Lemon Herb Rice

This one-pot rice pilaf is bursting with Mediterranean flavours! Baked and then garnished with herbs and lemon just before serving – you’ll want to eat this tasty rice straight from the pot!

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I love that in food there are memories. Tasting a certain food can transport you back and allow you to reminisce about somewhere you travelled to or a time you really enjoyed and have fond memories of.

That’s exactly what this recipe does for me.

I first had a taste of rice very similar to this a number of years ago on holiday on one of my first visits to the glorious Mediterranean island of Cyprus. My family and I would visit this one restaurant a couple of times during our trip, the restaurant specialised in souvlaki which consists of various meats and vegetables grilled on a barbecue. Each diner received a massive plate that included a jacket potato, souvlaki meat of your choice such as beef, chicken or pork, a corn on the cob and a small portion of rice. The rice wasn’t just boring plain boiled rice it was incredibly buttery and rich in sensational flavours.

Greek is one of the many cuisines I really enjoy. A few of my personal Greek food favourites include spanakopita, tzatziki and tiropitakia – we used to buy these from bakeries on the way to the beach and would sit eating these amazing cheesy pastries whilst feeling the gentle sea breeze and sun on us. Just thinking of that I’d desperately like to be transported back there right now!

Wave goodbye to the winter blues by making this rice, it’s sure to bring a touch sunshine to your day!

(Serves 4-6)

Ingredients:

30g/2 tablespoons butter

Drizzle of olive oil

1 medium white onion, diced

2-3 large cloves of garlic, finely minced

1-2 dried or fresh bay leaves, torn – tearing the leaves releases the flavour

450g (2 cups) long grain rice

900ml (4 cups) chicken or vegetable rice

Zest from half a large lemon and a squeeze of the juice

1 tablespoon dried oregano

Few sprigs each of fresh thyme and rosemary, finely chopped

Small handful of fresh parsley (approx. 2-3 tablespoons), finely chopped

Salt and pepper, to taste

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees Fan / 200°C / 400°F / Gas Mark 6. In a large ovenproof saucepan over a medium heat melt one tablespoon of the butter and the oil.
  2. Add the onion, garlic, bay leaves and a touch of salt and pepper and sauté for 5 minutes until soft and translucent – you don’t want this to colour too much.
  3. Now add the rice and stir until all the grains of rice are moistened by the butter. Then add the stock, cover the saucepan with a lid and allow it to come up to the boil.
  4. Once boiling take off the heat and place in the oven to braise for 15-20 minutes or until all the liquid has been absorbed and the rice is completely cooked through.
  5. Add the chopped herbs, lemon zest and a generous squeeze of the juice and season with extra salt and pepper to taste.
  6. Leave the rice with the lid on and allow the flavours to develop for about 5-10 minutes prior to serving. Garnish the rice with extra chopped parsley if desired.
  7. Rice is best served straight away or at room temperature. Don’t reheat rice more than once. If you’re reheating it check temperature has reached at least 75°C before consuming.

Recipe Notes:

  • If your saucepan lid is not ovenproof then you can cook this rice in a dish covered with tin/aluminium foil.
  • If you’re planning to make this rice dairy-free you can substitute the butter for a dairy-free alternative or just use oil.
  • I’ve tested this recipe out a few times and I’ve found adding the zest from half a large lemon adds more than enough lemon flavour without being overpowering. If you want you can add the zest of the whole lemon if you’re a lemon lover!
  • This rice doesn’t have to the braised in the oven you can cook it by boiling it the stove top instead if you’d prefer to do that. I baked it as this is how I was taught how to cook the best rice at culinary school. Just check how long your rice needs to cook, each brand can cook differently. There’s nothing nice about overcooked rice and you won’t want this rice to be the texture of rice pudding!
  • Rice can be eaten on its own but it’s also great served with chicken or fish such as salmon or prawns/shrimp.
  • This recipe will typically serve 4-6 people generously but it can serve up to 8 smaller portions.

Enjoy!

jess

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Oven Roasted Corn

Buttery baked sweet corn roasted in the oven until tender. Easy and delicious – this will make a great BBQ side dish. 

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I love food that transports me back to holidays. I first tried this corn in Cyprus last summer and I’ve been hooked on it ever since. I remember seeing street vendors selling corn and one evening I couldn’t wait any longer and I decided to try some out for myself because it seemed so popular with the locals.

The experience of watching the corn be prepared was not like any way I’d seen it done before. I watched as the man removed the cooked corn from a large pot of water then he started to charr it on a grill. The next step is what left me completely puzzled, the man started to use a hairdryer! Presumably this is used to help speed up the cooking process and make the corn crisp?

So after all that malarkey I finally got a chance to try it and it was love at first bite. I adored the sweet and salty flavour and the caramelised butter. We enjoyed it so much that every time we headed to the supermarket to get groceries I would pick up some sweet corn and recreate the corn I had from the street vendor. Even my sister who used to dislike corn now can’t get enough of it, that’s why I knew this recipe was a winner and one I wanted to share in time for the summer.

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To prepare it take each corn and place in a piece of aluminium foil, season generously with salt and pepper and then top with a tablespoon of butter. Wrap it all up and then bake for 20 minutes in the foil, then uncover and cook for a further 5-10 minutes until it’s starting to colour slightly.

My corn recipe is a much easier and simpler version of the original. It doesn’t require much effort to make and the oven does all of the work, which means you can spend more time outside enjoying the weather rather than being stuck inside a hot kitchen. If you want you can cook it on the barbecue, it will be equally as delicious.

This corn makes a great side dish for the upcoming BBQ season. It goes brilliantly with burgers, chicken and ribs. I love this simple and inexpensive recipe and so will you – you’ll be making it all summer long! 🙂

Ingredients:

4 sweetcorn or 8 cobettes

4 tablespoons butter

Salt and black pepper, to taste

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 200°C / 180 Fan / 400°F / Gas Mark 6.
  2. Line a baking dish with aluminium foil and evenly spread out the corn. Top with butter and season well with salt and black pepper. Cover and seal the corn in the foil, then roast for 20 minutes. Uncover the corn and continue to cook for a further 5-10 minutes until the corn is lightly coloured and the butter is starting to caramelise.
  3. Before serving brush corn with excess melted butter. Serve immediately. The corn is delicious served both hot or cold.

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Enjoy!

jess

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This blog post is in conjunction with a project FourWalls have set-up to celebrate National BBQ Week.

Sticky Asian Chicken

If you’re a fan of Chinese takeaway then you’re going to love this healthier Asian-style chicken. It’s sweet, sticky and packed with aromatic oriental flavour! 

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This sticky Asian chicken is super easy to prepare. You don’t need to marinate the chicken and this recipe doesn’t require any expensive ingredients, most of which are likely to already be in your store cupboard, meaning you can cook this dish on a whim and without having the break the bank.

Start by preparing the sticky sauce. All you’ll need to do is whisk all the sauce ingredients (chopped garlic and ginger, soy sauce, honey and tomato ketchup) until combined. My mum and I experimented with this recipe a fair bit before we achieved perfect ratio of sauce. This delicious chicken dish has been on our dinner menu rotation weekly, so I knew it was a definite blog-worthy meal to share.

Once you’ve got your sauce all ready to go, fry the chicken in a hot pan until it’s nicely golden and cooked all the way through. Add the sauce and reduce it until it’s thickened and coats all the pieces of chicken. So simple, see I told you it was easy!

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The recipe will take you less than 15 minutes to make from start to finish and I know if you’re anything like me this is the kind of food you want when you come home to from a long day at work when you don’t have the time or the energy to cook.

We love serving the chicken on fluffy rice with an assortment of stir-fried vegetables. Mum stir-fried some sliced red bell pepper, julienned carrot and mangetout. You can serve the chicken just with rice if your prefer but we love the addition of the veggies. Also, this chicken is great served with noodles if you want to try something different.

Why eat takeaway when you can cook an easy and super flavourful meal like this in a fraction of the time it would take you to order a takeaway? You’ll save money and you will be eating healthier!

(Serves 4)

Ingredients:

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

450-500g (1lb) skinless boneless chicken breast, cubed

Sauce – 

2 large cloves of garlic, minced

1 tablespoon chopped fresh ginger

3 tablespoons light soy sauce

2 tablespoons honey

2 tablespoons tomato ketchup

Method:

  1. In a small mixing bowl mix together the garlic, ginger, soy sauce, honey and tomato ketchup until thoroughly combined.
  2. Heat the oil in a large non-stick frying pan, saucepan or wok. Fry the chicken on a medium to high heat until it’s cooked all the way through and is just beginning to turn a golden colour.
  3. Once the chicken is cooked add the sauce you prepared earlier to the pan. Turn the heat up to high and reduce the sauce until it’s starting to caramelise and coats the chicken. This will take about 4-5 minutes. Serve the chicken immediately with fluffy rice or noodles and stir-fried vegetables of your choice. The chicken tastes great the next day and makes really good leftovers!

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Enjoy!

jess

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Paprika Roasted Potatoes

Crispy oven roasted potatoes seasoned with sweet smoked paprika and garlic. Serve as an appetiser or for lunch with your favourite dips. These potatoes are the perfect side dish to about pretty much anything!

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I’ve never been a fan of fried food and I have always preferred baking to frying. Don’t get me wrong I love fries from fast food restaurants, but they’re not the healthiest because they’re loaded with calories and cooked in tonnes of oil which isn’t the best for you. I prefer baking because you can sit back and relax whilst the oven does all the work. 😉

My family usually enjoy these paprika roasted potatoes most weekends. They make a brilliant light lunch and they’re also a great sharing food.

As soon as the potatoes leave the oven they’re tossed onto a platter or bowl and served with dips like sour cream, classics like ketchup and mayonnaise or sometimes we like to serve them with sweet chilli or Sriracha for extra spicy flavour. At the moment we’re big fans of the sauces from Encona. Our favourites are the Mexican smokey jalapeño and Jamaican jerk BBQ.

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 These crisp and golden potatoes are super easy and quick to prepare – they’ll be on your dinner table in less than half an hour! 

To make this potato dish all you will need is 5 ingredients, most of which I’m sure will already be in your kitchen cupboard. They take just 25 minutes to cook and after baking they’re perfectly crispy on the outside and soft and fluffy on the inside and not to mention super flavourful!

Ingredients:

900g (2lbs) new potatoes, halved

1 teaspoon smoked paprika

1/2 teaspoon garlic granules/powder (optional)

2 tablespoons olive oil

Generous pinch of sea salt

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 220 degrees C / 200 Fan / 425°F / Gas Mark 7.
  2. Place the potatoes in a large mixing bowl, mix together with the paprika, garlic powder, oil and salt until evenly coated.
  3. Spread the potatoes out onto 1-2 large baking trays. Bake for 25 minutes until the potatoes are crisp and golden and cooked all the way through. Serve immediately with your favourite dips or as an accompaniment to fish or meat.

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If you’re looking for something similar try my homemade Patatas Bravas next!

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Enjoy!

jess

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Oreo Ice Cream Pie

 Oreo Ice Cream Pie makes a decadent and refreshing treat! It’s super easy and a brilliant make-it-ahead dessert + you don’t even need an ice cream machine to make it! 

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TGIF! It’s finally Friday! The weekend is just around the corner and I’m heading off on summer holidays in just a few days! I’m super excited to share with you all my latest creation! The Oreo Ice Cream Pie.

I’ve had lots of readers tell me how much they’ve enjoyed the ice cream recipes I’ve been sharing and particularly my no-churn Oreo ice cream. So as you guys liked that recipe so much, I thought I would take that ice cream recipe and transform it to a new level of deliciousness!

Buttery Oreo cookie crust, topped with no-churn Oreo ice cream and then frozen. What could bet better then an ice cream pie loaded with Oreos? I’m sitting here writing this blog post whilst devouring a slice of this frozen delight. Trust this, I’m in total Oreo heaven. I polished off a good two slices as soon as it left the freezer – but who can blame me when you make something that tastes this good!

Me and my sister Becky made this pie ready for a family members birthday earlier in the week. I wanted to make something different to the usual cake. Birthday cake is ok, but for me it gets a tad bit boring and predictable and I wanted the bake to have the wow factor. So I remembered this seriously good no-churn Oreo cookies ‘n cream ice cream I made a few months ago – it’s was creamy, decadent and exploding with cookies ‘n cream in each bite! A definite favourite and I knew it was the perfect base for something even more special!

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 It really is so simple to make, start by mixing together crushed Oreos with melted butter and press into a cheesecake tin. For the filling I just followed my own recipe for Oreo ice cream using the magic no-churn method. 4 ingredients, a little bit of whisking and folding and you’re there! Spread over the base and freeze. The next day, decorate with even more Oreo goodness, whipped cream and then slice up and enjoy!

If you read the blog regularly, then you’ll will have seen how much I LOVE Oreos?! One of my most popular recipes is this divine No-Bake Oreo Cookies ‘n Cream Chocolate Tart. If you’re an Oreo lover then you’ve gotta make that recipe soon too!

This ice cream pie is not only the perfect dessert for a birthday party but it is amazing to make and serve up when it’s too warm to turn on the oven – as I experienced this past week. We’re currently going through a heatwave here in England and it’s been way too hot for my liking! Wednesday was the hottest day in July ever on record, so this pie was great to cool down with. Also, a note to myself, do not photograph frozen bakes in humid 35 degree heat. It’s not a good idea, but the bonus is you get the devour yet another slice of ice cream pie!

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Ingredients – 

Oreo Crust – 

18-20 Oreos or other chocolate cookies

75g (5tbsp) butter, melted

Oreo Ice Cream – 

500ml (2 cups) double cream (heavy cream), chilled

1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

1 x 397g (14oz) can sweetened condensed milk

18-20 Oreos, crushed

Decoration –

  • Oreos – I used double stuf
  • Whipped cream
  • Chocolate fudge sauce

Method –

1. To make the crust: Crush the Oreo cookies in a food processor. Add the melted butter and mix through to combine. Scatter the cookie mixture into the tin and press down until firm. Place in the refrigerator whilst you make the filling.

2. To make the ice cream: Whisk the cream and vanilla until soft peaks form. Fold through the condensed milk, followed by the crushed Oreos and mix to combine. Pour the mixture into the tin. Cover the top and leave to freeze for 6-8 hours or overnight. *Overnight is recommended for best results.

3. To decorate: Once the ice cream pie is set, allow it sit outside the freezer for about 10 minutes to soften slightly. Now carefully remove from the tin – if you’re having trouble removing it from the tin it’s helpful to dip a knife into hot water, wipe and then run around the sides to release more easily. Finish by decorating with swirls of whipped cream and Oreos.

What Jessica Baked Next original recipe.

no-churn oreo ice cream pie

Now for a summer break for 2 weeks! I have one more recipe scheduled for sometime next week and then I’ll be back with more treats very soon! Have a great weekend everyone! 😀

jess

How to Make Pesto Genovese

A great basil pesto recipe! Learn how to make to this Italian classic in a few simple steps and with just a handful of ingredients.

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Happy Monday guys! Today I’m sharing a really simple recipe that I think you’re all going to love! It’ll take you literally minutes to make and tastes out of this world good! This homemade pesto is the best pesto I have made to date and it couldn’t be any easier or simpler to make!

The “secret” ingredient that makes my pesto taste so good is the roasted garlic. Roasted garlic is such an underrated ingredient, it transforms this pesto and adds a light and sweet flavour. Before I perfected my own pesto recipe, I’d always made pesto with raw garlic. It’s ok, but I find it leaves a bitter taste in your mouth afterwards, whereas the roasted garlic is sweeter and gives a more rounded flavour without leaving a bitter aftertaste. I found these instructions for roasting garlic on thekitchn.com here. It filled my kitchen with most gorgeous garlic aroma and I would highly recommend you give it a try!

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With just a handful of ingredients this basil pesto is not only satisfying on the taste buds but because it’s so easy and quick to prepare it is definitely worth going the extra mile to make it yourself! You can make the pesto ahead of time so it’s waiting for you to use in the refrigerator ready for a tasty dinner!

Ingredients:

2 handfuls/cups fresh basil leaves, packed – you can sub the basil for spinach leaves, if preferred

3 cloves roasted garlic

45g (1/3 cup) pine nuts, toasted

55g (2 ounces) Parmesan, freshly grated

5-6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

Salt and cracked black pepper, to taste

Good squeeze fresh lemon juice (optional)

Method:

1. In a food processor pulse together the basil, garlic, pine nuts and Parmesan until they are minced.

2. With the processor on slow speed add the oil (about a tablespoon at a time) in a slow stream. Now season to taste with salt and black pepper. Process for another minute until all the ingredients are combined. Finish with a squeeze of fresh lemon juice.

3. Place the pesto in a jar or bowl and drizzle over a little extra oil to cover the top – this keeps it fresh. Store in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. You can also fill an ice cube tray with the pesto and freeze blocks.

Recipe Notes: 

  • If you can cannot find pine nuts you can easily substitute with walnuts, almonds, cashews or pistachios. For a nut-free version you can substitute with sunflower seeds.
  • Adjust the consistency of your pesto by adding a tablespoon less or more oil.
  • When toasting the pine nuts always toast on a medium heat in a dry pan. Watch them as they burn very easily.
  • Along with the lemon juice you can also add about a teaspoon of the zest.

Enjoy!

jess

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Flapjacks

 Classic British sweet oat bar treat. They’re soft, chewy and super easy to make! 

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Today I’m sharing one of my favourite childhood treats. Classic flapjacks are gooey, buttery, sweet and make a delicious treat. These flapjacks use one of my favourite ingredients – golden syrup, which not only adds amazing light treacle flavour but makes the flapjacks super squidgy and chewy!

Though you probably won’t have been able to tell by the name, flapjacks are oat bars made using just 4 ingredients. But you can also add other additional ingredients that take your fancy such as coconut, lemon zest, a pinch of cinnamon, nuts or chocolate chips.

I’ve made these flapjacks gluten-free. I was recently sent a few products from Delicious Alchemy to test out. Delicious Alchemy was started by Emma Killilea. Emma was diagnosed as coeliac. She quit her job and went to university to study food science and marketing. After uni Emma then went on to set up her company focussing on easy to make mixes that are gluten-free and dairy-free. On the Delicious Alchemy website you can find many gluten-free and dairy-free mixes and products. Click here to browse through their range.

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Chewy, sweet and an easy bake to make to serve alongside a cup of tea or coffee. These flapjacks also make a great breakfast!

This recipe comes from the wonderful Lorraine Pascale’s cookbook Baking Made Easy. I’ve been baking these flapjacks for many years now. I really love the addition of lemon zest which brings a little zing and freshness to the bars.

 (Makes 16)

Ingredients:

175g unsalted butter, cubed

175ml golden syrup – I recommend Lyle’s 

175g light brown sugar

350g porridge oats (I used Delicious Alchemy Gluten-Free)

1/2 zest from 1 lemon (optional)

Method:

1. Preheat oven to 150C / 300F / Gas Mark 2. Line a 20cm square cake tin with greaseproof paper and grease well. Set aside.

2. Melt the butter. Add the golden syrup, sugar and zest and continue to cook and stir until all the sugar has dissolved. Stir through the porridge oats. Once the oats are completely covered, spread the mixture out into the lined tin. Press down well with the back of a spoon or a spatula.

3. Bake for 35-40 minutes. Once cooked allow to cool in the tin completely. Once cool slice into 16 squares or 32 mini flapjack bites.

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Enjoy!

jess

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