One year on...


...where the frick did that year go?

The Broke Boy is back in business! Lots of things have happened since my last post. If you followed the blog before hand you may remember that I got a new job which meant I would be traveling around the country, getting a company car etc....

Well that lasted all of a month before they closed the project down and sent everyone back to their old positions. For me it went a little differently and I was deployed to Bristol, which is a 30-45 minute commute without traffic. Oh...and they never gave me the company car and I was told I had to pay for travel and everything.

Needless to say this was not part of the deal when I signed up for the new job. Eventually I was transferred back to my old place of work and within a week managed to secure a new job within the company at a brand new store.

To start with I was taken on as a member of the recruitment team, which in itself was quite a fun task. That took me up until the end of October which is when we had the grand opening.

Since then I've been doing lots of different things, but this has also meant I simply haven't had the time to stop, think, cook or even more devastatingly... BAKE!

Over the past few months I've taken some steps, to some they may seem small, but to me they have been fantastic.

I recently purchased my first brand spanking new car. Her name is Scarlet and she is a sexy bitch.

Another thing that's been going through my head is that I'm not getting any younger and if I want to grab my dreams I had better get started.

So....The exciting news is that tomorrow I have an interview at a local college to join a course in Professional Cookery. This has been a massive dream of mine since school. I should have listened to my gut back at school and gone down this path straight away, rather than wasting 11 years on something that now I can never see myself using.

With this in mind I feel that its an appropriate time to restart The Broke Boy and continue the mission that I set out on back in 2013. Prepare to have your screen filled with glorious Food Porn!

Starting with this!


Lemon and Saffron Chicken!

Over the last 3 weeks my whole family have been trying really hard to stick to a healthy diet. We have done really well, losing a combined total of roughly 22lb. I've never been one to stick to a diet, but this time it seems to be working.

I've made this recipe once before, its by the very talented Sabrina Ghayour. Its such a simple dish but the end result is delicious. Its from her book Persiana.

This was our Sunday night treat, and you can make it to!

You will need:

4 onions.
5 lemons, the juice of.
4tbsp of olive oil.
1tsp ground turmeric.
400g of Greek style yogurt (I used the fat free one).
3tbsp crushed sea salt.
A good pinch of Saffron threads.
3tbsp of boiling water.
6 large chicken breasts, skin and boneless.




 

Now I know what you are thinking...That's a lot of onions and lemons but trust me, its totally worth it. The end result really packs a punch.



Start by slicing the onions into half moons. You want them to be quite thin so that they cook quickly and get a slight charred effect when cooked.

Once that's done add the juice of the 5 lemons.



Next add the olive oil and then the turmeric.




Give it all a good stir so that the onions are covered with the oily lemony goodness. Then add the Greek yogurt and the salt.




Put the Saffron into a Mortar and pestle and grind to dust, then cover with the boiling water and allow it to infuse for 5 minutes or so.


Slice the chicken into 5cm chunks and throw it in with the onions.


After 5 minutes or so, add the Saffron liquid to the chicken and onions. Give it a good mix around so everything is slicked with yellow.

Cover with cling film and pop in the fridge. Allow the mixture to marinate for one hour, or if you have the patients over night.




Once your patients has worn off, fish the chicken out and place it onto a oven proof baking dish lined with baking paper.
Pop into a preheated oven (highest maximum temperature) and cook for 18-20 minutes. Now as usual, you know your own oven so do what you think is best. The aim is to char them slightly.




Now I wanted to serve this dish with something delicious and filling. I decided to slice up some Aubergine and sprayed with a little olive oil. I then popped them onto the BBQ over a medium heat, turning occasionally to get some good grill lines.




Once you are happy that the chicken is cooked and suitably charred take it out of the oven and get ready to dine!



I served mine with a side salad, some brown rice and the aubergines...
 

And if you are feeling really naughty...a little blob of Greek yogurt.

The lemon cuts through the onion and gives the chicken a lovely Zing.. lovely for a summers evening!

I hope that you enjoyed this post guys, its great to be back!

Wish me luck for tomorrow!

Comments on what you think below!

Moroccan Inspired Lamb Breast with cous cous...


Last week I had a little black bag full of goodies arrive on my doorstep from the lovely people over at Maille. Inside the bag lay two jars of mustard. 

As the sun was shining and the grass was freshly cut, I felt it was time to bring a little Moroccan spice to the kitchen.




This little jar of joy jumped out at me straight away, Maille mustard with white wine, lemon and harissa spices.

I watched a program a little while ago about cheaper cuts of meat (I think it may have been Nigel Slater..) and he barbecued a breast of lamb. I hadn't heard of this cut before and was intrigued to try it.  We had one for a roast a few weeks ago and although its incredibly fatty, it was probably one of the nicest bits of lamb i've ever had. It was incredibly tasty with a crispy skin that was to die for.

When thinking what to make, I thought I would try another breast of lamb, but stuff it full of lovely things that would take on the flavours of the fat as it rendered down.

For this Moroccan inspired recipe
you will need:

1 - 2 Breasts of Lamb (I got mine from Sainsburys, dirt cheap)
100g Maille mustard with white wine, lemon and harissa spices
500g Cous Cous
A pinch of salt
A pinch of paprika (I used smoked, but use sweet if you prefer)
500ml Vegetable stock
2 and a half table spoons of Garlic oil
200g chopped dried apricots
75g dried cranberries
2 shallots finely chopped
one tin of chickpeas in water, drained (roughly 240g)
Extra garlic oil to drizzle

Preheat the oven to 160°C Fan.



Start by placing the cous cous into a large pot (the pot does need to be larger because the cous cous swells quite a bit!) and add the paprika and salt. Cover with the stock and clamp on a lid whilst you get on with the rest.






Place the apricots, cranberries and chickpeas into another bowl and cover with boiling water for a few minutes just to soften them up slightly. This isn't essential as the rendered fat will do this during the cooking process, but I wanted to serve some cous cous on the side as well as inside the breast.




Finely chop the shallots and add them to the cous cous along with the apricots, cranberries and chickpeas.




The lamb breast from sainsburys is part of the Basic range. I managed to get 2 pieces for a little under £4 each. They come rolled up and tied with string which is perfect for a normal roast however I wanted to stuff mine. 

Snip off the string and flatten the breast out. Take the mustard and smoother it all over the breast. Now I know what you are all thinking ("Good lord thats a lot of mustard!"), but don't worry...
This mustard is incredibly mild. I had a little spoonful before starting to get an understanding of the ingredient and its nothing like a normal mustard. The flavour however is mouth watering.






Next take the prepared cous cous and place a layer of it over the breast(s). Roll them back up and then firmly tie with string. You may need a second pair of hands to do this. Don't worry about how it looks now, it will all turn out lovely in the end. You will notice that there is quite a bit of cous cous left over but fear not...

Drizzle a little garlic oil over the lamb and season with a bit of salt and pepper.

Pop it in the oven and sit back with a glass of wine in the garden.

One thing I should mention is that it takes quite a bit of cooking, mostly down to the fat content of the lamb. Oven times will vary depending on your own oven but you will have to judge that yourselves. I cooked mine for 2 hours and then placed the left over cous cous in the bottom of the pan to absorb the juices and continued to cook for a further 30 minutes.



Corrrrrrr look at that! 



I served this with cous cous and also some roasted courgettes, peppers, mushrooms and tomato's.

The perfect meal to end a gloriously sunny day!


I do hope you all managed to get through that post without laughing every time the word breast came up...Because I didn't!

a foodies dream...

something is seriously wrong with this weather...i mean its been constantly hot for over a week...is the world ending?

anyway! this lovely weather was just what was required for a beautiful day full of food and fun!

as i mentioned a week or so ago, i was given some tickets to go to the Bristol Foodies festival! the parents and i along with my friend Fran descended upon the harbour shortly after it started!

as we entered we were greeted by a massive queue for the demonstration tickets, luckily though the people giving out the tickets were incredibly organised and we didn't have to wait long at all. we managed to get tickets to see Manisha Parmar from the great british bake off and Larkin Cen from master chef. this made me VERY excited!









the food adventure was then ours to be had! we started by wandering the entire festival to get an idea of size and what kind of stalls were about. we were greeted by glorious cakes and slices by The Ginger Bakersdelicious smoked cheese, flavoursome fudges and some vibrant macaroons which made me very jealous! (by Dimkins)







we then ventured down the steps and were greeted by pots of glorious food just waiting for us to give in to our lunch time urges, there was so much of it i don't really know where to begin.

chinese, japanese, mexican..the choices were endless! 







we decided to have a refreshing glass of pimms before deciding what to eat, as it was literally to hot to think! 

i love almost everything about pimms, i love the cooling first sip, the juicy fruit swimming around the straw and the feast that happens when you finish drinking.
the only thing i am not usually keen on is the mint. i love mint with most things but it seems wrong with pimms...it seems to over power the drink.

HOWEVER! the girls that whipped this little beauty up for me must have magical powers! the mint ramped all up the flavours and made the drink incredibly refreshing. 

note to self - smash all the fruit together with the ice before adding the booze!





i have to laugh at this sign! when we arrived the festival had only just opened so it wasn't that busy (outside of the ticket line). maybe the pimms went to our heads...but Fran and i both posed by the sign at the same time doing an erotic pose... childish...NAH!

as the day went on we caught more and more people posing next to it clutching their junk... haha!






there were literally hundreds of flavour combinations on this fudge stall. Fran just couldn't resist.





had it not of been so hot i think i would of spent more time shopping for ingredients. vast amounts of salami stacked up high tempted my taste buds but the heat stopped me.




it was then time for the first demo of the day with Manisha and special guest Ryan Chong.
i don't think he expected to be called up on stage as he was stood at the back to begin with! 




they whipped up some quick scones and we all got to have a taste.
(i think Ryan was feeling the heat a little...)




after the first demo we decided we couldn't fight our urges any longer and popped down the steps once again for lunch.
we decided to go to The Quack Shack. serving up delicious duck dishes with a twist, our mouths were watering firstly from the smell and secondly from the amazing menu.




we started with some quackling, crispy duck skins...need i say any more than that? 
actually yes...it was INSANELY GOOD! i could of gone back and ordered 5 more bags, perfectly crunchy and salty...food porn!






we both then went for the shack burger. i have to say this wasn't the best burger i have ever had, but it was great to see something different!
the burger itself had an amazing flavor, the orange really complimented the burger. topped with the onion jam which gave an added sweetness to the stack and at the bottom...well... the beetroot slaw! that was something to behold! may have to give making that a go!

 


after the salty quackling we naturally needed a drink.. so we decided to get a pitcher of the good stuff...it didn't last long!





time flies when you are having fun! next up in the demo tent was Larkin Cen, finalist on master chef 2013. i was particularly excited about this as i've grown a bit of an addiction to asian inspired cooking.

i hadn't watched much of master chef so didn't really know who he was but quickly came to realise just why he was in the final. he was a genuinely nice guy with a wicked sense of humour and a real talent in the kitchen.

he prepared two dishes in the 45 minute demo.




first of all he started with seabass topped with wontons, served in a mushroom and lemongrass consommé. the smell was divine! i wanted to face plant the dish and scoff the whole thing!




secondly he prepared lamb shoulder with a home made BBQ glaze. i had never considered mixing those 2 flavours but after seeing this i cant believe i haven't seen it before!

the glaze was quick and easy to make, light soy, ketchup, worcestershire sauce and a little bit of brown sugar. when i got home i quickly whipped up a batch and smothered it on some chicken! YUM!






after the demo he let everyone go to the front and take pictures of the food and get a picture with him. i opted to stay out of the picture (i'm not photogenic on the best of days, let alone when i'm sweating like a...well....you get the idea!)

bravery came over me and i gave him one of my newly printed business cards! after that i threw them out left right and centre...if i can give one to him i can give them to anyone!




i never thought i would complain about finally getting some form of summer, but the heat really did make the day short lived. it was just to hot to stay much longer so we decided to quickly whip round the stalls and gather up some tasty treats for later.

i popped to the Dig in market stall and grabbed some peaches and plums. they were perfectly ripened and left me with a juicy face.







then it was on to the Ginger bakers. i decided to go for a delicious brownie and a scrumptious pecan and caramel shortbread!

these are the kinds of bakes i love! they have that fresh out of the oven home made feel about them yet pack a real punch in the flavour department.

if you ever see them selling there goods, don't keep walking...STOP and stuff your face..seriously you won't regret it!

i gave them a business card and asked them to let me know if they ever had any work experience available. worth an ask!



final stop was the Dimkin's Patisserie stall for some macaroons. the range of colours and flavours was insane, everyone that walked past this stall stopped and took in their beauty.

don't they look amazing?

sadly though i felt a little bit let down by them.

i went for 2 passionfruit, 1 raspberry, 1 champagne and 1 bubblegum flavour. the flavours didn't seem all that strong, there was a subtle hint but i was expecting an explosion. the texture of them was quite hard as well but this could of been because of the heat outside.


all in all it was a beautiful day and i was so pleased we managed to get there.

thanks again to the Foodies Festival organisers for the free tickets. 

if you are a foodie addict try and get to one of the events around the country. you will love it!

Bristol Foodies Festival...

...so things keep getting better and better!




i have been thinking about buying some tickets for me and the family to the Bristol Foodies Festival on the harbor side for a few months now but we were a bit unsure as to weither my parents would be in the area to go.

they have now decided that yes they will so i started looking into the different tickets.

i eventually decided that i would get a VIP ticket for myself and normal tickets for my parents are they weren't quite as excited for the chef theatre as i was.

this morning i turned on the computer to book the tickets but before i did so i decided to check twitter.

@foodiesfestival had tweeted asking any keen photographers to email them to get their hands on some free press passes.

i thought i would be a little bit cheeky and tweeted them asking if they were looking for any food bloggers and they asked me to email them...

...who knew my little blog could get me free passes!




its going to be a fun filled day full of food, drink and hopefully sun!


obviously my passion is baking and i am really looking forward to all the different cupcake stalls! hopefully it will be a really inspiring day and i hope to come back full of ideas and ready to try new things!







yummy!

i'm really looking forward to some of the cake and bake theatre's including the chocolate truffle masterclass by Coeur De Xocolat and the Sugar craft demo by Ann Pickard


contestant of the great british bake off Manisha Parmar will also be at the festival and will be giving bakery hints and tips! 2 contestants in one week! what more could i want!

the festival runs in bristol from friday the 12th of july until sunday the 14th and the tickets are actually a really good price...

...£12 for adults and £38 for VIP.

the festival is also at different locations throughout the summer, check here for more info!
ill make sure to take lots of pictures and report back to you with what i find... if i take a minute to stop eating that is!