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Wednesday, 27 June 2012

Croque Monsieur

Recipe & Image taken from

2 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 tablespoons plain flour
2 cups hot milk
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
pinch nutmeg
12oz gruyere cheese, grated
1/2 cup parmesan, grated
8 croissants
Dijon mustard 
8oz honey roast ham

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Melt the butter over a low heat in a small saucepan and add the flour, stirring with a wodden spoon for 2 minutes.

Slowly pour the hot milk into the butter mixture and cook, whisking continuously until the sauce is thickened.

Off the heat add the salt, pepper, nutmeg, 1/2 cup grated Gruyere and the Parmesan and set aside.

Half the croissants, place the slices on two baking trays and bake for 4 minutes.  Turn each slice over and bake for a further 2 minutes.

Lightly brush half of each croissant with mustard, add slices of ham and 1/2 the remaining Gruyere.  Top with the other half of the croissant. 

Smother the croissants in the cheese sauce and sprinkle with the remaining Gruyere before baking for 5 minutes.  

Finally grill the croissants for 3-5 minutes until bubbling and browned.

Tuesday, 26 June 2012

Baked Potato Soup

Recipe & Image taken from

2 russet potatoes, washed and dried
1 small head of cauliflower, stem removed cut into florets
1 1/2 cups fat free chicken broth
1 1/2 cups 1% reduced-fat milk
salt and freshly cracked black pepper
1/2 cup light sour cream
10 tbsp reduced-fat shredded sharp cheddar cheese
6 tbsp chopped chives, divided
3 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled (you can use turkey bacon if you prefer)

Pierce potatoes with a fork; microwave on high for 5 minutes turn over and microwave another 3 - 5 minutes, until tender. Or if you prefer to use your oven, bake at 400° for 1 hour or until tender. Cool. Peel potatoes.

Meanwhile steam cauliflower with water in a large covered pot until tender. Drain and return to pot. On medium heat, add chicken broth, milk, potatoes and bring to a boil. Use an immersion blender to puree until smooth. 

Add sour cream, half the chives, salt and pepper and cook on low another 5-10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Remove from heat. Ladle 1 cup soup into each bowl. Top each serving with 2 tbsp cheese, remaining chives, and bacon.

Crispy Cheddar Chicken

Recipe & image taken from

4 - 5 skinless chicken breasts
3 cups of shredded cheddar jack cheese
2-3 cups of panko bread crumbs
3 eggs & half a cup of water to make egg wash
salt & pepper
garlic salt 


10 ounce container of Cambells cheddar cheese soup
2 tbsp butter
2 tbsp of sour cream
1/2 cup of water
1 tbsp of parsley

Pound chicken breasts until they areabout 1/2 inch thick.  Sprinkle each breast with salt and pepper and garlic salt and set aside.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.  Set up your eggwash in a bowl next to the panko breadcrumbs on a plate and the cheddar cheese on a further plate.  Dip chicken in the egg wash, then the cheddar jack cheese and then the panko crumbs and then place in a dish & sprinkle with parsley.

Cover the baking tray with foil and then cook for 35 minutes. Remove the foil after 35 minutes continue to cook the chicken till it is brown on top for approximately 8-10 minutes.

In a small saucepan melt the butter, then add the cheddar cheese soup, the sour cream and then the 1/2 cup of water. Mix together & Serve with chicken. 

Friday, 22 June 2012

Diet Coke Chicken

2 chicken breasts
1 pepper
1 onion
1 can of diet coke
3 tbsp soy sauce
1 tsp paprika
2 tsp Henderson’s relish or Worcester sauce
1 tbsp tomato purée

Fry off onions and peppers in fry light in a deep pan

Add chicken to the pan and leave on each side for 2 mins to create a charred and crispy texture! Don’t be scared it won’t burn if your pans on a middle temperature

When chicken is browned on both sides add the rest of the ingredients and mix in well.

Leave the sauce to simmer for 10 mins or until thickened and sticky.

Slow Cooker Diet Coke Beef

Recipe & image taken from

1 beef roast
1 can diet coke
garlic powder or 2-3 garlic cloves
bbq sauce of choice

Place roast in slow cooker and add Diet Coke

Sprinkle with garlic powder or make several small slits in roast and add sliced garlic.

Set on low and cook about 10 hours.

I cooked the roast, for this BBQ Beef, overnight.

When the roast is finished cooking, remove from cooker, cool enough to shred.  Add sauce and heat or serve sauce on side.

Serve on sandwich buns with sliced pickles, raw veggies, slaw and/or chips.

Slimming World Lamb Kofta Curry

Recipe & image taken from

For the Koftas:
500g of extra lean lamb mince
1 egg
1 small onion finely chopped
salt and black pepper
2 cloves of garlic crushed

For the Curry Sauce:
1 large sweet onion, finely chopped
3 cloves of garlic crushed
1 teaspoon of grated fresh ginger
1 courgette, chopped
1 carrot, chopped
150ml of vegetable stock
2 cups of passata
2 tsp of ground cumin
2 tsp of ground coriander
1/4 tsp of onion powder
1 tsp of curry powder
1 tsp of turmeric
1/4 tsp of ground cloves
1/2 tsp of paprika
1/4 tsp of cayenne pepper
1/4 tsp of cinnamon
1 bay leaf
6 cardamom pods
1 tsp of brown sugar (1 syn)
salt and black pepper to season

For the yoghurt mint:
1 cup of fat free natural yoghurt
a few sprigs of fresh mint, finely chopped
juice of a 1/2 a lemon

Add all the ingredients for the Koftas to a large bowl and bind together, form into 6 large koftas or 8 medium sized ones.

Spray a frying pan with non stick spray and brown the Koftas on all sides. Remove from frying pan and set aside.
Add the onion, garlic and ginger to the frying pan along with a little bit of the vegetable stock and cook for approx 3-4 mins. Add the courgette and carrot and cook until softened.

Add the remaining stock, passata and all spices, sugar etc to the pan, bring to the boil, return the Lamb Koftas, reduce the heat and then simmer for approx 45mins – 1 hour.

To make the mint yoghurt, mix together the natural yoghurt, fresh mint and juice of 1/2 a lemon.

Serve the Lamb Kofta Curry topped with a couple of tablespoons of the mint yoghurt. You can also serve with some rice if you are doing an Extra Easy day.

Slow Cooker BBQ Ribs

Recipe & image taken from

4 pounds pork baby back ribs
salt and pepper to taste
2 cups ketchup
1 cup chili sauce
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
4 tablespoons vinegar
2 teaspoons dried oregano
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1 dash hot sauce

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).

Season ribs with salt and pepper. Place in a shallow baking pan. Brown in oven 15 minutes. Turn over, and brown another 15 minutes; drain fat.

In a medium bowl, mix together the ketchup, chili sauce, brown sugar, vinegar, oregano, Worcestershire sauce, hot sauce, and salt and pepper.

Place ribs in slow cooker. Pour sauce over ribs, and turn to coat.

Cover, and cook on Low 6 to 8 hours, or until ribs are tender.

Slow Cooker Mustard Chicken

Recipe & image taken from

2 tbsp wholegrain mustard
1 tbsp English mustard
2 tbsp clear honey
8 chicken thighs, skin on
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tbsp olive oil
2 onions, roughly chopped
300g parsnips, peeled and roughly chopped
Few sprigs of thyme
600ml hot vegetable or chicken stock for the slow cooker (900ml for the traditional method)
Bunch of flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped

Mix together the mustards in a bowl and stir through the honey. Season the chicken thighs well with salt and pepper, then smother them with the mustard mixture. Cover and leave to marinate for 30 minutes, if time permits.

Preheat the slow cooker, if required. Heat half the oil in a large flameproof casserole over a medium-high heat and add the chicken pieces, a few at a time. Cook for 6–10 minutes until golden – be careful, as the honey may cause them to blacken quickly. Remove and set aside.

Heat the remaining oil in the casserole over a medium heat, add the onions, and toss them around in the casserole to coat in any juices. Stir to scrape up the sticky bits from the bottom, then add the parsnips and thyme.

Transfer everything to the slow cooker, pour in the stock, and add the chicken pieces. Season, cover with the lid, and cook on auto/low for 6–8 hours or on high for 3–4 hours.

Add the parsley, taste, and season, if necessary. Serve with steamed leeks or greens.

Slow Cooker Oriental Ribs

Recipe & image taken from

1 rack of pork ribs, about 12 ribs (about 700g)
2 tsp black peppercorns
1–2 spring onions, green parts finely sliced, to serve
For the marinade
2 tbsp sesame oil
4 tbsp dark soy sauce
4 tbsp clear honey
6 tbsp teriyaki sauce
1 tsp five-spice powder
Juice of 2 limes
Pinch of dried chilli flakes

Preheat the slow cooker, if required. Chop the rack into ribs and put them in the slow cooker. Season with salt and add the peppercorns.

In a bowl, mix together all the marinade ingredients, add to the slow cooker, and turn the ribs to coat.

Cover the slow cooker with the lid and cook on auto/low for 8 hours.

Remove the ribs from the slow cooker and serve with rice or on their own while piping hot. Garnish with the spring onions.

Beef Madras

Recipe & Image taken from

8 tbsp vegetable oil
1.5kg beef blade steak, cut into 5cm pieces
2 large onions, chopped
6 garlic cloves, sliced
5cm piece ginger, finely chopped
4 tbsp Madras curry paste
200ml coconut milk
2 small cinnamon sticks
2 green chillies, halved lengthways
1 tsp salt

Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a large flameproof casserole. Brown the beef in batches over a medium-high heat, adding a little extra oil as needed, then set the meat aside on a plate.

Heat the rest of the oil, add the onions, garlic and ginger and fry gently for 20 minutes until very soft and light brown.

Transfer to a food processor and blend until smooth. Return to the pan and add the curry paste, coconut milk, cinnamon sticks, chilies, beef and salt.

Cover and simmer gently for 21/2 hours, uncovering for the last 15 minutes to thicken up the sauce a little.

Remove the cinnamon sticks and serve with steamed rice

Slow Cooker Shredded BBQ Beef

Recipe & image taken from

1 tbsp olive oil
1.1kg beef brisket

For the barbecue sauce

1 onion, very finely chopped
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
1 tbsp tomato puree
100ml white wine vinegar
Juice of 1 orange
Pinch of ground cloves
1 tbsp demerara sugar
1 tbsp runny honey
300ml passata
150ml hot vegetable stock for the slow cooker (300ml for the traditional method)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Preheat the slow cooker, if required.

In a bowl, mix together all the barbecue sauce ingredients and season well with salt and pepper.

Heat the oil in a large flameproof casserole over a medium-high heat. Season the beef with salt and pepper and cook in the casserole for 4–6 minutes on each side, including on its edge, until the meat is browned evenly all over.

Add the barbecue sauce and bring to the boil, then transfer everything to the slow cooker. Cover with the lid and cook on auto/low for 8 hours.

Remove the brisket from the slow cooker, shred it with two forks, and stir it into the sauce.

Serve with hot pitta bread and some crisp green salad leaves.

Slow Cooker Cranberry Pork Loin

Recipe & Image taken from

3 lb. boneless pork loin or tenderloin
16 ox can whole cranberry sauce
¼ cup Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 teaspoon mustard

Place roast in a slow cooker, coated with cooking spray.  Combine the rest of the ingredients and pour over roast.

Cook on high for 4-5 hours or low for 6-8 hours.

Remove, slice and serve.

If you want to make a gravy, just add some water & cornflour to the mix and cook on high for a further 10 minutes until it has thickend.

Slow Cooker Honey Sesame Chicken

Recipe & Image taken from

4 boneless chicken breasts
1 cup honey
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup diced onion
1/4 cup ketchup
2 tablespoon vegetable oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 teaspoon red pepper, flakes
4 teaspoon cornstarch dissolved in 6 tablespoons water
sesame seeds

Season both sides of the chicken and place in crock pot.

In a small bowl, combine honey, soy sauce, onion, ketchup, oil, garlic and pepper flakes. Pour over chicken.
Cook on low for 3-4 hours or on high 1 1/2 – 2 1/2 hours, or just until chicken is cooked through. 
Remove chicken from crock pot, leave sauce. Dissolve 4 teaspoons of cornstarch in 6 tablespoons of water and pour into crock pot. Stir to combine with sauce.
Replace lid and cook sauce on high for ten more minutes or until slightly thickened. Cut chicken into bite size pieces, then return to pot and toss with sauce before serving.

Sprinkle with sesame seeds and serve over rice or noodles.

Thursday, 21 June 2012

Slow Cooker Beef Goulash

600g lean casserole beef
2 heaped tsp paprika
1 heaped tsp smoked paprika
1 red chilli chopped (to taste)
1 onion, finely chopped
1 pt beef stock
1 can chopped tomatoes
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
1 red pepper, sliced
1 green pepper, sliced
salt & pepper

Place all ingredients into the slow cook and cook on high for 6 hours.

Wednesday, 20 June 2012

Slow Cooker Asian Pork & Mushrooms

2lb lean boneless pork sirloin roast
1 cup chicken stock
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
3 tablespoons agave or sugar
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1/2 teaspoon Chinese 5 spice
3 cloves garlic, crushed
1 tablespoon ginger, grated
8oz sliced mushrooms

for topping

1/4 cup chopped coriander
1/4 cup chopped spring onions

Season pork on all sides with salt and pepper.
Heat a skillet on medium-high heat, spray with a little oil and brown the pork on all sides for about 7-8 minutes.

in the crock pot combine the broth, soy sauce (or Tamari), balsamic, agave, sesame oil, Chinese five spice, garlic and ginger; add the pork and set the slow cooker to 8 hours on low.

Thirty minutes before the timer goes off, remove the pork and set aside to rest a few minutes; add the mushrooms to the crock pot, cover and cook on low for 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, shred the pork using two forks.

When the mushrooms are tender, remove about 1 cup of the broth and reserve if needed.  Add the shredded pork to the crock pot and mix well.

If adding baby spinach, add at the end and cover a few minutes until 

Tuesday, 19 June 2012

Cheesy Wedges

Recipe & Image taken from

2 medium potatoes, washed and dried
2 teaspoon olive oil
1 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon chilli poweder
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/8 teaspoon cumin
coarse salt & ground black pepper
1 slice bacon, cooked and finely chopped
1/3 cup sharp shredded cheddar cheese
2 tablespoons diced scallions
1 tablespoon slice japapeno

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.  Line baking tray with foil for easy clean up.  Lightly coat with cooking spray.

Chip potatoes and combine with oil.  Add seasoning and toss to coat.

Bake potatoes for 25 minutes before placing in an oven proof dish with bacon, cheese and jalapenos.  Return to oven for a further 2-3 minutes until the cheese melts.

Serve with ranch dressing.

Slow Cooker Chilli Chicken

Recipe & Image taken from

1 onion, chopped
1 16-oz can black beans
1 16-oz can kidney beans
1 8-oz can tomato sauce
10 oz package frozen corn kernels
2 14.5-oz cans diced tomatoes w/chilies
1 packet taco seasoning
1 tbsp cumin
1 tbsp chili powder
24 oz (3-4) boneless skinless chicken breasts
chili peppers, chopped (optional)
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro

Combine beans, onion, chilli peppers, corn, tomato sauce, cumin, chilli powder and taco seasoning in a slow cooker.  Place chicken on top and cover. 

Cook on low for 10 hours or on high for 6 hours.  Half an hour before serving remove chicken and shred.

Return chicken to slow cooker and stir in.

Top with fresh cilantro. Also try it with low fat cheese and sour cream 

Slow Cooker Puerto Rican Pork

Recipe & Image taken from

3 lb pork shoulder blade roast, lean, all fat removed
4-5 cloves garlic, crushed
1 tbsp coarse salt
1/2 tsp oregano
1/2 tbsp cumin
1/4 tsp crushed black pepper
3 oranges, juice of (1/2 cup)
2 limes, juice of

Using a sharp knife, cut slits into the pork and stuff with half the crushed garlic.

Combine the remaining ingredients and pour over the pork.  Place in the ceramic part of the crock pot, cover and refrigerate, turning pork occasionally so the marinade covers all of the meat.

The next day, cook on low for 8 hours

Remove the pork and shred, using two forks.

Remover liquid form crock pot and return the pork.  Add about 1 cup of the liquid back in and season.

Cook for a further 30 minutes and then serve.

Slow Cooker Pulled Pork

Recipe & Image taken from

2.5 lb boneless pork loin roast (center cut, trimmed of all fat)
2 tsp red wine vinegar
2 tsp Hickory liquid smoke
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp sea salt
1 cup BBQ sauce

Place pork in the slow cooker and season with salt, vinegar, garlic powder and liquid smoke.  Cover and set to high for 6 hours.

Remover pork and transfer into a large dish, reserve all the liquid into a cup and set aside.

Shred the pork with two forks and put it back into the slow cooker along with about 3/4 cups of the reserved liquid and the BBQ sauce.

Cook on high for a further hour and then serve.

Beef & Pepper Stirfry

Recipe & Image taken from

12 oz top round beef trimmed of fat
4 tsp plus 3 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp rice wine
3 tsp cornstarch
5 tsp vegetable oil
1 large onion, sliced into thin strips
1 bell pepper, sliced into thin strips
1/2 tsp black pepper
crushed red pepper flakes (optional)

Slice meat into thin slices with the grain.  Cut each strip across the grain about 1" long so you have small thin slices.  Place in a bowl and add 4 teaspoons of soy sauce, 1 tablespoon of rice wine, 1 teaspoon cornstarch and black pepper.

In a small bowl, mix 3 tablespoons soy sauce  1 tablespoon water and 2 teaspoons cornstarch.  Set aside.

Heat the wok on high heat.  Add beef along with 1 teaspoon oil and cook undisturbed for 20 seconds, letting the beef brown.  Using a spatula, stir meat, cooking for another two minutes. Transfer to a plate, 

Add remaining 2 teaspoons oil to the wok, add peppers and onions and cook for about 2 minutes.  Return beef to the wok, add the sauce and red pepper flakes and stir fry for about 30 seconds until slightly thickened.

Colombian Beef

Recipe & Image taken from

1-1/2 lbs grass fed sirloin tip steak, sliced very thin
salt to taste
garlic powder to taste
cumin to taste
4 tsp olive oil
1 medium onion, sliced thin or chopped
1 very large tomato or 2 medium tomatoes, sliced thin or chopped

Season steak with salt and garlic powder. 

Heat a large frying pan until very hot, add 2 tsp of oil then half of the steak and cook less than a minute on each side. Set steak aside, add another teaspoon of oil and cook remaining steak. Set aside.

Reduce heat to medium, add another teaspoon of oil and add the onions.  

Cook for a minute and then add tomatoes, season with salt, pepper and cumin and reduce heat to medium-low.

Add about 1/4 cup water and then simmer a few minutes to create a sauce, add more water if needed and taste adjust seasoning as needed. Return the steak to the pan along with the drippings, combine well and remove from heat.

Serve over rice.

Slow Cooker Santa Fe Chicken

Recipe & Image taken from

24 oz (1 1/2) lbs chicken breast
14.4 oz can diced tomatoes with mild green chilies
15 oz can black beans
8 oz frozen corn
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
14.4 oz can fat free chicken broth
3 scallions, chopped
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp cayenne pepper (to taste)
salt to taste

Combine chicken broth, beans, corn, tomatoes, cilantro, scallions, garlic powder, onion pwder, cumin, cayenne peppers and salt in the crock pot.

Season chicken breast with salt and lay on top.

Cook on low for 10 hours or on high for 6 hours

Half an hour before serving, remove the chicken and shred.

Return chicken to slow cooker and stir in.  Adhust salt and seasoning.

Serve over rice or in a tortilla.

Glazed Drumsticks

Recipe & Image taken from

8 medium chicken drumsticks, skin removed
olive oil spray 
1 cup water
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup soy sauce
4 tsp sugar
3 cloves garlic, crushed
1 tsp ginger, grated
2 tbsp chives or scallions, chopped
1 tsp sesame seeds

In a large heavy saucepan, brown chicken on high for 3/*4 minutes with a little spray.

Add water, balsamic, soy sauce, agave, garlic, ginger, hot sauce and cook on high until liquid comes to a boil

Reduce heat to low and simmer, covered for about 20 minutes.  Remove cover and bring heat to high, allowing sauce to reduce down, about 8-10 minutes, until it becomes a thick glaze, turning chicken occasioanlly.

Transfer chicken to a platter and pour glaze over the top.

Top with chives, sesame seeds and serve.

Chicken Thighs with Shallots & Red Wine Vinegar

Recipe & Image taken from

8 lean chicken thighs, skin removed
salt and fresh pepper
1/2 cup red wine vinegar
1 cup fat free chicken broth
1 tbsp honey
1 tbsp tomato paste
1 tsp butter
1 large shallot, thinly sliced (3/4 cup)
2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1/2 cup dry white wine
2 tbsp light sour cream
2 tbsp fresh chopped parsley

Season chicken with salt and pepper

In a medium saucepan, combine vinegar, honey, 3/4 cup broth and tomato paste.  Boil about 5 minutes until it reduces down to about 3/4 cup.  Remover from heat

In a larger skillet, melt butter over medium-low heat and add chicken.  Cook on both sides until brown, about 6-8 minutes.  Remove chicken and set aside.

Add the shallots and garlic to the skillet and cook on low until soft, about 5 minutes.

Pour the sauce over the chicken, add the wine, remaining broth, salt and pepper.

Cover and simmer for about 20 minutes until tender

Remove the chicken, add sour cream and stir into the sauce (if the sauce dries up, add more broth) 

Boil a few minutes and then return chicken to a skillet.  Top with fresh parsley.

Chicken Tikka Masala

Recipe & Image taken from

2 tsp canola oil or you could use butter (swap for fry lite for Slimming world)
1 small onion, minced
1 tbsp fresh ginger, grated
3 cloves garlic, crushed
1 1/2 cups crushed tomatoes
4 oz fat free yogurt
1/2 cup skimmed milk
1 tbsp cumin
1 tbsp garam masala
1 tsp turmeric (optional)
1/2 tbsp chili powder
salt to taste
16 oz (2 boneless) chicken breasts, cut into bite sized pieces
4 tbsp fresh cilantro (or to taste)

Heat oil in a large heavy based skillet over medium heat.  Add the onions and cook until golden. 

Add the crushed ginger, stir for a few minutes then add the garlic and cook another minute. 

Add cumin, garam masala, turmeric, chili powder, and salt & mix well until fragrant for about 2 minutes.

Stir in tomatoes, yogurt and milk.  Simmer on low heat until it thickens, about 10 minutes.

Add chicken and simmer for 10-15 minutes or until cooked through

Add a generous amount of chopped cilantro and serve with basmati rice or naan.