Sell By Dates? My Arse

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAHello there. It’s been quite a while hasn’t it. Well I’m back, I’ve found my mojo again for now and started cooking interesting stuff. I hadn’t stopped but I seem to do less adventurous stuff in the summer months and also I tend to rely on old favourites or things I’ve already posted.

So Mugsie, what’s the headline all about. Well, at the start of the summer I bought a block of feta cheese from lidl well that’s a slight untruth, it was a block of “Greek Style Salad Cheese”. Not authentic Feta but damn near as spot on as far as I’m concerned. Well a couple of weeks ago I got it out and had a look at the sell by date.          25/06/14.       That’ll be alright I thought. It was still in it’s sealed packet, hadn’t turned to mush or the packet was still intact and not inflated like a balloon. “I’ll use that sometime” I said to myself. So back into my cheese dept in my fridge it went. I don’t know about you but I always seem to have at least five various types of cheese on the go and why not. If you know a really good chutney maker as I do then you need the ammunition to go with the chutneys.

So last week I peeped in the reduced section of the meat fridges at Lidl and saw a packet of free range chicken breasts I can’t resist them so I bought it and told myself to cook it rather than freeze it along with the other five packets I already have. So there it sat in my fridge easily passing it’s sell by date by a whole 6 days till I took it out last night. Nothing wrong with it whatsoever. You can tell how meat is doing in a packet by looking at it and looking for the packet ballooning with bacteria farts. Even if the packet has “blown” a bit, it’s still ok, just give it a slight wash in cold water, after all, you’re not going to eat it raw are you?

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Chicken and cheese. It’s a match made in heaven and even sung about at the start of Gong’s “Allez Ali Baba Bullshit…” on the Live Floating Anarchy album. Well chicken and cheese and bacon. That’s just awesome in my mind so that’s what I did. I made a pocket in the chicken and stuffed it with the feta and then wrapped the chicken in 2 slices of smoked bacon. I didn’t have Parma ham and I rarely do anyway. Lidl do a really good Serrano and even cheaper a Black Forest ham that’s just as good. I didn’t have them either so bacon it was.

To go with the chicken I decided on a mushroom risotto. I part made this first by frying mushrooms and then garlic and the rice adding a glug of white wine and then slowly adding chicken stock. I only added a small amount as I had to pick up Carol from work so I left it there. When we were ready to eat I fried the chicken breasts in butter all over and then put them in a hot oven for 15 minutes. I then started on the risotto again just slowly adding more stock till the rice was ready and creamy. I took the chicken out and let it rest and then served with some mange tout. I still can’t think of mange tout without thinking of an old fella I used to work with a nice country farmhand kind of guy who used to call it quite innocently Mangy Towt. I never had the heart to correct him.

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The chicken was as moist as anything and the combination of chicken, bacon, feta and mushroom was really nice. I was told to make this again (clearly praise) for when we had guests. I would say I had a nice Merlot with this but Carol pointed out that I leave my wine till I’ve finished the food only to glug it in large mouthfuls by itself. Well I like it that way.

Good to be back folks if you’re still out there. I may be talking to thin air but I had fun cooking and eating this.

Mugsie

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