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.

If I ever ramble about a dish without a recipe that you want more detail on, give me a shout and I’ll do my best to be more precise!

Larger image below
Larger image below


… I wanted ham, but C has decided that the usual ham, colcannon, savoy cabbage, parsley sauce isn’t ‘Sunday roast worthy’ *raises eyes to the ceiling*! So… I came up with a plan. No colcannon, no parsley sauce. Instead, roast potatoes and Cumberland sauce were to be the accompaniments that could not be substituted.

The ham almost takes care of itself. I boiled it for an hour or so, then drizzled honey over the top before sticking it in the oven. The vegetables we had were French beans, and carrots so I peeled the carrots and ‘batoned’ them, and just topped the beans leaving the cute tail. I was to steam these later. I then parboiled peeled potatoes before roughing them up a bit so that there are lovely edges to get crispy, and tossing them in a little oil to roast in the oven.

I found a Cumberland sauce recipe online, but had to adapt. We didn’t have redcurrant jelly so I used cranberry. I also added extra seasoning and more water to create a pouring sauce, rather than a spooning sauce.

The meal worked really well. The Cumberland sauce went beautifully with the salty ham, so that is a worthy Sunday roast imo!


… I know I keep banging on about this but the reason I love ham so much is that it’s frugal. One uses everything. This Monday was no exception. On the Sunday night I put 250g of dried marrowfat peas to soak with a little bicarbonate of soda. On Monday at lunchtime I was able to cook the rehydrated peas in the ham stock until they were tender, adding a little ham towards the end. Once everything was cooked I took the pan off the heat and let it cool for a while before whizzing it with the stick blender until smooth.

Now… Even I know it’s really just pea and ham soup, so I spiced it up a little with pici bread. I’ve mentioned pici bread before. I usually have pici spiced oil in the fridge, which is dried garlic, parsley, and chilli. In the first instance I add a spoonful of each to a pan and cover it with oil. I then put it on a low heat with a clove of fresh garlic and a spritz of lemon to infuse. So… with the pici spiced oil in the fridge I was able to whip a few slices of crusty bread from the freezer, spoon over the pici spiced oil, making sure to get nuggets of garlic and chilli as they tend to get left behind, then bang the bread in the oven for ten minutes. The result? Pea and ham sooooooup!!!


… Pork steaks were on offer so we bought those, and mushrooms were too. This planted a seed of ‘pork in a mushroom cream sauce’, as I had cream in the fridge. I started by slicing the mushrooms and frying the slices in a little oil until they released that delicious caramel aroma, there’s nothing worse than insipid mushrooms! I then put the mushrooms aside and fried the pork steaks for a few minutes to brown, then shoved them in the oven to finish off to enable me to do the sauce. In the same pan I sautéed a little finely diced onion then added the browned mushrooms. Next was a splosh of brandy. After the brandy had reduced I added chicken stock and a little cream, and let it bubble away until it was thick and lovely. I served the pork with ‘savoury rice’, I just cooked rice using the absorption method using stock instead of water, and sautéed diced mushrooms and peppers before adding the rice. I added a handful of petits pois towards the end.


… We made pizza with the wonderful pizza oven. This thing is a revelation, and I like pizza done this way. Wed guest was here so I made the dough, upscaling the ‘bread machine pizza dough’ recipe that I like to use. I made a tomato sauce for the base earlier, using up tinned tomatoes and passata that I had in the fridge along with a little onion and oregano. It was then whizzed until smooth and cooled. So… at pizza time I rolled the three pizzas then we topped them with tomato sauce, salami, mozzarella, pepperoni, onion and peppers. I had pickled jalapeno on mine too!

I know our guest is easy to please, but he absolutely loved the pizza. To understand why we are so enamoured with this thing I have to tell you about the local take away pizzas. I’m sure for most pizza lovers they are great, loads of dough, loads of topping, and loads of cheese. They are heavy, doughy, and really not my thing at all.

Our version is thin, crisp, and not loaded with topping and cheese, but is so tasty!


… We had soup… Pea and ham soup… and leftover pizza.


… Chicken shwarma was the order of the day, and it was so because I wanted to try making my flatbreads on the pizza oven. I marinated diced chicken for the day in oil, red wine vinegar, a grated fresh tomato, garlic, chilli flakes, and oregano. At some point during the day I made up the flatbread dough using my favourite recipe then wrapped the ball in clingfilm before leaving it out of the fridge.

I also decide to try oven baked zucchini fries again, C wasn’t particularly fond of the first attempt. In addition to panko breadcrumbs I added the usual seasoning, but then garlic granules and chilli flakes. After chopping the zucchini into batons I tossed them in flour, then egg, then finally the breadcrumbs before lining them up on a baking tray to go in the oven.

At dinner time I skewered the chicken, and some separate veg skewers, and grilled them until cooked, then readied the flatbreads that I’d rolled out earlier. C put the super duper pizza oven on; then slid on a flatbread. After a minute or so he flipped it over because he thought they needed it.

When everything was cooked, I tried to assemble the flatbreads and chicken, then decided it would look better with everything on the plate, the zucchini fries threw me, but they were delish, and C liked them too! And I don’t need to say the chicken was great, because it was marinated grilled chicken! Oh and the flatbreads were fantastic!


… We had a microwave meal… It was a nice one, honest! Marinated lamb rogan josh with pilau rice. Delish for a microwave meal!

Roast ham & Cumberland Sauce, Pea & Ham soup with pici spiced bread, Pork in mushroom sauce & savoury rice, Chicken Shwarma
Roast ham & Cumberland Sauce, Pea & Ham soup with pici spiced bread, Pork in mushroom sauce & savoury rice, Chicken Shwarma



My mad weekly kitchen diary

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