Fajita Seasoning

A really easy thing to make and much more versatile than the packet mixes that you buy in the supermarkets.  Here is my take on a good old Fajita Seasoning.

15ml Cornflour
5ml Chilli powder
2.5ml Salt
5ml Paprika
5ml Caster sugar
1 Knorr chicken stock cube
5ml Garlic powder
1.25ml Ground cumin
2.5ml Mixed herbs
1.25ml Cinnamon

1. Mix all the ingredients together thoroughly.
2. Sprinkle over your meat and marinade your meat in the Fajita Seasoning for a few hours or overnight, covered in the fridge.
3. Cook the meat, either by frying or by oven roasting in a little oil.

You can adjust the Chilli powder up or down, depending on how hot and spicy you like your food.

Potato Topped Chicken and Leek Bake


A delicious meal of chicken and leeks in a white wine and cream sauce topped with thinly sliced potatoes, sprinkled with cheese and baked until golden.  What more can I say?  Except sumptuous!

25g Butter
15ml Rapeseed Oil
2 Leeks, finely sliced
4 Chicken Breasts, cubed into bite sized pieces
15ml Chopped fresh parsley
30ml White Wine
60ml Single Cream
Salt and Pepper to season
4 medium potatoes, thinly sliced (3-4mm)
25g Butter
50g Cheese, grated
1. Preheat the oven to 180℃.
2. Melt the butter and the oil in a large pan.
3. Gently sauté the leeks until softened.
4. Add the diced chicken and cook gently for 5 minutes.
5. Add the chopped parsley, wine and the cream
6. Season to taste.
7. Reduce the heat and simmer gently for 10 minutes.
8. Meanwhile bring a large pan of water to the boil and drop the sliced potatoes in.
9. Boil for 4-5 minutes until starting to soften.
10. Pour the chicken and leek mixture into a large ovenproof dish.
11. Drain the potato slices and layer on top of the chicken and leek to cover completely.
12. Dot with the butter and sprinkle the grated cheese on top.
13. Cook for 20-25 minutes until browned and bubbling on top.
14. Serve with steamed vegetables.
I cooked and paired this dish with a Central Co-Operative Fairtrade 2013 Pinot Grigio which I reviewed on my post {here}

Wine Review – Central Co-Operative – Villa Maria Sauvignon Blanc


My wine review this month for the Central England Co-Operative We Like Wine blog is a New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc from Villa Maria.

The Villa Maria vineyard started in 1961 when George Fistonich, at the age of 21, leased 5 acres of land from his father in Auckland, New Zealand.  His first harvest of grapes the following year, in 1962, saw him produce his first wine under the Villa Maria name. In the 1980s, Villa Maria instigated the first grape grower bonus where grapes were no longer paid for based on quantity but on the quality of the grape. Export began in 1988 and the winery became an accredited member of Sustainable Winegrowing New Zealand (SWNZ) in 1995.  The new Marlborough winery opened in 2000 and the following year, Villa Maria decided to move 100% to screw caps and became a cork-free zone.  In 2009, George Fistonich was awarded the country’s first Knighthood for services to the New Zealand wine industry.  The brand has continued to evolve since that day in 1961, from that single handed business, to a company that operates from three sites in Auckland, Hawkes Bay and Marlborough, employs over 250 personnel and exports wine to over 50 countries worldwide, whilst still remaining a family owned business.

This 2014 Villa Maria Sauvignon Blanc produced from grapes sourced from vineyards across the Marlborough region has a beautiful, very pale straw colour and an incredibly fresh smell.  Close your eyes and inhale the citrus undertones of the acidic fruits.  Raise the glass to your mouth and savour the sharpness of the gooseberries, the citrus notes and the balance of melon and passionfruit. It’s the perfect accompaniment to white meat and fish so we chose to serve it with my Chicken and Leek Stroganoff.  They say that you should never cook with a wine that you wouldn’t drink.  Well, in reply to that, I say buy two bottles of this so there’s plenty left to drink and enjoy before, during and after you’ve cooked and eaten.

I wish 2015 to be happy, healthy and prosperous for you all.  I raise my glass to you all. Cheers!

I was sent a voucher with which to purchase a bottle of white wine. I chose the Villa Maria Sauvignon Blanc currently priced at £11.25 (Price as at 15/12/2014).

Chicken and Leek Stroganoff


I’ve previously reviewed Jamie Oliver’s Ministry of Food book that I bought for my husband.  There are several recipes in there that have become firm family favourites and that my husband often cooks for us; this recipe being one of them as it’s quick, tasty and very easy to prepare. Leeks give a wonderful flavour to a meal – coming from the Allium family which includes the onion and garlic, their flavour is much more subtle and delicate.

This recipe is based on Jamie’s from his book.

2 Large leeks
4 Chicken breasts
2tbs Olive oil
20g Butter
250ml White wine (if it’s not good enough to drink, it’s not good enough to cook with)
100ml Water
15ml Wholegrain mustard
300g Basmati Rice
Bunch fresh, flat leaved parsley
300ml Single cream
1/2 Lemon
Salt & pepper

1. Put a large pan of lightly salted water on to boil.
2. Wash your leeks then cut them lengthways into quarters, from top to bottom, then slice across the stems (whites and greens) into 1cm thicknesses.

3. Cut the chicken breasts into bite sized pieces, approx. 1cm x 2cm .
4. Heat a large frying pan and add the olive oil and butter.  Heat until melted.
5. Add the leeks, wine, water, mustard, salt and pepper.
6. Stir together then bring to the boil and cover loosely with a lid or foil.
7. Put your rice in your boiling water, stir once and return to the boil.  Simmer uncovered for 10-12 minutes (according to packet instructions).
8. Chop the parsley, leaves and stalks, finely.
9. Add the chicken, parsley and the cream to the frying pan and simmer for 10 minutes.

10. Drain the cooked rice.
11. Add the juice of your lemon half to the stroganoff and stir just before serving.
12. Place a pile of rice on your plate and add a generous couple of spoons of the stroganoff.

Serve with a perfectly chilled glass of the white wine that you used to cook this dish with.