Jamie’s Traybaked Chicken with Smoky Peppers, Onions and Tomatoes

Before making this I thought it was missing something, potatoes, couscous, anything. There didn’t seem to be enough food for a dinner. I’m wrong again. It was satisfying, fresh and super tasty.


Maybe I have conditioned myself that the bigger the plate of food the better, or the more satisfying. In my head your dinner should have meat, potato or some kind of carb and some token vegetables. I don’t feel I have finished my dinner until I have had all three. In the same way I don’t feel that I have had lunch unless I have had the holy trinity of lunchtime foods; sandwhich, crisps and chocolate (eaten in that order) I could eat my sandwhich and crisps and then be given a whole bucket of KFC and I will still need to eat the chocolate before my brain says “ok and now we’re done” However there is some light at the end tunnel.

Besides this dinner being basically chicken, peppers, onion and tomatoes I felt satisfied afterwards. The flavour was as much to do with the olive oil and balsamic as it was about the actual ingredients. 

This is so simple, simply cut your tomatoes and peeled onion into wedges, cut the pepper into chunks. Chuck them all into a roasting pan with the chicken thighs. Squash the unpeeled garlic cloves and throw them in as well. (Don’t worry you squeeze the garlic out of its skin afterwards) Throw in the thyme leaves and sprinkle over the paprika. Drizzle two tablespoons of olive oil and one of balsamic. Season with salt and pepper and then without decorating your walls toss it all together so everything is coated. Roast it in your oven at 180C for around an hour. Dress some salad leaves once it has cooked in a little olive oil and balsamic and serve together.

This meal was from our hello fresh box. Www.hellofresh.co.uk

Treat Day tomato, Chorizo and Mozzarella Orzo

Just looking at these ingredients you know what this is going to taste like, and this really does live up to the expectations. Great flavour combinations literally stuck together with soft stringy mozzarella. 

For a while now I’ve been banging on about big pasta, you know the Rigatoni’, tortellini they carry more flavour and feel more substantial well I am going to add to it. I like big pasta and really small pasta. I’m still not a fan of spirals and tubes. Orzo pasta is amazing and in a dish like this when everything is combined with a melted cheesy goodness, it feels just as satisfying. The combination of chorizo, tomato and mozzarella is practically unrivalled in the food world. The only thing that could make this better is basil. I’m not sure why it wasn’t in the recipe. That lovely fragrant taste of Basil would have been a welcome voice in this harmony of flavours. I’m nit picking, this meal is fantastic.

So to make this, half your cherry tomatoes and roast them in the oven with a sprinkling of salt and pepper and a little sugar for about 10 minutes at 200 degrees. Fry your chopped onion and garlic in a pan with a little oil until soft, then addyour thyme leaves, tomato purée and chorizo for another couple of minutes. Once the chorizo starts releasing it’s amazing oil add the orzo. Mix it all up so it gets coated in all those incredible flavours. Pour in the water, add the stock and let it simmer until the orzo has soaked up all the liquid. Add more water if you need to but make sure the pasta is just cooked and still retains a little bite in the middle. Once the orzo is cooked mix in your mozzarella some parmasan and the cherry tomatoes. Add the spinach on top and put a lid on for a few minutes until it has all wilted. Serve it with a sprinkle of parmasan

This tastes so good you wont even care that by the time you’re finished your chin will be covered in soft stringy mozzarella. I sat there for an hour after picking it out of my beard, before you ask yes I did eat it and i’m not even sorry. And neither will you be.

Aggressive pruning

In a previous post I spoke about the different types of tomato plant. Well at that point my plants were starting to take over my greenhouse so I know now that what I already had growing were the indeterminate variety so they needed supporting and also pruning before they became so entangled they literally suffocated themselves. Well I have now pruned the four plants I have in the greenhouse and I may have got a bit carried away. Some of the branches had split under their own weight so I took them off. It meant loosing a few baby tomatoes but I’m hoping what I have done is for the good of the plant. All I’m hoping is that I have left enough foliage for the plant to capture the sun light. Sorry the pictures aren’t great I need to work on my photography. Hopefully you can see my tomato plant butchery ok.