Just a weekly bit of fun whereby I can natter about any culinary ‘inventions’, successes and disasters in the kitchen.
…I wanted ‘easy’ so we bought a frozen small leg of lamb and I sprinkled it with sea salt and oregano and braised it after defrosting, with some stock, carrots, whole baby potatoes and onion. I just threw the lot in the oven and let it do its thing. I made a gravy with the residue and served it with mint sauce, which was a mixture of mint sauce base from a jar, some fresh mint, white wine vinegar and a little salt. I like the depth the jarred sauce gives.
… Sunday night we watched the last in the series of a Rick Stein programme. He had eaten and travelled from Venice to Istanbul. This last programme gave me an idea. Firstly, let me say I HATE cooked white cabbage. I hate it so much I threatened to divorce my husband if he ever bought it on impulse again! Anyway, we bought a white cabbage recently to make some coleslaw and didn’t use much, so I had this horror sitting in the fridge poking its tongue out at me every time I opened the door. Then Rick Stein happened… and KAPUSKA happened. Rick made a kapuska (Turkish cabbage stew) with some lamb mince and a shed load of white cabbage and various other ingredients. Now, we all know I like to wing it in the kitchen, and it’s a good job! I decided to make a version of this kapuska to get rid of that flippin’ cabbage, for Monday dinner! I sautéed onion and garlic for a while, then added tomato paste and some chilli flakes (instead of salcasi, a hot pepper paste, and another salcasi I think, which was tomato paste) and cooked that for as long as I could to try and develop the flavour, before adding tinned tomatoes and chopped up left over lamb (instead of fresh, peeled. I only had cocktail tomatoes, not peeling those blighters) and cooking that down for a while. Meanwhile I chopped the cabbage and when the tomato mix looked good I threw the cabbage on top and added a couple of ladles full of lamb stock made from the bone and plenty of salt (Rick insisted!). Finally I threw a lid on it and let it cook down. It took a lot longer than I thought; Rick didn’t really give a time so we ate dinner about an hour late! I will now be buying white cabbage to make variations on this kapuska, think warm less pickled kimchi! It was DELICIOUS!!!
… we had gammon steaks that I needed to do something with. I went with leftovers again, because that’s my thing. It makes me very happy not to waste food! Normally with gammon we have egg and chips, or cauliflower cheese and a veg. It’s quite specific, I don’t think gammon goes with everything. Anyway, I put baked potatoes in the oven then halved and deseeded some ‘sweet pointed’ peppers because I had a plan… I stuffed said peppers with the rest of the kapuska! If I had a trumpet I would blow it! I finished the peppers off with some seasoned panko breadcrumbs that had a little grated parmesan mixed through. The pepper was the best bit of the meal!
… I used another foodstuff that I hate… long grain rice. My absolute favourite grain is basmati rice as you may have gathered, but I can’t bear long grain. The trouble is, it’s about a quarter of the cost of basmati so I compromised and said that I would use long grain when it was mixed in with something, and non-Indian. I’m not using long grain rice for a byriani! Anyway. When I did an ‘all around the world’ online shop recently I happened upon a single sachet of Nasi Goreng spice paste. As I don’t really use fish paste in any other cooks I decided this would be a good idea and purr-chased it. It was an ideal time last Wednesday to use both the long grain and the spice paste, so I created the nasi goreng. I didn’t follow the recipe on the packet as I wanted to add my own stuff, which included lots of peppers. I cooked and cooled the rice, and at some point sautéed onions, peppers and spring onions. I also fried more onion until crispy; then browned off some chicken without cooking it all the way through. Lastly I made an omelette with just egg and ketjap manis (Indonesian soy sauce), and got king prawns out of the freezer to defrost. When the time came I reheated onion mix then added the paste, after cooking that for a while I added the rice and chicken, then the omelette, fried onion and prawns. I now have a use for long grain rice. A lovely meal!
… Oh, takeaway. Whatever! We had a meal from a Nepalese takeaway. The food they create is very similar to Indian and is delish. Their meal for two actually does two meals so we order with that in mind. We both ordered curry type dishes, one chicken and one lamb, I had mostly rice to accompany, husb had lots of naan too.
… I would usually make a curry, but as we had that last night I decided to treat husb to a chicken and mushroom ‘pie pie’. A ‘pie pie’ has pastry top and bottom. Whilst working I took five minutes to whizz up the shortcrust pastry; then at lunch I knocked up the chicken and mushroom mix, adding white wine, a little stock, and rosemary for flavour. After adding flour to thicken I cooked it out for a while then cooled it for pie assembly later. After rolling out bottom, adding filling, and rolling and placing top pastry I brushed it with egg, made a slit in the top and baked it for about forty minutes. I served it with mashed potatoes, petit pois and quick gravy. Sorry, but I spent my cooking energy making a pie pie!
… leftover Nepalese was the only way to go. YUM!