Friday, 19 October 2012

In the kitchen - Round-up 12-18 October

On Friday 12th, I had a cauliflower out for dinner. Darren had done the shopping and thought that the cauliflower might become cauliflower soup. This would have been a brilliant plan, but we didn't have any onions or milk or stock. I went through my cookbooks for inspiration and thought that cauliflower, tomato and green pea curry from 'The Essential Asian Cookbook' might be nice, but we didn't have any onion, yoghurt or tomatoes. Curried cauliflower from 'Fire and Spice' might be nice, but we didn't have any coconut milk. I entertained the idea of South Indian lentils and vegetables from 'Fire and Spice', but I had a vague feeling that that hadn't worked out fantastically the last time that I tried it and I didn't have any tomatoes anyway. In the end, I made vegetable pakoras, which are kind of like Indian tempura, from 'The Essential Asian Cookbook' and omitted the capsicum, onion, chickpea flour, chilli powder and corn kernels. They ended up being potato, cauliflower, cabbage, flour, garam masala, coriander, bicarbonate of soda, water and lemon juice, all deep-fried. The cabbage was a purple cabbage, which went an odd shade of blue after cooking. On the side, I had rice and dhal, based vaguely on a few recipes from 'Fire and Spice', including lentils, garlic, ginger, turmeric, tomato paste and coriander. It all tasted rather nice, which was good.

Vegetable pakoras.

Saturday 13th we had a big working bee on the new house and got takeaway for dinner.

I bought some lovely flathead fillets at the market and cooked them for dinner on Sunday 14th. I coated them in beer batter (recipe in 'The Cook's Companion': self-raising flour, beer, water and a little turmeric and cumin) and deep-fried them and then baked some chips. There was also a coleslaw salad, with a dressing made of olive oil, rice wine vinegar, sesame oil, soy sauce, mustard seeds, based on the Asian coleslaw with sesame dressing recipe from ''. I wanted to use as similar recipe that my friend introduced to me last year, but I wrote it on a random piece of paper which I have since lost.

On Tuesday 16th we had left-over vegetable soup, with some added pasta.

When I got home on Wednesday 17th, I threw some washed potatoes in the oven and made a sauce to go over them. This was onion, minced meat, slices of ham, diced mushrooms, a tin of four beans, a tin of tomatoes, some vegetable stock and a little sumac and coriander powder, all sautéed until the sauce thickened. There was grated cheese and carrot to go with it.

Baked potatoes.

Yesterday, I got some slow cooking in. I combined two recipes from 'A Little Taste of Morocco', so Thursday 18th's dinner was lamb shanks with quince (I froze a whole lot from my grandmother's orchard earlier this year), onion, ginger, saffron, coriander and cinnamon. I also made a salad of carrots and green beans in a dressing of paprika, cumin, parsley, lemon juice and olive oil, and the whole lot was on saffron rice. It's funny that I don't like to eat a big piece of meat, but I do love lamb shanks.

Lamb shank and quince tagine.
Today, after nap time, we are also going to the zoo, so I made a tortilla (Spanish omlette) for lunch. My recipe is the recipe that my mother gave me and might not be very authentic!

6 potatoes, diced
3 onions, diced
Olive oil
Salami, diced
10 eggs, lightly beaten

Microwave the potatoes and onions with olive oil and salt for 20 min, stirring after 10 min. Add in the salami and the peas. Add the eggs and mix thoroughly. Grease a frying pan and add the egg mixture and spread it out evenly. Fry until the base is well cooked (mine is always slightly burned, Jamaica style!). Then put under a grill until the centre is cooked. Turn out on a plate to cool. Delicious hot and cold.

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