Tuesday, 1 December 2009

Eating Notes

So still at home, still cooking... a few more ideas that I've played around with...

A splendid, adaptable, winter soup:

Sweat a chopped onion and sliced leeks in butter until meltingly soft. Add a quarter of a cauliflower, divided into florets and a good couple of handfuls of scrubbed Jerusalem artichokes. (Quantities are very much up to you, but this was what was in the fridge). Pour over a litre of vegetable or chicken stock (I used Marigold for the savouriness), add a couple of bay leaves and simmer for about 20-30 minutes, until everything is completely tender.

Blitz until smooth (removing the bay leaves first) and check the seasoning. I've eaten this in a couple of ways so far - try it with crumbled crisp fried streaky bacon; plain with a drizzle of extra virgin; topped with chopped parsley and grated Parmesan and a drizzle of olive oil. You might try adding in crumbled chestnuts (Merchant Gourmet do vac-packed ones that are indispensable) with the bacon, or use Parma ham.

A literary breakfast:

Not entirely sure why, but anyway I tossed cod's roes in a very little flour seasoned with a little paprika, mustard powder, salt and pepper and fried them in some butter. I added a couple of tablespoons of cream, a squeeze of lemon and adjusted the seasoning for a 'devilled' effect, then tipped the lot over a slice of home-made buttered granary toast. One for a cold morning.

A bloody mystery, frankly:

Tonight - depending on what the lump of defrosting red meat is (when, when will I learn to label freezer bags?) - we will be having either Nigel's recipe for lamb chops, where the onions are fried off with the meat, deglazed with some red wine and grain mustard and served with a chickpea mash; or steak stroganoff with cannellini beans and a pile of greens on t'side for our health.

PS: Contrary to all expectations, my own included, I made lamb stroganoff with cannelli bean mash and kale. It probably goes against all the rules, but lamb goes so well with the smoky notes of paprika and meatiness of the mushrooms that it worked. Just remember to keep the lamb pink-ish.

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