Just a weekly bit of fun whereby I can natter about any culinary ‘inventions’, successes and disasters in the kitchen.
… It was pork again, shoulder. It never looks pretty but it tastes very good. I slow cooked the small joint for about three and a half hours, cranking up the heat at the beginning and end for the crackling. The revelation was the mashed potatoes. I like, in perfect circumstances to do a baked potato mash. The main imperfect circumstance is that the potatoes are too blemished, I can’t rely that they won’t be bad inside so they have to be cut up to check. The other imperfect circumstance is timing. Because the pork was on low I would have had to try baking the potatoes for hours on a mostly low heat. That may not have worked so I gave up on the idea. Then I had a brainwave! The poor relation to a delicious oven baked potato is a microwave baked potato! Genius! It took me about ten minutes to ‘bake’ the potatoes, and although the flavour wasn’t as pronounced as the oven baked, the flesh of the potato was nice and dry, and all the nutrients weren’t peeled away or dissolved in the boiling water. Once they were seasoned and mashed with a little marg and garlic granules, then whipped with milk, it was pretty close! I served the untidy pork, crunchy crackling and fluffy mash with baked whole (cored) gala apples, broccoli and gravy.
… knackered… because, Monday. I did manage to cobble together a pasta dish, I just can’t for the life of me remember what the protein was! I mixed up fusilli and penne to finish a bag… oh I REMEMBER!! SARDINES!!! Yup. Sardines. Doesn’t sound glamorous I know, but it’s so quick and nutritious. I had purr-chased ( << my cats asked me to write that as I’m talking about fish ) a tin of Canadian Brunswick sardines with hot peppers but when I opened it expecting the fishes to be in some type of sauce they weren’t, just oil. I drained the oil and opened a tin of basic sardines in tomato sauce. I have done this in the past with three ingredients; the pasta, sardines, and chilli flakes and it’s fab, but this time I added sautéed onion, half a green pepper, a fresh chilli from our tree and some baby plum tomatoes at the end.
… sausages were on offer, with this in mind I planned to do sausage, mash, and onion gravy. My plans were scuppered when my head was particularly bad so I compromised, sausage and red wine casserole with polenta. I browned the sausage, then onion before adding flour to thicken, dried rosemary, a good glug of red wine and some stock. I then there it in the oven to sort itself out. When we were ready to eat I heated more stock and whisked in polenta, it took four minutes. I seasoned it before serving. Next time I will add even more water to the polenta as it isn’t wet enough if I follow the instructions on the packet. My husband said he “prefers mash, but this is good at a pinch”, I replied that it was a pinch, and that he was welcome to make mash any time!
… I’m still practising the flatbread I posted the recipe for a week or so ago ( ‘Zsuzsa Is In The Kitchen’ ), which is fab just in case I forgot to mention! I decided to make the flatbreads again, keeping it the rest of it simple with marinated chicken breast. I winged it with the marinade before I started work, adding a combo of olive oil, red wine vinegar, garlic, oregano, chilli flakes and a little salt. I covered the chicken and left it in the fridge for the day. I must not have made my first flatbread ball spherical enough because as I rolled it, it looked heart shaped!
The first round one was a little dodgy, it was probably a little too thick, maybe the pan wasn’t hot enough, but the others were as expected. Our guest was impressed that they were homemade, though I’m not sure why; you can’t get anything like that in the shops! The flatbreads are also really good if cooked, cooked, then reheated just before eating which is a real bonus. I grilled the chicken on skewers to try and get a char, to no avail. Next time I will pan fry, that’s good at least for colour. I served the chicken and flatbreads with basic salad, oven fries, and yoghurt and mayo with my homemade volcanic chilli sauce stirred in. Delish!!!!!
… I only went and made, from scratch, CHICKEN KIEV!! It’s not hard but it is time consuming. I made a VERY garlicky butter and chilled it in a roll shape so I could slice it. After making a pocket in the chicken I stuffed it with the butter and tried to squish it closed. I used seasoned flour, then egg, and then seasoned panko to coat the chicken before shallow frying and finishing off in the oven. I served the Kiev with steamed new potatoes and petits pois with diced yellow pepper. For the end pic I tried to artistically cut my Kiev in half and failed. So, no pic, but I’ll get one next time, it was delicious. Altogether too much garlic which suits me just fine!
… the only protein I had left was some frozen cooked and peeled king prawns, this led me down the path of a king prawn curry. Sorted! I popped the obligatory black mustard seeds in oil along with curry leaves then added onion, garlic, ginger, chopped fresh coriander stalks, and a fresh chilli. Spices I (think) I added were ground coriander, turmeric, paprika, and garam masala. I added fresh tomato, and coconut milk powder too. I was aiming for a delicate curry sauce so as not to overpower the prawns. After cooking the sauce out for a while I just had to add the prawns to warm them through. I added lots of coriander at the end and served it with… BASMATI RICE! Also I bought some ‘ready to eat’ poppadoms. They were pretty rubbish, won’t be buying those again.
… C had a ready meal, minced lamb hotpot, I cooked it in the oven so the sliced potatoes cooked nicely. I had petit sale, from a tin! Like the cassoulet I mentioned a few weeks ago it’s delicious, even though tinned. Petit sale is green or puy lentils cooked with ham or pork. Very basic but very good!