Monday, 10 November 2008

Menu For The Week

Now that things have calmed down at uni and I've settled into a (sort of) routine i can spend more time thinking about food and cooking. My number of recipes I've bookmarked and not cooked is starting to reach biblical proportions so while this week's cooking won't make much of a dint in it it's a good start.

- Tunisian Eggplant and Chickpea Stew minus the lamb. The recipe can be found here

Leek and Mustard Sausages no recipe just a mix as Tuesday will be extremely busy

Butternut squash, Peppers and Leek soup

Chorizo and Butternut Squash risotto - from here

Tom Yam Gui

Egg and Green Lentil Curry

Tuesday, 19 August 2008


Why is it that in the UK a woman was asked to pay £6,086.56 plus £10,000 in damages for putting a game on a file sharing website , where as in the US a girl was originally asked to pay $750 per song as compensation for downloading music.

Seriously where is the logic in that? First of all gaming loses more money from piracy than music , simply because games have a much higher rate of not recouping production and development costs.
Secondly, in the first case she was the one putting the game on the file share , she was effectively creating the pirate copy, in the second she was merely downloading it. Before file sharing was around , surely those that created pirate copies received harsher punishments than those who merely bought them?

Personally I think this is slightly crazy but then what do I know.

Thursday, 3 July 2008

Note to self replaced with nutella

Comfort Food strikes again

Posting this in the middle of summer may seem a little strange but if you saw the current weather here you'd understand. Cold , wet and miserable pretty much covers it , especially since it was only a couple of days ago I was sunning myself in 37 degree heat in sunny Spain. But i digress. This is my mum's recipe for stew, pretty similar to every other one out there but I still have to ask her for it every time so its here to help me more than anything.

2 large carrots
1 small swede or half a large one
1 onion
250g stewing steak
3 tablespoons flour
500ml boiling water
2 stock cubes

Chop the carrots and swede into large-ish chunks. Cut the onion into thick slices. Put into a stewing pot. Cube the meat and mix it with the flour with a touch of pepper. Heat a frying pan with some oil and add the meat in batches, browning and sealing it. When all the meat is done add it to the vegetables. Make up the stock using 2 stock cubes to 500ml of water. Add a teaspoon of flour and pour into the pot. Cook for 2 hours at 170 degrees and serve with either crusty bread , dumplings or if between 4 people some mashed potatoes.

Picture coming soon

Sunday, 22 June 2008

Chicken Soup for the Nose

Everyone has chicken soup when they're ill. Mine for various reasons is a spicy Thai soup rather than a cream of chicken soup. Firstly, I love chillies and they are great for clearing out your head and more importantly your nose. Secondly this is the closest I've got to a dish my stepmother made for me when I was younger and less interested in cooking. That, however wasn't a soup but noodles cooked in liquid hence the rather funny look my stepmother gave me when I got up for some bread to enjoy with it. The original recipe is from Nigel Slater's Real Food , but I've amended a couple of amounts and added noodles in an attempt to recreate that noodle non soup.

Tom Yam Gai

1 chicken breast
1 litre chicken stock
half a pack of glass noodles
4 spring onions
2 cloves of garlic
1 stalk of lemongrass, chopped and crushed
3 small chillies chopped (remove seeds for less heat)
4 lime leaves
3 tablespoons nam pla
1 teaspoon sugar
2 tablespoon lime juice

1) Boil the chicken breast in the stock and then lower temperature to a simmer. Leave till the chicken is tender then remove and shred ( I cut mine into cubes as I like large pieces of chicken but make up your own mind).

2) Add spring onions, garlic lemongrass, chillies and lime leaves to the stock and simmer for 10 minutes. In a separate container add the nam pla, sugar and lime juice and shake to blend together.

3) Add the above to the stock as well as the chicken. Add the noodles and mix together to ensure all the chicken doesn't stay in one place.

4) When the noodles are cooked, remove and serve.

Wednesday, 7 May 2008

Honey Lamb and Mustard Potatoes

For the Glaze
4 tablespoons honey
2 cloves garlic
1 tablespoon rosemary
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon marinade
6 lamb chops

For the Mustard Potatoes
500ml vegetable oil
2 tsp Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon mayonnaise

1. Put all the glaze ingredients except the lamb into a pan and heat gently till it comes to a simmer. Remove and put to one side.
2. Heat the oil in a large pan on a moderate heat. When its hot enough to fry a cube of bread add the potatoes and let them cook till brown (5-10 minutes). Remove and drain excess oil from them. This may need to be done in 2 batches.
3. Add mustard and mayonnaise to the potatoes and season. You could add herbs such as parsley or chives depending on your preference.
4. Turn on the grill and allow to heat up. When ready brush the chops with the glaze mixture on each side. Grill for 4 minutes then turn over. When the second side has been done remove the chops and brush the glaze on each side again. Repeat until the lamb is cooked.

This is from The lamb turned out fine but was something I probably wouldn't cook again , just because lamb chops aren't my favorite cut of meat. The potatoes were nice but I think either more mustard or something sharp was needed to cut through the creaminess. They might taste nice cold as a (very unhealthy) salad

Tuesday, 6 May 2008

Meatballs with Spagetti and Fresh Tomato Sauce

Again this is another Delia recipe from How to Cook part 1. The meatballs were really tasty , lots of flavour and held together well but I switched the pork for beef. The tomato sauce unfortunately wasn't as good. I think next time I would add tomato puree to give it a bit more flavour and cook it on a higher heat. Using better quality tomatoes would probably also improve it as I think these were a bit too watery.
So overall while I would defiantly make the meatballs again I'm not entirely sure about the tomato sauce. I think a traditional bolognase sauce would work better.
While this is probably a standard dish for many this is the first time I've had meatballs let alone made them so how typical these are I don't know but they're defiantly tasty.