My mad weekly kitchen diary

This is 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.

If I ever talk about something that you want more detail on, please let me know.

Larger image below
Larger image below


… I did the shopping instead of C this week which means I struggle to find things. I had gone in with the idea of buying a really good, aged joint of beef but I couldn’t find one. They did however, have brisket that was quite reasonable and just over a kilo which is a good size for leftovers. Anyway… I pot roasted the brisket with red wine and stock after sealing the outside to get good colour. The process took about three hours and it was ready when it was meltingly tender. I – of course – made Yorkshire puddings to go with the beef, and had another go at the shallots with white wine and cream which is so easy and delicious.

I peeled the shallots – made easier by immersing them in boiling water for a few moments – then hard fried them in a little oil to get a touch of colour. I then just covered the shallots with vegetable stock and simmered them until almost tender and the stock was quite reduced. The last addition was a slosh of double cream then that was reduced a little longer. The shallots in white wine and cream makes a great accompaniment to roast meats it seems!

I served the meat, Yorkshires, and shallots with mashed potato, roast parsnips, and garlic green beans.

Of course, no roast dinner is complete without gravy and this week I cheated. I used the jus from the pot roast just thickened it with thickening granules. *shrug*


… We reheated leftover beef in the gravy and I chucked chopped peeled roots – potatoes, carrots, parsnips, and red onions – in the oven with a little sunflower oil, thyme, and seasoning.


… I made a good old English staple which my husband always appreciates instead of the weird concoctions I come up with! Gammon, double egg – just means two eggs – and chips. It’s an easy meal but the timing is difficult because of the eggs, but I fry mine first then do C’s just as the gammon is nicely grilled and the oven chips are nicely ovened! I did use frozen oven chips, but cooked well they are good.


… Wed J was visiting so I made one of C’s favourite meals, spicy beans. It’s easy, cheap, cheerful, and modular.

I use a standard tin of baked beans for each person as it’s a main meal, so I opened three tins and plonked them into a pan. Before I put the pan on the heat I added cumin, paprika, cayenne, and dried oregano which are standard tex/mex spices. After a stir I put the beans on a low heat until the spices had developed. At dinner time I lined pasta bowls with tortilla chips – I like the plain ‘lightly salted’ generic chips – and spooned in the beans before sprinkling with a little cheddar cheese and some mozzarella. The crowning glory is as much fresh coriander as you can take. I can take a lot! I then put the bowls in the oven until the cheese was melted and the chips were warm. I served the spicy beans with extra tortilla chips for scooping.

The best part of the spicy beans is plucking a bean and cheese laden warm tortilla chip from the edge of the bowl. Yum!


… I had picked up zucchini and ground turkey – because we had beef earlier – with a mind to stuffing the zucchini, I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do though. Over the week I just thought to make a ragout, similar to bolognaise sauce. I’d never used ground turkey in a ragout so I was intrigued as to the outcome.

To make the ragout I fried off the fat from a couple of rashers of finely chopped back bacon until the fat was rendered. After scooping the crispy fat pieces out of the pan I added the bacon to brown it. Next I added a chopped small red onion and fried that until soft, adding a couple of cloves of crushed garlic halfway through the onion cooking time. The ground turkey was next so I tipped the 500g pack into that pan and browned that off. I then added a good squish of tomato paste, gently frying the dry-ish mix for at least six minutes which really develops the tomato paste, it makes such a difference. When the dry mix was ready I added a good glug of red wine; – following the rules of beef ragout – burned off the alcohol then added two chopped fresh tomatoes and a little chicken stock – ignoring the rules of beef ragout – and lastly dried oregano, seasoning, and dried mixed herbs. It then simmered away happily until it was thick and rich looking.

While the turkey ragout was cooking I prepped the zucchini by cutting them in half length ways and scooping out the middle, making sure to leave a bit at the stalk end which I forgot to do last time I stuffed zucchini. I seasoned the little boats and placed them on a baking sheet ready for their fillings.

When the ragout was ready and checked for seasoning cooled it before spooning it into the boats. I then sprinkled mozzarella and parmesan on the top and threw the boats into the oven to bake. I left them in about half an hour.

I served the boats with oven roasted Mediterranean vegetables that I picked up fresh but prepared when I was shopping. The turkey was delicious in the ragout, I didn’t miss ground beef at all!


… I’m attempting to make a dish from Indian cookbooks I was bought last birthday so this week I was making Mudh Island Koambdi Curry, or Aunt Dolly’s Curry from ‘Mr Todiwala’s Bombay’.

If you’ve ever read my ramblings before you’ll know how difficult it is for me to stick to a recipe and today was no exception. I had to make a masala which included cumin, coriander, and fennel seeds, cloves and fenugreek seeds, black peppercorns and dried chilli. The recipe asked that I cook off onion and garlic then put it in a processor with the spices and turmeric. I couldn’t just put the spices in… that worried me, so I lightly toasted them first and gave them a little pummel in the pestle and mortar before putting them in the food processor to make the paste.

The next stage was to fry two onions, then add the masala and cook until the oil splits, which I did. I then was supposed to add a tin of coconut milk. I don’t have tins of coconut milk, I keep Maggi coconut milk powder in my store cupboard, so I made up 400 ml of thick coconut milk and added that to the pan with extra water (as per recipe). Then it was time for the chicken, I used boneless, skinless, thighs cut into good chunks which were immersed in the coconut-y broth. I cooked for the specified 40 minutes (this is where I veer off the recipe, again!) then took it off the heat, removed the meat then back on the heat to reduce the sauce which was quite thin and pale. I then added extra coriander, but ground this time, a fresh sliced red chilli, and probably a few other things (all previously used in the recipe) until I was happy with the flavour. When the sauce was the right consistency I added the chicken and heated it through before adding chopped fresh coriander. There wasn’t a picture for me to compare my dish to (which is really annoying) but I was very happy with the tweaked result.

I served the curry with ‘quick and easy Bombay potatoes’ (Chopped raw potatoes tossed in a little oil, and turmeric, paprika, cayenne, and salt. Shoved in oven and a little water added toward end) and boiled basmati rice. Oh, and a few poppadoms.


… Leftover curry. What else?!

Spicy beans, zucchini stuffed with turkey ragout, Aunt Dolly's curry
Spicy beans, zucchini stuffed with turkey ragout, Aunt Dolly’s curry


My mad weekly kitchen diary

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s