I love love love party food- who doesn’t? .. and when you’re pressed for time but want something that tastes good and looks even better this is a good one to start with.

You will need large fresh tomatoes and courgettes. Choose the tomatoes that are still quite stiff and that are flat at the top. With a very sharp knife cut slices into the tomato stopping at around 1cm from the bottom. The best is to cut quarters and then cut these in half again so that you’ll get symmetry. Slice the courgettes quite finely and place 1/2 slices of courgette in between the tomato slices. When this is done drizzle olive oil over it and any other herbs or spices of your choice. Parmesan is also an interesting option. I used oregano and black pepper over mine. Place the stuffed tomato in the oven until the slices start to separate and the tomato opens up a little bit. Warn your guests that it will be very hot at first.. Feel free to leave comments with your party food suggestions!


Chicken wrapped with parma ham and cheese

So, what does one do with a pack of defrosted boneless chicken thighs?  As usual, open the fridge and wait for inspiration!

Before I start, a quick word on the chicken:  most of us are familiar with the convenience of chicken breast. Cut them up, grill, stir fry, throw into a sauce etc. no hassles with bones and not particularly messy. The thing is they do tend to lack a little in the flavour department.   We came across these boned chicken thighs which are just as convenient but MUCH more juicy and tasty, so keep an eye out next time you go shopping!

Ok, now on to the important stuff… so once again we’re staring at an open fridge, and a rather disappointing Chicken Cordon Bleu dish that I had ordered at a restaurant recently came to mind. Surely I can do better?  So out comes some parma ham and sliced cheese.  It’s odd how most of our ingredients are chosen depending on how close the expiry date is.. maybe the fridge is over-stocked?  oh well, the ham came from a leg, so it didn’t need to grow any!

Its saturday morning, and I’m not very good at maintaining a train of thought!

So, pre-heat the oven to 175 degrees.  In the meantime, trim off any excess fat from the chicken and ham.   Fold the cheese slices so that they are roughly half the size of the chicken thighs.   Try and pair up different sized pieces of ham and chicken so that the ham is more or less the same width, and one and a half times longer than the chicken.

A word of warning here:  it’s very tempting to nibble any offcuts of ham or cheese, but if you are using the same knife or chopping board as for the raw chicken, don’t even THINK about it!!!

Place the cheese on the chicken, and roll up into a little parcel. next wrap the ham around the chicken.  Parma ham is quite sticky, so when you roll it back onto itself (hence the extra length of ham needed) it will hold itself together, but use a couple of toothpicks just to keep it in one piece.

Cook in the oven for 20 – 30 minutes or until the chicken is done.   the ham on the outside will help prevent it getting burnt or dry.

In the meantime, grab a handful of mangetout, rinse and dry.   mix a tablespoon of olive oil with a teaspoon of mustard. If you are using mustard powder, use less as it is much stronger.   Toss them in a hot pan until the smell of the mangetout starts to come out.   By now, the chicken should be almost done.

Serve, and enjoy!   oh, and don’t forget to remove the toothpicks!

Honey and mustard are two condiments that most people would have in their cupboards already.. so this makes for a great lazy dinner. If they’re not in your cupboard already, you really should consider dropping everything right now and going out to get some. Now.

you’ll need:

boneless chicken thighs // or you can use breasts I guess it’ll be the same
1 tablespoon butter (I added a tad of olive oil too so that the butter doesn’t burn)
1 onion diced
2 cloves of garlic minced
1 tblspn mustard
3 tblspn honey
1/2 tspn salt
1/8 tspn pepper
(other optional veg)

In a pan use the butter to brown one side of the chicken (and cook any veg of your choice) for about 10 minutes
Throw in all the other ingredients and turn chicken, keep cooking for another 10-13 minutes stirring occasionally. The honey sticks and browns but the chicken won’t be burning it’s just the coating getting blackish. Serve with either rice or couscous. I made couscous and stirred it in with the leftover gravy.

I find that with these measurements you can taste the honey much more than the mustard, so the next time I’ll be adding more mustard to the mixture. It depends on the individual really.

Also, this seems like a good recipe to make if you’re having guests over as it’s easy to handle and tastes pretty impressive in my opinion. Enjoy!