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.
… I did an online shop (which often yields bizarre results) during the week and lamb had been on offer. I’d specified a 2kg joint and had many exciting plans to use the leftovers. When the shopping arrived the joint was not even a kilo so by the time you take out the bone there wasn’t going to be any creative leftover thinking! Anyway, forget about the leftovers; we have to get through Sunday dinner first. I just seasoned the lamb and stuck it in the oven to roast, for less than an hour. I also had the chance to buy ingredients for my favourite sides, sweet potato and zucchini. They both have to be prepared a certain way for them to go with the lamb in my opinion so I followed my own rules. I par boiled discs of sliced sweet potato and then layered them into a baking dish with a spritz of olive oil, seasoning, and dried rosemary (I prefer dried in this dish). With the zucchini I cut them into about twelve if they are normal sized, then just toss them in olive oil, seasoning, and one clove of crushed garlic per zucchini. Both dishes just go into the oven with about forty five minutes to go. New potatoes were on offer so I just steamed them. I served the lamb with gravy made from the juices and mint sauce from a jar made up with a little extra fresh mint and red wine vinegar.
… I threw (literally) together rice stick noodles, bean sprouts, large prawns, spring onions, green chilli, oyster sauce and soy sauce. It took about fifteen minutes and was delicious!
… I had barely any lamb leftover so I brought out an old favourite… Lentil and (essence of) lamb curry. I made a stock with the bone and used that as liquid in the curry for extra flavour. I had neither the time nor inclination to make the curry from scratch so I popped black mustard seeds, added onion and chilli and fried, then added my favourite medium curry powder and fried that off for five minutes before adding lentils, tinned tomatoes and the liquid. Towards the end I added the rest of the chopped lamb, cooking for just a while longer. I served the curry with basmati rice.
… WedJ wasn’t visiting so I had leftover lentil and essence of lamb curry, and C had leftover Chinese. An easy cooking day for me!
… I’d bought really good chicken burgers on a whim so I cooked those, added lettuce, onion and mayo to a toasted bun and we had oven fries, both the curly and straight variety. I can’t remember the last time I had a chicken burger but I won’t leave it so long next time.
… It was curry again. I’d previously decided I was going to make a dish from two Indian cookery books I’d acquired so with the online shop I’d bought pork for ‘Amma’s pork curry with green chillies and tamarind’ from ‘Rick Stein’s India’. I hadn’t planned on the essence of lamb curry earlier in the week so we were in danger of curry overload!
Anyway… My first problem was buying a shoulder joint instead of steaks or something, I had to chop up the joint and it wasn’t easy! The next was misremembering a stage in the method. One of the most important things is cooking the onions, or as was in this case, the paste that had been created from onions, chillies, 20 cloves of garlic, and ginger. I had toasted a load of spices and ground them in my new mahoosive pestle and mortar, and then browned the pork in batches. At this point I added the paste and spices and fried them off for only 1 minute, when it should have been at least five. I don’t know what happens to me when I follow a recipe; I seem to lose my instincts. I KNOW that that stage is important and would only be perfectly carried out when the oil starts to split from the paste, but I not only blindly followed the recipe, I blindly followed it incorrectly by adding the water when the paste wasn’t sufficiently cooked. I was SO ANNOYED with myself for making such a fundamental error. Anyway, it was done so from that point I discarded the recipe and cooked the curry for absolutely ages instead of the suggested 30 minutes. Okay I know it was probably very different to the original but it ended up being very edible! Next time though I’ll check the stages, before I move on. I served the curry with basmati rice.
… We had leftover Amma’s curry with a vegetable samosa each to change things up a bit!