Category: Lunch

Two Ways With Leftover Chicken

Happy New Year!  

I hope the festivities were wonderful and the champagne was flowing freely!!!

The only downside to all the partying is that invariably you end up with a fridge full of leftovers.  This year we were inundated with leftover chicken so, if you ever find yourself in the same situation, here are two ways to use it up.

My first leftover chicken recipe uses one of my favourite retro ingredients, the vol au vent shell. (Sorry Glenda, still store-bought!)

Chicken And Tarragon Vol Au Vents3And it’s simples – mix up a white sauce add some tarragon, stir in your chicken, fill your vol au vent cups, sprinkle on some cheese and in a couple of minutes you have a super cute little appetizer with which to kick off your next party! 

My Chicken and Tarragon Vol Au Vents are based on a recipe I found in a Feast Magazine but can also be found here.

C‪hicken and Tarragon Vol Au Vents 1

Chicken and Tarragon Vol Au Vents

12

Chicken and Tarragon Vol Au Vents

Recipe adapted from SBS Food // Feast Magazine.

Ingredients

  • 250 ml (1 cup) milk
  • 250 ml (1 cup) chicken stock
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 small onion, halved
  • 90 g butter, chopped
  • 35 g (¼ cup) plain flour
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • ¼ cup tarragon leaves, chopped
  • 160 g (1 cup) finely chopped cooked chicken
  • 1 pack of vol au vent shells
  • 4 tbsp cheddar cheese, divided in two
  • red currants for garnish (optional)
  • chives for garnish (optional)

Instructions

  • Place milk, stock, garlic and onion in a saucepan over medium heat. Bring to the boil, then remove from heat and set aside for 10 minutes. Strain through a fine sieve into a bowl, discarding solids. Keep warm.
  • Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Stir in flour and cook, stirring, for 3 minutes or until flour is light golden. Remove from heat, stir in mustard and tarragon, then gradually whisk in infused milk mixture until smooth. Return pan over high heat and cook, stirring, for 4 minutes or until mixture thickens. Stir in half of the cheese until it melts.Stir in chicken, season with salt and pepper, and transfer to a bowl. Cover with plastic wrap until needed.
  • Heat your oven to 180*C. Fill the shells with the chicken mixture. Sprinkle with the rest of the cheese.
  • Cook for 15 minutes or until the cheese has melted and started to brown.
  • Remove from oven, top with red currants and chives.
  • These are best served immediately.
http://www.retrofoodformoderntimes.com/2016/01/06/two-ways-with-leftover-chicken/

My next take on leftover chicken is a more modern Chicken, Avocado and Chipotle Tortilla which you can serve two ways. 

The way suggested in the book I got this recipe from (A Moveable Feast by Katy Holder) is as a wrap.  I made one of these and took it to work (yes, sadly I worked between Christmas and New Year).  It was tasty but I am not a fan of the taste of cooked avocado and even putting the wrap into the sandwich press was enough to turn the taste from  from delicious fresh to not so good cooked.  If you like cooked avocado, or you want this all to yourself, this could be just the thing for you!

Chicken, Avocado and Chipotle TortillaIf however, like me you do not like the taste of cooked avocado, or you want to share the deliciousness, turn it into a “pizza”

Heat the tortilla until crispy, sprinkle the chicken, avocado and the chipotle salsa over the top, cut into slices and serve immediately to your guests as an appetizer. (Or eat it all by yourself!  I won’t judge you.

Chicken, Avocado and Chipotle Tortilla2

Sorry about the two different recipe formats, I could not find a plug in that allowed me to post multiple recipes!

Chicken, Avocado & Chipotle Tortillas
Yields 1
Two delicious ways with chicken tortillas
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Ingredients
  1. 1 tortilla
  2. 1/4 cup chopped leftover chicken
  3. 1/4 avocado, roughly chopped
  4. 1 small tomato, chopped
  5. 1/4 red onion, finely chopped
  6. 1/4-1/2 chipotle chilli in adobo sauce (or to taste)
  7. 1 sprig of coriander (cilantro), finely chopped
  8. 1 tsp lime juice
  9. Salt and Pepper
  10. Toothpick
Instructions
  1. At least one hour before serving, make your salsa.
  2. Discard the seeds from the tomato, mix with the onion, chilli, coriander and lime juice. Season to taste.
  3. Set aside to allow the flavours to blend.
  4. Just before serving, drain the salsa, neither of these recipes needs soggy tortilla!
For The Pizza
  1. Heat the tortilla under the grill until it gets crispy.
  2. Once the tortilla is crispy, take it out of the oven and top with the chicken, avocado and salsa.
  3. Cut into slices and serve immediately.
  4. Perfect with an ice cold beer!
For the Wrap
  1. Warm the tortilla according to packet instructions, to soften.
  2. Spread a line of chicken, a line of avocado and a line of salsa in the middle of the tortilla, leaving a 2 cm gap on all sides.
  3. Fold in the bottom, rotate 90* and fold over one side then the other.
  4. Tuck the remaining side of tortilla, securing with a toothpick.
  5. Place into your sandwich press or under your grill and heat until the outside of the tortilla is golden and crispy.
  6. Don't forget to remove the toothpick before eating!
Adapted from Katy Holder - A Moveable Feast
Adapted from Katy Holder - A Moveable Feast
Retro Food For Modern Times http://www.retrofoodformoderntimes.com/
 I wish you all the very best for 2016 and may it be the year all your dreams come true!  Thank you for reading and commenting and being a part of my teeny corner of the internet.  It’s a New Year – Let’s make it wonderful!

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Old Bay Barbecued Corn and Prawn Tostadas

Next up in the Old Bay October Parade are these Barbecued Corn and Prawn Tostadas.

And although it is a little early in the early in the year, I think it only appropriate to quote that modern-day philosopher Billy Joe Armstrong, speaking of the Macy’s Day Parade:

  “Give me something that I need, satisfaction guaranteed.”

Ok Billy Joe, here they are. Barbecued Corn and Prawn Tostadas.  Satisfaction guaranteed indeed.  Although I have it in my head that he’s a vegan so maybe not.  How I know anything about Billy Joe Armstrong’s eating habits is beyond me.

BBQ'ed Corn and Prawn Tostadas2Yeah baby, corn and prawn = food porn! 

OMG, this was good.  This is the type of food that makes me glad my partner works nights.  Because it means I get to eat it all!

I had a left over ear of corn and a couple of prawns (shrimp) from the Shrimp Fest so in a Maryland meets Mexico (via Melbourne) move, I used them to make these super tasty tostadas. 

Start by barbecuing your corn.  First melt some butter and add some old Bay and brush this mix over your corn before popping on the barbecue.  Or, if it’s cold and dark outside, like it was when I made this, put your corn under the grill and let it roast away. 

Roasting corn smells wonderful – like summer and fairgrounds!  I like to get mine with some kernels quite charred:

BBQ'ed Corn and Prawn Tostadas3After you have grilled your corn, make it into a salsa with red onions, chilli, lime juice, avocado, tomatoes and coriander.

How pretty is the salsa?  So summery!

BBQ'ed Corn and Prawn Tostadas4Now, you could just load this salsa onto your tostada and have a perfectly delicious meal (and keep Billy Joe happy). 

But as you know, we here at casa de la retro food believe that you can gild a lily.  There’s not even a hint of minimalism in this neck o’ the woods. 

So, we are going to sauté some shrimp with garlic butter and Old Bay and pile them on top of our tostadas to make food worthy of the Aztec Gods. I would quite happily throw a few people I know into a volcano if it meant an endless supply of these tostadas…are you listening Quetzalcoatl?  Because I have a list. 

Corn and Prawn TostadasThe perfect summer accompaniment to these would be an ice-cold (preferably Mexican) Beer. Or a mojito. Whatever you do, do not make the mistake I made last summer and combine the two into a Beer Mojito.  DO. NOT. Erggghhhh.  I can still taste it.  But, DO make the Barbecued Corn and Prawn tostadas  today!  Or as soon as you possibly can.  And then invite me over.  For QA purposes only…gotta make sure you’re doing this right you know!

Barbecued Corn and Prawn Tostadas
Serves 2
Maryland meets Mexico in these delicious appetizers. Easy to make and a fabulous addition to your next cocktail party or snack time!
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Ingredients
  1. 2 tablespoons butter, melted
  2. 2 teaspoons Old Bay Seasoning
  3. 1 ear sweet corn
  4. 1 red chilli, finely chopped, seeds removed
  5. 1/2 avocado cut into small cubes
  6. 1 medium tomato, diced
  7. 1/4 cup chopped red onion
  8. 2 tablespoons chopped fresh coriander
  9. juice of 1/2 lime
  10. 1 teaspoon olive oil
  11. 1 baguette cut into into 1cm slices,
  12. 4-6 jumbo shrimp / banana prawns, deveined, tails left on
  13. Additional Old Bay
Instructions
  1. Heat a barbecue or grill to medium heat.
  2. Melt butter and Old Bay in a small saucepan.
  3. Brush the corn with the Old Bay Butter
  4. Char grill until the corn is cooked through and lightly charred (6-8 minutes).
  5. Set aside.
  6. When cool enough to handle, remove kernels by slicing down the corn with a sharp knife.
  7. Combine the corn, chilli, avocado, tomato, onion, coriander, lime and olive oil.
  8. Season to taste and place in the fridge until needed.
  9. Place the bread under the grill and toast until golden.
  10. Add the garlic to the leftover butter and Old Bay mixture.
  11. Pour this mixture into a skillet and heat until the garlic is golden.
  12. Add the prawns and saute until cooked through.
  13. When ready to serve, pile the corn mixture onto the tostada.
  14. Top with a prawn.
  15. Sprinkle with additional Old Bay.
  16. Serve immediately.
Notes
  1. Corn Chips or Tortillas cold be substituted for the bruschetta.
  2. For extra smoky flavour, substitute the red chilli for a finely chopped Chipotle in adobo sauce.
Adapted from Old Bay Corn Pico De Gallo //Smoky Corn and Avocado Mexican Bites
Retro Food For Modern Times http://www.retrofoodformoderntimes.com/
Barbecued Corn and Prawn Tostadas8Have a great week! 

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Bringing It. Lunch That Is.

One of my new year’s resolutions this year was to take my lunch to work a lot more. I had lots of reasons for this –  it’s a LOT cheaper, it meant I could control ingredients and portion sizes, it can often be healthier and there’s much less wastage both in food and packaging.  There’s no real downside. 

Except.  The monotony. By about mid February I felt like I was cornering the market in tins of tuna – tuna green salad, tuna pasta salad, tuna potato salad, tuna and couscous had become my go to and frankly it was becoming a bit of a bore.  I was maxxed out on the tuna and feeling my motivation starting to wane. 

Enter “Bring Your Lunch” by Califia Suntree.

Bring Your Lunch
Bring Your Lunch

And can I just say…awesome name, Califia Suntree. 

And awesome book. 

In the interests of full disclosure and all the blah blah, I did not pay for this book, I got it free off net galley but I would hope that you all know me well enough  by now to know that if I truly dislike something, I’ll let you know. 

The Book

The first few chapters of the book are the facts, man.  Why you should take your lunch, what you need, planning tips etc.  This section is very thorough. Or so I assume from the number of pages devoted to it.

To be honest, I didn’t actually read all of them because I wanted to get my hands on the recipes.  Plus, I felt I was already motivated to bring my own lunch didn’t need to be pitched on the reasons why.  However, it is very nicely illustrated and if you need to be convinced, or feel your motivation flagging at any time, take the time to read these pages. 

Bring your Lunch Collage

My favourite picture in this section was the lunch horoscope.  It really helped to refine what recipes would best fit your lifestyle,not just your tastebuds!  Which is so important,  I’m not the person who is going to be spending any time in the morning making lunch so it’s important for me to know which are the good “night owl” recipes.

This could have been carried even further by attaching the relevant symbols to recipe.  That would have been amazing!!!

Bring Your Lunch2The Food

 The food sections of the book are broken down into various sections, starting with

Last Minute Lunches – Salads

The Kale Agrodolce is not only just a good idea for lunches but it has pretty much become my go to salad at the moment.  I’m loving the sweet – sour of the agrodolce.  Having said that, that name made me giggle though.  Anyone of a certain age in Australia would like me probably associate an Agrodolce as the mutant lovechild between a foul mouthed puppet host of a children’s cartoon show from the ’80’s….

 And Joe Dolce, a singer who made his fortune by playing to the casual racism of the average Australian;

 Thankfully, it’s actually a lovely sweet-sour blend of sultanas soaked in balsamic vinegar.  Add some toasted pine nuts, some kale et voila.  Here it is with some of the Potato and Mushroom Tarts from Valli Little’s Slow. This was one of the best lunches I have had in ages!!!

Kale Agrodolce
Kale Agrodolce

 Another super salad from this section was the Fennel and Spinach Salad with Figs and Blue Cheese.  I don’t have a photo of this .  Largely because every time I made it I was far too busy shoving all that tasty goodness into my mouth to take photos.  Just believe me when I say it is one of the most delicious things I have ever eaten. But don’t take my word for it.  I feel bad I didn’t have a photo for you, so here is the recipe:

Fennel and Spinach Salad with Figs and Blue Cheese

Make this today, you will not be disappointed!

Last Minute Lunches – Sandwiches

I made the Prawn and Tarragon Egg Salad. 

Who knew egg and prawns would go together do well? And tarragon pretty much makes everything taste good.  I had this both as a traditional sandwich and wrapped in a lettuce leaf and it was delicious both ways. 

 Egg Salad With Prawn and Tarragon3Leftover Leitmotifs

Waste not, want not.  Make all your food count by creatively using leftovers to make delicious bring your own lunch meals.  I made:

Nasi Goreng

Great way to use random veg  – I had cabbage, mushrooms, onion, carrot, corn, spring onions, snow peas, broccoli….I think that was all and some chicken breast.  I also threw in some prawns. So tasty!!!

Nasi Goreng
Nasi Goreng

 And who doesn’t love Chicken Noodle Soup?  The Parmesan Cheese and Lemon in this Lemony Chicken Noodle Soup makes it particularly tasty.

 

Lemony Chicken Noodle Soup
Lemony Chicken Noodle Soup

Other delicious sounding recipes in this section include:

  • Chinese Chicken Salad
  • Pork Tacos with Pinepapple Salsa
  • Beef Stroganoff
  • Ceviche with Mango and Basil

The Freezer Is Your Friend

Mini Lasagnas are my friend.  Bake these vegetarian delights in muffin trays and pop in the freezer for future use. 

Hardy Green Mini Lasagnas
Hardy Green Mini Lasagnas

And how gorgeous do these look, particularly when topped with a lovely cherry tomato compote?

 Hardy Green Mini Lasagnas With Cherry Tomato Compote

Hardy Green Mini Lasagnas With Cherry Tomato Compote

 Ditch The Vending Machine

Chickpea Nuts

Delicious to snack on. So simple to make.

BYOL - Chickpea NutsYou can indulge your sweet tooth with

  • Chilli & Cherry Brownie Bites
  • Gingery Pecan Cranberry Granola Bars

Califia even provides advice on how to Tart Up Your Tuna, so there is absolutely never any reason to get stuck in a rut even with this staple lunch ingredient.

Tart Up Your Tuna - Califia Suntree
Tart Up Your Tuna – Califia Suntree

 I really liked this book and can see it becoming a go to for lunch (and more). 

My only criticism, is that whilst I love the drawings as featured above, I would have liked some photos of the food, sometimes it is just nice to see if you have “got it right”.  But that is probably more about my insecurities than any fault of the book.

At the time of writing Bring Your Lunch is selling at around $4 which is absolute bargain.  I would pay that just for the salad recipes let alone all the rest.  Why don’t you buy it and start bringing it too?

And tell me, what’s your go to work lunch?

 

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Retro Easter Part 2: Easter Lily Sandwiches

Let’s start with a caveat.

I am perfectly aware that these sandwiches do not resemble Easter Lilies and would, based on their look, be far more appropriately called Calla Lily Sandwiches.  But it’s Easter ok?

And take a look at them.  How pretty are they?  Perfect for an afternoon tea with the girls….

Easter Lily Sandwiches2
Easter Lily sandwiches

And they taste pretty damn good too!!!

There are a few recipes for these lily sandwiches floating about the interwebs. However, most of them use green onions for the stem.  I actually made it that way the first time but was disappointed in the taste.

Chomping on that big stalk made the sandwich way too oniony – I’m pretty sure no one else wants to bite into a huge chunk of onion like that either.  Or suffer the onion breath afterwards. But to use them as decoration only and take them out when it came to eating the sandwich seemed like a waste.  My first thought was to replace the onions with beans but when I went to buy the beans, I was waylaid by some gorgeous baby asparagus spears.

Easter Lily Sandwiches Ingredients
Easter Lily Sandwiches Ingredients

And my version of the Lily Sandwich was born.

If you can only get thicker asparagus you could cut the spears in half down their length.  If asparagus is not available, use beans or celery matchsticks – all of which I think would be preferable to the onion!

Oh and a tip for the frugal.  When you cut the circles out of the bread, don’t throw the rest of the bread out.  Save them to use for what my family call Ox-Eye eggs but is, I believe more commonly called,  Egg in A Hole the next morning!  Any asparagus left over can also be dipped into a runny yolk for a breakfast made in heaven!!!

Leftovers

Oh and if you don’t happen to have a rolling-pin handy, a bottle of your favourite sauv blanc works equally as well.

Impromptu Rolling PinAnd would also be the perfect accompaniment to these sandwiches at your Easter afternoon tea!

Easter Lily Sandwiches3
Easter Lily Sandwiches3.

Easter Lily Sandwiches
Pretty asparagus sandwiches, perfect for a Spring afternoon tea!
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
5 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
5 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 bunch of asparagus
  2. Slices of white bread, as many as you have asparagus spears
  3. 1 tub of cream cheese or a herb and garlic flavoured cream cheese like a Boursin
  4. 2 tbsp fresh chopped chives (omit if using a flavoured cheese)
  5. 1 clove of garlic, crushed (omit if using a flavoured cheese)
  6. 1/2 cup pistachios finely chopped
  7. 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
  8. Carrots cut into matchsticks, the same number of matchsticks as asparagus spears
  9. Salt & Pepper to Taste
  10. Instructions
Instructions
  1. Tail the asparagus and steam until just tender.
  2. Mix the cream cheese, paprika, nuts, salt and pepper and herbs in a bowl until smooth and creamy.
  3. Using a cookie cutter, cutter cut out rounds from bread.
  4. Then with a rolling pin, roll each round so it’s about 1/8 inch thick.
  5. Spread about a teaspoon of the cream cheese mixture over each bread circle.
  6. Place the carrot stick so it peeps out of the top, and the asparagus spear so it pokes out of the bottom. Fold the bread over to seal.
  7. Voila! You have a lily sandwich.
Retro Food For Modern Times http://www.retrofoodformoderntimes.com/
One more Easter Treat to go…stay tuned!

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Retro Food For Modern Times – You’re Gonna Have To Face It, You’re Addicted To…

I go through phases where I become utterly obsessed with a dish or an ingredient and have to buy it, cook it, eat it, ad nauseam.  Earlier this year it was tahini – I ate more hummus than some of the smaller Middle Eastern countries during that particular phase!  Prior to that, it was the Mary’s Gone Crackers Black Pepper Crackers – who knew that something so good for you could also taste so delish! Before that it was chipotle chillies….I quite obviously have an addictive personality.

You can relax mum. This is not when I confess to the crack/smack/cocaine/gambling addiction.  Sleep safe.  My newest and only…(well, as long as you don’t count things that are French and bubbly) addiction is my version of Mary Meredith’s Television Egg.

Breakfast Televison Eggs
Breakfast Television Eggs

Why Television Eggs?  Who knows.  Mary doesn’t explain her reasoning.  In my version she is bereft of ideas and just shouting out random bits of household furniture and food to see what sticks.  “Dishwasher Cheese.  Coffee-table bacon.  Couch potato…that one’s good. Let’s go with that.  What the fuck do you mean it’s been done?  Ok….Ermmm…..Television Eggs.”

(Oh, and in my mind Mary Meredith has a very strong Scottish Brogue.  I’m not going to go all Irvine Welsh on you…just saying that should be the accent in which she is read).

Whatever you call it.   It’s a baked egg with asparagus and tomato.  I love a baked egg.  What I don’t enjoy is scrubbing baking dishes to rid them of the residue of a baked egg, so I have added my twist.  Instead of serving it in a ramekin with toast soldiers as per MM’s suggestion, I’ve been baking them in a hollowed out bread roll.

I have now made three four versions of this and plan to make many more over the next few days.  But lets start with the original:

Television Eggs Recipe

I added some tarragon and a teeny drop of cream into mine, just because I had them in the fridge and neither was going to last much longer.  Waste not want not right? But it points to one of the strengths of this recipe, you can pretty much do what you like with it!

Television Eggs - Ingredients
Television Eggs – Ingredients
Televison Eggs for Lunch 2
Television Eggs for Lunch 2

You can, of course, cook your eggs longer for a harder yolk or less for a runnier one.

Whilst the original version was great, I then got the bug and started making television eggs out of everything we had on hand.

My variations thus far have been Rocket, Feta, Tomato and Smoked Paprika:

Televison Eggs With Rocket, Feta and Tomato
Television Eggs With Rocket, Feta and Tomato
Television Eggs With Rocket, Feta and Tomato
Television Eggs With Rocket, Feta and Tomato

When I made the rocket and feta version, I also made a breakfast egg to have after my workout at the gym the next morning.  This consisted of Ham, Swiss and Tomato:

Breakfast Televison Eggs
Breakfast Television Eggs

A handy hint I discovered was that, if you cook your television eggs on a rack, the bottom of the bread doesn’t burn.

A rack stops the bread from burning
A rack stops the bread from burning

More Variations to Try

  • Smoked salmon, dill and cream cheese, (maybe with a splash of hollandaise).
  • Mushrooms, chives and goats cheese
  • Spinach and feta, spring onions

Televison Eggs for Lunch 1

  • Leek and Gorgonzola (and yes, for those of you who know me, this is inspired by the best pizza ever!)
  • Baked Beans, cheddar cheese – another breakfast version
  • Chorizo, Potato and tomato – sauté this mixture first.
  • Creamed spinach
  • Sautéed potato cubes, green chilli, red onion and goats cheese
  • Hummus, Chipotle chillies and Mary’s Gone Crackers Black Pepper Cracker Crumbs Sprinkled on top
The Double Yolker
The Double Yolker

Ok, so that last one may be just for me but you get the drift. Cheap, cheerful, easy, healthy-ish and delicious! What more could you ask for?

r ides of march premiere 280911

Yes, ok, I want that too.

And I believe me, if I was in a position to give it to you, my dear and loyal readers….you’d have to step over my cold dead body to get it.  That would be mine.  All mine.

I’m sharing the eggs though…and they are pretty damn good.

I’m going to be spending my week working through versions of Television Eggs for my lunches.  Oh, and look at the totally awesome retro lunch box  I’m going to buy to put them in:

However you have your lunches, have a great week…and try these eggs!

Signature 1

PS – Late breaking news – newest post gym version – ham, cheese, avocado, chilli sauce.  Put on very low heat before leaving home. By the time you get back (an hour?) this will be cooked to perfection!

Ham, Egg, Avocado, Cheese and Chilli Television Egg
Ham, Egg, Avocado, Cheese and Chilli Television Egg
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