Jess Cantoni

Recipes, reviews & lifestyle

Tuesday, 23 August 2016

Thai Green Curry



First recipe since my holiday! I've been seriously not sticking to this 'daily' blogging thing, but the situation is, now that i've got myself a full-time job, is that I will probably only be able to get up two recipes a week. I think this is basically what I was doing before, but now I'm working, I need to be more organised, so hopefully I'll actually be more consistent with it!

Anywho, after our holiday in Italy, the Husband and I are were really craving something not Italian (I know, how can this happen??) We really fancied Indian, so the day after landing, we drove straight to our favourite (Koloshi's in Cheltenham) and ate there. Next on our list was Thai, so I said I'd make it. The recipe comes from a book called Thailand (how apt!) and is published by Phaidon.
I bought it for my Mother-in-Law for Christmas, and when in Italy this time round, I decided to take some recipes from it!

This Thai Green Curry is very creamy but not too heavy like some can be. It's very light. I like the added aubergines and the added sweetness from the palm sugar. 

Serves 2 (I halved it)
Note - a few ingredients I have changed from the original recipe

Ingredients
2 tbsp of olive oil 
1 tbsp of thai green curry paste
200g boneless chicken thighs
200ml coconut milk
0.5 tbsp fish sauce
0.5 tbsp palm sugar
100g aubergines, chopped into pieces
1 handful of basil leaves + extra for garnish
Half a red chilli chopped + extra for garnish
Steamed jasmine rice to serve

Method

1. Heat oil in a wok or deep frying pan, and once hot, add curry paste and fry lightly until sizzling and you can smell the spices coming out.

2. Add chicken and cook for two minutes.

3. Pour in coconut milk, stir well and increase heat and cook for 3 minutes. Add fish sauce and palm sugar and stir well.

4. Add the aubergine pieces and cover pan and cook until they are cooked through. 

5. Add basil leaves and chopped chilli - stir until incorporated and then serve with the steamed rice. 

6. Garnish with a sprinkling of chilli and a couple of basil leaves. 




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Monday, 8 August 2016

Spaghetti Alla Pizzaiola


When this post is live, I will be in Italy, taking in the smells and sights of this wondrous foodie capital. I would obviously love to take you all with me, but I doubt there'd be enough room in my suitcase. *sad face* Therefore, here's a recipe you can make, as versatile as it is (also good for a pizza topping or to dress a steak or fish fillet), and pretend you are there with me. 

The silkiness of the sauce with the flavoursome anchovies, which really give it a kick, is a delight, ladening the long strands of spaghetti. Of course, you can use any pasta.

Buon Appetito!

Serves 2

note - the recipe has been adapted from The Two Greedy Italians Eat Italy cookbook

Ingredients
2 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil
1/2 garlic clove, finely chopped
1/2 small red chilli, finely chopped - optional
2 fresh anchovy fillets (they sell some nice fresh ones in lidl, where we bought ours)
6 black olives, sliced in half
1 tsp of capers
400g tin of chopped tomatoes
1/4 tsp of dried oregano
1 tsp of finely chopped parsley
Salt
200g spaghetti 

Method

1. Heat the oil in a large frying pan. Add the garlic, chilli and anchovies. Fry gently on a low heat, as the anchovies will try and stick. Fry until the anchovies have dissolved in the oil.

2. Add the olives, capers and cook for one minute whilst stirring. 

3. Add the chopped tomatoes, oregano, parsley and season with salt. Lower the heat and simmer, covered with the lid. Simmer for 20 minutes.


4. Whilst the sauce is simmering, cook the spaghetti and a pot of salted boiling water. Cook until al dente (just cooked). 

5. Before draining, take a tbsp of pasta water and spoon into the sauce to give it that silky consistency. Drain the pasta and pour into the pan of sauce. Stir so the pasta is completely covered and cook for one minute. Serve straight away. 

Buon appetito! 


Have you ever been to Italy? Which Italian recipes inspired you to re-create them at home? 


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Sunday, 7 August 2016

Buttermilk Chicken - the meltiest chicken ever


Ever fancied making your own KFC style chicken at home, but ten times better and healthier?? Well then, this will be your answer. 

These chicken legs are pre-soaked in the creamy buttermilk before being coated in a homemade crispy coating. Yum. 

The first bite tastes like heaven - trust me! The crispy coating is flavoursome with parmesan and paprika, and the chicken is melt-in-your-mouth. The perfect recipe if you want to impress your friends. 

Serves 2 hungry people

IMPORTANT - this recipe requires preparation overnight

Ingredients

The chicken
6 chicken drumsticks
1/4 tsp of salt
1/4 tsp of smoked paprika
1/4 tsp of garlic powder
Freshly ground pepper
Juice from 1/4 of a lemon
1/2 cup/ 25g of buttermilk
Olive oil

The coating
1/2 cup/ 25g of panko bread crumbs
1/2 cup/ 25g of cornflakes, crushed
1 tbsp of parmesan cheese (I used the dried sort)
1 tsp salt
1 tsp of smoked paprika
1/4 tsp of garlic powder
1/4 tsp chilli flakes

Method - marinating the chicken overnight

1. In a bowl, season the chicken with salt, smoked paprika, garlic powder and pepper. Pour over the lemon juice and butter milk and mix in. Refrigerate overnight or for 6-8 hours in the day.

Coating the chicken

1. Pre-heat the oven to 200 degrees. Place a rack on a tray with foil underneath to minimise cleaning. Rub the tray with oil.

2. In a bowl, pour the panko, cornflakes, parmesan, salt, paprika, garlic and chilli. 

3. Take the chicken from the bowl and dredge in the chicken coating, one leg at a time. Make sure they are fully covered with the coating. Place on the tray, spaced apart. 


4. Drizzle olive oil over the legs and bake in the oven for 40 minutes, until fully cooked through. 


 I look cooking with buttermilk. Have you ever tried this? And do you have any legendary buttermilk recipes you'd like to share? 


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Friday, 5 August 2016

Italian Alps Fondue for two


Okay, so I know I said I was daily blogging now, and I know I missed a day yesterday, but I expect it wasn't noticed by many, so hey ho as the saying goes! However, today I have a recipe that I really wanted to try and make from my Two Greedy Italians cookbook. It's a fondue made with the creamy, Italian fontina cheese. 
We're off to the Italian Alps next week, so what a better way to get excited than to make some yummy fondue. My husband and I are big fondue fans, ever since trying the best we've ever had in Geneva. I'd never tried any Italian fondues before, so I thought I'd like to give this one a go. 
It turned out to be lighter and less thick than normal fondues. It has more of a sauce consistency, than melted cheese. However, I guess that you could put less milk if you wanted to get a thicker consistency. I, on the other hand, may have accidentally poured in 20ml extra of milk...

Enjoy whilst imagining you're in a mountain house with views over to Mont Blanc..

Notes - I halved the recipe to make it serve 2
I also omitted black and white truffles, because who finds those in their local supermarket??

IMPORTANT NOTE - this recipe requires 3-4 prep ahead of cooking

Ingredients

200g Fontina Cheese
150ml milk
2 egg yolks
15g unsalted butter
salt and pepper

Fresh loaf of bread

Method

1. Cut the fontina cheese into small cubes and place into a bowl. Pour over the milk and leave to marinate for 3-4 hours. 

2. Once marinated, pour into a pan and melt gently until it creamy. 



3. Stir in the egg yolks one by one. Add the butter and season. Stir. 

4. Serve immediately with slices of a bread of your choice to dip into the melted goodness. 









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Wednesday, 3 August 2016

Shopping? Nah!



So this is me writing this post in bed, attempting to give this daily blogging thing a try. 

Today was a good day. The Husband and I went to Birmingham to hand some docs into my new place of work, and had a little Pokemon hunt whilst there. I mean, why else would be visiting B'Ham for? Not for the reason that there's a massive shopping centre nearby... 

Sometimes I don't feel like shopping. Anyone else with me here? 
I don't see the point in shopping for the sake of shopping. Yes, there were shops nearby that we don't have where we live, but they're not going anywhere! You can just shop online anyway. 

I can tell when I'm shopping for shoppings sake, because I can hear this nagging voice in the back of my head, telling me to turn around and go home. Often I listen to this voice. Actually, most of the time I just avoid the shops altogether. 

I used to love going shopping with my parents, buying random things just because. But now I'm different; I only pop in for a certain item. I tend to carry a list with me to make it easier. I'm also now more decisive than ever. I don't tend to dither if I like something. I also know what I definitely don't like. I'm not very good shopping with others either, as I like to stay focused. I can't concentrate whilst talking!

Gosh I sound so anti social and boring, but honestly this is what I'm like! 

The only exception for me is a book shops, my once vice in life... More on that in a later post! 

Are any of you like this? Or are you addicted to shopping? 
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Tuesday, 2 August 2016

Daily Blogging


This isn't going to be a normal food-related post from me this evening, but a post about a plan to blog more freely. 

Recently I have stopped blogging more than I used to, due to other commitments (CELTA course) and just generally being a bit busier. 
Some good news though - I have a new job! I start end of August and will be teaching English as a foreign language at a school in Birmingham. Am very pleased to have got it, and can now finally start getting the routine back into my life!
And with that, I hope to blog more! 

I really would like somewhere where I can look back and think, wow I've changed, or ooh what was I doing on that day, and then I can find out. 

I've always been a diary writer. I'd still like to be, as I love to document. I know I started vlogging earlier this year, but it's so time consuming, and I think I blogging is better for me right now. 
And so, I plan from now on, to blog at least something everyday. I understand this is a steep promise, and a hard one to keep. I've seen many bloggers vow this and not succeed. I've even vowed it in the past and not managed it. But I feel that if I give myself a goal once again, maybe I'll perhaps end up blogging more often, even if it isn't everyday (although I hope so!!)?
Another reason is that I really want you guys to get to know me better. I feel that people don't really get to know the 'real me' through food posts (obviously I will still be doing these!), so I think a diary style post each day, or something random, is needed. 

What do you all think? Would you like me to start doing this? Have any of you thought about doing this? Or started doing it?



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Friday, 29 July 2016

Tropical smoothie time



I know you're thinking... tropical smoothie? In this non-existent summer weather?? Well I'm hoping this creamy, coconut-y smoothie will conjure up thoughts of summers past, and perhaps give the sun a reason to come out! 
To put this into perspective, I'm currently sat outside under a canopy writing this post. It's raining. We're having a BBQ. We British power on! 

If you can think of something tropical, I can guarantee you it's in this smoothie.*

* Sun is not a requirement. 







 Ingredients
1 Cocoface coconut (or you could use any coconut water)
1 small bowl full of Waitrose frozen exotic fruit 
Half a lime
Half a bowl full of chopped pineapple
2 tbsp of Rachel's Greek Style coconut yoghurt (or any you can find)

Method
1. Pour in your blender: exotic fruits, pineapple and yoghurt.

2. Hack open your Cocoface coconut and pour in about 50 ml of the water (you can adjust where you see fit, but it's best to add less at the beginning).

3. Add a squeeze of half a lime. Blend away!

4. If you feel you want it more smooth, add more coconut water. If you want it thicker, add more yoghurt. 

5. Enjoy whilst sitting on the beach, watching the world go by (or under a canopy in your back garden whilst it rains!)




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