My mad weekly kitchen diary

Just a weekly bit of fun whereby I can natter about any culinary ‘inventions’, successes and disasters in the kitchen, whilst trying to get the best out of leftovers.

Larger image below
Larger image below


… at some point during the week C had come back with rib eye steaks, so that was for dinner as we didn’t go shopping again. Steak is expensive so we tend to have it in place of a Sunday roast occasionally anyway. To go with the steak I made very garlic mushrooms, baked tomato halves with rosemary, oven chips, and battered onion rings from the freezer. I like to hard fry the steak then finish it off in the oven before resting. Not making my own onion rings and using oven chips made this quite an easy meal to prep. Bonus!


… It had to be store cupboard or fridge/freezer as we didn’t shop and whilst looking for inspiration I found a tin of baby clams. I new I had carrots and celery in the fridge, potatoes in my new cute potato bin, and some recently acquired fish stock cubes. With all this in mind I decided to wing a clam chowder. I sautéed onion, celery, and carrot until soft then added the peeled chopped potatoes and a little flour for thickening. I cooked that off for a few minutes before adding stock made from the cube, milk, and the brine from the clams. I would love to be able to get clam juice. I simmered that until the potatoes were cooked then added the clams, and because the tinned clams were so disappointing I added some defrosted mussels which thankfully lifted the whole dish. It was a passable chowder, but I need access to better clams and clam related stuff!


… Still no shopping, so I put together a very weird and unbalanced meal! There were five fish fingers in the freezer and a few hot and spicy breaded prawns. There were also oven chips and fries, but not enough of either to make a meal so I bumped them together. After baking all of that in the oven I whisked up a jug full of Malaysian curry sauce as an accompaniment. I was very unhappy that I was passing this hotchpotch of food as a meal, but C loved it!


… WedJ wasn’t visiting, and I was craving a burger. Simple, you might think, but it isn’t as I don’t eat shop bought burgers! It’s not too difficult though, and worth the effort. C kindly bought me 500g of ground beef from the local shop, along with burger buns. I don’t add much to my burger mix, just seasoning and an egg. This day’s seasoning was ramped up a little with dried thyme along with the salt and pepper. After dividing the mixture into 4 I made patties then pressed the middle of each, on both sides in a bid to stop them turning into meatballs during cooking. My craving was such that we just had the burgers (two each!) with mayo, ketchup, lettuce, tomato, onion, and double Gloucester cheese. Craving satisfied (and burgers stayed burger shaped!)!


… I’ve been experimenting with a mix of barley and red split lentils as a replacement for ground beef. On this day I was going to experiment by making a chilli-con-barley (and lentils)! I wrote down almost a proper recipe which I’m posting too as in my opinion it worked really well. I made my hair stylist take some too to try, so I’ll see what her feedback is like. My end goal is to occasionally replace the ground beef in any one pot dish (lasagne, chilli, spag bol, cottage pie etc) with the barley and lentil combo and enjoy the resulting dish as much as the original. I served the chilli with basmati rice. The only thing that was missing was a shedload of fresh coriander (still no shopping!) but I added a little coriander purée, as that’s a fridge standby.


Sssshh… we had a takeaway… kebab meats, salad, and pitta, the better end of takeaways in my opinion, but, still a takeaway.

By the way… I heated then whizzed up a ladleful of chilli con barley with a stick blender, added water and it made a great soup for lunch.


… we bought a thin crust margarita pizza and embellished it with prawns and mussels marinated in olive oil, garlic, lemon juice and oregano. That might be my favourite not quite home made pizza!

clam chowder, homemade beef burger, chilli-con-barley, & chilli-con-barley soup
clam chowder, homemade beef burger, chilli-con-barley, & chilli-con-barley soup
My mad weekly kitchen diary

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