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.
… we bought a frozen leg of lamb so I braised it with stock, baby potatoes and carrots. It never looks very pretty but it is delicious, and it’s a ‘leave to do its thing’ in the oven dish. I served it with soya beans from the freezer, gravy made from the stock, and jarred mint sauce with red wine vinegar and fresh chopped mint added for a little lift. As dinner was a doddle, and I had a couple of field mushrooms that needed to be used I did a starter. I scraped the gills from the mushroom then made a stuffing with breadcrumbs, a little onion, garlic, bacon all sauteed in a little oil and butter, after cooling I tossed through a grated cheddar cheese, leaving a little to be mixed with panko breadcrumbs for the top. I popped them in the oven for twent minutes on a rack so they didn’t sit in the juice that always runs out of the mushroom. They look darker on one side because of my stupid uneven oven, but they tasted lovely!
… Monday being Monday I needed easy. One of my ‘easy’ dishes involves using a tin of sardines in tomato sauce. Yes, sardines in tomato sauce! That little tin makes a fab dish with the addition of some cooked pasta, chilli flakes and a spritz of lemon. Today I went a little further and sautéed peppers with garlic and lemon until meltingly soft and tossed that through too.
… I made lentil curry, or dhal, with essence of lamb using the leftover lamb from Sunday. I make a stock from the stripped bone and use that to make the curry. Although there’s not a lot of meat in the curry it’s packed full of flavour. I also had leftover whole baby potatoes from Sunday, so I chopped them into four, coated them in a little oil and a sprinkling of turmeric, paprika, cayenne, and garam masala and just threw them in the oven at some point. That worked so well I couldn’t believe my luck. I served the curry and potatoes with basmati rice and cumin seed poppadums.
… no Wednesday guest so I experimented with cabbage. I bet that’s not a sentence you hear very often. There was a method to my madness. We had purchased a U shaped smoked pork sausage at some point from a European supermarket. My idea was to do something my gorgeous foster mother used to do which was that sausage, boiled potatoes, and sauerkraut. Trouble was, in this European (I think German) supermarket, we couldn’t find sauerkraut. I bought the sausage anyway with a view to getting sauerkraut later. Anyway. Last week I had a savoy cabbage and I still had that sausage, but I still didn’t have any sauerkraut so I pondered… On my culinary television travels I was sure someone roasted the cabbage so this gave me an idea. I chopped half of the savoy, tossed it in a little oil, salt, pepper and a couple of capfuls of white wine vinegar then put it in the oven at 180 for about half an hour I think. I stirred it half way through. This cabbage? AMAZING!!! I just wish I’d done the whole head! I served it with the sausage and a baked potato.
… I had appointments after work on Thursday afternoon so I needed quick, again. When I got home I was faced with chicken thighs. In the cupboard I had a couple of tins of cannellini beans and in the fridge carrots and onions, so I did braised chicken and white beans. The first time I did this dish it took a lot longer because I used the dried beans, but using tinned as the original recipe suggests makes it a very speedy dish. I served it on sautéed savoy cabbage because I had some to use up.
… I did homemade mushy peas because I fancied them, starting with the dried peas the night before. If you have mushy peas there’s not much you can have with them. I went for battered fish, yes it was frozen but good quality, and twice roasted rosemary and sea salt wedges that I cut from baking potatoes so they were nice and long. Oh and a wedge of lemon!
… leftovers! This time it was leftover curry and the trimmings. I do love leftovers!