Cold melon soup starter and hot, sweet tomato chicken

The internet in the office went down the other day, just after lunch me and my laptop went home and I did a pit stop at the butchers. I bought some pork belly. My always helpful butcher cut off the skin (no crackling this time) and the bones. I took the bones home with me and before I did anything I did a dry rub and cooked them in the oven on 100C, or 212F for about 3 hours. It was a very nice pre starter.

26July_SlowCookedPork

For a starter I wanted something cooling and easy. I had a Gala melon that was ripe and due for eating and I made a savoury melon starter.

Cold melon soup 

Preparation time 10 minutes

Cooking time 0 minutes

Serves 2

Ingredients

  • 1 gala melon 
  • 1 pear
  • slow cooked pork
  • 1 lemon
  • cayenne pepper
  • salt to taste

Garnish

  • Pickle ginger 
  • bacon crumbs

De seed the melon and scoop the flesh out and place it in the blender. Peel the pear and remove the core, add to the blender with the melon and blend quickly. Leave a few fruit bits in there.

Cut up a crispy bacon slice and chop the pickle ginger.

Add the lemon juice and cayenne pepper and salt to taste. Pour on to plates, add the pork, the pickle ginger and give it a dusting of paprika. The ginger, lemon and the cayenne gives this soup a nice zing.

26July_MelonSoup

For mains I had three chicken thighs. I wanted to make something using some more of the pickle ginger so I made a hot and sweet chicken dish. The paneer cheese makes the dish go a long way.

Sweet & hot chicken 

Preparation time 5 minutes 

Cooking time 30 minutes 

Serves 2

Ingredients

  • 3 chicken thighs
  • 1 can of tinned tomatoes
  • 1 red chilli
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp sugar (I used demerara, unrefined)
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1/2 tin of water
  • salt & pepper

Add when there are 5 minutes cooking time left

  • 1 handful of broad beans
  • 1 handful of peas
  • pickle ginger

Cube the paneer cheese and chop the chilli. Slice the pickle ginger slightly and set aside

26July_Paneer

Start by salt and pepper the chicken thighs and pan fry until crispy on the outside, then pan fry the paneer cheese.  Add the tinned tomatoes, the water, soy sauce, sugar, chilli, garlic and honey and let simmer for 20 minutes. taste with salt and pepper. Add more water if it starts to thicken too much. When there is five minutes left add the broad beans, peas and the pickle ginger.

26July_Bubbling Chicken

Taste with spices and serve. The dish will be sweet and hot with a tang from the ginger and it was perfect for two!

26July_ChickenStew

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