I’m not a chef, but I do like ‘extreme cooking’ (winging it in the kitchen)! I’ve never knowingly followed a recipe completely, so hopefully this will be a weekly bit of fun whereby I can natter about any culinary ‘inventions’, successes, and disasters in the kitchen. If I remember I may also add photos, but I’m usually too busy cooking!
… is usually a ‘Sunday Roast’. Then recently we were given something that has made some Sunday dinners easy for me… a rotisserie. It seems a rotisserie is the indoor equivalent of an barbecue, and as such, it is my husband’s domain! Last Sunday was one of those easier days as C wanted to roast a chicken. He adds secret herbs & spices, oil, and fresh lemon then does the deed with the mahoosive skewer before setting our dinner to spit roast. Very quickly the aroma is intoxicating, but we have to wait until the little chook is roasted to perfection and has given up its delicious jus, before crowning the accompaniments with its chicken-y goodness. Last Sunday it was simply fresh tiger baton bread and a mixed salad, which, if you know me is very un-Sunday-dinner like!
… is an uber busy day for me so I try hard not to think too much about dinner but I usually fail. Ideally we have leftovers from Sunday but as we had the chicken there was a breast left over for a lunch sandwich, & the bones to make a stock and that was it, so I had to think about dinner. I am at my most dangerous when I’m ‘thinking about dinner’, and this day was no exception. The meal I concocted was a little out there. I baked two large potatoes and pan fried chopped bacon, onion, mushroom and some fresh diced tomato at the end. For dinner I piled the split potato with the bacon mix before topping it with poached egg. My logic… “It’s like egg and chips and Sunday breakfast all rolled into one!”
… I went with an old favourite, chilli con carne. Even if I do say so myself I make a pretty good chilli, but I can also get it cooking without too much thinking. Maybe I should have made it on Monday! I constantly tweak my chilli as I strive to make the ‘best chilli ever’. Recently I’ve subbed half of the ground beef for ground pork which adds extra flavour; I just dry fry the pork first to render out the fat. Just some of my seasonings are; cumin, cocoa powder, and cinnamon. If I let you into my secret I would have to kill you! I served it with some fluffy basmati rice & a few shop bought tortilla chips.
… our friend comes for dinner and a natter. The only problem is he eats a lot! He is very appreciative so I enjoy cooking for him; I just have to come up with enough sustenance for this hardworking and hard eating man that I’ll call WedJ. I also try to keep the workload down, because prepping enough food, then cooking it, and clearing and washing up afterwards is a little tough when you’ve worked most of the day on either work work or housework. Cost is also a factor because I try to keep to a budget, self employed you know! So… I came up with a variation on a fish taco. I did fish finger wraps. So I grilled cod fish fingers and warmed flour tortillas. For the ‘sauce’ I mixed some mayo with my homemade volcanic chilli sauce; then put everything together with romaine lettuce, cucumber and my home pickled red onion. On the side we had oven fries. It was delish!
It may not sound much for WedJ but I had also made a pudding the night before, a proper British pud. I needed to use a bag of frozen ‘Black Forest fruits’ up, so I made a crumble with those & some chopped eating apples. I par cooked it on Tuesday night, finishing it off in time for dinner on Wednesday. Everything went down well and I merrily cleared up long into the night!
… it was thinking time again… I had half a kilo of ground turkey. My initial thought had been a sort of ragu I do with onions and peppers, but I serve it with rice and we did rice on Tuesday. We would probably also have it later on with leftover chilli. So I pondered… then I came up with a meatloaf type thing. Now I’m not averse to using the occasional tin or packet and Thursday was one of those times. I always keep dried sage and onion stuffing in the cupboard as it’s very handy. If you’ve never had a hot pork sandwich with that stuffing and gravy you’ve never lived! Anyway, I made up a little stuffing with hot water and let it cool. I chopped a leek and sautéed it with garlic and let that cool. With everything cool, I put the turkey, leek, and stuffing into a bowl with salt and pepper. I fried off a morsel to check for seasoning, added a little extra salt to the main mix, then smooshed it into a loaf tin before baking for 45 minutes. I served my latest concoction, which I’m calling ‘Turkey & Stuffing loaf’ with mashed potatoes, petit pois, and gravy made from C’s delicious chicken jus, water and some chicken gravy granules (What?! Gravy granules are handy for a midweek meal!)
… just in case you were starting to think I spend my non-working life cooking, occasionally I let myself off and insist on takeaway. THIS was one of those nights. We don’t have the best selection of takeout food here. It’s good if you like pizza, but I’m not really a fan. One pizza place though does some really good hot chicken wings so I had those with salad and chips. C had a ‘mixed wrap’ which is a mixed kebab but in a tortilla/wrap instead of pitta bread.
… another of my favourite days! Leftover day! Chilli con carne leftovers. This meal needs no embellishment. Just yum, and barely any washing up!