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 ever I talk about a dish that you want more info on, let me know and I’ll do my best to elaborate!

Larger image below
Larger image below

Sunday

I decided, instead of a Sunday roast, that we would have a Sunday steak. We don’t have steak often because it’s expensive so as Sunday is the day for special dinner, it’s a good day for the occasional steak!

I couldn’t be bothered though, to make onion rings, which really is a must with steak. Now, husb had a steak when we went out for a meal recently and instead of onion rings they served caramelised onions. This sounded like a good idea, and I always keep two (three if you count spring onions) types of onion, red and mild (Spanish) onion. So… I halved and sliced two mild onions which are very large, and put them in a cold pan with a little oil and seasoning and just put a lid on and left them on low. This was hours before dinner needed to be ready because I like to do as much as I can ahead. When they were soft and delicious I added a little butter and with the lid off, let them brown. At this point I took them off the heat for later. At dinner time I reheated the onions and added just a splash of white wine vinegar.

I did garlic mushrooms too before hand, I’ve mentioned them so many times on here that I’m not going to again! I also baked fresh tomato halves sprinkled with salt and pepper, and dried rosemary. If I’m baking a tomato, I always do them this way because they are so delicious.

You may have gathered I was in ‘can’t be bothered to cook’ mode, so I didn’t do a black pepper cream sauce either, I wanted to be able to have horseradish, and the two don’t mix!

The usual suspects made up the rest of the dinner; chips and petits pois and when I plated up I served the steak on the onions so you can’t really see them in the picture, but they worked so well I will be doing that again!

Monday

So we’re still experimenting with pizza and anything remotely close, so today we were going to try pizza, and the garlic bread you get from the pizza shop. The ones we use never seem to show the garlic bread any garlic at all, so it was a given I would tray and make it. I’m scared of a lot of things but garlic isn’t one of them!

The bread machine pizza dough recipe that I use makes enough for two pizzas so it’s ideal for this. The pizza was a pepperoni pizza with onion and peppers, and for the garlic bread I crushed four cloves of garlic in a small bowl and added olive oil and seasoning.

Super duper counter top pizza oven
Super duper counter top pizza oven

At dinner time I rolled out the dough and made up the pizza first, and after cooking that in our super duper pizza oven we put it on a tray in a warm oven and put the garlic bread the SDOven to cook. At some point we lifted the lid and the bread had ballooned and caught a tad, but that ended up being my favourite piece! I served the pizza with a basic salad.

Tuesday

We bought a teeny chicken and husband cooked it in his rotisserie. I know he puts lemon inside, because I always use the carcass for stock and I have to discard the lemon so as not to make the stock bitter, other than that though he uses a secret blend of herbs. I served his delicious chicken with salad and a baked potato topped with the onions left over from Sunday, which was also a perfect match!

Wednesday

… I had ground beef so wanted to try a Korean beef recipe I found on Pinterest, if you post a picture of something with rice, chances are it’ll draw me in! I almost followed the recipe, I just had to substitute the sesame oil for sunflower oil, oh, and I had mushrooms to use up so I added those, and also a fresh read chilli. It was really quick, and it was something I’ll do again!

Thursday

… A gold old British favourite… fish and chips! I didn’t batter the fish, but we bought good oven bake battered fish, I made the mushy peas and the oven chips though, and the oven chips have been a revelation. The peas are easy peasy, you just soak fried marrowfat overnight with a little bicarb, then rinse and boil, in this instance, until they’re mushy.

For the oven chips I cut baking potatoes into chips then par boiled them for about six minutes, just until they lose that raw feel when you poke them with a knife, then I take them off the heat and leave them in the water that’s seasoned with salt and scented with rosemary. I don’t have a time for steeping them, I think it was about an hour, but depending on the par boil you wouldn’t want them breaking up. If they are just off raw though that shouldn’t happen. Anyway… after steeping I drained and dried them well, then brushed each side with olive oil and placed the chips on a baking tray. When needed I bunged them in the oven and roasted for about forty minutes, until cooked. The only problem with the chips is that, at this time of year potatoes are really sweet, so the brown on the chip is more of a black because of the sugars. The chips were delicious though, regardless. I served the fish, chips, and mushy peas with a wedge of lemon and lots of tartare sauce!

Friday

… I wanted to continue testing the secret curry spice mix I found in my dad’s book, and tweaked a few weeks ago. Diced beef was on offer so I was using that.

This time with the curry I wanted to follow the procedure for methi gosht. So… I sliced the onions and cooked them down for ages until soft and melty, I then put them in the food processor with a little more oil, a fresh red chilli, a knub of ginger, four cloves of garlic (my default setting for garlic appears to be four cloves), and half a tin of tomatoes. I whizzed the contents well then poured them back in the pan and sautéed until the oil split from the mix, I then added the spices mentioned in the previous post, and again waited for the oil to split. At this point I added the meat, water and salt, after half an hour I added potato too, which saved me from making Bombay Aloo! The curry was just left to do its thing then for an hour or so, until the meat was tender, potatoes cooked, and the sauce was thick and dark, which is my FAVOURITE type of curry! I served the curry with basmati rice and poppadoms.

Saturday

… Leftovers! Curry! Yum! Curry, or anything cooked in a dark sauce, always tastes even better the next day!

Steak and chips, homemade pizza, homemade garlic bread, rotisserie chicken, Korean beef, fish chips & mushy peas, beef and potato curry
Steak and chips, homemade pizza, homemade garlic bread, rotisserie chicken, Korean beef, fish chips & mushy peas, beef and potato curry

 

Advertisements
My mad weekly kitchen diary

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, whilst trying to get the best out of leftovers.

Larger image below
Larger image below

Sunday

… So… occasionally, when I really can’t be bothered midweek I use shop bought frozen pellets of mashed potato. The type I like is just potato, and then I add to it. In his wisdom recently C came back with frozen ‘cheesy mashed potato’ pellets. Now… I have only eaten cheesy mash once, last year because I wanted to see what it was like and I made it myself with ingredients and cheese that I like. So this addition to my freezer was disconcerting. Anyway… I had a mini brain wave and decided to do a gammon joint as that was the meal I had served the cheesy mash with before. I boiled the gammon for an hour as usual – it’s only a small joint – then roasted it with a little maple syrup for half an hour.

I made the cheesy mash as per the instructions in the microwave then added a good handful of my favourite extra mature English cheddar, snipped chives, and the milk that we use until it was a good consistency.

I couldn’t get any fresh parsley so I tried making a sauce with dried and it was fine. Not as fragrant but very similar to the parsley sauce granules I usually keep in for emergencies.

Lastly I did the roasted savoy cabbage, which I could probably eat on its own it’s that good!

So… That was my Irish-ish style Sunday roast. The adapted cheesy mash worked well, and I still have pellets left so will have to either repeat this dish or come up with new ones!

Monday

… I needed something easy and modular as Mondays are hellish and I had the ingredients for carbonara so that was the dish of the day. I’m not sure everyone would consider a ‘from scratch’ carbonara easy but I really do because many stages can be prepped ahead. I work from a Nigella recipe – halving it for two people – which is not entirely authentic due to the addition of cream, but I feel the cream makes the recipe more forgiving; you’re less likely to end up with scrambled eggs. Anyway… at lunch time I chopped the pancetta and fried it off in a little oil until crisp then sloshed in the white wine and reduced it. I then put a lid on and took it off the heat to cool. I cracked the eggs into a jug, added the cream, parmesan, and seasoning, mixed and covered with cling film, placing in the fridge for later. All that was to be done later was the linguine and assembly. At dinner time I put the pasta on to cook whilst gently reheating the bacon and wine mix. With the pasta ready I strained it then added it to the bacon and tossed it well before removing it from the heat. Finally I added the egg mix and tossed that very quickly before serving. The last stage takes less than ten minutes, that’s my kind of speedy dinner!

Tuesday

… whilst online shopping I chose frozen battered cod that is oven baked which is great for a midweek meal. I’d been meaning to cook this meal for weeks but I kept forgetting to soak the dried marrowfat peas. This week I remembered and on Monday night I set the peas up to soak as per the instructions. I also wanted to try making homemade oven chips instead of wedges, or anything shop bought. I had some baking potatoes that needed to be used so I peeled them, cut them into chips; then par boiled them with a few sprigs of fresh rosemary. After straining and cooling the chips in a colander they were ready for a little coating of oil, seasoning and the heat of the oven.

To make the mushy peas I just threw the soaked, rinsed peas in a pan with water and seasoning and simmered until they were perfectly mushy. If anyone tells you mushy peas can be made with frozen garden peas they are fibbing, it has to be dried marrowfat.

I served the delicious homemade oven chips and mushy peas with the shop bought battered fish and a wedge of lemon.

Wednesday

… WedJ was visiting and I had hotdog buns in the freezer so hotdogs were a perfect choice. I got C to buy good German sausages in a jar – probably bockwurst but I forgot to look – so all I had to do was a shed load of fried onions. I sliced two MASSIVE Spanish onions and sautéed them gently for an hour or so with seasoning and dried thyme until soft and sweet then added a splash of balsamic vinegar. I then cooled them for later. At dinner thyme (geddit?!) I heated the sausages, split the buns and threw in some oven chips to bake. I never know what to serve with hotdogs, I don’t like the idea of chips or fries but I can’t think of anything else. Anyway… Wed J had two large hotdogs with onions, a buttered hotdog bun to make a chip butty, almost a full bottle of ketchup and a pile of chips! C had two hotdogs with onions, and chips, and I had one hotdog with onions, a sausage on its own and chips. I didn’t take a pic because… well, hotdogs…

Thursday

… I was craving a tapas dish I haven’t made for some time because tapas night is postponed until I have a functioning head. This craving became unbearable so I decided to try and recreate it as a main meal. I call it Jerez chicken because I use sherry. I think the bottle of fino sherry I have at the moment is even from Jerez – pronounced Hereth, but I’m sure you already know that. I just want you to know that I do too! – which is apt.

Anyway scaling this dish up I used skinless, boneless, chicken thighs instead of fillets or breast and started by sautéing onion, garlic, and mushrooms. When the onion was soft I added smoked paprika and cooked that off for a few minutes before adding a good slosh of sherry and the chicken. A few minutes later I added a little tinned tomato and water so that the dish would be self saucing then let it simmer until the chicken was cooked and the sauce thick. I served it with lightly roasted baby new potatoes and savoy cabbage. In the pic the chicken is definitely there, it’s just underneath the vegetable laden sauce!

Friday

… I wanted to make a Moroccan lamb tagine so that I could use my newly acquired pomegranate molasses, but the lamb on offer at the supermarket was rubbish so we plumped for beef. I veered quite quickly from a recipe online, in fact I just ignored it all together because it didn’t have the ingredients in it that I wanted! I basically went on taste. Trying as I went. FYI sumac is REALLY citrus-y! I added ras-el-hanout, cinnamon, sumac, z’ataar, to the browned meat and onions, then added water a stock cube, and a glug of pomegranate molasses. Half way through the slow cook I added soft dried apricots.

I served the dish with long grain rice pilaff, flavoured with onions and spiced with cinnamon and saffron.

The resulting stew was delicious, but the meat was not up to standard and I STILL don’t really like fruit with meat.

Saturday

… I made a lentil, tomato, and ham soup with the gammon stock, tomatoes, and leftover gammon. I just threw it all in, let it cook and then blitzed it with the stick blender. I served the soup with pici spiced – dried chilli, parsley, garlic, fresh garlic, lemon juice, and olive oil – baked farmhouse bread. That pici spice is DELISH!

Gammon & cheesy mash, linguine carbonara, fish chips and mushy peas, jerez chicken, beef and apricot tagine.
Gammon & cheesy mash, linguine carbonara, fish chips and mushy peas, jerez chicken, beef and apricot tagine.
My mad weekly kitchen diary