Just a weekly bit of fun whereby I can natter about any culinary ‘inventions’, successes and disasters in the kitchen.
… C cooked dinner on this Sunday. So I did breakfast. The rotisserie chicken was delish, but he doesn’t run to the sides I cook so it was oven chips. Okay in a pinch, but I would have preferred mash, veg and lashings of gravy. Forgive me, I’ve been reading Enid Blyton.
… I made carbonara for the first time earlier this year. It was always terrifying to me, and as such I’d never eaten it either, but I’m very sad it took me this long. So, it’s probably not completely authentic as I do use a little cream which I think makes it less likely to scramble, but it’s gorgeous. Anyway, this was my third time and I tweaked it a little. The recipe I tried to follow the first time was Nigella’s but I had to wing it as I didn’t have enough pancetta so added some crispy prosciutto too. Second time I didn’t have the prosciutto so left it out and I regretted that. For two I halve the recipe, and I’m not too precise about the measurements. What I do find is it’s a really good dish to prep ahead and a bit at a time. I sauté the pancetta and prosciutto and reduce the wine then leave to cool. At some point I grate the parmesan and add it to eggs and cream, then put that in the fridge. When it’s nearly time to eat I cook the linguine, heat up the pancetta, room temp the egg mix and it’s all there. It’s a brilliant meal to cook, and so good. It may not be completely balanced, but serve a salad if you’re worried. Thanks Nigella!
… we got some pork steaks on offer. C is always moaning that he doesn’t like them so I wanted to change his opinion. I know in Blighty we are scared of undercooking pork and this often leads us to overcook, which isn’t fantastic. Also, the chops etc we seem to get are really measly, so thin. I want a Fred Flintstone style chop! Anyway, I was determined that he would enjoy this flipping pork steak so I marinated it for most of the day in olive oil, garlic, a little red wine vinegar, and oregano. At dinner time I hard fried the chops for about three minutes each side then rested them for ten minutes. They were cooked, and they were tender, and better still, C enjoyed his pork steak! I served them with new potatoes, carrots, caramelised onions, a baked apple and gravy.
… Wednesday guest was due and I needed easy so I did bockwurst in buns with fried onions, and oven fries. I fried the onions on low for hours, I just let them do their thing. Oh, and I knocked up a summer berry and apple crumble for pudding. Easy. And we filled WedJ up which is no mean feat!
… I’m still trying to get a written recipe down for the salmon and broccoli quiche so I made another! I tried steaming the broccoli this time, blanching is best, and I didn’t have enough salmon in the freezer to make the quiche luscious, but I know how much to add next time. I also tried adding the salmon raw instead of briefly poaching it but it made absolutely no difference to the finished quiche, in terms of salmon texture or taste, but I had to cook it longer. Could that have been extra moisture? Who knows? I served a portion of the quiche with salad and vinaigrette. I also found out that I don’t like the quiche too warm. Just off cold is my ideal temp!
… Right… I’m nothing if not resourceful. And I will also spend many an hour pondering culinary dilemmas, one of which was a take away I actually did enjoy called a ‘tasty box’ which was a pizza pox filled with chicken pakoras, mushroom pakoras (my favourite), vegetable samosas, chicken wings, onion bhajis, onion rings, chips, salad, and naan bread. I loved this Indianish style mezze, and we would order it monthly, until the place closed down. My thought process started when C came home with a big bag of frozen ‘salt and chilli chicken wings’ that you bung in the oven. I really don’t know how to make a meal out of chicken wings. (Pre bag of chicken wings I had already attempted mushroom pakoras using whole raw mushrooms dipped in flour, then gram flour mixed with tandoori masala and a little salt, and water to make a batter, frying them till they held then finishing off in the oven.) I suddenly had a brainwave, my own version of a tasty box with our favourite items! So Friday was the day. I brined some chicken mini fillets for half an hour, then floured and battered them in a similar mix to mushroom but with addition of panch phora (Indian seed mix). I not quite deep fried them until they held the batter then cooled them to finish off later. I did the same with mushrooms. I cut up baking potatoes into wedges ready for the oven and made garlic, and chilli mayo. I also made the flatbreads that I’ve mentioned a gazillion times! I also had (shop bought) battered onion rings in the freezer to bake, but doing this post I’ve just realised I forgot them. Doh! Nearer the time I put the wedges in the oven, then the wings, then the chicken, then the mushrooms. I made a salad, and served the mixed sauces with some plain homemade volcanic chilli sauce. This was a result. Pure and simple. It’s all so much better than the take away because it’s not deep fried to death, everything tasted different, and the salad was zingy with the addition of my home pickled red onion. I do miss the veg samosas but it’s a small price to pay. It was a difficult meal to put together though especially with my head, so I need ideas for the rest of these chicken wings because I won’t be repeating this often!
… we ate leftover quiche, bagged salad, and homemade vinaigrette. I barely did a thing because I make the vinaigrette in a large quantity and keep it in a jam jar in the fridge, so it’s always there and we know what’s in it. The ingredients on some shop bought dressings are scary!