Chicken and sweet corn chowder
Use either cooked chicken fillets or the remains of a roast chicken
300g frozen sweetcorn; 400ml home-made chicken stock; 40g butter; one small onion, peeled and finely chopped; one small carrot, peeled and finely diced; one tablespoon of flour; 600ml milk; salt and freshly ground black pepper; 100g cheddar cheese, grated; 150 to 200g cooked chicken, chopped, and two to three tablespoons of cream.
Put the sweetcorn in a saucepan with the stock. Cover, bring to the boil then reduce to simmer for 10 minutes. Puree and set aside.
Meanwhile, melt the butter in a saucepan over a low heat. Add the onion and carrot and sauté gently for 10 minutes until softened. Stir in the flour and continue to cook for a couple of minutes. Gradually whisk in the milk and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for three to four minutes, stirring all the time.
Add in the cheese, corn mixture, cream and seasoning. Serve in warmed soup bowls with crusty bread.
Thai chilli mince with stir-fry noodles
450g lean mince; one tablespoon of oil; two onions, finely chopped; two to three cloves of garlic, chopped; piece of ginger, about the size of your thumb, chopped; one chilli, chopped, plus seeds if you want the extra heat; one to two sticks of lemongrass, finely chopped; one tablespoon of soy sauce; one tablespoon of rice vinegar; two tablespoons of sweet chilli sauce; one can of coconut milk; four to five tomatoes, chopped.
Stir-fry noodles: 100g approximately of Chinese noodles, cooked; one tablespoon of oil; two to three scallions, chopped; one tablespoon of soy sauce; one tablespoon of sesame oil.
Garnish: two tablespoon of chopped coriander; one chilli, finely chopped; handful of peanuts, chopped (optional ).
Heat the oil in a large pan. Brown the meat in two lots, remove from the pan, then brown the onions, add back the meat with all the other ingredients and simmer for 30 to 40 minutes. Taste for seasoning.
Heat a large pan and stir-fry the noodles in hot oil, add in the scallions, soy, and sesame oil. Spoon the noodles into large deep serving bowls, then spoon on the meat sauce and garnish with a mixture of the coriander, chilli, and peanuts.