Tag Archives: cauliflower

two caulis, two bunches of asparagus

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We were in Norfolk last weekend, to celebrate the 7th birthday of our grandson. A very nice time was had by all, and on our way home on Sunday afternoon, we kept an eye out for roadside stalls, looking for asparagus and strawberries. Nothing on the roadside, but we stopped at a huge farm shop somewhere … in the South Holland district in Lincolnshire, according to Foursquare.

Two bunches of asparagus at £1.50 each, and two caulis for a quid. So all that lot for £4.00!

One bunch of asparagus went into a quiche, with three eggs, some milk and some rather elderly brie, chopped up. Also a shallot fried off in a little butter, and some chopped chives. That did supper with some Jersey Royals, and lunch the following day.

The second bunch was stir fried with chilli and ginger, one of our absolutely favourite dishes.

One cauli was last night made into a veg curry, which will do at least two more days (if I can find some freezer space!), and the other will be enrobed in cheese sauce for tonight’s supper.

No strawberries (just a little bit too early, I guess), but all the same – that’s really cheap living (although I suppose it’s rather far to go if we weren’t passing …)

cauliflower and potatoes with mushroom rice

I’ve been a bit “meh” about cooking of late; trying to lose weight leaves me uninspired.

On Sunday, we had planned nothing foodwise. Pete had gone for a nap after garden-related exertions, and I went for a rummage in the fridge, to find:

one very tired field mushroom
half a lemon
a cauliflower that definitely needed eating
some cooked potatoes

So … cut up the cauliflower and put it on to simmer for about 8 minutes.

Put a piece of cinnamon stick and some cumin seeds in hot oliver oil, stirred them about a bit, then added the mushroom, chopped into smallish chunks, and a finely chopped shallot. Left that on a low heat till the mushroom was cooked, then added 80g of basmati rice (we don’t eat much rice – see above – wah), mixed it in, then 160g of cold water and half a teaspoon of salt. Brought to the boil, lid on, very low simmer for 13 minutes, then about 13 minutes standing (or 20 or 25 – it won’t hurt).

Very finely chopped quite a lot of garlic and ginger, and put it in a wide flat pan with some hot groundnut oil. Added crushed cumin and coriander seeds, then hurled in the cooked potato, cut into smallish dice. Cooked that off until the spuds started to crisp, then added the cauliflower.

Stood and looked at it for a bit, then opened a carton of passata, and added about half of it, with a splash of water. Simmered over a very low heat until the rice was ready.

Very nice, but it could have done with a little salt (I try not to salt food as a matter of course).

It did, of course, leave me with half a carton of passata …

asparagus and cauliflower stir fry

asparagus and cauliflower stir fry

Trying hard to do different things for lunch at the moment, and here’s today’s effort. In the fridge lurked a smallish bunch of asparagus, and about 1/4 of a small cauliflower.

Pete finely chopped a shallot, some garlic, a red chilli and some ginger, and cut the cauli into little bits, including the stalk. We simmered that for about 4 minutes in boiling water, while I fried the asparagus in some groundnut oil in the wok. Added the spicy bits and fried some more, then fished the cauli out with a slotted spoon and added it to the wok, with a tiny bit of its water, flung in some Tamari, and left it to bubble down.

Quickly cooked some rice noodles, slung them in the wok to mix up, dished into bowls, scoffed. Very nice, and took about 12 minutes start to finish. Those red chillies are damned hot, mind!

sweet potato and cauliflower curry

The veg box brought us a pair of sweet potatoes, and we had a cauliflower left over.

Not wanting to cook too much in the heat, I peeled the sweet potatoes and cut them into 2cm-ish chunks.  They were simmered for about 18 minutes, and I put the cauliflower florets in the steamer basket for the last 7 minutes.

I chopped an onion and a red pepper, and minced ginger and garlic, and fried that lot off in some olive oil, while Pete ground some spices with a Morrocan twist (including pomegranate seeds), and I put them in the frying pan with the onion mixture for a couple of minutes.

Tipped everything into the slow cooker, and added the rest of the broad bean stock. Cooked on low for about 8 hours, and ate with rice, but cous cous would have worked too.

cauliflower and potato, indian style

using up: cauliflower.

This didn’t go quite to plan, but turned out utterly delicious.  I don’t suppose we’ll ever be able to recreate it, though.

I set a pan of potatoes to parboil, intending to deep fry them later, and put a cut up cauli in the steamer on top.  Pete did Indian spices – coriander, cumin, tumeric, fenugreek, cardamon seeds and allspice – and whizzed up ginger and garlic and a green chilli.  The timer went, and I put the steamer on the draining board while I finished emptying the dishwasher.  And forgot all about it!

When I remembered, the potatoes were pretty mushy.  I turfed them into a wok with some groundnut oil, but they were very soft, and wouldn’t take a crispy edge.  Nothing ventured, nothing gained.  Pete fried off the ginger and garlic, while I added the spices to the potato mush, and then the cauliflower.

We then put a small tin of tomato purée in with the ginger garlic, cooked it down a little, then tipped that into the vegetable mess.  Served it with rice, and it really was lovely – just the sort of texture I like from comfort food!

It made a second tub for the freezer too!

cauliflower cheese

Last night’s supper was cauliflower cheese, accompanied by potatoes roasted in duck fat.

Not especially “reactive”, but a lovely meal concocted out of things we had.  I’m not going to tell you how to make a cheese sauce, because I don’t weigh or measure anything – I’ve been making it too long for that.

But add some grain mustard to the sauce mix for a bit of bite, and sprinkle some breadcrumbs on the dish before it goes into the oven (this is why I don’t like bread thrown away!). The potatoes were parboiled, then roasted in duck fat (which keeps forever, as far as I can see, in a bowl in the fridge).

So you can make a really lovely meal out of a few bobs’ worth of veg and a bit of cheese and stuff.  And no meat, so cheaper, and kinder to the environment according to the UN.