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.
… nothing much looked good value so we went for a ham, which is always good value. As usual I boiled the ham for an hour and kept the stock for later. I then coated it with maple syrup and roasted the joint for half an hour before resting. I made a parsley sauce to go with the ham, by making a roux then adding ham stock, milk and a little cream and after letting that bubble away I added chopped flat leaf parsley and checked the seasoning. The sauce only needed pepper because of the ham stock being salty. Alongside I made baked potato mash with sautéed leeks, and savoy cabbage. A cheap and most certainly cheerful meal!
… the thing I love most about the ham… I used the rest of the ham stock, making a lentil, ham and tomato soup. We also had a couple of days of lunches AND leftover soup. The ham cost a few pounds. Both delicious and frugal! I like to whizz the soup with a stick blender for creaminess without cream. Before we ate, to give the meal a bit of a kick I steeped a mix of dried garlic, parsley & chilli (Italian picci spice that I have mixed myself), with fresh garlic and lemon juice in olive oil till warm and fragrant, then brushed that on to ‘toastie’ bread (white sliced but very light in texture), and baked it for ten minutes. That baked bread elevates soup into the stratosphere!
… Now. When I do my meal plan I use the app of the shop we go to, and see what they have on offer. They have meat offers and fruit and veg offers that last two weeks. So… I’m looking at the ‘fresh meat’ offers. It has pictures, I am not blind, but this has happened before… The offer was ‘chicken casserole pack’. So I thought to myself, ‘aww, look how they’ve tried to make the chicken look pretty with all of those vegetables!’ not thinking that in the FRESH MEAT section would be meat AND veg. Anyway, husb did the shopping and dutifully got the casserole pack which had a reasonable number of chicken pieces, then was made up to a kilo by a shed load of veg. I learn from my mistakes hopefully so I’ll know next time.
Anyway, I was going to make peri peri chicken pieces, instead I made a chicken casserole! I added wine and stock to the chicken and veg and threw it in the oven. If I do buy it again I will sauté it with a little flour first as I had to thicken it afterwards. It was fine, and I served the casserole with steamed baby potatoes and green beans.
… I wanted to make Cornish pasties, so asked husb to get one good steak. He came back with braising steak, so guess what we had? Braised steak and onions! My head was particularly bad so I tried to let dinner take care of itself. I sliced an onion, coated it in a little oil and seasoned before adding it to my magic roasting dish, putting the lid on and roasting it in a medium oven for a while. I then coated the braising steak in seasoned flour and quickly browned it in the same pan, added beef stock and bunged it back in the oven for a few hours. That was it, melting meat in rich gravy with barely any work! I served it with steamed potatoes and soya beans.
… we had another take away… least said the better… take-away that I don’t like but craved… pizza! I know. It doesn’t make sense.
… I whipped up my version of chicken shawarma by marinating chicken mini fillets in oil, red wine vinegar, garlic, dried chilli, oregano and salt and pepper. When it came time to think about doing dinner I couldn’t bring myself to make flatbreads so we had chicken sandwiches made with griddled tiger bread, my volcanic chilli sauce mixed with mayo, lettuce and onion. I served the sandwich with French fries. I missed the flatbread because they are delicious but the sandwich was great too.
… leftovers! I had a couple of seed tortillas in the freezer so I defrosted those and we had chicken shawarma again but in seeded wraps. I could eat shawarma every day!