Further to the last post on energy saving cooking, here is the oven full of cauli cheese, roast potatoes, and plum and apple crumble.
I poached the plums in water with a teaspoon of five spice for about 8 minutes, then put them in an oven proof dish, bubbled the liquor down a bit, then added two cooking apples (peeled, cored and chunked) and cooked them off until they softened a bit. Into the dish they went, and a crumble topping went, er, on top – 6 oz brown flour, 2 oz porridge oats, 3 oz marg, 3 oz sugar. 40 minutes or so at 180. Lovely.
We had to be up and about early (for us) this morning, as we were expecting a visit from a British Gasman at 9, coming to survey the loft for insulation. (He was way too expensive, thanks for asking, and we’ll go with the people who came last week.)
I made some 5 minute bread dough last night, and wanted to bake a loaf for lunch. Also had some brown bananas, ready to be transformed into banana cakes, and had the ham hock from Saturday to roast off.
By 8.45, the banana cakes were made and in the oven, and the bread dough was en-tinned. I didn’t put the dough in the fridge last night, and it was remarkably stick to handle, so I made two loaves with it, and scattered one with pumpkin seeds and one with sesame.
Once the cakes were done, I turned up the oven and hurled in the two loaves, with the gammon – skin removed – on a tray beneath them. So two hours oven time produced two cakes, two loaves of bread and a cooked ham – can’t be bad!
… of the oven. I’m trying to cook in a different style – more on the hob, and less lighting of the big oven unless I can use it for more than one thing. I have a decent oven in the microwave, so I use that more now as well.
We were supposed to be going out last night, but one of the cats is unwell, and we didn’t want to leave her. Of course, we had nothing planned for supper, so we pulled the last tub of chilli from the freezer (must make some more!), and as it was frozen solid, I set it in a small cast iron casserole in a low oven to thaw.
I took advantage of the time needed to do this to make brown rice to accompany it – brown takes a lot longer than basmati, and we are rarely organised enough, or unhungry enough, to wait for it! I cooked it with shallot and cumin seeds, and it was very nice, although a little crunchier than I’d have liked.
As the oven was on, I took the black bananas and turned them into a couple of banana cakes – this time with chocolate buttons, rather than sultanas. Then Pete rolled out the last of the pastry from our impulse mince pie frenzy earlier this week (I didn’t tell you about that – I took the organic mincemeat from the jar and mixed it up with some bourbon 🙂 … and we made jam tarts! I don’t think I’ve ever made jam tarts before. We used lingonberry jam, and gooseberry – sadly, and shamefully, the morello cherry, and greengage and almond, had gone furry. I shan’t let that happen again, particularly as the jam tarts were so yummy. Not, I’ll grant, the most elegant of presentations, but still delicious.
So that was a good haul for the oven. It’s going on again today to roast and glaze a lump of cooked gammon that came out of the freezer – that’ll do for lunch this week – and a slow roast belly pork with sweet potato mash and poached fennel for tonight’s dinner.