COPS Christine’s Sesame Chicken

This recipe is from @COPSDog – COPS co-founder Christine Fulton, the wife of P.C. Lewis Fulton who was murdered in Glasgow in 1994.  Christine went on to co-found Care Of Police Survivors (COPS) in 2003 as the Charity’s first President.

Having trained as a Chef, she worked in Glasgow before she married.  She often despairs that her teenage son seems to exist almost entirely on Peperoni Pizza or sausage rolls (from a well-known baker’s chain) and her partner’s favourite dish is Spam and tinned green beans!*

*Stu wishes to respond to this – “She is an excellent cook, as can be ascertained from my ever expanding waist line. Don’t believe the bit about the Spam & Green beans (I only get them for a special treat)”.

COPS is a UK registered charity dedicated to helping the families of police officers who have lost their lives on duty, rebuild their lives. It aims to ensure that survivors have all the help they need to cope with such a tragedy, and that they remain part of the police family.

COPS enables survivors to help survivors. Only another survivor can fully understand what new survivors endure, and that shared experience is the basis for the peer support programme.

COPS aims to build a network of survivors around the UK, developing the capability of having a local survivor as soon as required. The extent of help provided will be controlled by the new survivor. Sometimes an understanding listener is needed. Sometimes more practical help is required. Whatever the need, COPS will be able to put survivors in touch with those who truly understand.

SESAME CHICKEN WITH SPICED RICE

Note – If you want to be healthy you can bake your chicken and use crème fraiche and low fat spread but it won’t taste quite as nice.  You can of course boil a portion of rice if you prefer but why bother when a microwave bag is so quick and easy!

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Serves: Serves one but easily multiplies to serve more

Ingredients:

  • Large chicken breast, skin removed
  • One bag of microwave boiled rice
  • Desert spoon plain flour
  • Desert spoon sesame seeds
  • Knob of butter or garlic butter
  • Paprika
  • Chilli powder
  • Ground Ginger
  • Single cream
  • Little oil for frying
  • Salt & pepper

Equipment:

  • Small bag or a plate
  • Frying pan

Instructions:

  1. Mix flour, sesame seeds and a little salt and pepper together on a plate or in a small freezer bag.
  2. Add chicken breast and coat in mixture.
  3. Heat oil in a frying pan and gently cook the chicken breast for 8 – 10 minutes till golden, turning occasionally.
  4. When chicken is nearly ready cook the rice and empty into a bowl and add the butter.  Give it a good stir as the butter melts so it coats each grain of rice then add a good shake of paprika, chilli and ginger stirring till mixed.  Add more paprika if required to give a nice colour and more spice if you like it hotter.
  5. Put rice on a plate and place chicken breast on top.
  6. Quickly stir some cream into the pan scraping up any bits that have stuck to the bottom.  As soon as it starts to boil, pour over the chicken.
  7.  If you can be bothered, sprinkle a little chopped parsley over the top and serve.
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Special (Constable) Bolognese

@Uk_Copper – Bob Smith – is a Special Constable.  Actually he’s a Special Inspector so he’s making it up the ranks of the Specials.  This means he is a volunteer, unpaid police officer who has all the same powers as an ordinary copper.  Specials work in their free time, and the only money they get as recompense is a refund on any expenses they accrue in the process.  A few boroughs in the UK waive their council tax, but this is the exception rather than the rule.

I tutored a Special who has gone on to be a Regular.  She was one of the brightest and most highly motivated officers I’ve ever worked with, and I’m very proud that she joined up in the end.  Not all Specials become Regulars – many of our unpaid colleagues work for years on end, giving up hours every week to come and work on the frontline of policing.  Some are on neighbourhood teams, others on response – there are even some forces where they work in specialist units like traffic or CID.

So if you are a Special Constable, thankyou for your service.  We Regulars do appreciate you!

Here is Bob’s Special Bolognese and a little story:

“I am a special Inspector, working on a mid-sized force, balancing my role as a special with my paid work, which is also with my force.  A sucker for punishment is how I have been described before when it comes to the job!  I have been in for over five years now as a special and slowly worked my way around the organisation until I landed where I am now.

I think the funniest thing I have ever done on duty was a couple of years ago.  It was the middle of winter in the city centre.  We got called to reports of a drunk male who had been ejected from a club and was now causing trouble with the bouncers outside.  Off my partner and I trotted, hoping the male would have seen sense and left before we arrived….  We turned the corner about twenty meters from the door of the club.  He  immediately saw us, shouted some very choice words and took off running.

Now, normally this would be a bad thing for me.  I am similar to Gimli in regards to running – “I’m wasted on cross-country! We dwarves are natural sprinters! Very dangerous over short distances”!  Unfortunately my version of short distance is just that, short.  So off the man sprints, and I believe I may have muttered something under my breath before I began to run myself.  Luckily for me the male was more interested in watching us trying to chase him than watching his feet, so he ran straight onto an ungritted section of the street and promptly fell backwards, slamming rather hard into the pavement.

He managed to get himself to his feet just as I reached the edge of the ungritted section myself and thought that as I was sober and wearing sensible boots I would be okay to carry on moving quickly.  Well, you can imagine what happened next, my legs go one way, my upper body the other and the bloke who was trying to run was caught in the middle.  Normally this would result in some gentle ribbing from my partner and possibly the shift when they found out too, unfortunately in this case it happened in front of the full queue for the bar!  To be fair the crowds comments could have been worse!  There was some talk about them checking if they had caught it on CCTV, but luckily nothing ever surfaced, so I think I am okay!

This is a very quick recipe that creates a massive pot of sauce, I try to do it before weeks that are going to be massively busy, that way I can separate it into individual portions and freeze it.  Then when you get home at four in the morning after a horrible 6 hours standing on a scene in the middle of a forest in the rain at the end of your shift you can quickly heat one of them up, add some pasta and ta-da, a hot, nourishing meal that doesn’t take much effort to make.

Special Constable Bolognese

Serves: Approx 5 large portions

Ingredients:

  • 700g lean beef mince
  • 250g closed cap mushrooms
  • 4-5 medium size onions
  • 1 tin chopped tomatoes
  • 1 large jar of pasta sauce (editors note: Asda SmartPrice sauce  is 39p and one of the healthiest out there with the most natural ingredients)
  • Olive oil
  • Mixed dried herbs

Editors note: consider chopping in some fresh garlic or add garlic paste for some extra vitamin B6, vitamin C and flavour!

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Equipment:

  • Large frying pan
  • Large pan with lid
  • Chopping board
  • Medium kitchen knife

Directions:

Step 1:

Add a splash of oil to the frying pan and brown the mince – keep stirring and add a little water if you like the mince very fine, or add none if you like it chunky.  While the mince is cooking pour the sauce and the chopped tomatoes into the other pan and put them on a low heat.
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Step 2:
Slice the mushrooms and dice the onions.  Unfortunately I have yet to find any good way of not crying like a baby when doing the onions. Any hints would be appreciated!
Editors note: I find wearing my contact lenses helps!
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Step 3:

Drain the mince and add it to the pan with the sauce.  Mix it well and add the chopped mushrooms and onions to the pot.  I add some mixed herbs here too, then stick a lid on it and let it simmer for approximately 20 minutes.

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Serve hot with pasta”.

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Bill’s Buffalo Chicken Dip

Bill is a retired Sergeant with the Canadian Police, now working as a latent print expert.  @Bill5250 on Twitter, he describes himself as a Harley-owning atheist, plus a metal, punk and rock fan.

It seems appropriate to put his recipe here this weekend, as the 14th October 2013 is Canadian Thanksgiving Day !

Here is Bill’s recipe and a tale:

“I’m a latent print expert now – there are not many funny stories from that line of work except for the practical jokes like putting spiders in the fingerprint loupes, or a piece of tape on the mouse laser!

One story – in the winter years ago a car went off the slippery highway.  The elderly driver was being evasive but demanding we hurry to get a tow to get him out.

We pressed him more to see what he was up to and found out he was the main caviar supplier in Canada and his trunk was full.  Said it was over $100,000 worth, so it was important it didn’t freeze!

He showed us and yep sure enough full trunk!

It was odd how all the guys stayed and hung around… and he didn’t give us any!  Kind of bitter too after he got out!

Buffalo Chicken Dip

Here’s an addictive dip that everyone will hunt down…even firefighters!

Serves: Several – depending on how many dips you have

Ingredients:

  • 2 blocks of cream cheese
  • 2 cans of white chicken breast or 1 whole breast, chopped
  • 1 cup of Ranch or Blue Cheese salad dressing
  • 1/2 cup of Franks Red Hot Sauce or Buffalo wing sauce

Editors note: Not all of these are standard fare in the UK, so here are some ‘alternative’ ingredients for those buying in a UK supermarket

  • 2 standard tubs cream cheese (i.e. Philidelphia)
  • 1 cooked chicken breast, chopped
  • 200ml Ranch or Blue Cheese salad dressing (if you want to make your dressing from scratch, there are plenty of recipes available)
  • 100ml Franks Red Hot Sauce, Tabasco sauce or another hot pepper sauce

Equipment:

  • Food processor or blender
  •  Small oven-proof dish for baking

Directions:

Place everything in a good processor or blender and mix.  Pour the mix into an oven-proof dish.   Bake in oven (or microwave) until hot and bubbling.

Serve with nacho chips or crackers.

Best served off duty with beer!”

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The ACC’s Pesto Pasta

Assistant Chief Constable Gareth Morgan is the ACC for local policing in Warwickshire and West Mercia, plus national police lead for burglary.  An avid tweeter, Mr Morgan is probably the original Cop That Cooks!

Aside from the day to day professional tweets, he keeps us entertained with details of his cooking, slamming his hand in a car door, and most recently showing his wit and imagination with #AddAWordRuinAMovie.  Mr Morgan is an active participant in Twitter “life” and very much part of our online policing community.

Here is what he has to say:

“This is a great stand by in the week because it is so quick and easy.  You can also leave out the chicken and add more mushrooms for veggie option. Had a friend who added cashew nuts.  Wrong on so many levels…

Kids love it at the weekend – the vegetables are big enough for them to pick out!

ACC’S PESTO PASTA

Serves:  This works for 4-6 persons

Ingredients:  I don’t measure stuff, so it’s a bit rough and ready!

  • 5 chicken thighs
  • Handful of fresh herbs ( approx 1 x teaspoon if using dried)
  • Olive oil
  • 2-3 cloves garlic
  • 2 red peppers
  • Couple of handfuls  of mushrooms
  • Small pot half fat creme fraiche
  • Jar of pesto
  • Pasta (any shape)
  • Salt & pepper to taste

Equipment:

  • Frying pan
  • Pot to cook pasta

Directions:

Chop the herbs and garlic and mix with approx 1 x tablespoon olive oil.

Remove the skin and any bone from the chicken and chop the thigh meat into about 4 pieces – mix with herb mixture and leave to marinade for about an hour.

Chop peppers and mushrooms into similar size chunks.

Fry the chicken and the marinade over a medium heat till coloured and starting to cook through – approx 5 minutes.

Put pasta into boiling salted water and cook as per packet etc…

Add the peppers and mushrooms to chicken and cook over higher heat for 2-3 minutes.

Add pesto and mix well, then stir in the creme fraiche.  Season to taste if necessary, simmer gently for a few minutes.

Drain the pasta when cooked, and mix with the pesto chicken

Serve in warmed bowls.

Enjoy!!!”

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Nathan’s Chinese Feast

Tonight’s recipe is courtesy of our very own @NathanConstable.  Nathan is an Inspector, a Fed Rep, a father and author of #MHPolChat hashtag on Twitter.  With a specialist interest in the arena of mental health, he is a major proponent of the debate around the police handling of those who are mentally ill or in crisis.  Here is his recipe and a little tale:

“I absolutely love Chinese food. The best Chinese meal I have ever eaten was in a back street in Hong Kong. When I say “back street” I don’t just mean DOWN some back street – it was a case of actually eating IN the back street.

If you have never experienced this kind of street eating it does take some bravery.  I would never, ever have considered eating at this place had I not been with a friend who knew the city well.  It was also full of local people, which is always a good sign.

I think Health and Safety or Food Hygiene would have condemned this place if it were in the UK but I have to say – when the food did arrive it was sensational.

The other thing about Chinese food served in China is that when you ask for chicken it comes with bone chunks in it which you have to eat around and put aside.  No filleting involved in China.

There is also the unique (in my experience) option of actually choosing a live fish for them to cook for you.  That was a step too far for me – even though I had just eaten pigeon which came with the head also glazed and on the plate.

If you fancy somewhere a little less “authentic” than Hong Kong then there is a wonderful Chinese restaurant in Cardiff called “Pearl of The Orient” in Mermaid Quay, Cardiff Bay.  This where I have eaten the  second best Chinese meal of my life. Nice cocktails as well.

STIR-FRIED BEEF IN OYSTER SAUCE
This is a simplified Chinese dish. Believe me you will not require the addition of any salt. The oyster sauce and the Soy do that job perfectly.
Before the advent of Straight-To-Wok noodles I would either use dried noodles cooked separately and added in or I would cook rice separately and serve it alongside rather than stirred in.  The noodles here are just how I choose to add the carbs.
Even my kids like this so I must be doing something right.

Serves: 4 normal humans or 2 very hungry ones.

Ingredients:

  • 4 thin “quick-fry” steaks or a 500g pack of ready cut stir-fry beef
  • 2 large carrots
  • 1 packet of fresh baby corn
  • 3-4 Spring Onions
  • Dark soy sauce (to splash)
  • Oyster Sauce (1 large bottle or two sachets)
  • Five spice paste
  • 2  sachets of “straight to wok” noodles

Equipment:

  • Wok or large frying pan

Directions:

Chop the steaks into thin strips (about little finger width)

Rub a generous teaspoon of five spice paste into the meat and leave to marinate for a few hours in the fridge.  (Overnight if possible)

Peel and slice the carrots into thin strips about 2-3cm long, 1cm wide and a few millimetres thick.   (Usually done by halving or thirding the carrot length ways – halving each section – then making 4-6 slices lengthways from each)

Cut each Baby corn in half, both length-ways and width-ways – ideally the vegetable slices should be of roughly equal size and width.

Trim the spring onions and chop into little 1cm rings.

Heat a wok or large frying pan with oil until the oil is smoking hot.

Stir-fry the meat for 2-3 minutes until browned and cooked to your liking. It is best to do this in batches because if you add too much meat at once it will steam rather than fry.

Once all the meat is cooked through and browned – set aside and drain the wok / pan of any remaining fat.  Then add more oil and reheat til smoking.

Add all the vegetables together at once and stir-fry for 3 minutes or so until they have visibly shrunk a little. Add splashes of Soy Sauce to taste.  Add the meat to the wok and stir through.

Add Oyster Sauce and stir through, then add both sachets of noodles (take them out of sachet, break them up over the wok)

Stir everything for 2 minutes until noodles are cooked.  It’s usually best to turn the heat down a little bit at this stage so they don’t stick.

Serve”.

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Curry in a Hurry

No good cop would turn down a cup of tea.  And few would turn down a curry.  In keeping with the idea of quick food, here is a delicious recipe for a warming wintry curry in a hurry….

@Steelriverboy is a serving bobby in England and brings you this recipe which he prepared in response to a challenge by his wife.

“I first came across this little recipe as my wife and I, both lead busy lives, and neither of us works what you would class as normal working hours. I work shifts, and she works mornings and evenings.

Anyway, on one of my “days off”, my wife asked if I’d cook something for tea (dinner, I think everyone south of Watford calls it).

Typically, I asked what she’d like, to which she replied, “Surprise me”.
Not wanting to duck a challenge, I dug out one of her many recipe books and had a flick through.

I saw the recipe for keema curry and thought, “I could do that. Easy”.
And it was. The trouble is, my wife doesn’t like anything that’s too spicy.
A korma is about as strong a curry as she will eat.

When she got in from work and found out I’d prepared and cooked a keema, her reaction was, “Curried mince?”.  To her credit, she tried, and enjoyed it.

It’s quick and easy to prepare, and goes down well in the winter months.
It’ll soon be that time again, so I’d better get stocked up!”

KEEMA CURRY

Serves:

This recipe is good for around 4 portions.  It’s only ten minutes prep time, and half an hour to cook.  Can be eaten straight away, reheated when needed and it can be frozen when it has cooled down.

Serve with a portion of rice, and vegetables of your choice.

*Editors note – if you are re-heating rice, make sure it is steaming hot all the way through.  Rice is notorious for causing food poisoning  because of spores on the rice from storage before cooking, which can survive the cooking process.  Rice should never be kept for more than 24hrs after it has been cooked for the first time.

Ingredients:

  • 500g minced beef
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons medium curry powder
  • 400g potatoes, peeled and cut into 1″ dice
  • 150g frozen peas
  • 200ml beef stock
  • 1 x can of chopped tomatoes
  • salt and black pepper

Equipment:

  • Large pot
  • Wooden spoon

Directions:

Place the mince and the chopped onion into a pan, and brown for 5 minutes. Stir frequently.
Add in the curry powder and the potatoes and fry for another minute.
Pour in the stock and tomatoes and add seasoning to taste. Cover and simmer for 25 minutes.
Add the peas and cook for a further 5 minutes until they’re tender.

Serve with a portion of rice, and vegetables of your choice.

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Ma’am Bourner’s Breakfast Burrito

Chief Superintendent Sally Bourner of West Midlands Police (Solihull Borough) is an avid tweeter and VW camper van aficionado.  Here is her recipe and a little back story.

Solihull borough Police Commander @SolPolCommander – passionate about @solihullpolice helping local people. Sharing policing insights, stuff about cakes, books, music and VDubs‘.

“I’m actually a fraud as most of the cooking in our household is done by @jbellinghammc but in the spirit of openness and transparency I’m owning up to that and consider myself more as a cop who MASQUERADES at cooking but is known to help out/get in the way/cause a mess lots! However there is one recipe that I do consider my signature dish and I can vouch for me being the cook

My recipe connects to my love for vintage VW camper vans and we are proud owners of one ourselves, the one and only Betty (with the surname Brew – that’s because we can brew up a nice cuppa tea in her too!)

One of the ways I ensure I keep perspective between the increasing demands of leading policing through challenging times is to focus on making time to be with the people who matter most in my life, namely,  @jbellinghammc, our family and friends. After all our family and friends are the people who are and always will be there for us. They are the people who give me the strongest support and love to be who and I am and do what I do at work.

Whilst we would certainly not describe our adventures in Betty as 5 star luxury the times we spend away travelling in her bring us great happiness and time away to relax and have a laugh.

I first tried this recipe in June of this year when we were staying on the Isle of Purbeck in Dorset at a campsite called Burnbake (can highly recommend as a place to get away from it all and it’s featured on the Cool Camping website). The recipe is taken from a fantastic book  (The Camper Van Coast by Martin Dorey who exists on Twitter as @campervanliving).

Ma'am Bourner and Betty

Ma’am Bourner and Betty

It is known as The Breakfast Burrito (but we had it for supper – one of the many skills we develop in policing is versatility and the ability to change plans at the drop of a hat!)

Serves:
Recipe makes enough for 4 (but not sure we’d get 4 people comfortably in Betty so suggest if cooking this in a VW camper van to half the measurements!)

Ingredients:

  • 250g chorizo, cut into chunks
  • 12tbsp (about 300g) cooked diced potato – approx 2 medium spuds
  • 6 large eggs
  • 6 tbsp grated mature cheddar
  • Pinch of finely chopped chilli or chilli flakes
  • 4 large tortilla wraps
  • 2-3 tbsp chopped chives
  • A few shakes of spicy sauce (we use Tabasco)

Note: Can be made vegetarian by substituting chorizo for peppers, onions, tofu etc

Equipment:

  • Grill
  • Frying pan

Directions:
Preheat the grill. In a large frying pan, saute the chunks of chorizo until the oil begins to seep out and they begin to go crispy. Then add diced COOKED potato (this is a good way to use up spuds from the night before or you can boil on burner alongside before starting the chorizo – multi tasking…..not something I do particularly well).

Cook over a medium high heat, stirring often, until the potatoes are hot and are beginning to go a little crispy. Then crack the eggs into the pan and scatter over the grated cheese and chilli – stir well to break the eggs and create a kind of omelette. Heat the tortilla wraps under the grill (we don’t do this bit because our original 1971 grill might explode….)

Once the cheese has melted, sprinkle on the chopped chives, then tip out the contents of the pan onto the warm tortillas and add spicy sauce to taste. Tuck in the ends and sides of the tortillas to make burritos and tuck in. You will need both hands (and a contingency napkin to prevent spillage staining the highly fashionable clothes we wear when we go camping…..not!)

Goes rather nicely with a chilled beer (always good to buy local and take the opportunity to taste and try local beverages, rather lovely in Dorset we found).

Lovely local beverage.  Not a brew.

Lovely local beverage. A particular type of “brew”.

And that’s it!

Haven’t added photos of the finished article because it looks like mush but…..it tastes divine!”

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