Monday, January 21, 2008

Pig-on-pig with brocolli and caponata

Wow, this dish inspired me to get blogging again - it just looked so appetising I couldn't resist photographing it. (And now we've found our usb/camera lead, I can actually upload pictures again which makes blogging seem work it.) Fortunately this meal tasted just as good as it looked - a great Sunday night dinner. I wrapped a pork fillet in streaky bacon which had been layered and spread with grainy french mustard and roasted it for about an hour at somewhere around 180/200 degrees centigrade. We served it with tenderstem broccoli and a sort-of caponata (which I rustled up with aubergine, red onion, capers, tomatoes and some herbs). The caponata was delicious the today for lunch with a wholemeal pitta. Yum. I'm so happy I bought another pork fillet which is sitting in our freezer waiting for a suitable occasion, which for us piggies will probably be next weekend...

Saturday, June 30, 2007

I'm back... with lentils, yes, you did read it right - lentils

I have decided to embrace the pulse. Having hated beans, chickpeas and the like ever since I became aware of Heinz's most popular blue-tinned product, I thought I would never see the day when I would actually like eating pulses. However, I'm trying to learn to like them and with this in mind, made a lentil salad today. Olive magazine landed on my doorstep this morning with a big thud and as I idly flicked through the pages of a mini-Italian recipes supplement, a salad caught my eye. Usually I'd see 'lentils' in the ingredients and immediately move on, but this time I decided to try it. It's a really easy recipe - green lentils from a tin, drained and rinsed (they flop out of the tin like rotten catfood), mixed with a quick salsa verde, a bit of chopped chorizo, roughly chopped charcoal-grilled artichoke hearts, and sprinkled with crumbled feta, cherry tomatoes and a drizzle more salsa verde. Easy. It was a bit too garlicky, and I can't pretend I love lentils yet, but pretty good. And it would make a nice extra for a picnic, if the torrential rain ever lets up.

I've not blogged for the past few months and I have missed it. I just needed a break - and I started a new job where I work pretty long hours so I haven't had the inclination or the energy to open my computer when I get home. I hope to keep it up though - I've missed documenting my meals. And I've just come back from Glastonbury, where a friend said I should have photographed my meals (mostly good, some very good, some bland or rubbish) and I realised the thought hadn't even crossed my mind - what a shame and what a wasted opportunity. Maybe next year.

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Sunday lunch

If I felt stuffed last night, today I feel like I'm bursting at the seams, after a fantastic Sunday lunch. Mum cooked roast pork with leeks from the garden (pulled this morning in the drizzly rain) in a white sauce, roast potatoes, roasted parsnips and swede, peas, apple sauce.


And then there was pudding - blackberry and apple crumble with ice-cream. The apples were from up the road and Mum had cunningly made a big batch of blackberry and apple months ago and frozen it so it was ready for the crumble topping. Blackberry and apple is easily my favourite crumble. Apple's just a bit dull and all the sour plum/rhubarb types just don't cut the mustard. It was lovely, and I haven't had time for a Sunday afternoon snooze yet. It's dull and horrible and raining, so maybe now is the time... zzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

Antipasti and fish curry

Last night we had an enormous meal. It began with antipasti and sherry - we piled little plates with marinated garlic cloves, sunblush tomatoes, avocada salsa, cold, sliced ham, black olives, marinated white anchovies, pepperdews, warm ciabatta and many other goodies.

If that wasn't enough, we then got stuck in to the main course - a delicate fish curry with coconut milk and tamarind, served with white rice and green beans with a chilli/black mustard seed and garlic dressing.

And then we had cheese...

I was stuffed.

Saturday, March 03, 2007

Another Saturday fry-up


I did miss tomatoes a bit, but I had lots of ketchup instead (sadly not pictured). And I see there was a nice space in the middle of the food where two halves of a cooked tomato could have nestled happily. That makes me miss them even more.

This is the life

To come in from a hard day's work to find a chicken roasting in the oven above a mirepoix of vegetables and some fluffy jacket potatoes - and be eating it all within half an hour - is ideal. The beauty was... it was all done for us by my kind mother. We'd gone back to my parents for the weekend and they'd gone out, leaving the food cooking for when my boyfriend, a brother and I arrived.

It was fantastic. We guzzled the moist and tender chicken (with crispy bacon on top), perfect spuds and a flavoursome mix of veg (onion, garlic, celery, parsnips, turnips and carrots, seasoned with black pepper and oregano). We also warmed a tin of sweetcorn for a bit of extra colour. Perfect. We had thought we'd get a takeaway but this was better by far.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

crunchy salad

Tonight I came in late and wanted something fast and relatively healthy - I made myself a salad with spinach, tomato, mozzarella light (rubbish - no flavour - must remember not to buy it again), pinenuts and pumpkin seeds. I drizzed Belazu balsamic vinegar (the best in the business) and some posh extra-virgin olive oil over the top for some more flavour as the mozzarella tasted of nothing at all. It was nice though, and looks pretty colourful, don't you think?

Turkey tamarind

Last night we ate turkey stirfry with brown rice and tamarind sauce. I marinated the turkey in a jar of Bart's tamarind paste, the juice of a lime and lots of finely chopped garlic and ginger while I cooked the brown rice. Then I started some tenderstem broccoli off in a wok (just the thick, hard ends of it) before adding the meat and its marinade, then later on the stirfry veg, the tops of the tenderstem broccoli and some extra baby spinach leaves. It was delicious, and we each had a pot of leftovers for lunch today - even cold it tasted good. I normally have prawns when I cook tamarind, but turkey was tasty too.

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Brunch at the Living Room

We met some friends for brunch at The Living Room in Islington. It was a bit confusing as they had a breakfast menu (10am - 5pm) and a brunch menu (12pm to 5pm). I had eggs florentine, which were nice, the eggs were runny, but the hollandaise sauce was a bit much. One egg was eggy enough for me. I ate the lot though, then felt a bit funny, and as if I needed another flavour in my mouth - fast. One of my friends had chosen eggs florentine too - she felt the same, so we ordered a dessert each. She had rhubarb crumble and I chose warm chocolate cake.

When it arrived I thought, oh dear, it looks like a treacle tart out of a tin - I hate it when places put cake on their menu, then give you some sort of a chocolate pudding. it didn't taste of much, but and at first I thought it was a bit chemical and not very chocolatey, but I carried on regardless. I'd already asked them to change my diet coke as it tasted of chemicals, only to be told it was Virgin cola and everyone says it tastes a bit funny. They kindly swapped it for some sparkling water for me. After a few bites of my pudding I realised they'd given me treacle instead of chocolate sauce, then a few more bites later, I noticed the pudding was more treacle than chocolate and it dawned on me (eventually - it was a Sunday morning) that I had the wrong pudding. I felt like I'd eaten too much to send it back, so I finished it - then felt sick as it really wasn't very nice. And because I realised I'd just eaten £4.50 worth of pudding that I hadn't even wanted. Pretty rubbish. Stupid Sunday brain. And, to top it all off, I saw people eating food that wasn't on the brunch menu, and realised the lunch menu had been available all along - a bit disappointing, as I hadn't really wanted eggs after my fry-up yesterday anyway. Oh well, c'est la vie.

Saturday, February 24, 2007

A good English fry-up...

can rarely be beaten, except maybe by steak. Perhaps I should do an English breakfast with steak too - that would be cool. This was my fry-up this morning, which we had about lunchtime, so I guess I could call it brunch. As you can see, it has a fried egg, crispy sausages and ubercrispy bacon, grilled tomatoes (drizzled with balsamic vinegar for extra sweetness) and mushrooms and onions. I put a bit of cayenne pepper with the mushrooms and onions and a small clove of garlic for some extra kick. My other half had baked beans too, but I'm not a fan of them so I didn't. Neither of us like fried bread either, or black pudding particularly, so for my taste, all the basics were here. Maybe some potato waffles or chips would have been good too - but a bit unnecessary, I think. I had ketchup on the side, of course - how could you have a fry-up without Heinz ketchup? Impossible.

Tonight's sausage supper

Yay, I've caught up! This was what we ate tonight - Sainsbury's Taste the Difference Toulouse sausages, with olive oil/garlic mashed new potatoes (the new favourite, again) and tenderstem broccoli. I added grainy mustard and ketchup to my plate too - you can't have sausages and mash without ketchup, and mustard adds a certain kick. A fairy garlicky meal - but a good and filling one. I couldn't even finish my potatoes, and that doesn't happen often.

And another veg stirfry - yawn...

Hmmm, I've had a lot of stirfries recently. This was another one, a quick veg one on Wednesday night before I went out. I also dipped some mini wholemeal pittas in fresh tomato salsa while I decided what to eat. I constructed a stirfry sauce with a dash of sherry vinegar, grated fresh ginger and soy sauce. I would have put garlic in it too but I was too lazy and rushed to get the chopping board out. Nutritious - look at all that spinachy stuff.