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.


… C came home with a nice (but expensive) aged joint of beef so I felt my job in appreciating the joint was three pronged. Firstly, I had to cook it nicely, aiming for rare to medium, then I had to use the leftovers well so it was better value, and also try not to ruin the meat when using in said leftovers. Anyway, I sealed the meat ready for roasting. We roasted it for 55 minutes and that worked well. On offer that week was celery, so I decided to do the celery and leek gratin which is both delicious and relatively low maintenance. It also fits in to my ‘modular cooking’ preference which is always good. I’ve tweaked the original recipe so that it’s unrecognisable. I started with thumb length pieces of a whole head of celery (minus one stick that wanted for sandwich filling) and the same size pieces of a whole leek, and a bay leaf, and sautéed them in a little oil in a lidded pan for about 30 minutes until the celery was tender. I then added a splosh of white wine, reduced that; then took it off the heat to be cooled for reheating later.

Nearer the time I reheated the celery/leek mix before adding chicken stock (I didn’t have any veg stock) and a good splash of double cream. I reduced all of that until it looked thick and creamy, finishing by sprinkling the top with a mix of parmesan and panko breadcrumbs and shoving it under the grill to brown.

I also made Yorkshire puddings, and served everything with whole new potatoes and braised carrots. An exciting development was being able to get hold of ‘horseradish powder’ from my world foods shop, and being able to add it to the supposedly ‘hot’ horseradish sauce to make it actually hot! Yum!


… we had bought small gammon steaks because they were on offer, so I grilled them and served them with leftover new potatoes roasted with a little oil and chilli flakes, and the rest of the celery and leek gratin. The gratin was a perfect match for the gammon.


… we had take away… pizza… 😛


… minced pork was on offer so I made a pork and noodle dish. Of course, I didn’t follow the recipe, I just used it as a guide, the main difference being I used rice stick noodles instead of thin rice noodles. I started by dry frying the pork then added julienned carrots and chopped spring onions. I soaked my noodles in a bowl with boiling water for 10 minutes whilst cooking the rest. I mixed soy sauce, sugar, vinegar and lime juice together and set it aside before adding the noodles to the pork, a good handful of coriander and some mint, then adding the soy mix. The resulting dish was delicious, but again (I made a soy/noodle dish months ago) mine was much darker than the original recipe pic. Either they aren’t specifying that I should use light soy, or my super duper proper soy from the Asian supermarket is very different from that which is normally used. AND I forgot to take a pic! You know Wednesday, guest etc.


… I made a Chinese curry using the leftover beef from Sunday. I had bought Chinese curry paste from my world foods shop so wanted to try it. I hard fried an onion sliced into wedges until they had colour but were nowhere near cooked and set them aside. I then hard fried quartered mushrooms (left over from Sunday brunch) until they released their gorgeous caramel smell and set those aside too.

When it was time to finish cooking dinner I cooked off the curry paste then added water and whisked until lump free and thick. I then added defrosted petits pois, the onions, and the mushrooms to heat through. Just before serving I added the strips of roast beef to warm them through. I served the curry with basmati rice.


… We decided to get a pack of peppered smoked mackerel as it’s really cheap, and really good for us, I just had to find a main dish to make as I usually only make pâté. On my travels around the interweb I found a recipe of ‘smoked mackerel and potato bake’, which was perfect. I had almost all of the ingredients the only one I didn’t was fresh dill, so I just used dried, and I was using the peppered mackerel, but you know I don’t mind changing up the ingredients! I pretty much followed the method in the recipe though and I have to say it was delicious, and I will be making it again. The recipe suggested serving the bake with salad, but that didn’t appeal to me so I steamed broccoli and tossed it in a little lemon juice and chilli flakes.


… C had the choice of leftovers. Chinese beef curry and mushrooms, or mackerel and potato bake. He had the curry!

roast beef, celery and leek gratin, chinese beef curry with mushrooms, smoked mackerel and potato bake
roast beef, celery and leek gratin, chinese beef curry with mushrooms, smoked mackerel and potato bake
My mad weekly kitchen diary

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