News | Portobello Place Care Home | Beaconsfield, Amersham, Chesham
Portobello Place - Gallery

Stay up to date with Portobello Place in Chartridge, Buckinghamshire

To find out about the latest goings-on here in our beautiful care home near Chesham, keep an eye on this news page. Our articles offer insight into daily life in our residential care home in Buckinghamshire, with a wide variety of events, activities and entertainment taking place each week for those living here in Chartridge for residential care, respite care and day care. Keep an eye on our Facebook page too for regular updates!

Recipe of the Week - Chicken Chasseur




Another French classic often not done properly, very easy all in one pot.




Oven preheated to 170c

Preparation time 20minutes

Cooking time 1 ½ hours




Ingredients

2-3 tbsp olive oil

2oz butter

1-2 oz plain flour

Salt and pepper

4 Large chicken legs cut in half

1 large chopped onion

2 crushed garlic cloves

2 tbsp tomato puree

1x 400grm tin chopped tomatoes

1 tbsp fresh chopped Tarragon

Lots of fresh chopped parsley

1 bay leaf

½ bottle dry white wine

½lb sliced mushrooms

500ml good chicken stock




Method

1. Season the chicken with the salt and pepper and dust with the flour.

2. In a frying pan add a little oil and fry the chicken pieces slowly so they colour lightly. Once all the chicken has been fried place in a casserole dish. You only need to colour not cook the chicken at this stage.

3. In the same pan, add a little more oil and all the butter. Fry your onions lightly then add your garlic and mushrooms cook for 2-3 minutes gently.

4. Put the tomato puree in and stir, then pour in the white wine until it all bubbles. Pour into the casserole dish with the chicken.

5. Add the chopped tomatoes, tarragon, bay leaf and the chicken stock.

6. Place in the pre heated oven for 1 hour covered, then the remaining ½ hour uncovered.

7. After this time, take out and check for seasoning, and sprinkle with lots of chopped parsley before you serve.


Read full post

Recipe of the Week - Beef Bourguignon

Cooking time 2.5 hours - preheat oven to 170C. Preparation time 30-40 minutes. Serves 4-6.

Serve with a lovely creamy mash or new boiled buttered potatoes with lots of fresh chopped parsley, along with some green leaf vegetables of your choice.

Ingredients
- 4lb Good quality braising steak cut into 1” dice. (shin of beef if you can find it)
- 8oz fatty bacon cut into strips
- 1 large finely chopped onion
- 2 crushed garlic cloves
- 1 bottle of good red wine
- 6 tbsp brandy (optional)
- 3 tsp tomato puree
- 2 sprigs of fresh thyme
- 2 bay leaves
- 2oz butter
- 1lb peeled baby onions
- 1lb small button mushrooms
- 3-4 tbsp plain flour
- 6 tbsp veg oil
- Salt and pepper to season
- Chopped parsley

Method
1. Season the beef with salt and pepper and roll the beef in the flour, shaking off any excess.
2. Heat a frying pan and fry the pieces of beef in a little oil until light brown - do this gently so it doesn’t burn.
3. Put the beef into a casserole dish.
4. Tip out the oil from your pan and add a bit of fresh oil. Fry the chopped onions, bacon and garlic until soft and lightly brown.
5. Add the tomato puree and pour in about ¼ bottle red wine to deglaze all the sediments from the pan. Stir and pour the contents into the casserole dish with the beef, then pour the rest of the wine in from the bottle.
6. If it doesn’t cover all the beef, just top it up with a little water. Add bay leaves and thyme.
7. Bring to a simmer, place a lid on the dish and place in the oven for two hours.
8. After two hours, take a fresh pan with a little oil and gently fry the baby onions and mushrooms until brown.
9. Carefully take your casserole dish out of the oven and add the mushrooms, onions and brandy if using.
10. Place into the oven for a further ½ hour or until the beef is tender to your liking.
11. You may want to thicken the casserole to your liking, in which case, simply mix some cornflour with some cold water, stir gently and pour in slowly until the dish reaches the thickness you require.
12. To serve, check seasoning, remove the bay leaves and thyme stalks, stir in the butter and sprinkle with fresh chopped parsley.

Read full post

Recipe of the Week - Mille-Feuille

Oven temperature preset to 180C - cooking time 20 – 30 minutes

Ingredients - 2 x packet pre-rolled puff pastry
- 1 x beaten egg for egg wash
- 1 tbsp granulated sugar for sprinkling
- 1 pint double cream
- 2-3 drops of vanilla extract
- 2 tbsp icing sugar plus extra for dusting
- 8oz mixed berries

Method
1. Unfold the puff pastry sheets, place one sheet on a lined baking sheet big enough to accommodate the sheet comfortably.
2. Egg wash the pastry sheet on the tray and then place the other sheet on top, egg wash the top side and sprinkle with the granulated sugar.
3. Chill for 20 minutes, then place in the preheated oven and cook until golden. It should puff up like a pillow, being careful that your oven doesn’t colour it too much.
4. Take out when its ready and allow to cool.
5. Whip the double cream with the vanilla and icing sugar to firm peaks.
6. When the pastry has chilled completely, place it onto your table and with a serrated knife, cut across the middle horizontally. Place the top half on your tabletop and the bottom half on the platter you intend to serve it on.
7. Place the whipped flavoured cream all over the bottom half of the pastry and sprinkle over your fruits.
8. Place the other half on top, shiny side up.
9. Dust with icing sugar, serve and enjoy.

Read full post

Lovely lunches close to home at Chartridge Lodge

Just on the outskirts of Chesham and not too far from Portobello Place, you’ll find Chartridge Lodge. The building started out as a private house dating from the start of the last century, but having been transformed in the 1960s, it’s now primarily a hotel, conference centre and wedding venue but there’s also a fantastic restaurant there, open for lunches, dinners and afternoon tea.

As Chartridge Lodge is so close by and is surrounded by beautiful gardens, we love popping over for an hour or two for a cup of tea, a slice of cake and a little walk around. It really is a stunning place and as it’s just a mile down the road, it’s almost right on our doorstep!

Here in our Buckinghamshire care home, it’s great having such a wonderful place so close by – although our food here at Portobello Place is truly exceptional, it’s always nice to have the odd change of scenery – Chartridge Lodge offers just that.


Read full post

Recipe of the Week - Paella Valenciana

Paella is the dish and Paellera is the pan it’s cooked in. You can make it with just fish or meat, or it can even be made vegetarian. In the photo, it’s cooked in a large roasting pan for about 10 hungry family members at home on our firepit. Follow this recipe until you get a feel for it, and you can omit or add ingredients as you wish. You cook this in an oven at 200°c for 25-30 minutes or until cooked. Allow it to rest for a good ten minutes covered with a clean tea towel.

Ingredients (to serve six)
- 500g long-grain American rice (normally made with paella rice)
- 1 litre warm chicken stock (you may need a little more or less)
- 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (plus some more to drizzle over)
- ½ chicken cut into pieces
- 200g chorizo cut into small slices
- 500g rindless belly of pork cut into 2-inch pieces
- 1kg monkfish (or any other firm fish like snapper) cut into small pieces
- 500g squid cut into small pieces
- 250g peeled raw prawns
- ½ bag cleaned and scrubbed mussels
- 1 large can of chopped tomatoes
- 6 Mediterranean king prawns (cooked)
- 1 large chopped onion
- 1 red pepper cut into long strips, fried in a little oil
- 1 green chopped pepper
- 2 chopped garlic cloves garlic
- A handful of cooked peas
- 6 lemon wedges
- 1 small bunch parsley, finely chopped
- 1 pinch of saffron soaked in a little white wine or water for five minutes
- Sea salt to taste

Method
1. Firstly, put your oven on to 200°C.
2. Get your pan on the heat and add the olive oil.
3. Add your onions, garlic and green peppers, and cook until soft.
4. Add your chicken, chorizo, belly of pork and monkfish – lightly cook for five minutes.
5. Stir in the rice then add in the tomatoes and saffron, complete with wine/water.
6. Add the raw prawns and mussels, mixing well.
7. Add the stock – this should come just over the rice by about half an inch.
8. Bring to a gentle simmer slowly, being careful that nothing burns. At this stage, check the seasoning by adding the salt – be careful with this and don’t forget, you can always season more later.
9. Place the paella in the oven and cook for 25-30 minutes.
10. Once it’s ready, you can taste the rice fortenderness, sprinkle with the peas and parsley, then add the cooked Mediterranean prawns, fried red pepper strips and lemon wedges to the top of the dish in a decorative manner.
11. Place the paella back into the oven for a few minutes to warm it through.
12. Take out of the oven and cover with the tea towel. Before serving, drizzle lightly with olive oil.

Read full post

Recipe of the Week - Spanish Omelette

This traditional Spanish omelette, also called a tortilla, is quick and easy to make - and it's delicious, too. Here's how to make one at home.

Ingredients
- 2.5kg potatoes
- 2 large onions
- 6 large eggs
- Oil for frying (sunflower or vegetable oil)
- 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
- Salt & pepper

Method
1. Peel and wash the potatoes, dry them, then cut/chip them into a bowl. You want small one-inch pieces.
2. Peel and slice the onions and mix them with the potatoes.
3. Get a large deep-frying pan filled with oil and fry the potatoes and onions in batches. They need to boil and fry at the same time. They will stick together a little but just keep turning them over from time to time until soft.
4. Drain the potatoes and onion mix, and place in a large bowl. Season well.
5. Heat a non-stick frying pan with olive oil.
6. Whisk the eggs and pour over the mix while still hot and mix well.
7. Put all this mix into the frying pan; it should be thick like a cake, and cook gently mixing slowly from time to time. After two or three minutes you will need to set the omelette in the pan - press the mix down with a fork so it's all level in the pan, shaking the pan so it doesn’t stick and checking the heat so it doesn’t burn.
8. Now the fun part. Turn the heat down, being very careful you don’t burn yourself, place a large plate over the pan, you need to rotate the pan over and place the omelette onto the plate. In the same pan slide the omelette back into the pan and put back onto the heat. Cook the other side gently, shaking the pan handle so the omelette wobbles in the pan.
9. Again, after two minutes, put the plate over the pan, rotate, and you should have a beautifully coloured Spanish omelette on the plate. Allow to rest for five minutes, then cut into wedges like a cake.

In Spain, many people take this cooled tortilla on picnics. You can add other vegetables or diced chorizo sausage, but the recipe above is the true Spanish omelette, not the one you often see in magazines or cookery books.

Read full post

Wondrous wildlife accessible to all

The Berkshire, Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire Wildlife Trust (BBOWT) was founded in 1959 and takes care of 87 nature reserves and 5 living landscapes across the three counties.

Just half an hour away from our luxury care home in Chartridge, just north of Tring, you’ll find College Lake, a former chalk quarry at Pitstone in the Aylesbury Vale – the site is one of BBOWT’s flagship reserves and boasts a wide variety of flora and fauna for all ages to enjoy, all year round.

Following a lot of hard work over several years from staff and volunteers, this thriving nature reserve now supports more than 1,000 different wildlife species. If you’re interested in birdwatching, wildflowers and getting fresh air in beautiful countryside, College Lake offers the ideal place for all three, and you can do as much or as little as you’d like.

The lake is home to an eco-friendly visitor centre with a shop and café that opened to the public in 2010 – complete with amazing views of the lake – as well as bird hides and a picnic area. There’s no entry fee, there’s plenty of parking and 90% of the paths are surfaced. And with benches dotted around, you can sit for a while and watch nature at its best. A couple of the hides are wheelchair-accessible, and you can even book out the two mobility Tramper vehicles for easier access free of charge, so it’s a great place for us to take residents for the day from our Chartridge care home.

We’re incredibly lucky to have such a great place for wildlife right on our doorstep – College Lake is a wonderful place that lets people of all ages come and explore a beautiful landscape that’s home to a variety of breeding waders. Common terns, lapwing and redshank call College Lake their home, and in the colder months, wintering wildfowl – such as wigeon and teal – head to the area from Scandinavia and beyond, using the wetlands for feeding and roosting. It’s no wonder College Lake is widely regarded as one of the best places in Buckinghamshire for water birds. If you’ve never been, it’s well worth popping over for a fun family day out.

Maybe when the warmer weather comes back next spring and summer, we’ll take our residents out on a trip to College Lake – and it would be rude not to enjoy the delicious food and drink in the café, wouldn’t it!

To find out more about our outings and events at Portobello Place care home in Chartridge, follow us on Facebook, keep checking back on our news page or get in touch with the team.

Read full post

Recipe of the Week - Sweet and Sour Chicken

Ingredients
- A small pineapple
- 2 tbsp sunflower oil
- 1 red pepper
- 1 green pepper
- 1 onion (cut into wedges)
- 1 tbsp cornflour
- 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts
- Spring onions

For the sauce
- 1 tbsp cornflour
- 300ml pineapple juice
- 2 garlic cloves
- 25g fresh root ginger
- 1 tbsp dark soy sauce
- 2 tbsp white wine vinegar
- 2 tbsp soft light brown sugar
- 3 tbsp tomato ketchup
- 1 pinch dried chilli flakes
- Fresh ground black pepper
- Tomato puree (optional)

Method for cooking
1. Heat the oil in a large non-stick frying pan or wok and stir – fry the onion and peppers for three minutes over a high heat and set on the side.
2. Marinated the chicken with salt and pepper. Coat the chicken with cornflour and deep fry them until crispy and set on the side.
3. To make sauce. Put the cornflour in a small bowl and stir with pineapple juice until smooth. Put the remaining pineapple juice in a separate bowl and stir in the garlic, ginger, soy sauce, vinegar, sugar, ketchup and chilli flakes until combined and set on the side.
4. Add the pineapple into the sweet sour sauce and bring to boil. Add the crispy chicken in and cook the chicken in a right cooking temperature and the pineapple is hot.
5. Stir in cornflour and cook for 30- 60 seconds until the sauce is thickened and glossy, turning the chicken and vegetables until they are nicely coated.
6. Sprinkle with chopped spring onions. Serve with rice and cooked vegetables.

Read full post