Tag Archives: rice

A taste of China…


Well you have probably grasped by now that I quite like cooking….Ok, I really like cooking (slightly obsessed even?).

I like eating even more.. one of my favourite foods has to be Chinese.

Now I obviously didn’t think this through when I moved out into the sticks. I love being in the country…we have a wonderful view and a lovely long garden, which I am going to hopefully grow some of our food in this year (dependant on the dog :S ).

However…we are miles away from a takeaway..and the one that will deliver isn’t that good to be honest. So I have been practising with my wok and steamer, and its going pretty well. I did find ingredients limited in the supermarket, so this weekend we took a trip to a wonderful Chinese supermarket in Leeds. My gosh it is fab.

They have an absolute wonderful array of all sorts of wonders. From basic ingredients (The lemongrass and bay leaves were fantastic value.) to prepared dishes such as salt and pepper spare ribs and wantons. There was every type of noodle known to man and lots of exciting seafood all at fantastic prices.

My freezer and cupboards are now back to brimming 😦 but at least it is with new exciting stuff.
The char sui marinade transformed a dish of chicken thighs. the dumplings and ribs added to my increasing waistline.
I am sure it was a lot healthier than a takeaway. It was a lot cheaper that’s for sure. and it was a lot of fun…

Tonight we are having white fish steamed with lemongrass and ginger, and prawn chow mein…

Whats not to love?

Happy eating..
Sky @ http://www.thesideplate.com



I hate long, long lists of ingredients…



I hate long, long lists of ingredients….

I have to say, as you are probably aware, most of the time I love cooking. I must say though I like to keep things small in effort, big in taste.

I am no Nigella swanning round the kitchen with an aura of calm. I confess I do wear my heels when cooking as it makes the worktops easier to reach. I occasionally remember to wear an apron (after ruining a very nice white top with a pasta sauce 🙂 ) . But that is as far as it goes..There is often washing up in the sink…flour dusting the table and homework on the go. As I frequently tell my children…I am one woman with one pair of hands…I never aspired to be perfect.

Anyway back on the subject…. I am big on flavours but low on patience, I always love to make a roast at the weekend. This week it was a chicken. I will be honest I used to buy the corn fed free-range birds. (I keep chickens so these things matter to me.) But I have been so damned disappointed in them lately that I cannot justify the £8 plus for a small chicken. I paid £5 for a semi happy bird in sainsburys and decided to cook it in a pot.

I have only recently fallen in love with coronation Chicken after tasting a well-made version at a farm shop. It had a smooth sauce that coated succulent slices of meat. (I have to say I am not a massive sultana fan though) So after flicking through my mountain of under used cookbooks I adapted an old Good Housekeeping recipe and came up with this.

When I was making it I cursed at the amount of faffing for the sauce. I swore I wouldn’t make it again….until I tasted it.

Suddenly it was worth the effort. The chicken is wonderfully moist. (And I got two good portions of stock from the cooking liquid, which I stuck in the freezer.) The sauce was quite frankly delicious…

I thought it could get no better…until yesterday when I used the leftovers as a pancake filling..Oh my…I guess sometimes it’s worth the effort.

The recipe should be on my recipe pages…Well Worth it Coronation Chicken

Let me know if you try it. and what you think

Happy Eating and lots of love

Sky @ http://www.skybendelow.com

You can never own too many dishes 🙂

is it all in the timing??


Timing is not my strongpoint,

I often eat delicious dinners at midnight. They are never planned this way of course, but when a new recipe is in progress I kind of go with the flow.

I always underestimate the time taken to make a risotto, (so my partner claims anyway lol ) I say dinner will be at 9, but then a friend calls for a chat, or a cheeky monkey that cant sleep decides to tug my apron and heart strings. Last night I was just disorganised and forgot to factor in the sautéing of the onions, then 40 minutes for the rice.

It was one of those recipes that started out with my saying “we have left over roast chicken, what kind of meal do you fancy?” (Lucky for me he didn’t say steak and chips.)

Risotto was the choice and it kind of evolved from there. I do usually put Parmesan in this lovely soothing dish, but I also had some prawns loitering in the freezer, so instead we tried something new.

Try it; it was pretty damn tasty…however long it takes to cook.

Happy Cooking

Sky @ thesideplate.com

all things rice

As usual, its still a work in progress, so here’s a vague recipe.

Large mug of paella rice (I would normally use Arborio, but its hiding somewhere at the back of the cupboard, and It was already 9pm)

Large mug of leftover roast chicken

Cup of raw king prawns

Cup of frozen peas

An onion finely chopped

½ bottle of dry white wine

250ml chicken stock

25g unsalted butter

I tsp of preserved lemon (lemon juice may work?)

½ tsp smoked paprika

¼ tsp white pepper

Fried Parma ham to serve.

Sauté the onion in the butter until soft but not browned,
Add the rice and cook for 5 mins, stirring to coat the grains.

Add the white pepper and paprika and give it a good stir.

Pour in a quarter of the stock and stir until absorbed into the rice.

Add the rest of the butter and the lemon and another quarter of the stock

(You should technically keep stirring, but I do generally find time to keep nipping into the lounge to annoy my boyfriend with inane chatter)

Once this is absorbed add the rest of the stock and the chicken and cook for about 10 mins.

Once the rice has absorbed all the stock and has been cooking for about 35 mins, throw in the prawns and the peas.

It will be ready, when the prawns are pink and the rice is just soft.

I topped it with a bit of fried Parma ham, because I was feeling fancy.

How’s that for Timing (ish)