This is just a weekly bit of fun whereby I can natter about any culinary ‘inventions’, successes and disasters in the kitchen, and also document trying to get the best out of leftovers.
… Husb picked up just a few things for Sunday brunch and dinner from the supermarket to give me a chance to clear the freezer. For dinner he bought pork shoulder which was on special offer (with bells on!) so it was roast pork and crackling for Sunday dinner. I cooked the pork for about four hours as usual on low after cranking the oven up for the first half an hour, so that took care of itself. I wanted to do neeps and tatties again so I followed the same procedure as last week, only I didn’t have a moment and got a pic. I still think the meat looks like a dog’s dinner though! I also, which made my life easier still, had some apple sauce (made from Gordon’s apples) in the freezer from a few weeks ago so I defrosted that and heated it up in the microwave just before serving. The other amazing cheat I found will have all legit chef’s fainting, but I’m just a cook… We got this cast aluminium pan from a discount supermarket. It looks like a large frying pan, but with two ear-like handles instead of one long one and it has a lid. I think the make is Crofton. Anyway, this pan is my favourite EVER pan! I use it all of the time, on the hob, in the oven, it’s brilliant! And what I’ve found is… I cook the pork in it, FOR HOURS, and the residue on the bottom of the pan that would normally be burnt on is just caramelised. It’s hard, but it doesn’t taste burnt. So… when I removed the pork I poured off all of the fat, leaving the hard caramel on the bottom and added water, simmering until the caramel became liquid, then (as I have a headache) I just whisked in gravy granules for a really tasty gravy. I could have made proper gravy using that as a stock but I didn’t! I served broccoli as a veg, and the neeps and tatties were as delish as last week.
… Freezer time. Shop bought chicken kiev, baby potatoes and frozen petits pois and sweetcorn, and no, there STILL isn’t a picture!
… We had some leftover kebab meat and also some pizza dough in the freezer, so I defrosted the dough trying to get it thinner still when it came time to roll it out. It seems leaving it out of the fridge for a while really helps. I then topped it with the tomato sauce I made the week before, mozzarella, a little cheddar, red pepper, red onion and chopped kebab meats. It was very good. The pic shows a token amount of salad, it was just that the plate was too warm, therefore I had a little at a time to stop it wilting. I don’t do warm salad!
… Our Wednesday friend wasn’t here so we had takeaway. Again! I had the Singapore fried rice, I know, predictable, but we are limited in the takeaways I actually like. C had a Chinese curry.
… oh my head’s a shed. I can’t remember. It apparently wasn’t worthy of a photo so I have no reminders there. I must start making notes as I go!
… I still had leftover pork to use and I was going to try changing it to pulled pork as an experiment but I’m still trying to use up some dried white beans instead so I threw together a ‘pork and beans’ style dish. I started soaking the beans the night before then cooked them as per the instructions on the day. With the actual dish I didn’t follow a recipe, I just put stuff together I thought would work such as onions, garlic, tomatoes, maple syrup, smoked paprika, and a little chilli. I added those ingredients to the beans and cooked them again, only adding the chopped cooked pork towards the end. I must say it was a good attempt for winging it, but I think I have magic beans. I keep trying to ‘use them up’ as I don’t think they’re the best quality but I never finish them!
… this is a bit of a sore subject. One Wednesday my husb wandered off to the local shop to buy a sandwich as he does once a week, to give me a lunchtime off. He came back dutifully with the sandwiches, and also a cottage pie for two that was marked down because it was on its use by date. I see it at the time and there are a few thoughts running around my head, the main one being that I don’t like to buy that sort of ready meal as I can’t be sure what’s in it. He insisted he only bought it because it was cheap so I suppose I have to accept that. I froze it on the day and on Saturday I baked it and served it with petits pois and instant gravy. It didn’t kill me but mine is much, much better. And no. I didn’t take a pic.