Just a weekly bit of fun whereby I can natter about any culinary ‘inventions’, successes and disasters in the kitchen.
… I did a non traditional roast that is relatively simple, and is another one of our favourites. Gammon ham, colcannon, Savoy cabbage and parsley sauce. This meal is really good when being frugal too. The ham is reasonably priced and it goes so far! Anyway… I started by bringing the ham to the boil in enough water to cover, only adding some bay leaves, a few peppercorns, and a shop bought bouquet garni. During the hour it cooked I skimmed off any froth that appeared on the surface as I wanted the resulting stock not to be full of impurities. When the ham was ready to be roasted I dried it off and drizzled over a little maple syrup before chucking it in the oven for 30 minutes. I don’t follow a recipe (funny that!) for the colcannon, I just wing it, so I steamed some potatoes that were cut into four until mash-able. I would normally bake the potatoes then mash, but potatoes are rubbish at the moment so I like to cut and see they are ok inside. I mash the potatoes with a ricer which helpfully keeps back the skin. (I digress again, but baking the potatoes, then cutting in half before ricing cut side down means you can retrieve the ‘baked potato’ skin and pop it in a bag in freezer. You then re-bake and serve with dip. Delish!) Whilst mashing I have a small pan on the go steeping some milk with a couple of chopped spring onions and a knob of butter. Once mash is ready I just whip in the milk mixture. Even the Savoy cabbage gets a little tlc. There is, in my opinion, only one way to cook Savoy cabbage. I slice thinly, or even chifonade it if I can be bothered, then cook vigorously in a little salted boiling water. Whilst still crunchy, I drain and put back into the pan to dry off, stirring over a medium heat. Then add, in this instance I prefer to use a little non dairy spread that I like (I don’t actually like butter, but you could use if you do) and as much freshly ground black pepper as I dare, stirring quickly so the cabbage doesn’t over-cook. For the parsley sauce I could’ve made a roux, added milk, seasoning and fresh parsley, but I didn’t. I used granules that actually taste pretty good, and used half milk half ham stock.
… I had loadsa ham, but not a lot of other ‘Sunday roast’ leftovers so I hatched a cunning plan. I mixed chopped ham and the cooked leftover cabbage with parsley sauce and put it in a baking dish, I then topped it with the leftover colcannon, creating a sort of ham-y cottage pie. I baked it in the oven for a while and served it with some stir fried sugarsnap peas and more savoy.
… this is where the ham comes into its own. I had ALWAYS wanted to make an old fashioned pea and ham soup, with proper old fashioned marrow fat peas. So this was the day! I used the rest of the ham stock and added the peas and chopped ham. When the peas were tender I whizzed the soup until smooth-ish. I served it with tiger baton that was topped with my Italian pici style spice seasoning (dried and fresh garlic, parsley and chilli) and olive oil. I’m sorry I waited so long to make this soup.
… is the day I cook lots of food because WedJ is coming. Today no different! Burgers and wedges I thought. “Easy peasy” you think. “I make my own burgers” I say! Not difficult, I know; but more difficult then getting burgers out of a packet in the freezer. I like the occasional burger but I have to make my own so I know what’s in them. I keep mine simple. Cooked and cooled onion/garlic, seasoning, thyme and a few breadcrumbs. I always cook a morsel off to test for seasoning, because who wants a tasteless burger?! The burger was good and as I was a little ahead of time I formed the burgers then covered them to go in the fridge to firm up. I sliced large potatoes into wedges, parboiled, drying them off before tossing in olive oil, seasoning and dried rosemary. I served the burgers in buns with salad, mayo and ketchup. Oh, and cheese! My husband, who’s a grownup; had mature cheddar on his burgers, but WedJ and I who aren’t, had specially bought in plastic cheese slices! I also served a sweet corn relish that I threw together with frozen corn, onion, pepper, fresh chilli and a little vinegar, sugar, and salt. If you see the picture my burger looks a tad like a bottom with cheese on, that’s because I cut mine in half for testing, the rest didn’t look like bottoms.
… I had chicken thighs to cook, and baby new potatoes as one side, I just needed something do
else. I could have cooked some petits pois and made instant gravy, but I had a load of delicious vine tomatoes and zucchini to play with, so I made a ratatouille type thing with loads of garlic, yellow pepper, mushrooms, and the aforementioned tomatoes and zucchini. I just chopped everything up and shoved it in a covered bowl in the oven until it was soft and delicious. It went really well with the roasted chicken thighs and steamed potatoes. Halfway through dinner it occurred to me I would normally have added onion to the ratatouille but I had forgotten, and it seems to be delish either way!
… I know you’re eyeing me suspiciously and wondering if there’s something wrong because I haven’t had basmati rice ALL WEEK! Well, worry know more. One word. KEDGEREE!!!!! Curry flavoured rice. Win win! As per usual I didn’t follow a recipe, I used the absorption method for the rice which I cooked with smoked haddock stock instead of water (I use 1 and a half to one). It was a ‘quick’ Kedgeree, this means I couldn’t be bothered to use my own spices so I used my favourite curry powder mix instead. I popped a sprinkling of black mustard seeds in oil then added onion and sautéed for was while. I had poached smoked haddock in water and aromatics, then cooled and flaked, so it was waiting to be folded through along with hard boiled eggs when the rice was cooked. I would have loved fresh coriander to add but I was fresh coriander-less. A wedge of lemon had to suffice!
… Erm… We had leftovers. Kedgeree!!! It was even better the following day. Yum!