Month: October 2010

a tale of two cabbages


Pete manfully did the shopping last weekend, as I wasn’t feeling very well, and amongst everything else, he bore home a cabbage. This went nicely with the cabbage that was already sitting in the veg drawer, but no problem – we like cabbage (just as well, really).

On Tuesday, we had cabbage with mozarella; we eat this a lot. As I’m trying to cut down carbs, we added some pancetta cubes, and I had much less pasta than I normally would.

On Wednesday, we had a mound of buttered cabbage and black pepper to accompany the remains of Sunday’s beef and mushroom pie – the pie filling had been in the freezer for ages, and the pastry was wholemeal. Lovely.

On Thursday, we had a day off, and had stirfried broccoli and courgettes.

On Friday we had sausages, steamed cabbage, and swede and carrot mash (no spuds).

And tonight, we will have South Indian cabbage and rice (another favourite).

Tomorrow, we will obviously be ringing the changes, and having roast pork belly with – oh – more cabbage. But red this time, cooked with spices and apple.

Why am I turning green?

compost bin soup

Well, not quite … But this week’s soup includes broccoli stalks, leek tops and cabbage stalks!

Into small dice were cut one courgette, two carrots, and the aforementioned veg leftovers, and they went in the slow cooker on low for about six hours with a little bit of olive oil to soften them up.

Then this morning, I added a mug of red lentils, a good pinch of chili flakes, about 2l of boiling water, the very last of last week’s lamb and barley soup, and some seasoning, put the slow cooker on high, and with a bit of luck and a following wind, it’ll be ready for lunch.

chicken pie

There’s always some scratty chicken left after a roast … so today I have fashioned a Pie.

Made a pastry with 9oz wholemeal flour, 2 tsps baking powder, 4oz of Trex and some water. That’s now in the fridge, chilling (man).

Then chopped a leek into slices, 2 carrots into small dice, and 2 cloves of garlic finely (Pete did garlic and carrot). Fried that lot off with a rasher of bacon that needed using up. In went some finely chopped sage from the garden too, then I put a lid on the pan and left it to cook for ten minutes. Then added a couple of spoons full of wholemeal flour (we always use wholemeal these days) and a teaspoon of grain mustard and stirred it all around.

Then added milk bit by bit till the consistency was right, lobbed in the chicken (all shredded up), seasoned it, and left it. I shall marry pastry and filling later, and bake at gas 5 for about 35 minutes.

This will be followed by rhubarb with an oaty crumble topping, which I know is bad, but Pete brought some home yesterday – what can I do?

cabbage with pancetta and mozzarella

We normally have this without the pancetta, but I’m trying to cut my carbs at the moment so I added some meat.

I make this in a frying pan with a lid.

Chop and onion and some garlic, and fry it off in olive oil. Add the pancetta (I used cubes – you could use bacon too) at this point. When the onion is soft, add quite a lot of shredded cabbage; anything does – I’ve made this with hispi, with white, with savoy … they all work well.

Stir it all around, then add either some water – about maybe 1/2″ at the bottom of the pan – or a splash of wine. We used about half a glass of home made pineapple wine last night! Season to taste, put a lid on and leave it for about 10 minutes.

Then add some mozzarella – I usually just cube a whole one – and stir it around till the cheese melts.

In the bad old days, I would stir the pasta into this, but last night it went in separately, as Pete had a “normal” helping, and I just had a spoonful. I’ve discovered cabbage is great for bulking up if you’re avoiding carbs.

slow cooked whole chicken

A friend of mine told me he “roasted” a whole chicken in the slow cooker, and I didn’t think it would work. But I was prepared to give it a whirl, so I bought a free range chickie! for the purpose.

Did my usual trick with a chicken, of cutting a lemon in half, putting one half inside the bird, and squeezing the other half over it. Rubbed the chicken’s skin with olive oil, seasoned it, put it in the slow cooker and switched it on, on high.

Then left it completely alone for about 8 hours. It was gorgeous, and it left some very nice chickeny juices in the bottom of the dish. We’ll be doing that again!

We ate it with lots of steamed buttery cabbage, and some carrots with star anise, and Pete had some potatoes too.