ramtops: (reactive cooking)
Every year, a whole bunch of us gather at a mate's place just outside Carmarthen, and spend a few days drinking and talking (mostly) bollox. It's been traditionally held over the August Bank Holiday, but Geoff decided to give it a try in May this year, and it worked - I have returned sunburned and insect-bitten!It's hard to explain what it is, really - this was the 11th year, I think; it's possibly my favourite weekend of the year, catching up with old friends, drinking whisky round the table till the early hours then stumbling back to the tent to sleep, watching some of the guys completely wreck a piece of automotive machinery ... I suspect that pictures will give a far better idea than words, so take a look at the Team Waste Flickr group for more edification, should you be interested.

I provide dinner on Friday nights, cooking up a huge gammon (5 kgs this year), using Nigella's poor white trash method of cooking it in full fat coke. The rest of the time we eat mostly barbecued stuff, and I fancied a change, so this year I packed a huge cast iron pan and a travelling larder of Stuff, together with chopping board, knife, wooden spatula and slotted spoon, and stopped at a butcher in Monmouth for things to cook.

So, on Sunday afternoon, armed with lots of chicken breast, and fortified by quite a lot of cold white wine, Jacqi and I constructed a stir fry. Using a heavy duty burner on the end of a tank of propane, and the aforementioned pan, we started with two rashers of bacon that hadn't been put back in the fridge - fried them off to get the fat. Then we cooked unfeasible amounts of strips of chicken breast - in batches - and set them aside with the bacon.

Then in went onion and garlic, begged from Sheena (the lady of the house) and olive oil. It was quite hard to keep these from burning, as the burner seemed to be pretty much binary - hot or off - but we managed, and kept adding more oil, although I switched to rapeseed quite quickly due to the heat. Then heaps of sliced mushrooms were added and fried off.

Back went the chicken and bacon, together with sea salt, black pepper, plum sauce, teriyaki, and garlic and chilli sauce (it was a very well stocked travelling larder!), together with a few slooshes of white wine to keep it at the right consistency. We hurled in some chopped basil (which I'd picked up from the supermarket for mini pizzas) at the last minute.

Quite a few slooshes of white wine also went into the cooks - it was very hot out there in the sun, never mind the cooking!

Sheena had made a pork curry and cooked a stack of rice, so it all blended rather well together.

I was going to do something with steak and red wine in the evening, but everyone was a) full, and b) suffering from the sun, so I brought it home again; there'll be some recipes from there later - it came out of the freezer, so needs to be used up.
cooking at summer camp

Jacqi cooking at summer camp

cooking at summer camp

Jacqi and Mac, with knives

Final simmering
ramtops: (reactive cooking)
From Box Bush Farm, £15 bought us:
  • 1 bag potatoes
  • 1 bag carrots
  • 1 bag rather nice pale green beans
  • 1 bag small chestnut-y mushrooms
  • 1 bag rocket
  • 1 lettuce
  • 1 bag spinach
  • 2 small cabbages
  • 1 bunch asparagus
  • apples, oranges, bunch of bananas

Difficult week, as we have people round for Eurovision tonight (cooking Indian, details later), and are away for a few days from Friday morning.

Must use up asparagus, spinach, rocket first. Will ponder. Suggestions welcome.
ramtops: (reactive cooking)
As I mentioned, there was a bit of a soup crisis yesterday, occasioning me to fetch the chicken carcass out of the freezer and bung it in the slow cooker to make stock.

This morning, Pete nobly stripped the meat off it, and there was enough for at least one more meal!

Read more at a href="http://www.reactivecooking.com/archives/3513">Reactive Cooking.
ramtops: (reactive cooking)


chicken pie

With what I thought was the last of the chickie!, we made a pie.

Read more at Reactive Cooking


soup fail

May. 11th, 2009 05:08 pm
ramtops: (reactive cooking)
I forgot to put the soup in the fridge on Friday (which I normally do, as we don't normally eat it at the weekend). Given the temperature, and remembering that both P and I were quite ill after eating some shoop that had gone over, we have reluctantly poured it into the compost bin.

Thankfully, I had a chicken carcass in the freezer, so I lobbed that in the slow cooker and set it going, so there'll be some stock to make some more in the morning.

:: slaps self upside the head

Originally posted at Reactive Cooking.
ramtops: (reactive cooking)
First one from Box Bush Farm. £15 quid bought us:
  • 4 fat tomatoes
  • 1 hispi cabbage
  • 1 cauliflower
  • 2 small swedes
  • 1 lettuce (hate 'em - must get them added to our "do not ship"
  • bunch of asparagus
  • 6 apples
  • 4 oranges
  • bunch of bananas
  • 1 cucumber
  • new potatoes
  • carrots
  • 3 red onions
The asparagus is going to go with a chicken pie tomorrow, with the last of last week's roast chickie!. Tonight will be sossidge with a bubble and squeak made with one swede, potatoes and cabbage. - the other swede can go in the chicken pie filling, with carrots and red onion. Cauliflower cheese and roast potatoes one night, Indian cabbage another.

Problem this week is I'm out three nights on the trot - two which can't be ducked (School Governors' meeting and Parish Plan meeting), and one social which I don't want to miss. Food is always difficult on meeting nights - the school one runs from 6 p.m. till about 8.30; too early to eat before I go, too late afterwards to cook.

;; ponders
ramtops: (reactive cooking)
As mentioned, we needed to make inroads into the veg glut. This is an adaptation of a recipe from Anjum Anand, and we replaced the chicken with some veg. It worked remarkably well, and would serve four greedy people, or six more restrained souls.

Read more at Reactive Cooking.
ramtops: (reactive cooking)
 We had some plums going scrotal in the fruit bowl, so I cut them in to quarters and destoned them, and put them in an ovenproof dish.  They didn't look enough, somehow, so I got a Bramley out of the fridge and peeled and chopped it, and into the dish it went.


Added a drizzle of honey (I much prefer fruit cooked with honey to sugar), a couple of star anise, a decent grating of fresh ginger, and about 1/2" of water, and zapped it in the microwave for 4 minutes to kick start the cooking.


Made a crumble topping of 6oz plain flour, 2oz porridge oats, 3oz demerara sugar and 3.5oz of margarine, blitzed to crumbs in the Magimix.  Patted it down on top oF the fruit, and baked at gas 4 for 45 minutes.


Needless to say, I got all the bits of star anise in my portion, but it was worth it.  Trust me.

Originally posted at Reactive Cooking.

ramtops: (reactive cooking)
We had an early start yesterday, helping to set up a stall for the local LibDems at the North Somerset Agricultural Show.

I knew we wouldn't want to spend much time cooking when we got home, so I hurtled up to the local farm shop on Saturday and picked up a few things.

When we got back from the Show at about 3.30, we stuck the oven on to warm up, and removed a free range chickie! from the fridge (and removed the giblets from it>. I generally roast chicken in a Nigel Slater stylee, and this was no exception: cut a lemon in half, and put half inside the bird, squeeze the other half over it, and leave the juiceless bit in the pan. Put a cut bulb of garlic in there too, drizzle some olive oil over the breast, and season well. I generally put an old butter wrapper on top for the first hour - it keeps it moist, and also stopped the bird from browning too quickly.

As the cooking time came to an end, I put some Cornish new potatoes on to boil, with a bunch of English asparagus in the steamer on top. When the chicken went to rest, I poured most of the juices into a jug for later souping, then made a gravy with an organic chicken stock cube, some cornflour and water, a splash of rice wine, and some vegetable water.

Dished it up, ladled (admittedly French) butter over the veg, consumed. Perfect, simple, food.

Followed with a plum crumble, recipe to follow shortly.

Originally posted on Dreamwidth, via Reactive Cooking.
ramtops: (Default)
 This works really well with purple sprouting broccoli, or spring greens, and is delicious.  I'd never actually made it with cabbage before, but nothing ventured, etc.

It was a small hispi cabbage, and I cored out all the thick stem, and shredded it up.  Blanched it in boiling water for a couple of minutes, then put it in a colander to drain off.

Then chop some garlic, and a dried red chilli, and fry them in groundnut oil for a couple of minutes.  Tip in a tin of coconut milk, and cook it down for about 10 minutes, so it's thick and gloopy.  Then add the cabbage, and cook for another five minutes or so.  Add a few drops of sesame oil, and the juice of half a lemon, at the end.  Serve with basmati - at least, we did!

From Reactive Cooking.

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Now, you may thinks this an Abomination, but trust me - it's gorgeous.  We only eat English asparagus, as we feel the imported upstart has no flavour, so we tend to gorge on the stuff when it's in season.  This was the first bunch of 2009, and this is one of our favourite things to do with it. ...

Read on at Reactive Cooking.
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)
Bought on eBay for almost exactly the sum I sold some Russell & Bromley loafers! Been thinking about one for a while, and thought it was worth a go.

I shall be posting recipes for it (if they work!). At the moment, we are testing it with some Indian dhal thus:

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: (reactive cooking)
Unexpected, because I took two bags of bones for stock out of the freezer on Saturday, and when I looked at them on Sunday one of them turned out to be a not very big piece of belly pork .. read more.

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.


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