I can’t remember when I first came across @John1827Joyce or Ice Cold Chef on twitter only that his story seemed such an inspirational one that I needed to follow his story and find out more.
He is an ordinary guy doing extraordinary things. Johns’ wife was diagnosed MS and decided that he needed to learn to cook for her and provide nutritious interesting meals. She taught him and he soaked up her knowledge like a sponge whilst drinking an ice cold beer. He then tweeted the lovely meals that he prepared and gradually built up a reputation as a wonderful, caring and driven man.
He started to teach young carers how to cook and realised the need for easy day to day meals with good nutritional value and this eventually led to the production of #CookerySOS. The book raises funds for and raises awareness of MS.
So to the book itself, it is a compilation of recipes contributed by John, his relatives, friends and social media contacts. It is split into clear sections, making the recipes easy to find and to suit your needs. Although it is aimed at beginners it is fabulous for experienced cooks too. As a mum of three grown up teenagers and a teenage cookery club teacher I have found it inspiring to use for everyday recipes making teatimes just a little more exciting! The recipes themselves are well laid out and simple to follow and cover dishes as simple as how to jazz up a beef burger through to making a nutritious veggie pasta bake and even an Asian broth. The book encourages eating fresh food daily which I am very pro – but uses good shortcuts to make cooking from scratch that little bit easier.
Tonight we had Thyme Chicken with Rice for supper and it was absolutely delicious. I love all the little hints and tips with each recipe – this one it tells you will work well as a pie filling which we may well use next time. It also suggests serving the dish with vegetable rice so I thought I would show you my recipe. This tasty noodley rice is based on a recipe shared with me by an instapal and is so versatile. You can add any veggies you like but the ones I use are particularly tasty.
Vegetable Rice – serves 5/6
1 onion finely sliced
1 tblsp vegetable oil
1 tsp butter
50g fine short cut egg noodles
350g basmati rice
500ml hot chicken stock
200g sweetcorn ( small can)
1 red pepper
1 large courgette
1 garlic clove
Warm the oil and butter together in a medium sized pan. Add the onions and cook until browned. Don’t skimp on this stage its what really adds flavour to the dish.
When you have brown edges to the onions add the noodles and brown those too – your onions will continue to cook and become well caramelised.
Add the dry rice and stir in well making sure all the grains are coated in the oils.
Add the stock and bring to the boil.
Stir in the sweetcorn, reduce to a low simmer and pop on the lid. Leave over a very low heat for 8 minutes.
In the meantime chop the pepper and courgette into small cubes (about 1cm) and finely chop the garlic.
When the 8 minutes are up remove the rice from the heat and time for 7 minutes.
Shallow fry the rest of the vegetables in another pan.
When the 7 minutes are over take off the rice pan lid and fluff up. Stir in the rest of the vegetables and serve with the chicken.
The chicken was lovely and I would also think it would go very well with pasta, when I make it with the rice again I will make it with a little less sauce.
I am also more than delighted that John used one of my recipes in the book – my berry and white chocolate muffins – so its not all savoury there is a desserts chapter too.
John is a hugely positive and inspirational man, yes he has had help to get the book together but it is his drive and attitude that has made this book happen and I’m sure he would be really grateful if you would think about buying a copy!