I found a bag of unlabelled … something in the freezer. It looked quite chickenish, and I assumed that it was a brace of chicken breasts. Anyhoo, out it came, with a vague plan to stuff with blue cheese. I was quite surprised post thawing to find that the bag in fact contained four chicken thighs, boned and skinned. Not really suitable for stuffing with anything.
Quick change of plan, then – I mixed some olive oil, sage*, salt, pepper and lemon juice, and basted the chicken with it, then put it in a foil-lined baking dish (saves washing up, if not the planet) at 180C.
Then I made a mushroom sauce thus:
A finely chopped shallot saluted down in olive oil, added thinly sliced mushrooms and cooked on low heat till they were nice and soft. Salt, pepper, splash of dry sherry, garlic powder, some cream that was nearly sour.
Took the chicken out of the oven after about twenty minutes, let it rest, gave some to the cats, and sliced the remainder into strips, which I added to the sauce. Ate with rice – delicious.
* I started a new garlic powder, so took the lid off the finished one, and threw the empty glass jar into the recycling. As I did so, I heard a little swoosh sound, as the last of the sage went into the recycling. Bugger.
As my regular reader will know, Tuesday night is pasta night. I just open the fridge and concoct something from its contents. For people who don’t have time to cook, here’s a 15-20 minute supper.
Bear in mind I have an ceramic hob, so you can skip the “put the rings on” bit if you’ve got gas.
- Switch on the big ring, put a deep frying pan on it, add a slug of olive oil
- Switch on the medium ring, put some cold water and salt in a pan, set it on the ring
- Slice up a big leek and put it in the pan with the oil.
- Weigh out the pasta (if you do such things – we do, because carbs/diabetes)
- Slice up some mushrooms, and add to the leeks
- Notice pasta water is boiling – add pasta, set timer for ten minutes (this is dried pasta – your pasta may vary)
- Remember you haven’t put any garlic in, so quickly peel and chop two cloves and throw them in with the vegetables
- Put a colander in the sink for drainage purposes
- Grate black pepper into the veg
- Open the fridge for some lemon juice, find a bottle of white wine open, and add some of that instead. Too much, so turn up the heat to boil it down a bit
- Remove block of feta from fridge and cut up about one third of it
- When timer goes, drain pasta then add it to vegetables, together with the feta.
- Stir it all together, decant into bowls, scoff.
Half a bag of spinach to use up …
Diced two rashers of back bacon, a few mushrooms, half a green pepper* and half a red onion, and put them in the shallow pan of the Remoska with a little olive oil for 15 minutes (switched it on, obviously!).
Beat four eggs with some seasoning and a splash of water, stirred in about 30g of Gruyere and poured that in. Added the spinach leaves and stirred it about a bit, and cooked for another 20 minutes. It made a very fine breakfast.
*I’m not especially fond of green peppers, but They always put one in a mixed bag. The other half has been diced up and put in This Week’s Soup.
I had a boneless pork chop, about 120g worth, loitering in the freezer. We’re trying to eat up all these oddments, so I fetched it out on Monday to do a stir fry. Pete volunteered to cook it, and while it was very nice, it would have been even better if he’d remembered to put the bloody pork *in*.
So last night I fashioned it into a quick pasta dish. I cubed the pork and fried it off in a little olive oil, then set it aside. Put chopped onion, courgette, garlic and mushrooms in the pan and sweated them down, then put the pork back in with some salt and pepper. It was a bit … blah, so I rummaged on the spice shelf for inspiration, and added some aniseed. When the pasta quills were cooked, I added them to the mix, with about three dessert spoons of creme fraiche, and a squeeze of lemon juice.
About 454 calories per serving.
We had a chicken stir fry a couple of days ago; when I got the chicken out of the freezer, I discovered there were two breasts melded together. One went on the stir fry, and one was left. On Sunday, I made a quick cheesecake, as the friend coming for supper had requested same. So there was a tub of ricotta, and half a lemon, left over from that.
Diced up the chicken, and fried it off in a very little olive oil. added three cloves of garlic, some sliced chestnut mushrooms, and a chopped red onion. Stirred it about for three minutes or so, then added the lemon juice, and a small slug of white wine from an open bottle in the fridge. We seem to be slightly overrun with white wine – no idea why, because we don’t buy or drink white. I think people bring it, and then decide they like the red on offer better!
Put a lid on the pan, and let it simmer down while the fusilli cooked. At the end, stirred in about half a tub of ricotta and some torn basil leaves.
About 210 calories, plus pasta.
Not terribly exciting, I know, but there was ⅔ of a goaty cheese left in the fridge.
So we chopped an onion, some garlic and a bunch of chestnut mushrooms, and fried them off in the smallest amount of olive oil possible. Mushrooms are horrors – they just slurp up all the oil and don’t give it back for a while so I had to stand over the cooker; the horrors of being on a diet 🙂
When the veg were cooker, I added some penne pasta that had been simmering at the same time, ⅓ of the cheese, and some basil leaves. It really was very nice. And very quick.
377 calories, by my best estimate.
About half a punnet of chestnut mushrooms and some spinach needed eating up, so I deliberately made last night’s cabbage dish with only half a mozzarella ball, and saved the rest for today’s lunch.
Finely chopped the mushrooms and set them to cook down slowly in some olive oil. Put the wraps on individual plates, and scattered some raw spinach leaves on them. Chopped the mozzarella quite small. When the mushrooms were done, added salt and black pepper and the rest of the spinach, and stirred till it wilted. Then added the mozzarella.
Bunged the resultant gloopy mess onto the wraps – as always I’d made to much, so some of it oozed out, but that didn’t affect the fab flavour one iota!
About 360 calories, I reckon.
Morrisons had raw prawns (sonny Jim*) on special offer on Tuesday – two packs for £4. The packs weren’t all that big, but one made a stirfry last night with a couple of courgettes, and the other made lunch.
Took a pair of tortilla wraps, and put a layer of spinach on each. This was slightly more complex than it should have been, as the two remaining wraps had gone mouldy, so I had to hurtle up to Jacksons for another pack. I left the mushrooms (about 150g) in about two teaspoons of oil on a very low heat while I did the 10 minute round trip.
When they were about cooked, I added the prawns and a large pinch of garam masala, and moved it all about until the prawns were pink. Added about 3 tsps of creme fraiche, dolloped onto the spinach, and wrapped.
Really nice, and about 240 calories each.
*A reference to Kirstie McColl song, m’lud.
There seems to be Quite a Lot of Stilton in the fridge, so yesterday I made a start on it. I had oatcakes with stilton for lunch, accompanied by rather a lot of silverskin onions, and some of the coriander chicken soup (which is a triumph, though I say so myself).
Then last night, I rummaged through the fridge, and a carton of rather sad chestnut mushrooms presented itself.
So … I chopped an onion and set it to cook down in about a tablespoon of olive oil. Chopped the mushrooms and a couple of cloves of garlic and added them in.I kept the heat low and stirred all the time, because I’m trying to use less oil in cooking, and mushrooms just slurp it up. Stuck a pan of hot water on to boil, and added 120g of fusilli pasta when it did so.
Kept stirring the mushrooms, while also dicing up 30g of stilton (that’s seen off the slab, now just the jar to go :). When the pasta had five minutes to go, I put the diced cheese in, and kept it all moving so that it melted down and coated the mushrooms. Then drained the pasta, put it in the mushroom pan, and added 2 good teaspoons of half fat creme fraiche.
Really tasty, and about 520 calories a portion.
We had some button mushrooms and a little cream waiting to be used up, and this seemed an ideal way to do it on a hot day.
Finely chopped two shallots and three cloves of garlic, and cooked them down in olive oil. Added some chopped rosemary and thyme from the herb garden^H^H pots, which are coming along nicely. Sliced the mushrooms and added them to the pan, with a glug of white wine, and let them cook very slowly, while I boiled some tagliatelle.
Added the cream to the mushroom mix and warmed through, then drained the pasta and stirred it in. Ate out of bowls, topped with grated parmesan. Followed by the last of the plum and pear crumble, with ice cream.