31 Jan 2013

Ginger Chicken

Ginger Chicken

This is a recipe I heavily adapted originally based on one from 'Rick Stein's Far Eastern Odyssey' for 'Fried Fish in Ginger Sauce' (see picture).

I make the sauce in a similar way, although I tend to make it in vast amounts so that the dish is more like a soup. It's a very comforting dish and my parents request it whenever I go home.The chicken thighs work perfectly in this, the longer they cook the softer the chicken gets until it just melts in your mouth.
You could also adapt this dish into a noodle soup instead of usually serving it with rice as I do. You could also add cabbage in for some greens.

Serves 6

6 chicken thighs
2 inch piece of ginger
Medium onion
6 cloves of garlic
2 tbsp fish sauce
1 tsp sugar
1 pint of chicken stock
300ml water
Splash of ginger wine
Rapeseed oil
Toasted sesame oil
Freshly ground black pepper
Chili to taste

Peel and chop ginger into matchsticks
Add to the pan with some rapeseed oil and toasted seasame oil
Put on low heat,  keep stiring to make sure that the ginger doesn't burn or stick to the pan
Finely chop the onion and add to the pan
Slice 6 cloves of garlic (and some chili if desired) and add to the pan
Chop up chicken thighs into small pieces
When the onion, ginger and garlic has softened add the chicken to the pan
Fry in the pan on a high heat until all the meat is coloured
Add a splash of ginger wine and the 2 table spoons of fish sauce
Add some freshly ground black pepper
Add the chicken stock, water and sugar
Leave to simmer for 30 mins 
Serve with rice

23 Jan 2013

Braised Cabbage with Garlic and Thyme

Braised Cabbage with Garlic and Thyme

So this is going to be my first proper recipe that I'm posting. You'll have to bear with me while I get used to transferring my cooking to proper recipes and amounts, I usually tend to dash, splash and sprinkle my way through recipes.

This is the previously mentioned cabbage from my Roast Leg of Lamb post.

Once when I was searching for a recipe to make cabbage more exciting I came across something very similar to this recipe, and this is based on that. I can't remember where the original idea came from, but if I ever find it, I'll add it in.

Cabbage fresh and muddy from the Yalding Farmer's Market

Serves 4-6 (depending on greed)

1 savoy cabbage
Several sprigs of fresh thyme
2 cloves of garlic
A good glug of olive oil
Medium knob of butter
Pinch of salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup of water

Chop the garlic into matchstick shaped pieces
Put the oil, butter, garlic, thyme leaves, salt and pepper into a large, wide bottomed pan.
Keep on a low heat until the butter has melted, the pan starts to sizzle and you can smell the thyme
Take the pan off the heat and leave to cool while you chop the cabbage
Break off and wash the outer leaves of the cabbage (these ones were particularly muddy!)
Cut the stalks out and chop the leaves into shreds
Cut the centre of the cabbage in half and then cut out the core
Cut into quarters and then shred the leaves
Put all of the cabbage into the slightly cooled pan and put back onto a medium heat.
Keep the cabbage moving around the pan so that it gets coated in the garlic and thyme mixture
Keep the cabbage on a medium to high heat until it seems like it is sticking to the pan slightly and it might burn
Sprinkle some of the water over the cabbage,  and either keep it moving or put the lid on so that it can steam slightly
Keep adding a sprinkling of water when needed this until the cabbage is just cooked.
You can always add an extra knob of butter to keep the moisture up and for some extra indulgence.

Well that's that, the recipe that converted me to cabbage.

22 Jan 2013

Roast Leg of Lamb with Rosemary and Garlic

Roast Leg of Lamb with Rosemary and Garlic

As previously mentioned my first conundrum when starting this blog was being trapped somewhere that isn't The Kentish Town Kitchen. I have now made it back through the snow to Kentish Town, but thought I'd share my thoughts on the Kent leg of lamb that we had for dinner on Sunday night.

Part of the reason I felt inspired to start the blog was that the meal we had was entirely comprised of ingredients that were bought at the Yalding Farmer's Market. I loved the fact that everything on the plate came from local growers that we'd met and got to know at the local market. The Veg Man and the Lamb Man are the most classic farmers that you can imagine, ruddy cheeks and flat caps, and a tie and jacket for the event.

Veg from the Yalding Farmer's Market

Anyway, on with the meal!
When it comes to roasts, I'm not fussed with doing anything too special or pulling any fancy tricks with the food. Especially in this situation, let the food speak for itself.

On the menu: roast leg of lamb, roast potatoes and parsnips, carrots and braised...and not forgetting the home made gravy! All of this was followed up with baked apples (also from the Veg Man) which my Dad made, so if you're interested in that, let me know, I'll get the recipe up here.

Unfortunately my parents have an Aga and so the oven temperature is already set, with no variation. I've had a quick look online and the suggested temperature for the Aga's hot oven is 240C, but when I use my own oven 200C is my usual oven temperature.


With roasting meats I usually go with a cooking time of around 40 mins per kilo plus an extra 20 mins. 
In this case the lamb was 2.2kg, as we like our lamb pink I disregarded the extra 20 minutes, this made the cooking time 1 hour 28 mins (88mins).

To prep the meat;
Peel and cut up some garlic into slivers, stick a small knife into the lamb and use the hole made to stuff in the garlic with some rosemary, repeat this over the whole joint.
Drizzle olive oil over the meat and rub it evenly over the whole surface of the joint.
Season with salt and pepper.
Rest on a wrack on a baking tray and place in the over, start with it higher in the over to colour the meat while you prep the other veg.

Potatoes and Parsnips

Some people fuss around with par-boiling potatoes, and I guess it all comes down to preference, but I've never been bothered with that. For the amount of potatoes I usually count them as I cut them up until I get at least 5 per person; and for parsnips I usually do about 4 per person.

To prep the potatoes;
Peel, wash and cut the potatoes into roughly 1 inch pieces.
Toss the potatoes in olive oil.
Place in a baking tray (if using the same one as the meat, make sure the potatoes are not underneath the meat or they will not colour) and cook for 1 hour or until browned.

Cut potatoes being turned in olive oil.

To prep the parsnips;
Peel, wash and cut the parsnips into batons.
Toss the potatoes in olive oil.
Place in a baking tray and cook for 30 mins or until browned.

Potatoes and parsnips fresh from the oven.


There's some dispute, and again it's personal preference, about the boiling vs. roasting of carrots. For me, it's got to be boiling them every time, plus that way I get ready made beg stock for the gravy!

To prep the carrots;
Peel, wash and cut the carrots into batons
Submerge the carrots in water with a pinch of salt and a splash of oil
Cook until soft

Cooking the cabbage, carrots and gravy.

Cabbage was one of those things that I hated when I was little, and until recently it still didn't seem like a very appetising option. This was until I discovered a recipe, which I have since modified, for braised cabbage. Since then, there's been no turning back.

As I don't want to over crowd this post I'm going to put up the recipes for my Home Made Gravy and Braised Cabbage with Garlic and Thyme at a later date.

In retrospect I'm not sure whether this was the most sensible thing to put up first, as it's not much of a recipe. However, I feel it's something I wanted to share...so here's the finished article:

'Must improve on presentation'

20 Jan 2013

Hello from a Town in Kent!

Hello and welcome to the first post in The Kent Town Kitchen.

I'm actually breaking the first rule of my blog name, this first post is not actually coming from Kentish Town, but in fact from a village in Kent.

As I write this, I am snowed into my parents house in Yalding in Kent. The plus side is that it's amazingly pretty, the down side is that as I've just had the burst of motivation to start this blog, I find myself in the wrong part of the country!

View from Yalding Bridge

A side note: My name is Jenny, I'm 23 and living in Kentish Town, London. I work in Admin in a job that I really enjoy, but when I'm at home my way to escape is through cooking. I love food, and love cooking even more.

This blog is going to be a catalogue of recipes I've come up with myself, those that I've tweeked and those that I've followed to the letter.
I'm not a chef, I'm no expert, but I love to cook and I want to share that.

Following this post will be my first proper cooking post....

Jenny x