We’re finally approaching the end of January and while winter may not be over yet it will hopefully start to get a little milder outside.
We’ve rounded up a few heart-warming recipes to help you make through the final stretch of the month!
6 boneless skinless chicken breasts (around 700g)
½ medium onion, sliced
2 bay leaves
200ml white wine
100g plain flour
500ml semi-skimmed milk
140g sliced smoked ham, cut into strips
200g young spinach leaves
225g no pre-cook dried lasagne sheets (about 20 sheets)
200g ready-grated mozzarella
25g parmesan, finely grated
- Put the chicken breasts in a medium saucepan with the onion, bay leaves and wine. Pour over just enough water to cover, around 200ml. Put a lid on top and bring to a gentle simmer. Poach gently for 15 mins or until the chicken is just cooked. Transfer the chicken to a board and strain the liquid into a jug.
- Melt the butter in a large non-stick saucepan over a medium heat. Stir in the flour with a wooden spoon and cook for about a minute. Gradually add the milk, a little at a time, stirring well between each addition to ensure the sauce stays smooth. Once all the milk has been added, stir in the reserved cooking liquid and continue cooking for a further 2-3 mins. Adjust the seasoning to taste. Heat oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6.
- Cut the chicken into small chunks and stir into the saucepan. Add the ham and spinach and cook until the spinach has wilted. Spoon a third of the chicken mixture into the base of a 3-litre lasagne dish (about 26 x 18cm). Top with a third of the lasagne sheets. Repeat the layers twice more, ending with lasagne. Scatter the mozzarella and Parmesan on top and season with black pepper. Can be frozen at this stage (see below). Bake for about 25 mins or until the lasagne is tender, the topping is well browned and the filling hot.
450g potatoes, peeled and cut into 1cm pieces (try Golden Wonders or Kerr Pinks)
1 small onion, cut the same size as the potatoes
450g white parts of leeks, sliced (save the green tops for another soup or stock)
850ml-1.2litres/1½-2pts light chicken or vegetable stock
142ml carton whipping cream
125ml full-fat milk
the white part of 1 leek
a small knob of butter
finely chopped chives
- Melt the butter in a heavy saucepan. When it foams, add the potatoes, onion and leeks and toss them in the butter until they are well coated. Season well with salt and freshly ground pepper and toss again. Put a disc of greaseproof paper (called a cartouche by chefs) on top of the vegetables to keep in the steam), then cover the pan with its lid. Cook over a gentle heat for 10 minutes, or until the vegetables are soft but not coloured.
- Uncover the pan and discard the paper. Pour in 850ml/11⁄2 pints of the stock, bring to the boil and simmer until the vegetables are just cooked – about 5 minutes. Do not overcook or the soup will lose its fresh flavour.
- Purée in a blender until silky smooth, in batches if necessary, then taste and adjust the seasoning. Return the soup to a clean pan and stir in three quarters of the cream and all of the milk.
- To finish the soup, finely shred the white leek and gently cook it in the hot butter for a few minutes until it is softened but not coloured. Reheat the soup to a gentle simmer (add some extra stock at this point if the soup is too thick for your liking), then pour into warmed bowls. Drizzle the remaining cream over each serving, top with a little pile of buttered leeks and a scattering of chives and black pepper and serve at once.
2 celery sticks, thickly sliced
1 onion, chopped
2 really big carrots, halved lengthways then very chunkily sliced
5 bay leaves
3 sprigs thyme
1 tbsp vegetable oil
1 tbsp butter
2 tbsp plain flour
2 tbsp tomato purée
2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
2 beef stock cubes, crumbled
850g stewing beef (featherblade or brisket works nicely), cut into nice large chunks
- Heat oven to 160C/140C fan/gas 3. Put the kettle on. Put the celery, onion, carrots, bay and 1 thyme sprig in a flameproof casserole dish with 1 tbsp oil and the butter. Soften for 10 mins, then stir in the flour until it doesn’t look dusty anymore, followed by the tomato purée, Worcestershire sauce and beef stock cubes.
- Gradually stir in 600ml hot water, then tip in the beef and bring to a gentle simmer. Cover and put in the oven for 2hrs 30 mins, then uncover and cook for 30mins – 1hr more until the meat is really tender and the sauce is thickened.
The above recipes all come courtesy of BBC Good Food.