Tag Archives: Lunch

Three Quick Lunches with Cherry Tree Farm

My Three Quick Lunches with Cherry Tree Farm

When it comes to food, we would all love to eat fresh, healthy, home cooked meals, but too many of us struggle to find the time for it. Home cooking from scratch doesn’t have to be time consuming. It also doesn’t have to be at a master chef level to be enjoyable. You can create a nice meal with virtually no skills and in a very short period of time. All you need is a spoonful of willingness, a smidgeon of time and a dash of imagination.

Cherry Tree Farm offered to send me a selection of their products, so I can come up with some quick and easy meal options using theirs 100% British, cooked and ready to eat meats. For this moment there is a choice of 7 lovely poultry products to pick from:

  • American Fried Chicken
  • Roast Chicken
  • Roast Chicken Chunks
  • Tikka Chicken Chunks
  • Hickory Smoked Turkey
  • Roast Turkey
  • Turkey Ham

There are a lot of dishes ready cooked meats can be used for. Today, I would love to share with you my best three lunch options. They are all quick and extremely easy to prepare; and of course taste delicious.

The Humble Sandwich - Cherry Tree Farm

The Humble Sandwich

Difficulty level: extremely easy

Skills required: none

Ready in: 2 minutes

Ingredients:

The Humble Sandwich Cherry Tree Farm

Some might say that this sandwich is a boring option… me… I love a good sandwich. Just like with any dish, it is all about the ingredients. If you have fresh, good quality ingredients, you don’t really have to do a lot more to it… let the food speak for itself.

A simple meat sandwich made with a good quality roll or bread, spread with some real butter and of course a tasty slice of meat can be extremely satisfying. And the best part is… you do not need to have any cooking skills to make it. Even if you are not so handy with a sharp knife you can prepare it… just tear your roll apart… see, no knife skills needed.

Finger Food Platter - Cherry Tree Farm

Finger Food Platter

Difficulty level: easy

Skills required: chopping with a sharp knife

Ready in: 5 minutes

Ingredients:

Finger Food Platter Cherry Tree Farm

As long as you can use the knife, you can make it. Preparation time will depend on your cutting / chopping speed but I would judge that five minutes would be more than enough time even for the most careful chopper out there.

Food platters can look lovely and are therefore very inviting. They are especially fun f you have some company joining you for lunch. Use toothpicks to move food over if you like clean hands…or feel free to dig in with your fingers… after all it is a finger food.

Chicken and Rice Salad - Cherry Tree Farm

Chicken and Rice Salad

Difficulty level: easy

Skills required: chopping with a sharp knife, cooking rice

Ready in: 10 minutes

Ingredients:

Chicken and Rice Salad Cherry Tree Farm

Now, we have reached a “level 3” lunch recipe – cutting and cooking skills required. Actually, this isn’t necessary true. If you don’t know how to cook rice or want to save some time, cheat a little and use a packed, almost ready to eat rice, which you just microwave for 2-3 minutes.

Anyways, all you have to do in order to create this lovely light salad is to chop all the other ingredients, mix them well with a good spoonful of mayonnaise and flavour to taste.

I actually cut the cheese with a knife, but you might prefer the grated option. The main difference is in the taste – cheese cut into cubes will give you less but bigger chunks, meaning once you bite into it, you will taste mainly cheese; the grated option on the other hand will give you more cheese all over your salad making in general your salad taste slightly more cheesy 😉

If you have the time and are feeling brave – add some chopped boiled egg into it or a small tin of garden peas.

I like this type of salad mainly because it is rice based; it is perfect for packed lunches and keeping in the fridge for when you can’t be bothered to make anything, it will serve you well as self standing meal.

Three Quick Lunches with Cherry Tree Farm

So, there you have it… my three quick and easy lunches.

Now, it is your turn… what’s your quick and easy favourite lunch idea?

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What’s Cooking – Quick and Easy Chicken Wraps

What’s Cooking – Quick and Easy Chicken Wraps

In general wraps can be as easy or as difficult meal as you want it to be. Normally we would prepare homemade salsa and guacamole to go with it as well as a lot of fried veggies like onions and peppers making it more like a Fajita, but not this time…

…This time we were not in the mood for a long cooking session and all we wanted was some quick and easy meal which would be healthy and tasty and yet be done within minutes. As we had a few chicken breasts in the fridge and some wraps in the pantry the choice was pretty obvious… chicken wraps it is…

Ingredients:

  • 3 chicken breasts or as many as you want / need; we normally use 1 large chicken breast per person
  • Some ready to eat wraps
  • 1 gem lettuce
  • ½ large cucumber
  • Few ripe tomatoes
  • Few tbsp of mayonnaise
  • Seasoning to taste

Method:

Wash, dry and chop your chicken breast into small pieces either being cube like or long thinner strips – the choice is up to you as long as the pieces aren’t too big.

Add spices of your choice, we used a Cock Flavoured Seasoning (no, I did not misspell it) and a bit of Hoisin Sauce and fried on a preheated pan for 10 minutes or so until tender and slightly brown. Remember to toss them over regularly so your chicken cooks evenly.

Whilst frying your meat, you will have time to prepare your other bits and pieces.

Slice the lettuce, cucumber and tomatoes into desired chunks – we like thick tomatoes slices and long thin cucumber sticks 🙂

Once your meat is cooked, all is left to do, is to put your wrap together.

Take one wrap (warm or cold, the choice is yours) and add a thin layer of mayonnaise on top of it (if you aren’t a huge fun of pure mayo you can always make a burger type sauce by mixing 1/3 mayo, 1/3 ketchup and 1/3 mustard) or better still a swirl of sour cream.

Place your lettuce, cucumber, tomatoes and the meat in the middle of the wrap, leaving few centimetres at the bottom free of any filling. The key thing here is to use only a little food as it is all too easy to overstuff your wrap so that folding and eating become major challenges.

Fold the bottom part of the wrap up, and then fold both sides in covering all the earlier placed filling. If your wrap doesn’t want to stay together, use a wooden toothpick to keep it in place (just remember to remove it before you get carried away eating it please).

Eat and enjoy.

It is that simple!

What’s Cooking - Quick and Easy Chicken Wraps

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What’s Cooking – A quick leftovers lunch

The other night Mark had made his signature dish, a Spaghetti Bolognese with mince and liver braised in a red wine with loads of other goodies thrown in. I like it though maybe not as much as Mark does but hey it keeps him happy, and quiet, so I go with the flow.

The next day I was pottering around the virtual world on the net as I do when suddenly the pangs of hunger came knocking, time to get the cook working I mused. “I’m hungry” was thus yelled out and a welcome reply of “give me an hour” echoed up the stairs. Settled in the knowledge that something would turn up in an hour(ish) as my cook does not work to strict deadlines, its ready when it is ready is the usual retort.

Look what turned up!

Believe me when I say they where super tasty and very more-ish

Believe me when I say they where super tasty and very more-ish

So thinking of my readers (yes, it would be you) I enquired to how they were made so that I could share this heavenly lunch idea with you all. Evidently the left over Spaghetti Bolognese was a key element. So let me outline what Mark did.

He took a pack of ready-made puff pastry (I know unusual for him but poor chap has been a bit under the weather of late so I let it pass) and rolled it out into a large square that was then quartered. So now he had 4 squares of puff pastry rolled out measuring around 15cm by 12cm, I guess I should say rectangles but you get the idea. Then with a sharp knife he cut a line down one of the long edges around 1cm in from the edge, starting and stopping around 1cm from the top and bottom edges. He then continued the cut along the bottom edge. So basically he had cut an “L” shape into the pastry. Next he cut an upside down “L” along the two remaining edges. The two “L” cuts must not meet though. Now take the corner of one of the “L” and fold it over to the opposite corner, repeat for the other “L”. You should finish with a pastry case with a raised border and two corners with an overlap which you can make into a nice shape for the eater to use as a handle.

Take a large baking tray and line with baking paper. Place your 4 parcels on the tray spaced out so they have room to grow in the oven.

Next thing on the list is to steam some spinach and to fry some bacon till the colour has changed; don’t over cook the bacon as it is going into the oven. Chop up the bacon into small pieces and whilst you are at it chop up the spinach. Drain any excess water from the spinach as you chop it.

For the filling a layer of the Spaghetti Bolognese sauce was placed in each parcel. Add the bacon to the spinach and mix well and add a layer to your parcels. With a spoon gently form a well in the middle of your parcel and crack an egg so that the yolk sits in the newly formed well. Let the egg white flow over the rest of the filling. Then to complete the masterpiece we need an egg wash to paint the edges of the parcel to aid the formation of a golden brown crust. Sprinkle over some salt and pepper to taste and stand back to admire your creations.

Now pop them in a pre heated oven at 180 degrees for 20-25 minutes or until risen and golden brown.

You can use this time to set up a couple of plates with a handful of salad leaves and your favourite dressing, Caesar Salad dressing is our chosen topping. Oh and don’t forget to pop the kettle on for a nice fresh brew to complete the dish.

As a note Mark says that it was handy that we had some left over Bolognese sauce to use but you could use any tomato based sauce instead. Pizza topping sauce would also work well with some tinned plum tomatoes and some basil. You will need to inspect your cupboards to see what is available.

Enjoy

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What’s Cooking – Christmas Chicken Liver Toasts

Our Christmas Chicken Liver Toasts

Our Christmas Chicken Liver Toasts

With Christmas less than a week away it is time to pull out some of those festive recipes that are considered extra special. This one is a truly Christmassy looking one – with lovely colours and full of goodness, it would make a perfect starter during this festive season.

Ingredients list:

  • 400g chicken livers
  • 1 shallot, finely chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 small chilli, finely chopped
  • 4-5 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp brandy
  • 1 pomegranate, seeded
  • A handful of parsley, chopped
  • A good balsamic to drizzle
  • 6 pieces of good quality bread
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Method:

1. Heat a frying pan over a high heat and when it starts to smoke add a tablespoon of the olive oil. Season the livers well with salt, pepper and a good pinch of the chilli and add half the livers to the oil and stir-fry for a few minutes until the livers are browned all over. Remove to a warm plate, heat the pan again, add another tablespoon of oil and brown the remaining livers and again add them to your warm plate. Pour in the brandy to deglaze and get all the flavour from the pan and transfer the juices onto the livers on their plate.

2. Add another glug of olive oil and add the shallots, garlic and remaining chilli and cook until soft. Put the livers back in the pan, turn off the heat and smash them up into the onions until you have a rough textured liver mix.

3. Add chopped parsley and finally, sprinkle over the pomegranate seeds.

4. Toast the bread, drizzle a little olive oil over the top and layer with the liver mix. To finish dish up, drizzle with some more olive oil and balsamic vinegar.

Your livers should all look festive now with speckles of red and green throughout, and just wait to you try a mouthful!

Mark heard about this treat last Xmas from a work colleague, so no guarantees it’s correct as intended but… we absolutely love it.

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What’s Cooking – Quick dinners – Turkey Flippers

My Turkey Flippers

My Turkey Flippers

To be honest I have no idea how to call this recipe (in case you spotted my made up name above) – it is something like a drop scone, but its Polish name RACUCHY doesn’t have an English equivalent.

Normally racuchy are a sweet cuisine, but someone somewhere sometime ago decided that it doesn’t have to be this way. It was changed and adapted to function as a savoury dish. It is my recipe, for a change, and I have been cooking it for as long as I can remember.  The recipe is quick, easy, really tasty and what’s most important is you can add to it just about any ingredients you desire depending on your mood or the fridge contents.

So what will you need to create your basic Turkey Flipper?

All of this will do just fine,  but remember you can add something special if that is what your heart or stomach desire

All of this will do just fine,
but remember you can add something special if that is what your heart or stomach desire

Ingredients list:

500g of British turkey breast, cubed small – Red Tractor approved
2 eggs
2tbsp of flour
50ml of milk – Red Tractor approved
Good handful of your favourite cheese, grated – Red Tractor approved
Salt
Pepper
Mix herbs
Goose fat or lard, for frying

Optionally depending on what you fancy, you can add mushrooms, onion, papers, chillies…  the possibilities here are endless…

Method:

  1. Prepare your turkey by cutting it into small cubes – not too small as you want to taste it
  2. Mix the eggs, milk and flour all together until you have smooth, double cream like batter
  3. Add salt, pepper and herbs to taste and mix well
  4. Grate a good handful of cheese
  5. Add turkey and grated cheese and mix well
  6. Now you are ready to fry!
  7. Make sure that your frying pan is hot. Do not make your “Flippers” to big as they will be difficult to turn over and there is a possibility that they will fall apart or worse not cook in the middle.
  8. Fry for 3-4 minutes on one side
  9. Turnover and fry again fry for 4-5 minutes
  10. Once both sides are golden brown remove from the heat and serve

They go very well together with freshly prepare Caesar salad, especially if you have some homemade dressing and croutons.

And once again, this time with some pictures 🙂

Prepare your turkey by cutting it into small cubes – not too small as you want to taste it

Prepare your turkey by cutting it into small cubes – not too small as you want to taste it

Mix the eggs, milk and flour all together until you have smooth, double cream like batter

Mix the eggs, milk and flour all together until you have smooth, double cream like batter

Add salt, pepper and herbs to taste and mix well

Add salt, pepper and herbs to taste and mix well

Grate a good handful of cheese

Grate a good handful of cheese

Add turkey and grated cheese and mix well

Add turkey and grated cheese and mix well

Now you are ready to fry!

Now you are ready to fry!

Make sure that your frying pan is hot.  Do not make your “Flippers” to big as they will be difficult to turn over  and there is a possibility that they will fall apart or worse not cook in the middle.

Make sure that your frying pan is hot.
Do not make your “Flippers” to big as they will be difficult to turn over
and there is a possibility that they will fall apart or worse not cook in the middle.

Fry for 3-4 minutes on one side

Fry for 3-4 minutes on one side

Turnover and fry again fry for 4-5 minutes

Turnover and fry again fry for 4-5 minutes

Once both sides are golden brown remove from the heat and serve

Once both sides are golden brown remove from the heat and serve

They go very well together with freshly prepare Caesar salad,  especially if you have some homemade dressing and croutons

They go very well together with freshly prepare Caesar salad,
especially if you have some homemade dressing and croutons

* This recipe is my entry into British Turkey Blogger Recipe Competition in association with British Turkey and Red Tractor.

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