Just a weekly bit of fun whereby I can natter about any culinary ‘inventions’, successes and disasters in the kitchen.
… I spend most of Saturday jotting down ingredients I can make meals with. I don’t like planning meals each day, but I like to know I can put meals together. I was ‘planning’ to cook roast beef because I wanted the leftovers (hot roast beef and caramelised onion sandwich for a weekday lunch anyone?!) but then Andy Murray happened, so our support of him playing tennis trumped going shopping. C picked up a couple of things from the local shop for Sunday brunch but other than that it was challenge time for me. After a short struggle with the freezer I was presented with some pork chops. “Pork chops it is then.” I thought. The only appropriate veg left was potatoes, so I made mashed potatoes, frozen petits pois (I know these crop up a lot, but they are one of the only veg that is BETTER frozen!), roasted whole apples, boxed stuffing, and gravy. I would have liked to fry off an onion with the chops but being quite thin, I concentrated on keeping the chops edible. Not bad for a meal that wasn’t planned!
… we still hadn’t been shopping but I wasn’t fazed by this. I always feel if I have an onion I can produce a meal. The fact that I have quite a stock of dry goods helps too! Anyway, a solitary pork chop remained from Sunday. I had instant noodles with seasoning packet in the cupboard, so I decided to make a pork/noodle broth. After sautéing an onion till translucent I added the seasoning sachet half a veg stock cube, a pinch of 5spice and one and a half times more water than the noodles needed. I let that cook and infuse for a while before adding some sliced red and yellow pepper. Just before serving I added the thinly sliced pork and finally the noodles.
… C did a little shopping which brought forth more challenges. Asparagus. I’ve not had much practical experience of this veg, but my theory experience is pretty good due to the 453676856647 cookery programmes I’ve watched! I had a quick squizz on the interweb and noticed a recipe for penne with pancetta, asparagus, & cherry tomatoes. THIS was an idea I could work with. I had fusilli and Parma ham already, and we bought cherry tomatoes because they were on offer. I cooked the fusilli whilst roasting chopped (large pieces after snapping off woody bit) asparagus and Parma ham in the oven with a little olive oil and ground black pepper. After ten minutes ish (when Parma ham was crisp) I added halved tomatoes and roasted for another five minutes before adding in the cooked pasta and some basil. So simple! I’m not a fan of pasta but I will cook this again. Thanks BBC Good Food Website for the original recipe.
… I knew I had a shedload of potatoes to use. So when C shopped I asked him to get a shedload of eggs. Because? Tortilla Española, or Spanish Omelette. Not the effort that Brits put together to use up the contents of the fridge. I’m talking a proper, authentic Tortilla con cebolla. You may be surprised to learn that I got the original recipe from a Brit; the legend that is the late and much missed Keith Floyd, who learned dishes from other countries by going to the country and watching them being cooked. He also lived in Spain. I’ve eaten tortilla in Spain. This is more than a match. I don’t follow the recipe fully, but for good reason… my pan is probably a different size to your pan which would make a huge difference. After the labour of love which is making the tortilla I served it with a bagged salad (what! I spent all afternoon making a flipping tortilla!) of mixed leaves and beetroot with homemade vinaigrette. And we had leftovers! If you want my ‘put together’ for the tortilla it’s here
… C bought some rib-eye steak. The pieces were mahoosive. We planned to eat them on Saturday, but I needed to think of Thursday. We hatched a plan, the leftover tortilla (there were 2 eighths left as WedJ polished off 3 eighths, and C ate 2 yesterday), some salad with romaine lettuce, and a little steak that we cut from the two bigger pieces. I marinated the steak in red wine, garlic and chilli for a while, hard fried it then sliced thinly. A little really did go a long way!
… I did a little experimenting but mostly just lots of cooking. Lamb leg steak was on offer at our supermarket, so I wanted to make a Lamb Methi curry. This is my absolute favourite ‘made with raw ingredients’ curry. It’s rich, dark, and flavoursome. The experimental side was the pakoras I made and the naan bread I attempted for C. The pakoras are so simple it’s mind boggling! I julienned carrot, added sliced onion, and some finely sliced spring greens. I then added panch phora (whole spice mix, left whole), salt, gram flour and a little water before mixing together and frying. That’s it. Amazing eh?!
The experimental recipe for the naan didn’t have yeast. I will persevere with yeast based recipes and only use this recipe if I need to make a pair of flip-flops. Along with the main curry I made a Bombay aloo side, but with new potatoes. I threw in some turmeric, garam masala and salt, and a sliced jalapeño because I had some. I had tried the end of the jalapeño raw to check the heat, there was barely any so I sliced it and added it to the potatoes, seeds and all. When we tucked in to this Indian style feast the Bombay aloo almost blew our socks off. This is a first for me, being fooled by a chilli. Well played, señor Jalapeño. The recipe I didn’t quite follow for the Lamb Methi is here.
… you know I avoid cooking, so I cooked. Granted it was rib-eye steak marinated in garlic, parsley and dried red chilli, and salad, served with tiger baton, but I hope my gold star is in the post!