Tag Archives: Cream

Mussel Soup with added Frutti di Mare all’olio


Seafood selection - ideal for any recipe

Seafood selection – ideal for any recipe

I am fond of seafood – as distinct from fish – which I also like but I do make the distinction. Mussels are delicious – fresh or frozen. Frutti di Mare is a frozen product of various seafood from Lidl. They stock this plus other gorgeous goodies during the festive season.
This is a simple, quick and extremely yummy soup!!

And it’s winter – best time for zuppa!!


150g selected seafood
1 finely chopped onion – I use cibouli
½ leek thinly sliced and chopped
Garlic – I use a garlic cooking paste
2 potatoes cubed
1 cup vegetable stock
½ cup white wine
Lemon juice
Sprig of fresh thyme
Chopped parsley – mine is chopped and frozen in ice cube trays for easy use
Snipped chives – I haven’t frozen these yet. I may well try and see how they work
Salt & Pepper
½ cup double cream
Some cornflour to thicken if necessary
Good handful of torn baby spinach
Some butter to finish

How to make-up
1 tbsp groundnut oil – put in a medium saucepan, add the onion, garlic and leek. Fry gently until soft. Add the cubed potatoes and the stock.

This is the easiest soup really

This is the easiest soup really

Cook gently until the potatoes are nearly soft but not quite. Add the thyme sprig and lemon juice (to taste. Add the wine, parsley and chives. I also add several drops of fish sauce but this is optional.

Start adding salt and pepper and then the seafood. Add the cream and stir to combine all. Taste to ensure the flavours are melding well. When all is hot, add the torn spinach and stir in well. Then add a big knob of butter to finish and give a shine to the soup.

Serve with garlic bread, croutons, snack sized toasted bread or whatever you like. I promise you it is the yummiest soup. Enjoy.

I have a coffee table in my office and often eat there while reading. This was one of those occasions.

I have a coffee table in my office and often eat there while reading. This was one of those occasions.


Chicken Breasts with Leek & Spinach in Creamy Mushroom on Linguine


This was a lovely mild flavoursome dish

This was a lovely mild flavoursome dish

I could have made my made-up name of this even longer! I think I have said how much I love spinach and leek together. I was watching the primates at Monkey Park in Dorset today. Animal Planet was showing sequential episodes – so I spent a few very satisfying hours while intermittently pondering what to eat tonight.

We are going away for a short break to York tomorrow and I wanted to use up as much of the fridge contents as possible.

I had rescued some chicken breasts from our local Co-op food store and needed to cook them today. I had leeks (always) and baby spinach leaves (I would go mental if I didn’t have any in the fridge). I also had a mixture of button and chestnut mushrooms and some double cream that needed using. Also some dry white wine (ahem!) to make a creamy sauce.

Chicken pieces marinating & other ingredients

Chicken pieces marinating & other ingredients

This little recipe and its variations must pop up all over the place but here’s how this one transpired.

1 chicken breast halved – both halves thinly sliced
1 pkt Cup-a-Soup– Chicken & Leek
1 leek sliced thinly both white and green parts
As much baby spinach as you like
Garlic – I love garlic but no overpowering needed here – 1 clove finely chopped
Ginger – chopped – not too much maybe ½ a knuckle
Linguine or tagliatelle

The Sauce

Double cream
Dry white wine
Butter & Oil
Mushrooms sliced not too finely and make it a mixture if possible – again, as many as you like
Parsley & Dill if you like (I do)

Make the Cup-s-Soup up in a 250ml cup and let it stand till cool while slicing the chicken into thinnish strips.

Add to the chicken slices and leave it for an hour – this is an experiment after all.

Fry the marinated chicken in a deep saucepan in some butter for 15mins on a medium heat. The soupy mixture will thin out and may well need some cornflour to thicken the juices.

Cook the pasta as per the packet – I have yet to make my own pasta – a young friend of mine has posted on facebook her (successful) attempt at performing this procedure.

Fry the leek, garlic and ginger in a mixture of butter and oil. Add a couple of tbsp water (if necessary), some white wine and then put the spinach leaves in, cover and let it sweat on a low heat for 4mins.

I can accept but not understand why some people don't like spinach

I can accept but not understand why some people don’t like spinach

The Sauce

Melt some butter and add some oil in a wide saucepan. Put the mushroom in with some freshly ground black pepper. Gently fry the sliced mushrooms for maybe 5-10mins. Add some white wine, fresh chopped parsley and salt to taste. Then add the double cream and cook until the sauce thickens. I really like the taste of dill and usually add some together with the parsley. But that’s my taste.

Pile the cooked linguine in a bowl and add the chicken and the leek mixture and pour the sauce over. Enjoy this – it is worth it. You can add heat in the form of chopped green chillies or something like a Nando Green Chilli Sauce. I have also thought that dry toasted pine nuts would be a nice added flavour.

It’s a pretty nice meal.

Balmoral Chicken with A Whisky Sauce

We have a marvellous butcher down at the Glamis Centre and WW likes his Lorne sausage from there. So last time I was there I saw these wrapped chicken pieces. They are called Balmoral Chicken and, of course, are Scottish in origin.

Basically it’s a chicken breast sliced lengthways to make a pocket. Then you hand roll some fresh haggis into a sausage shape and stuff it inside the pocket and cover the edge with the flaps of chicken. Wrap the breasts in back bacon – depending on the size of the breast three slices per breast should be ample. Brush with butter and season. I used a sprinkling of salt then a spice mix from Kania called Puszta.

Raw Balmoral Chicken

This is definitely a one wrapped Balmoral per serve. The ones I bought from the butcher were large so any leftover meat can be sliced when cold and used for sandwiches.

Now wrap the chicken in foil and bake in a pre-heated oven at 200°C for about 35mins. After 20mins, open the foil parcels so the bacon can crisp up.

I think it may be traditional to serve this with clapshot which is potatoes with turnip mashed with butter, seasoned and garnished with chopped chives.

However I boiled some baby potatoes and some carrot and steamed some new beans. I also had two filled mushrooms that I put into the oven for 15mins on the same baking tray as the chicken after the foil came off. A little butter on the filling keeps it soft until the breadcrumbs turn brown.

Vegetables ready to cook

Instead of making gravy, I decided on a whisky sauce with some chicken stock and double cream. Adding a good dollop of Dijon mustard to the sauce adds to its flavour immensely.


So this is the Whisky Sauce:
250ml chicken stock
2 tbsp whisky
100ml double cream
1 tbsp Dijon mustard
Knob of butter

Mix the stock and whisky in a pan and bring to the boil. Reduce the mixture by half and add the mustard and cream. Keep stirring. Add the butter which will thicken the sauce. I must tell you that the only whisky I had in the house was a Glenmorangie, hahaha. But we won’t tell anyone.

You could also make a white sauce with mustard and a hefty slug of white wine. Keep the chicken stock though, the flavour is good.

Pour the sauce over the chicken and mushrooms; add a dollop of butter to the cooked vegetables and serve it all up with a garnish of parsley.

Balmoral Chicken served