last week's meals

Somehow, there was a pleasing flow to last week’s menus, and I thought I’d note it as it happens so rarely.

We started off on Sunday with a lovely organic leg of lamb from the food market, roasted as per my recipe here.

Monday: Moroccan fish tagine, although I left out the tomato – I used monkfish and prawns. Lovely.

Tuesday: cold roast lamb, rather too much mashed potato, and spiced red cabbage.

Wednesday: more cooked lamb, stir fried with pak choi, spring onions, garlic, ginger, some wizened mushrooms which I soaked in boiling water for half an hour, oyster sauce, tamari, five spice – you know the sort of thing. Worked really well.

Thursday: venison sausages with some more of the red cabbage, and more mash.

Friday: a tub of goulash from the freezer, which went with the seemingly inexhaustible red cabbage (although we did manage to finish it then), and some rice

Saturday: a rather interesting use of potatoes, cream, gruyere and the last* of the lamb, which I shall write up later.

* Last? well almost; I boiled the bones up yesterday, and it will shortly be turned into this week’s soup.

the depths of the cupboard

I have a narrow cupboard on the wall next to the cooker, in which I keep various oils, vinegars, ketchups and so forth. In a mad fit I decided to go through it today, to make some space.

The record for something past its sell by date in this house is now held by a bottle of Waitrose teryaki sauce, which bore a label stating “best before Jan 1999”.

It still smells fine, mind you!

Bristol Slow Food market – 5 march 06

As I’ve said before, we only get a decent food market here in Bristol on the first Sunday of the month, so we tend to make the most of it. Here’s this month’s haul:

  • 4 packs of organic mutton (mutton! rar!)
  • 1 organic leg of lamb for today’s lunch
  • um .. 6 packs of sausages. Pork, pork with juniper, toulouse, pork with cracked black pepper, venison and oatmeal (these are lovely), venison with marmite (the jury’s out)
  • 1 potato sourdough loaf
  • 2 raspberry and almond muffins
  • 1 monkfish tail
  • 1 undyed smoked haddock fillet
  • 1 dried lime, a pack of saffron, a chai tea spice ball
  • 1 camembert
  • 2 duck breasts
  • home cured Exmoor organic ham and bacon

That should keep us going till next month, I think.

and they call this cooking?

Spotted on a food blog I read, was this “recipe” for Lemon Pound Cake.

1 (18.25 ounce) package yellow cake mix
5 tablespoons instant lemon pudding mix
2 eggs
1/4 cup butter, softened
1/3 cup water
1/8 cup applesauce

Truly, American cooking is a wondrous thing.

clearing up the fridge

For one reason and another, I haven’t done much cooking this week just past – probably because I’ve been coding this site for hours on end! So I looked in the fridge last night, and decided to clear up all the bitsa that was in there. What did I do?

  • there was a jug of gravy left from last week’s roast pork; said gravy made with the pork juice, the vegetable water and a splash of oloroso sherry. I combined that with the last dregs of the duck soup from this week, boiled it up, and that’s the basis for this week’s soup.
  • 5 sticks of rhubarb, getting a bit weary. 100g chopped and simmered to a pulp as the start of a pig’s bum for tonight or tomorrow. The rest of it chopped and lightly simmered with sugar and fresh ginger, and will go in the freezer for a crumble at some point
  • the end of the loaf whizzed into breadcrumbs for the freezer
  • 4 chicken breasts – was completely uninspired, so stuck them in a dish and baked them with a little olive oil and seasoning. They’ll go in the freezer, and be used for lentils with chickie!, or risotto, or stir fry, or sandwiches, or whatever

That leaves eight chicken thighs, which will be turned into a batch of moroccan chicken with chick peas and rice, one of our favourites.

And at the end of that, we ate cauliflower au gratin (inspired by the bread crumbs), accompanied by potatoes roasted in goose fat. Gorgeous 🙂

home made burgers

Finely chop a shallot, some fresh coriander and a red chili. Combine this with 1lb of Dexter mince, together with some sel gris. Shape into vaguely hamburger-shaped shapes

In a bowl, combine a can of chick peas, some chopped fresh mint, diced cucumber, finely chopped spring onions, some cold cooked potatoes from the fridge, and grated carrot. Make a dressing with walnut oil, white wine vinegar and a splash of shoyu and toss it about a bit

Get Pete to stand in front of a very hot ribbed cast iron pan and cook the burgers

Sprinkle the salad with sesame, pumpkin and sunflower seeds, which have been dry fried, then tossed in a little tamari.

Perfect summer food.

dining on duck

Well, we dined on duck a couple of weeks ago, and then I threw the carcass in the freezer to deal with later.

Pulled it out again at the weekend, and boiled it up for a couple of hours; we were driven demented by the aroma! And last night I stripped the meat off it – I was astonished at how much there was clinging to the bones. There was enough to make a risotto, or a stir fry.

However, according to the Met Office, a cold week is coming. And as we work at home, today I shall add chopped veg – leeks, carrots, celery, courgettes, potatoes – and some barley to the stock, *and* the duck meat … to hell with it.

And we shall feast on duck surprise soup for the rest of the week’s lunches. Yum.

christmas cake eggstravanza

Originally posted in my LiveJournal 19 dec 2005

So … I weighed out the ground almonds, the whole nuts (whizzed briefly in the food processor), the mixed tropical fruit, the sultanas, the blueberries and cranberries, the dried apricots. I rummaged in the back of the cupboard for Cointreau and Amaretto.

I beat 225g of butter with 225g of caster sugar and 1 tsp of Madagascan vanilla essence.

I added one egg.

Then I added another egg … and *as I cracked it* I realised it was bad, but it was too late – it was on its way into the Kitchenaid. Pete heroically dealt with the revolting sugary sulphury mess, while I washed everything up.

Then I found more butter, more sugar, more vanilla essence and started again. This time I did what I usually do – but inexplicably didn’t the time before – and broke the eggs into an intermediate container, but of course they were all fine.

The cake? Well, I’m not very happy with it to be honest. I think I might go and [whisper] buy one from Waitrose …