Ideas for Homestart.
Well these are challenging times, that is for sure. I am still working at Myrtle’s Kitchen and with my neighbour at the kitchen, Emily of Cavallo Lusso. We are baking and delivering pastries in the area and it is keeping us pretty busy!
It has been a time to prompt me to value friendships. One friend is Alison Jones who works for a charity which you may well know, “Home Start”. She is based in Herefordshire, helping to look after families when they need that all important support network. http://www.home-startherefordshire.co.uk/
She watched one of my videos on social media, where I voiced concerns about how local charities are going to come out of this, particularly as it is so difficult to fundraise at the moment. Alison asked if I could come up with a few recipes that would help to make life a bit easier for some of her families. Here are a couple of my favourite easy stand by recipes. I have tried to think about things that you may have already in your kitchen cupboards. No unnecessary shopping trips or expense.
This is a tasty recipe that originates from River Cottage and, of course, I have changed things and made them a bit more accessible/easier!
Baked Chicken Curry
This is a really simple idea; the curry sauce is not hot so it will be great for younger family members. If you want it hotter, you know what to do.
If you want to add some peppers, mushrooms or even some cooked carrots – go for it.
A tray of chicken thighs – depending on how many you are feeding
1 tin of chopped tomatoes
1 jar of curry sauce
1 tin coconut milk
2 tablespoons Oil
Salt and Pepper
Heat the oil in a pan and fry off the chicken so that it has a nice golden colour, transfer to a casserole dish of baking tray, skin side up.
Combine the tomatoes sauce and coconut milk – I like to blitz them together in a blender as a I prefer a smoother sauce and add salt and pepper. Pour into the pan where you fried off the chicken and warm through to give a great saucy texture.
Pour the sauce over the chicken pieces and pop into the over for about 45 mins at 180c / gas mark 4
Serve with rice or naan bread.
This lockdown has caused all sorts of shortages in the shops and I know that a lot of people are baking and experimenting which is amazing, but not so great if you just want to buy a packet of yeast! Here is a great bread option that is quicker to make than your conventional bread and I think just as tasty! No Yeast or Bread (Strong) flour required, which are like gold dust in the shops. A great stand by and it is lovely toasted the following day.
This makes one good sized loaf or make into smaller rolls. If you have bits on bobs left in the fridge, you can add these to the bread mix – chopped up olives, or thinly shredded sundried tomatoes. Or sprinkle the top with oats or seeds.
500g Plain white flour
2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
1 x teaspoon salt
400ml Natural live yogurt (or buttermilk if you can get some)
A little milk.
Preheat an oven to 200 degrees c./ Gas mark 6
Combine all of the dried ingredients in a large bowl and make sure that they are well mixed. Add the yogurt and any extras that you want to add.
Bring the mix together (if too dry just add a little milk). Work quickly, as soon as the bicarb’ hits moisture it will start to work. Remember that this is not a conventional bread, it does not need kneading and will not benefit from over working. Shape into a round loaf put on a baking tray, cut a cross on the top and then into the oven. As simple as that.
Cook for 40-45 mins. If you are making rolls less time is needed.
I hope you have fun with these recipes. If you like them, please let us know. I am more than happy to come up with more for you.
I also have a great idea to keep the family amused: an Alice in Wonderland party – watch this space video is on its way
Stay safe and well.