Monday, July 16, 2007

Culinary Canine : Stelline alla Signor Higgins

Yeap, I pamper my pooches. It's true what they say about owners projecting themselves onto their animals - I can't bear looking at Mr Higgins eating the same type of food day in, day out, how immensely boring!

We've also been so concerned about all the pet food recalls arising from unethical manufacturing processes in China that we've switched to holistic kibble and I need the assurance of knowing exactly what little Higgy is eating in his moist food. We lost Jedi a few months back to kidney disease, just as the recalls hit the headlines and we've never been sure if it was due to his food.

So I cook Mr Higgins a little feast at the beginning of the week and then mix it in with his dry kibble, about 1 portion of cooked food to 2 portions of dry (not the other way around as much as Mr Higgins begs me to!)

I also double-check all the ingredients in my Natural Health Bible for Dogs & Cats to make sure everything is good for the tubby poochums.

Ingredients for 1 greedy French bulldog for 1 week
Prep 45 mins prep to bowl
3 cloves of garlic, minced
4 rashers of streaky bacon, chopped into little bits
500g chicken mince
2 skinny carrots (or 1 fat one), diced
Grabful of peas
100g stelline soup pasta
A lump of cold butter as big as a matchbox

- Start boiling some water without salt in a saucepan, enough to cook the pasta in but not so much it takes an hour to boil.

- Splash a bit of olive oil in another saucepan and fry the garlic and bacon until it's cooked but not crispy (pink vs brown)
- Add the chicken mince and stir fry until cooked through. Using one of those wooden fork spatulas help break up the clumps into smaller bits.

- By the time the chicken is cooked, the water should be boiling so chuck the stelline in.

-Add the carrots to the chicken mince and stir around for a couple of minutes
-Add the peas, stir and then turn the heat down low (about 1 or 2) and put the lid on.

- When the pasta is cooked, don't drain the pasta in a colander but rather get a ladle out and scoop the pasta out of the water, draining it a little against the side of the pan, and then adding to the chicken mince. You want some water to add moisture to the mince because who doesn't like a bit 'o ggrrraaaaaavy????
- Mix the pasta into the chicken and check that there's enough liquid. When you press the mince down with your ladle, the hole should fill with liquid.
- Put the lid back on and let it simmer for about 10 mins or so.
- Stir the lump of cold butter in and then it's done.

- Ladle a spoonful into the doggy bowl to cool down, and store the rest in the fridge for up to a week. I normally just get a scoop out into the bowl an hour before feeding time, it'll be room temp by the time it comes to mixing it with the kibble.

Higgy LOVES it. He's horny as hell after he's eaten.

Oops, have I said too much????

PS: The Dolphin is back to the seas tomorrow and I've been learning to use his camera! You like? I'm going to be better than him when he gets back - 'ees not 'appy!

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