Lemon & Sugar for Two

Crepes with Lemon & Sugar for Two

Yield: 2
Author:
Lacy and rich. The recipe makes five crepes as everyone knows the first one is always a test for the rest.

ingredients:

  • 70g plain flour (1/2 cup)
  • 1/2 tsp sugar
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 180 ml whole milk (3/4 cup)
  • 1 large free range egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 TBS butter, melted and cooled
  • 1/2 tsp vegetable oil
  • granulated sugar and lemon wedges to serve

instructions:

How to cook Crepes with Lemon & Sugar for Two

  1. Heat the vegetable oil in a 12 inch non-stick skillet for 10 minutes over low heat. Make the batter while the pan is heating.
  2. Whisk the flour, sugar and salt together in a bowl. Whisk together the milk and egg. Whisk half of this into the flour mixture until smooth, then whisk in the butter. whisk in the remaining flour mixture.
  3. Wipe most of the oil out of the skillet, leaving only a fine coating. Increase the heat to medium. Leave for a minute. Test the heat of the skillet by adding a tsp of the batter in the centre of the pan. If in 20 seconds the bottom is golden brown, the skillet is the right temperature. If too light or too dark, adjust the temperature as needed.
  4. Pour in 60ml of batter (1/4 cup). Tilt gently to cover base of the pan. Cook until the top surface is dry and the edges are beginning to turn golden brown. Gently loosen around the edges and then flip over. Cook for a further 20 seconds or so until lightly spotted golden on that side. Transfer to a wire rack and proceed to cook the remaining crepes in the same manner, stacking on the wire rack as done.
  5. Transfer stacked crepes to a large plate microwave safe plate and invert a second plate over top. Microwave for about 30 seconds on high to gently heat through. Remove the top plate and wipe dry. Sprinkle some of the remaining sugar over half of the crepe (about 1 tsp). Fold in half and then into quarters. Place onto the dried plate, Repeat with the remaining crepes, sugaring each with about 1 tsp sugar, and then dividing them between the two plates. Serve immediately with wedges of lemon for squeezing over top.

NOTES:

If lemon and sugar is not to your taste, you can fill these with whatever you want. Nutella and banana.  Peanut butter and jam. Berries and whipped cream.  The world is your oyster.

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These are just fabulously tasty.  I think you are going to love, Love, LOVE them!!



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Four Perfect Blueberry Muffins



Blueberry muffins . . .  who doesn't love them!  I adore them, but baking a full dozen muffins isn't practical anymore for just Todd and myself. Oh yes, I could freeze them, but to  be honest I think that when it comes to fruit muffins, they just aren't the same after having been frozen, or is that just me??



I think they go a bit soggy after being frozen, and if there is something that I really don't enjoy on this earth, it is a soggy muffin.


Moist and tender muffins, yes . . .  I enjoy them.  But not soggy muffins.  Who does?  Put your hand up. 



Uh huh  . . .  I didn't think many of you would.  So in my quest for smaller batch recipes today I created a small-batch blueberry muffin. It makes four perfect blueberry muffins. No more no less.


And when I say perfect, I mean truly perfect.  With a lovely tender crumb  . . .


Delicately flavoured with fragrant lemon zest . . .  and studded with plenty of fat blueberries . . .



And topped with a lemon demerara sugar crunch  . . .  mmmm . . . perfect. (Demerara sugar is the same as turbinado sugar, or granulated coffee sugar.)


Feel free to use frozen berries.  Just make sure you don't thaw them before using and dry them with some paper towels before folding them into the batter.


True confessions, I like to stick a few extra ones in the tops of the muffins prior to sprinkling with the sugar and baking  . . .


You don't need to use muffin papers . . . so long as you butter/grease the pans really well.  I used papers because I have lots of pretty papers and I like using them.


Just look at the beautiful texture of that muffin . . .  its perfect  . . . .


And there are just enough blueberries  . . .  you wouldn't want any more, and you definitely wouldn't want less.  In short, these truly are four perfect blueberry muffins!

Four Perfect Blueberry Muffins

Four Perfect Blueberry Muffins

Yield: 4
Author:
Four beautiful blueberry muffins, stogged with berries and lemon zest flavour, plus a lemon sugar crunch on top.  Delicious and perfect for the smaller family.

ingredients:

For the lemon sugar crunch:
  • the finely grated zest of 1/2 unwaxed lemon
  • 1 TBS demerara sugar (turbinado)
For the muffins:
  • 105g plain flour (3/4 cup)
  • 45g caster sugar (1/4 cup)
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/8 tsp baking soda
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 60ml whole fat milk
  • 1 large free range egg, at room temperature
  • the finely grated zest of 1/2 waxed lemon
  • 3 TBS melted butter, cooled
  • 70g fresh or frozen blueberries (1/2 cup) (if using frozen, do not thaw and dry before folding them into the batter)

instructions:

How to cook Four Perfect Blueberry Muffins

  1. Preheat the oven to 170*C/325*F/ gas mark 3.  Line 4 muffin cups with paper.  Set aside.
  2. Stir together the demerara sugar and lemon zest.
  3. Sift together the flour, baking powder, salt and soda.  Stir in the sugar and lemon zest.  Whisk together the milk, egg, and melted butter.  Add to the dry ingredients and stir just to combine.  Fold in the blueberries.  It should be lumpy. Divide this mixture between the four muffin cups.  Divide the lemon sugar between the muffins, sprinkling it on top.
  4. Bake in the preheated oven for 20 to 25 minutes, rotating the tin halfway through the bake time.

Did you make this recipe?
Tag @marierayner5530 on instagram and hashtag it #EnglishKitchen
Created using The Recipes Generator



What is your favourite type of muffin?  Are there any recipes in general that you would like to see/try downsized for a smaller family!  Just leave me a comment and I will see what I can do.  Happy Saturday! 



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