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

 

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My mad weekly kitchen diary

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 a dish that you want more detail on, please let me know.

Larger image below
Larger image below

Sunday

Chicken. If in doubt do chicken. I didn’t want to do the ‘roast chicken with all of the traditional trimmings’, such as bread sauce and cranberry sauce, I wanted something else. I wanted new potatoes and green beans but ended up having to use white potatoes. I roasted the potatoes after par boiling them along with the chicken which was stuffed with lemon and drenched with it too. I sautéed the green beans with garlic, then made a gravy from the jus, water, and gravy granules.

Monday

… I so wish I had a pic of this meal, it was our first foray into making a decent pizza at home, but we ate it before I remembered! I bought an indoor pizza oven that looks a bit like two very large clamshell frying pans. I made bread machine pizza dough at some point which is as simple as throwing the ingredients into the bread machine in the correct order. Once finished I wrapped the dough in cling film and put it in the fridge until later.

Husb wanted to roll out the bases, so he did. He did really well, in fact he was a natural! I prepped ingredients to go on top of two pizzas, one to be salami and the other leftover chicken. I sliced peppers and onions, and sliced and ripped (he wanted sliced on the salami, I wanted ripped on the chicken) two balls of mozzarella. As a cheat we used passata on the base instead of my usual homemade tomato sauce.

When it came to dinner time husb assembled his pizza then carefully placed it on the stone of the pizza oven, and then closed the lid. The pizza cooked in about five minutes and looked like a proper pizza! I put his in the oven whilst we cooked mine then we cut them both into wedges and served half of each. Comparing and contrasting ensued as we tried each pizza, but what we both agreed on is that the base was pretty close to a proper stone baked pizza!

Tuesday

… I’d always wanted to try an omelette Arnold Bennett. I know, I’m odd, but there you go. So… We bought smoked haddock and made sure we had plenty of eggs, I also had plenty of milk and parmesan… because omelette Arnold Bennett is a different sort of omelette. Imagine an omelette filled with smoked haddock and topped with béchamel and grilled. I’ve always found the thought of this intriguing.

Anyway… I didn’t follow a recipe, and I probably did it wrong, but I love the way it turned out. I started by poaching the smoked haddock in milk then once the haddock was cool enough to handle I broke it up into large flakes. Next I made the béchamel with a big spoon of butter, melted, and a big spoon of flour. I didn’t follow anything, but the roux is one to one butter and flour. I used the milk from poaching the fish plus extra, adding and stirring until I had a thick sauce, thicker than you would normally have. I also added a little cheese which I think would have Arnold Bennett turning in his grave.

Next the omelette… I used six eggs, whisking them and adding just a splash of milk and seasoning. After melting butter in a smallish frying pan I added the eggs. When the eggs were starting to set on the bottom I sprinkled over the smoked haddock and continued cooking the omelette until set. At this point I spread the ‘béchamel’ over the top of the omelette, sprinkled that with parmesan, before placing it under a hot grill until golden and bubbling.

We had half-ish each as a main meal with salad and husb loved it. I was in ‘can’t taste anything’ mode so I didn’t enjoy it and left half. What a disappointment. Stupid taste buds!

Wednesday

… Wed guest was absent again so I had a go at a pho! Well, to be more specific a pho ga. But I wanted to use leftover chicken. I used this recipe as a guide only because I had cooked chicken and the carcass it came off.

I began by making a forty five minute stock from the chicken carcass, adding aromats like star anise and ginger to try and help things along. Once that was done and the stock strained from the carcass I cooked the stock further with extra aromats.

When dinner time came I softened rice stick noodles in boiling water from the kettle and reheated the chopped chicken in a little of the stock. When the noodles were ready I popped them into individual bowls then started assembling.

I added the chicken on top of the noodles, then chopped spring onions, then chopped fresh mint and frozen coriander. I added jarred jalapenos because I didn’t have any fresh chillies and I added lime zest because I didn’t have fresh lime leaf.

Lastly I ladled the stock over everything and served the cheats leftover pho ga with a wedge of lime.

The jarred jalapeno worked really well, adding a hint of acidity, and I’ll definitely be making this again!

Thursday

… We were going to have a take-away but I’d ended up with a boat load of salad ingredients that needed to be used up, along with salami and pepperoni. With all of this in mind I decided to cobble together a salad. First of all I peeled and small-ish diced a couple of potatoes, putting them on to boil until tender. When just warm I stirred mayo and spring onions through then set aside. Next were green beans that I needed to use up. I steamed them after tailing, until tender; then whilst still warm added a dressing I threw together; just oil, red wine vinegar, a smidge of French mustard and seasoning. I then set the beans aside to absorb the dressing. The last bit of actual cooking was hard boiling a couple of eggs.

Now came more dressing and assembling… we had some delicious small vine tomatoes, bigger than cherry, smaller than the usual, so I chopped them and added the catch all dressing along with fresh mint and spring onion.

When it came to plating I added chopped romaine lettuce to the middle of the plate, added a little dressing, then some of my very pink onions. Next I added sliced cucumber drizzled with salt and lemon juice. Finally I tried to position all of the other components nicely, adding sliced radish to the beans before arranging the salami and pepperoni on top.

The salad was delish. I particularly loved the beans and tomatoes. Husb said her would have liked more meat. If he had told me whilst he was actually eating I would have grabbed some from the fridge!

Friday

… I had bought a Japanese curry base from my favourite online world food shop that I really wanted to try. I would rather make my own base but it seems impossible to get a recipe. The upside though is that it’s rally easy to throw together the curry.

Husb had come home with skinless boneless chicken thighs and I’ve now decided they’re no good if they need to be chopped. It could be the place we buy them from, but the resulting ‘chunks’ are very uneven. Anyway… I sliced an onion then sautéed it as per the recipe on the box of curry base. Next I added the chicken and browned it. I was instructed to add veg of my choice at this point so I added small-ish diced potato because it was Friday so not much left in the fridge in the way of produce. Also, at that point I was to add water and effectively stew everything until cooked, which went against the usual way of cooking a curry, but I followed the instructions. When the meat and veg were tender I added the curry base in chunks, stirring constantly until it was thick and glossy.

I served the curry with boiled rice and a quick pickle of salted radish and cucumber with soy sauce and lemon. The pickle tasted pretty horrid on its own but was DELICIOUS with the curry.

So… the Japanese curry… Sweeter than Chinese I would say, and not as spicy, and by spicy I don’t mean hot. I mean spicy, maybe the brown spices, like ground coriander and cumin. It didn’t have as much depth, but was very pleasant nonetheless.

Saturday

… We had a take-away! I had hot chicken wings, chips and salad. Husb had a chicken wrap. I do enjoy not cooking sometimes!

Omelette Arnold Bennett, Pho ga, good old salad, Japanese chicken curry.
Omelette Arnold Bennett, Pho ga, good old salad, Japanese chicken curry.

 

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My mad weekly kitchen diary