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.
This one’s very late. I must do better!
… Okay… I had grand plans of a roast chicken with all of the trimmings… then the kitchen tap broke. It had been broken but a little functional, but then it broke completely. I thought for a few milliseconds before I decided there was NO WAY I was doing a full Sunday roast without a working tap. I got no further than the thought of preparing a raw chicken then having to make my way through the house to wash my chicken-y hands. Forget about all of the veg prep. Nope. I love to cook but not like that!
The upshot is we got a Chinese takeaway. We tried to keep it ‘Sunday dinner’-like by having crispy chicken in lemon sauce for the protein, Chinese leaf in garlic sauce for the veg, and rice for the carbs. It was delicious, and such a treat for a Sunday.
… So… what happens when you don’t do the Sunday roast on a Sunday? You have to do it on Monday… which is your busiest workday.
The tap man came, who just happens to be our best friend WedJ (I talk about him on a Wednesday!), and he made the kitchen tap functional so I invited him to our delayed Sunday dinner and made a start. The chicken was the easy bit; I rubbed the skin with olive oil and seasoned it with black pepper and sea salt before bunging it in the oven. It’s the veg etc that’s a pain! I prepped white wine roast potatoes, roast parsnip, zucchini with garlic, sweet potato with rosemary, and cooked frozen petits pois because I was worried there wouldn’t be enough food because WedJ has an exceedingly good appetite! Along with the veg I made up bread sauce from a packet, and served jarred cranberry sauce. I make my own cranberry sauce at xmas only!
I juggled cooking things in the oven because most of the food was oven cooked, so I would par roast one item of veg, remove it, and shove something else in. I played this game until dinner was served. I was pretty done in as it was Monday so I used gravy granules to thicken the chicken juices and water.
Everything went down well, the guys appreciated it, but if the tap breaks again I’ll cancel Sunday dinner and we’ll just have chicken sandwiches on Monday!
… We had leftover Chinese curry from the batch I made last week. To change things up a bit I turned the leftover boiled basmati rice into fried rice. I didn’t follow a recipe, and started by making an omelette using egg whisked up with a little light soy. I set the omelette aside and my wok as hot as I could, with the limitations of my ceramic hob. I then threw in oil and the rice, adding dark soy as I stir fried, until the rice looked right. I then added the omelette and finished off with a smidge of oyster sauce. A smidge so the rice wouldn’t be wet. The velvet chicken reheated in the sauce made the sauce a little thick, but it was good so I didn’t thin it out. Husb said the fried rice made it!
… Wed J was visiting – and still trying to fix the tap – and I had previously decided I needed a Wednesday night of from cooking the usual mountain of food. Regarding the tap, and after sourcing loads of new parts, the guys went out and bought another tap! Anyway… takeaway… they had mixed kebab wraps, and I ordered – in my wisdom – a chicken tikka panino. I expected a panino filled with chicken tikka, a nice sauce, and fresh salad. What I ended up with was a wholemeal roll, heated up and cut so badly that it was falling apart, which very disappointing chicken tikka. That was it. At least now though I can say I’ve tried it and wont be pondering that or my usual chicken wrap with peppers!
… I made a MAHOOSIVE fish pie! Proper British comfort food. Again, no recipe. C came home with bassa fillets, and a small packet containing salmon, smoked haddock and a white fish that I had to throw away because it was on the turn. I also defrosted large cooked peeled prawns. To make the pie I started making a white sauce that was a 1 to 1 ratio of butter to flour to make a roux. I cooked out the roux for a few minutes then added my uht skimmed milk a little at a time until the sauce was the right thickness adding seasoning and then letting it cool. Meanwhile I made up mashed potato using a mixture of the cheesy mash and normal mash from the freezer that I wanted to get rid of. Once hot, I added a load of grated mature cheddar so that the cheesy mash really was cheesy, and I added a sprinkle of paprika too as it brings out the cheese flavour. With the sauce cool I piled some into a baking dish and spread it all over, then scattered the raw fish, and prawns on top of the sauce. I then added more sauce before spreading the mash on top. I used a fork to make the obligatory pattern on top because it creates crispy bits; then chucked it in the oven. I served the fish pie with frozen petits pois that I added a little diced fresh red pepper to before cooking. It was a great pie although I do prefer the sauce to be cheesy and the mash to be plain, but at least I know. And there’s plenty left over!
… another mammoth cooking session. This time I made my tex mex layer bake. I won’t go into the gories because I have a put together here. The only change I made was the sauce. I was making ANOTHER roux sauce when it occurred to me that I melt the butter and add the flour… so I why not a 1:1 of sunflower oil and flour, warming the oil first? So I tried it. I did have a little taste before I added the cheese and the oil based sauce seemed good, although a little under- seasoned because I was about to add a lorry load of mature cheddar. I served the tex mex layer bake with a chopped salad which included my beautiful bright pink red onions! Have a look at the pic, the pink red onions are glorious! There were also going to be plenty of leftovers!
… The first batch of leftovers… Fish pie, but I served it with French beans and garlic. I fry off sliced garlic in a teen splash of oil then add the topped and tailed beans, stir frying on full heat until there’s a little colour. I then add salt and a splash of water and put a lid on to steam the beans for a while. They are delish!