Karen Wright writes: Happy New Year everyone, it’s the roaring 20s once again!
I like the feeling in the house when all the festivities are behind us and the decorations are back in the loft, the house being less cluttered seems to help me focus on the future and get into planning mode.
For me the next few weeks are full to the brim with new and exciting challenges, so I need to call upon all the lessons that I learnt during the lead up to me entering The Great British Bake-Off tent in 2018. Planning and preparation are key to staying in control and this helps me enjoy the process of getting ready for my events.
The events for me in January are all next week! I am booked to appear at The Caravan and Motorhome Club Show at Eventcity in Manchester on Thursday which is the opening day, I will be there the day before for all the press and media bit and to get set up. On Saturday I am in London to host my very first Bake with a Legend event, me being the “legend” in question, that’s so funny!
At the show in Manchester I will be doing a live food demonstration of a campsite friendly meal. As it is Veganuary this month it seemed appropriate to make a vegan meal. I will feature it next week in my column. It is a chickpea and spinach curry with griddled garlic naan. It is such a healthy and ridiculously cheap and easy meal to made almost entirely from store cupboard ingredients.
My first Bake with a Legend recipe is one I am very familiar with, a chocolate praline tart, I need to have a final practise this weekend but yesterday I was trying my hand at choux pastry as I have a booking in March, and we needed to get some photos on their website. I have decided to make mini Paris-brests and white chocolate and raspberry eclairs. Here we are still with Christmas cake and chocolates to eat up and now a plate full of patisserie too! Diet, what diet?
On a serious note though, I am keen to get back to eating a healthy and balanced diet. With so much rich food in the house we may have to wait another couple of weeks as I refuse to throw out good food. I am having fun using up the leftovers. I had a big pack of cooking bacon, so far it has featured in a frittata, beef bourguignon, chicken chasseur traybake, carbonara-style lasagne and finally this evening it will make its final appearance in homemade pizza.
The chicken traybake we had for dinner last night is so easy to make and it went something like this.:-
Chicken thighs (boneless and skinless)
Dried mixed herbs
Potato chunks not peeled
Salt and pepper
Double cream with a spoon of Dijon mustard
Method: Place all the ingredients except the wine and cream on a large baking tray and place in a hot oven for about 20 minutes, check if the potatoes are starting to soften and give everything a stir about. Add the wine, a good glassful or two and return to the oven for another 20 minutes or so. The potatoes will drink up the liquid and become fondant, add the cream and mustard, mixing it all about, check the seasoning and bubble till everything is hot.
I added some leftover carrots and sprouts for the last 10 minutes. It was delicious!
Looking ahead to next month, it is rhubarb time once again and I am very fortunate to be cooking with the glorious pink stuff on Sunday, February 23. I am starting to bubble up ideas already about what to cook in the marquee. Rhubarb is such an inspirational ingredient and we are so lucky to live in The Rhubarb Triangle. I said that to Noel Fielding when I was in GBBO, he looked puzzled and said to me “You live in a triangle?”.
So, readers, I must dash, have a fabulous week, same time same place next week!
Fore more tips and recipes go to http://www.karenwrightbakes.co.uk