I’m squeezing in one more post before the new year. I missed November as we were renovating the house and decamped to my lovely parents-in-law most weekends. So for November, things my kids happily ate were mostly cooked by Big G’s mum. But the renovations are done, the dust has cleared and I am again responsible for at least two meals a week that counter the advent calendar chocolate and Christmas pudding. Here are some of them.
I don’t know what makes this particularly Tuscan, but I’ve seen several versions of this recently. This is mine.
Fry chicken breasts in a splash of olive oil then remove from the pan.
Add a little more oil and some crushed garlic and cook until soft.
Tip in half a tin of chopped tomatoes, several handfuls of baby spinach and a good slug of cream and cook until the spinach has wilted.
Return the chicken breasts to the pan and heat through.
Serve over pasta
I make this quite a lot. It feels more virtuous than regular mash, and I usually have a bit of each of the veg that needs using up. It tastes great with sausages or white fish. You can also freeze this if you have some left over, or use it as an alternative filling in these croquettes.
Peel and dice a sweet potato, half a butternut squash and two carrots.
Cook until soft – I used a microwave steamer, but you could boil or slow roast them instead.
Mash with a big knob of butter, a handful of Parmesan and a tiny sprinkle of paprika
Dauphinois bubble and squeak
This was a bit of post-Christmas decadence. No sprouts but I added other veg. This wasn’t the prettiest of suppers but it was delicious.
Smoosh up the left over dauphinois.
Add some chopped meat – I used chicken but ham or turkey would also work and certainly would be more appropriate to the season.
Add finely sliced veg. I didn’t have sprouts so threw in some braised red cabbage, some frozen peas and some sliced mushrooms.
Put the mixture into a fry pan and push down so it is packed into the bottom of the pan. Cook until it starts to get a bit crispy on the bottom, then flip and repeat.
Chocolate-orange bread and butter pudding
This was another Christmas leftover recipe, of course. I used day-old French baguette, Nutella, Cointreau and ready-made custard; feel free to make yours from scratch.
Butter a baking dish.
Take slices of old bread and butter one side then spread the other side with chocolate spread.
Layer into the baking dish, and splash over something boozy.
Pour over the custard (I loosened mine a little with milk) and leave to sit in the fridge for a couple of hours.
Bake at 180C for 20-25 minutes. Serve with more custard, cream and/or ice cream.