ramtops: (reactive cooking)
The great freezer transfer disgorged a box of pork fillets, so I though I'd cook one last night.

I cut it into thin strips, and fried it up in some olive oil, then set it aside. Then into the pan went a big knob of butter, a few sliced mushrooms, a yellow pepper deseeded and cut into strips, and two elderly leeks, chopped into rounds. Fried them down a bit, while I rummaged in what's left of the herb garden for some sage.

Finely chopped the sage and threw it in, together with about 3/4 of a mug of good apple juice. I recommend you keep apple juice in your store cupboard - it makes a really nice change from stock or wine for cooking.

Seasoned with salt and black pepper, put a lid on it, and set it over a low heat. I guess it had about 20 minutes in all, but the pork was well cooked before I got to this stage - I'm a bit paranoid about cooking pork well.

We had a bowl of cooked spuds in the fridge, which had been destined for an Easter fry up breakfast which never materialised. So I cut them up, and fried them in olive oil and butter to go with the pork.

Fab.

Originally published at Reactive Cooking.

ramtops: (reactive cooking)
Or, I suppose, a sort of goulash :) The transfer of contents from one freezer to another has brought forth some nice things. There's a whole Gressingham duck defrosting for today's Easter feast, and there was also a couple of nice pieces of belly pork, and some uncooked chorizo sausages.

I skinned a piece of belly pork, cut it into chunks, and fried it in olive oil in batches, until the pieces were crispy. Into the same oil went a packet of pancetta cubes, which were fried for a few minutes, then I added a chopped onion, some garlic, and four chorizo sausages, cut into slices. Oh, and some cumin seeds, and a couple of teaspoons of smoked paprika. Fried these gently until the onions were translucent, then added a tin of tomatoes, a glass or so of red wine, and salt and black pepper.

Tipped everything into the slow cooker, added some haricot beans (which I had soaked and cooked yesterday), and waited six hours.

Served it with rice - lovely.

Originally published at Reactive Cooking.

ramtops: (reactive cooking)
As mentioned, we had a pound of mince to use up, as it wouldn't fit into the new freezer regime.

I minced some garlic and a shallot, and chopped some fenugreek leaves small, while Pete ground spices (black cumin, lots of coriander seeds, turmeric, cinnamon, cardamon, allspice, black pepper), and made that lot into meatballs with a bit of sea salt. It made 16, I think.

I cut an onion in half and half again, and cut it into thin rings, then fried it in ground nut oil (together with more garlic) till it was translucent. Then we added more spices (more coriander and cumin, ajwain, nigella, fennel) and cooked it down for a bit. In went a jar's worth of roasted yellow peppers, sliced thin, and I set it to cook over a low heat.

I browned the meatballs in more groundnut oil, and tipped them (and the oil) into the pepper sauce. Left them to cook while I did some basmati, to which I added a shallot, some cardamon seeds, and a generous pinch of Marigold veg bouillon.

Originally published at Reactive Cooking.

ramtops: (reactive cooking)
This always seems to me like a very 80s thing, and indeed I got the recipe from a cookbook printed in 1977 (The Dairy Book of Home Cooking).

We had half a pineapple left from making pork and pineapple, and decided an upside down cake would be a good thing to do with it. It was already chopped up, and I decided against the glace cherries too, but it was jolly nice nonetheless.

Take 2oz of soft brown sugar and 2oz butter, and melt together in a pan. Tip the resultant gloop into the bottom of a greased, 20cm round cake tin. Put the pineapple on top.

Put 8oz self raising flour, 1 tsp of vanilla essence, 2 eggs, 4oz butter and 4oz caster sugar into the food processor and blitz. I guess you could use a food mixer - cream butter and sugar, add eggs and vanilla essence, fold in flour.

Transfer it to the cake tin, bake at 180/gas 4 for about 1hr 10 minutes.

Very retro :)

Originally published at Reactive Cooking.

ramtops: (reactive cooking)
We had already set aside Saturday evening to make a batch of Pete's Wondrous Chilli - the beans were boiled and slow-cookered on Friday night, and we set to and made it yesterday afternoon. 4lbs of lovely Dexter stewing beef was turned into 10 really rather generous portions; we shall have some for supper tonight, and four tubs have gone in the freezer. We cooked it overnight in the slow cooker, and the smell drove us quite demented.

Yesterday, Pete sallied forth with his bicycle and trailer to do the shopping, and returned bearing (amongst lots of other things) two huge bunches of herbs; one of coriander, and one of fenugreek, which I've never seen before in its fresh form.

The coriander was easy - we found four chicken breasts in the freezer (we are really getting it under control now!) and a batch of lemony coriander chicken is in the slow cooker now.

I've never cooked with fenugreek before, but we put some leaves in the chilli (well, why not?!). I also minced up the last of the breast of lamb we had last week, grated up carrot, celery and onion, chopped garlic and fried it up with the lamb. Added my version of the Ras El Hanout spices I love so much*, and bunged in about a cup full of lentils. And more fenugreek. That's currently cooking slowly downstairs on a diffuser, for a moussaka in the week.

I've had enough now, although I might just whip up a pear and chocolate crumble, as there are pears that need eating. (Pete has just said "ohmigod").

* I should have made a note, but I used lavender, rose petals, paprika, cloves, cinnamon, ground ginger, galangal, coriander seeds, cardamon seeds, peppercorns, mace. It might not be authentic, but it smells nice.

Originally published at Reactive Cooking.

ramtops: (reactive cooking)

slow cooked breast of lamb



Still on the freezer clearout, we liberated a rolled breast of salt marsh lamb, and a cooked chicken breast. This is what I did with the lamb.

Put some haricot beans to soak overnight, then simmered them for 30 minutes.

Browned the lamb in some groundnut oil.

Into the slow cooker went: lamb, beans, one courgette, two carrots, two leeks (all diced), about six cloves of garlic, crushed, about 3/4 pint apple juice, some woody herbs (rosemary, etc). I drizzled a little honey on top of the lamb too. It smelled lovely, but something seemed to be missing, and after some consideration, I added a couple of generous teaspoons of harissa.

Left it on low for about 9 hours, topping up with a little boiling water part way through the afternoon.

Served with boiled potatoes and steamed broccoli.

The rest of the beany vegetable stock will go for soup, and I might well mince up the remainder of the lamb for a shepherd's pie - I can always boost it up with lentils if need be.

ramtops: (reactive cooking)

dinner!
As our regular reader will know, we are desperate to reclaim some freezer space. So, on Friday evening, I removed two tubs - one labelled "black bean tortilla mix" and one bearing the legend "beef and mushroom pie filling". And yesterday morning I fished out the packet of organic wheaten wraps that had been languishing in there for a while.

But when I opened the black bean mix, we realised that it must have been planned for a swift lunch - there really wasn't enough in there to do supper. As far as we could tell, it was black beans, onions, garlic, tomato.

So I boiled up some potatoes (including, in an opportunistic sort of manner, enough to put towards a nice Sunday brunch), then fried them off in olive oil with some pancetta cubes, thus padding out the bean mix quite nicely. This was divided between four wraps (a big mistake - it was far too much and we ate it all [groan]), skewered with cocktail sticks.

Then we made a swift sauce from onion and garlic fried off in olive oil, a diced yellow pepper and a finely chopped red chilli, carton of chopped tomatoes (and pinch of sugar). Poured it over the wraps, scattered with chopped fresh coriander and half a package of feta. Baked in the oven for 25 minutes.

Delicious.

Originally published at Reactive Cooking.

ramtops: (Default)
I usually do this in the oven, but being in slow cooker experimentation mode, I decided to try it in there.

One rib of beef - not very big, probably only a couple of pounds. Ours was a slab of Dexter, bought from the wonderful Mr Rawlings. I browned it in some groundnut oil, and put it in the slow cooker pot.

Then I cooked up some carrot batons and about a dozen shallots (always wise to put shallots in boiling water for about five minutes - makes them much easier to peel, and then you get nice oniony water for stock). I added a bit of maple syrup to the pan at this point, to start the vegetables caramelising.

In went a tablespoon of flour and a heaped teaspoon of grain mustard, stirred round, then I started experimenting. Half a glass of red wine, a slosh of teriyaki, two heaped teaspoons of marmalade - (the redcurrant jelly had gone mouldy :(. Some ground peppercorns and juniper berries, the onion water, some sea salt. Reduced the liquor a bit, then put it in the pot with the beef.

Cooked on auto for 3 hours, then low for another, while we did roast potatoes and cauliflower and yorkies (can't remember the last time we had yorkies).

I'll be doing that again - the meat was just beautifully tender.

ramtops: (reactive cooking)
We're big fans of red cabbage - it goes so well with stews, and sausages, and cold meat, and roast goose, and and and.

I normally make it in a Le Creuset pot, and cook it in a very low oven, but I thought I'd give it a whirl in the slow cooker, and it was great! ...

Read more at Reactive Cooking.

ramtops: (reactive cooking)
About five carrots, two sticks of celery, and a leek, chopped up small. About a mugful of flageolet beans, soaked in boiling water and left for about six hours. The remains of last week's soup - about half a pint of tomato and lentil.

All hurled in the slow cooker, topped up with cold water, seasoned, and switched on at about 11 p.m. We had lunch at about 1 p.m . the following day, and while the flavour was gorgeous, the vegatables weren't by any means soft. But no problem - soup improves with age anyway :)

Last night we tried porridge - it was a disaster. We could have used the result to lay bricks!

ramtops: (Default)

As I said in the spag bol post, I had about a pound of mince left over. In fact, when we weighed it, it was 1lb 7oz!


Pete set to making the meatballs; he ground cumin, coriander, allspice, fennel seeds and cinnamon, finely chopped a shallot and some garlic, and mashed it all together. It made 18 walnut-sized meatballs. He left out salt, but we realised before it was too late ...


Read more at Reactive Cooking.

ramtops: (reactive cooking)
using up: parma ham, leeks

I found an unopened packet of parma ham slices in the fridge left from the festering season. It was a couple of weeks past its sell by date, but hey - it's vacuum packed, it's preserved ...

This is a take on a Jamie Oliver recipe - I missed out the wine, and some of the butter. Fed two hungry people ...
Read more at Reactive Cooking.

ramtops: (reactive cooking)
Bit late with this, as first we finished last week's soup, and yesterday we had -shock horror- Tuscan bean soup from the Co-Op, as I have a cold and hadn't made any and wanted soup.

The Co-Op was selling bags of "stew pack" veg reduced to 99p - a bunch of carrots, a swede, a parsnip and some onions. Seemed ideal, so I hurled one into the basket ...

Read more at Reactive Cooking.

ramtops: (Default)

using up: aubergines, a sweet potato

I bought some aubergines from the farm shop last weekend - they were a bit tired, but when I looked at them on Tuesday they really did need cooking. So I bunged in some chickpeas to soak, boiled them yesterday morning, and off we went. Read more ...

Originally published at Reactive Cooking.

ramtops: (reactive cooking)
We had roast belly pork on Saturday - I love this cut, although it's getting more and more expensive, as it seems to be used by TV chefs and the like now.

I spent a staggering (!) 3.30 on a biggish piece for Christmas Eve, but we'd had so much lunch it got put into the freezer, and I fished it out for the weekend. We slow roasted it, and ate it with mash and brussels sprouts, and there was about half left.

It looked a bit dry and woebegone, so I cut it into bite-sized chunks and put it in the Remoska. Then I made a gravy/sauce with some cornflour, apple juice, chopped sage and a bit of water, turned it on and hoped for the best.

More mash, more sprouts (extra of both cooked for bubble and squeak for tomorrow's lunch), and a small tub of leftover red cabbage from the freezer. The pork was just delicious - the gravy made a huge difference.

Originally published at Reactive Cooking.

ramtops: (Default)
This may well sound disgusting, but trust me - it's delicious, vegetarian, and very cheap. An odd fusion of flavours, I know, and I do have a slight pang about the green beans flown in from Kenya ...

Put some basmati rice on to cook whatever way you like - there are, it seems, dozens of effective ways of cooking rice, so I won't tell you how to do it.

Trim the beans, and cook them in boiling water for about six minutes. Drain and set aside.

Chop an onion and some garlic, and a dried chilli if you like that sort of thing. Put some groundnut oil in a wok, and heat it, then add about a tablespoon or so of black mustard seeds , and cook them in some groundnut oil until they pop. Add the onion/garlic/chilli, and cook until the onion is just starting to turn brown at the edges. Then add the drained green beans, and stir them round with a heaped teaspoon of grain mustard. Add a splash of rice wine and some tamari, and heat everything through.

Originally published at Reactive Cooking.

ramtops: (Default)
I wanted to make Anjum Anand's Gujerati lamb with fenugreek dumplings at the weekend, so sent Pete out to the icy wastes of the outdoor freezer to fetch some lamb. He returned without, as he couldn't find any, and it's all gummed up with ice and we need to defrost it. But he was clutching about 3lbs of Dexter stewing steak.

Anjum's book isn't big on beef, so we compromised, switched things round, left it to cook a lot longer over a low heat - I did most of it, while Pete struggled with a recalcitrant RAID array in our Linux server, and then he did the dumplings. And delicious it was too.

But I only used half the beef - we're not big meat eaters, so I put in far more chickpeas than she recommended, and thus was left with the same amount again to deal with.

On Monday, we stirfried some with some tinned black beans from the chinese supermarket (gorgeous - but half a tin was too much; wonder if they freeze), and green pepper and so forth.

And on Tuesday lunchtime, I whipped up the rest of it into a pie filling. Fried off the beef, then quickly sautd a chopped onion, some garlic, three big mushrooms chopped, and a couple of carrots, diced. In a big casserole dumped the beef and veg, a slosh of red wine, a small tin of tomato pure, a slug of balsamic vinegar, a little water, a bouquet garni and some seasoning. Brought it to the boil and then put it on a very low heat on a diffuser, and we suffered the smell wafting up the stairs all afternoon.

Cheated, and got some puff pastry out of the freezer to make the pie, which we had with potatoes roasted in olive oil, and broccoli and cauliflower.

So, that 3lbs of beef made:

  • 8 portions of beef curry (I put three tubs in the freezer)

  • 4 portions of pie (we shall have the rest of it tomorrow or Friday)

  • 2 portions of stir fry


Which I think is not at all bad.

Originally published at Reactive Cooking.

ramtops: (reactive cooking)
I'm a big fan of lentils - I just love the texture, and we often have a lentil lasagne or moussaka. We don't have a veg box at the moment (I cancelled the one we were using because it wasn't quite what we wanted, and haven't started a new one), but on my veg shop yesterday, I bought a couple of aubergines, just so I could concoct this ... read on.

Originally published at Reactive Cooking.

ramtops: (Default)
using up: cold goose, bacon, apple juice, ready made pastry

I thought we'd seen the last of Johnny Goose, but when Pete manfully tackled the carcass after we'd boiled it up for soup, there was a fair bit left. There were other bits and pieces too, so it was deemed Pie Time.

I fried off three fat rashers of green back bacon, and a chopped onion, in a little olive oil. Put the bits in a bowl with the goose remains. Deglazed the pan with some apple juice.

Made up a vegetable stock cube with a little boiling water, and added to the pan, then mixed up a bit of cornflour and water, and bunged that in. Added some finely chopped sage. Cooked it down till it was a gloopy constituency and added it to the bowl.

Got the pastry out of the fridge - horror! It had gone off. Quickly whipped up some fresh - 8oz flour, 3oz trex, 1oz butter - in the Magimix, and trickled iced water in till it was the right constituency.

Made the pie in a round, shallow pyrex dish - lined it with pastry, bunged in the filling, put a top on. Baked at gas 6 for 40 minutes, with roast spuds in the top of the oven. Lovely.

Originally published at Reactive Cooking.

ramtops: (Default)
[livejournal.com profile] perlmonger is very fond of kabanos sossidge for his luncheon, which we buy in bulk from Costco. However, the trip before last, they had no kabanos (and no Beurre Isigny either, which was a bit of a blow), so he bought a few packs of sausage from one of the Polish shops. They weren't nearly as nice, and some of them have languished in the fridge and need using up.

Read more by following the link below

Originally published at Reactive Cooking.

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