My mad weekly kitchen diary

Just a bit of fun whereby I can natter about any culinary ‘inventions’, successes and disasters in the kitchen.


… we had a houseguest so I did a roast. Keeping it as simple as possible I did lamb. “Why is lamb simple in comparison to other roasts” you ask? Well… I was a latecomer to trad Sunday roasts so for reasons that I won’t go into now I cherish the tradition of the Sunday roast and it makes me a bit of a purist. With beef I HAVE TO do Yorkshire puddings (NOT with ANY OTHER roast), with pork I HAVE TO do roast apples (I stopped doing apple sauce because Bramley’s need so much sugar) and stuffing. With chicken or turkey I HAVE TO do bread sauce, cranberry sauce and stuffing. With lamb though, the only ‘must have’ is mint sauce which is practically a Sunday roast holiday! I changed up the veg to keep it simple-ish by cooking baby new potatoes (simmered in their skins and in stock) until tender, with celery and leek gratin which is simpler than it sounds. Again, for ease I used a good jarred mint sauce, adding red wine vinegar and fresh mint leaves to amp up the flavour. To finish I added a little instant gravy and water to the lamb juices and a good meal was had by all.



… we had leftover lamb to use up but there was barely any meat, just the bone. This is my favourite dilemma. What can you do with a lamb bone and a teeny amount of meat? ‘Lentil and ‘essence’ of lamb curry’, that’s what! After stripping what little meat there was off the bone and while working (my office is near the kitchen) I simmered the bone in water and a few aromatics; bay, peppercorns and cloves. I can just let it do it’s thing for an hour or so then let it cool before straining. After work I started on the curry proper. I chopped an onion and added to the pan after blasting some mustard seeds on a high heat in a little oil until they popped. Just popping those mustard seeds in a little oil at the beginning makes a world of difference to even a quick (my preferred curry powder instead of my own spices) curry, which was tonight’s method. I cook off the onions for a while, probably half an hour on low, to help make a darker curry before finishing I grated some ginger (straight out of freezer, great for curries) in and added three crushed cloves of garlic. Sometimes I might add four if I’m feeling contrary! That done I added the curry powder, frying it off for about five minutes before adding dried red lentils and the stock from the lamb bone and salt. When the lentils were cooked I added the chopped lamb meat and let it cook a while longer before serving with basmati rice. One of my favourite curries!



… I did the meal planning backwards. I wanted to do mushy peas. Proper mushy peas, not those fancy schmancy mushed up petits pois. I had some dried marrow fat peas that I started prepping on Monday night; I just needed to find something to go with them. The freezer produced cod fish fingers and oven chips, which if i squinted at the dinner plate later whilst standing on one leg might pass for fish & chips with mushy peas! Anyway, the fish fingers and oven chips would take care of themselves leaving me to concentrate on delish mushy peas.

I rinsed the soaked peas and put them in a pan with water, a little salt and a teeny sprinkle of all purpose seasoning. Now for the hard bit; I just let them simmer until they go past the ‘tin of processed peas’ stage to the mushy peas stage. Easy peasy! (Sorry…)



… nothing to see here. Just move along… *coughs* OKAY! We had KFC. But only because WedJ was repairing my kitchen so I couldn’t use the cooker.



… I was cooking free again! We went out for a family member’s birthday to a country house hotel. Standing at the bar I saw the specials board which had a two or three course deal and one of the mains was a lamb curry. “I won’t have that!” I thought, “Because it probably won’t be very good…” We perused the proper menu and I went for belly pork, crushed potatoes and wilted spring greens, with C going for rib-eye steak and all of the trimmings. We had a drink in the bar whilst waiting for our table and someone nearby had ordered that curry and it smelt DELICIOUS!! I’m happy to have had the pork though. It was very good.



… is usually my experimental day and in my efforts to create a ‘kebab’ at home that my husband would prefer over any takeaway bought I marinated some sliced chicken breast in sumac, z’ataar, fresh garlic, a couple of capfuls of red wine vinegar and salt and pepper. Whilst the chicken did its flavour absorption thing I attempted flatbreads… again. It’s not too much to ask that they ‘wrap’ around the food instead of cracking like a folded cardboard box, is it? The recipe I used this time did roll but it was a little heavy. I think I’ll have to continue my search. When it was time to start cooking I skewered the chicken alternately with chunks of red/yellow/green pepper and Spanish onion before grilling until cooked and there was a little char on the peppers. As a sauce, I mixed Greek yoghurt with my volcanic chilli sauce for me, and the same chilli sauce with mayo for C as he doesn’t like yoghurt. I served the kebabs with oven French fries, which are very, very, good for oven fries.



… is the day I avoid cooking try to so I always hope there will be leftovers and I wasn’t disappointed! We had my latest chicken kebabs with flatbreads, and salad. A delicious dinner for not a lot of work which is just the way I like it!

Chicken kebab, Celery & Leek Gratin, Essence of Lamb curry & Mushy peas
Chicken kebab, Celery & Leek Gratin, Essence of Lamb curry & Mushy peas
My mad weekly kitchen diary

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