Golden Poppies our State Wildflower

Friday, November 20, 2015

Warm sauces for fresh vegetables, make Thanksgiving, thankfully enjoyable, re-worked recipes from 1940's America

Here are some delicious, own made warm sauces for any cooked vegetables, particularly good with greens, beans and some grilled vegetable warm salads.
 These are tried and true and hail from 1940's USA.

Warm Bacon Vinaigrette

Serves 4

8 slices bacon, cook in dry skillet to render out the fat, and crisp the bacon.
remove the bacon and set aside to cool, then in the pan drippings saute
1 cup minced onions
2 cloves garlic smashed and minced
When tender, add
1/2 cup lemon juice ( juice of 2 lemons) or cider vinegar
pinch of paprika
 1/4 tsp black pepper 
1 tsp honey or 1/2 tsp sugar.
Remove from heat and mix well until the sugar melts/honey is mixed in well.

Either pour over the steamed vegetables or toss the steamed and drained vegetables in the sauce and serve immediately, garnish with crumbled bacon.

This is great on any green salad too

Chili Mustard Sauce
Serves 4

2tbsp olive oil

1/2 cup minced onion
2 cloves garlic smashed and minced
1tsp chili powder (or more if you prefer it spicier)
Heat oil in heavy bottomed skillet and add the onion, chili powder and garlic and saute for 5 mins on low heat, until onion is tender.
Remove from heat & Add
2 tbsp lemon juice
3tsp Worcestershire sauce
2 tsp prepared mustard
2tbsp ketchup
Mix well together and serve over cooked greens.

Warm Steak Sauce ( serves 2)

 ( this is using any bottled, spicy, steak sauce, HP, A1 & etc.)

1tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp bottled thick meat sauce
4tbsp double cream (or evaporated milk)
1/2 tsp smoked paprika
2 tsp sweet sherry

Heat the oil in a heavy bottomed skillet and on low heat add all the other ingredients, stir to combine, and serve warm, do not boil. 

This also goes well with eggs and omelette's.

Lemon Mustard Sauce (Serves 4)

1 cup cooking liquor from cooking the vegetables, bring to high simmer and reduce by half.
Set aside.
whisk together well in a small bowl:
2tsp dry mustard 
1 tsp honey or sugar
2tbsp melted butter
juice of 2 lemons and zest of 1 ( zest first then juice)
Salt & pepper to taste

Combine the lemon mix to the hot liquor and simmer to thicken then pour over the cooked vegetables.
This is great with any green beans.


2 large egg yolks at room temp.
1/4 tsp sea salt
dash of cayenne pepper

Beat with a hand beater until light and lemony, 

1/2 cup melted unsalted butter
1 tbsp fresh lemon juice

then with beater working slowly drizzle in 3 tbsp melted butter.

When all is combined add the rest of the melted butter, alternating with the lemon juice,  while continuing to beat. ( if it separates add 1 tbsp boiling water then re-do the recipe using this as the base, so you will have double the finished sauce)  This sauce is great with anything.

Saturday, November 14, 2015


My hometown, Chorley in Lancashire has long had an affinity for France, in fact I have relatives living over there now.
So it is with a heavy heart, that I offer my sincerest condolences to the people of Paris, trying to recover from the terrorist outrage last night.
I send you all my love and light, sympathy to their families, for those who lost their lives, heart felt hope for a speedy recovery for all those injured, and a big thank you for all the rescuers, for their quick responses.
Sincerely John Nigel


Tuesday, November 10, 2015


Here's another cold weather warmer, and another one pot meal.

In a plastic bag combine:
1/2 cup all purpose or whole wheat flour
2 tsp sea salt
1tsp dried thyme
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
Then shake in, one at a time, the jointed pieces from a 3 pound chicken, to coat in the flour mix, then, shake off excess and set aside.

In a deep 12 inch skillet heat 3 tbsp grape seed oil.
Brown the  chicken pieces in batches, setting aside.
After removing all the  chicken then add the following to the skillet and continue cooking:
2 cups minced onion 
2tsp ground paprika (I prefer smoked)
3 cloves garlic smashed and minced
10 ozs canned whole or chopped tomatoes with their juice
1/2 cup water
1 tsp sea salt

Bring to high simmer then add the browned chicken pieces.
Top with 1 cup toasted almonds (finely chopped or partially ground).
Cover tightly and simmer for 30-40 mins, or until chicken is tender, check every 20 mins as the dish can easily scorch, so it helps to stir it.
Check seasonings and serve with boiled potatoes, pasta or steamed rice/grains, you may add any chopped herbs of choice or scallions.

This is a sort of Chicken paprika with almonds, very tasty and different.


This is a wonderful Fall or Winter dish and is a one pot dish too.
A whole 3 pound chicken cut into legs, thighs and breast pieces, large bones removes but left intact, in a very rich sauce flavored with, sweet sherry,  garlic, chili, tomatoes, raisins, ham, thyme, marjoram ( a MUST) and topped with olives.
This can be made in a Crockpot-slow cooker providing the  cooked chicken pieces are removed and the sauce,reduced on stove in saucepan. 

Serves 3-4 great with rice and/or tortillas

1 cup minced onion
3 cloves garlic smashed and minced
1/2 tsp chili powder
1tbsp grape seed oil

Heat the oil in a 4 qt Dutch oven or deep skillet, then saute the onion and garlic, do not brown, adding the chili powder and cook for 2 mins.
Then stir in:
1 cup tomato sauce (Marinara or pasta sauce)
1/4 cup sweet sherry (or rum)

1/4 cup water
1/2 cup diced ham minced(optional) 
2 tbsp sliced pinto stuffed green olives
2 bay leaves
1 tbsp capers (rinse in cold water, and drain well)
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1/2 tsp dried marjoram
1/2 tsp ground black pepper.
Bring this mixture to a boil then add 
 the chicken pieces (a 3 pound chicken cut into thighs, breast and drumstick pieces).


Bake in oven for 1 hour tightly  covered.
Uncover and bake a further 15 mins.

Remove the cooked chicken pieces and set aside, warm.

Remove the bay leaves and any fat, just skim off.
Measure the cooking liquor and add any water as needed to produce 1 1/2 cups.
Bring the sauce to boil and thicken with cornstarch dissolved in cold water.
Cook until thickened, on stove top, stirring well.
Check seasonings.
Add the cooked chicken pieces, and top with the simmering sauce.

Serve from the pot garnishing the portions with chopped boiled egg and more sliced olives.

If using a slow cooker, do the method up to putting in the oven, instead add the whole sauce and chicken to slow cooker and cook on high, until chicken is tender.
Then proceed, by removing chicken pieces and putting sauce in a deep pan/skillet and proceed as for recipe.
Correct Drunken Chicken

WRONG Drunken Chicken

 Variations: May also be made with bite sized pieces of pork or stewing beef.
In place of sherry, use apple juice