When my partner (other half, girlfriend, co habit or whatever you call each other when you get to my age) said she was going out for a girly night in the first thing that came in to my mind was
dinner and drinks with the boys. what could I make for her to take with her.
We all know girls love chocolate so I thought a rich raspberry & pistachio brownie with a gooey centre would be a good choice and might even score me some brownie points (no pun intended but is this how that saying came about?).
I’ve made chocolate brownies many times and have posted the recipe for my white chocolate & pecan brownie on the blog before http://wp.me/p4yOty-6m but instead of following this never fail recipe I though I’d try a new one.
I bought a book some years back when I was traveling around America called “Amazing Cookies & Brownies” like most of my cookbooks I haven’t made any recipes from it so I thought why not give it a go and when the first brownie in the book is called ” The ultimate brownie” I thought why not.
In the UK we have grams/kilos/pounds & ounces for weighing ingredients, in America it’s cup. Is that big cups, small cups, fat cups or thin cups?
What I do roughly know is a cup equates to 8oz or 225g.
My book being American all the measurements are in cups buts that ok for me as away from cooking maths is the only other thing I’m good at, Or so I thought.
Trying to do the maths in my head (on a Friday afternoon) for doubling 3/4 of a cups and then converting it to ounces to then convert it back to grams was just too much for me and my brownie became a chocolate cake.
Chocolate cake is still chocolate cake no matter how hard and dense it is and there is always some use for it and someone will eat it. That is unless you are my cat.
I left the cake on the side to cool whilst I went out to do some errands and when I got back the cat had tasted the cake and decided it was that bad that the only place for it was the kitchen floor.
Anyway I’m happy to say Brownie V2 made with my recipe was a success.
Me and the boys (can you still be called a boy in your 30’s?) were looking forward to our yearly night out and I thought they should come over to mine for some dinner before we went out.
Knowing that we would be having a number of drinks I was keen not to cook anything too heavy and too fancy. The usual stapes of pasta were a no go due to 1 – too messy and you don’t want to spill it down your shirt and 2 – pasta is going to bloat you out.
The dish I decided to cook was Mexican Chicken Nachos. This dish was so quick and simple that I did no preparation and with an hour to go before my guest arrived I still hadn’t started cooking or even taken a shower. My favourite thing about this dish was the “family style” serving. I placed it all on a board and placed it in the middle of the table. Even watching five burly men serving each other made me feel warm and fuzzy inside (that warm and fuzzy feeling could have been down to the G&T http://wp.me/p4yOty-4x).
P.S my partner has informed me she likes to be called my better half.
Ingredients – This recipe was based on 5 of us eating and apart from the marinade you don’t need to weight or measure anything. I know I have given weights but I know some of you like to know exactly what to use but for the rest of you just go with what you want.
5 Chicken breast
2 Packets of nachos
400g Cherry tomatoes
800g Black beans or black eyed beans
200g Raw sweet corn – Tinned or off the cob
1 Large red onion
Packet of coriander
1 Red pepper
1 Yellow pepper
Bunch spring onion
1 Iceberg lettuce
Cheese – As much as you like
Jalapenos – As much as you like
200g Sour Cream
50ml Vegetable oil
Teaspoon Garlic powder
Teaspoon Chilli flakes
Teaspoon Dried oregano
Mix all the ingredients for the marinade in a bowl and combine, Place the chicken in to the marinade and leave. I left the chicken overnight but leave it to marinade for at least an hour. Remove chicken from the marinade and either cook on a chargrill pan or in the oven (180ºc for 20 minutes) until cooked.
Whilst the chicken is cooking prepare the rest of the items, Open the nachos, dice the tomatoes, peppers & red onion, quarter the limes, peel and remove the stone from the avacodos and slice, grate the cheese, open and drain the corn & beans, chop the coriander and pick the lettuce.
If you want to chefy use a wooden chopping board otherwise use any serving platter, place the lettuce in the middle of the board, pour the nachos round the lettuce. Taking your other ingredients (except the sour cream) sprinkle then over the nachos, by this time the chicken should be cooked. Remove the chicken from the oven slice up the chicken and place in on top of the lettuce, pour over the sour cream and serve.