Thursday, 23 March 2017

Beef and Kidney Stew

I bought diced kidney and cubed beef separately with the intention of making a steak and kidney pie. What was left over became a  beef and kidney stew.

The beef was cooked according to the usual procedure, being first browned in some sunflower oil, along with the diced kidney. Then sliced onion was added, plus boiling water. Simmer under glass for an hour, adding the sliced mushroom half way through, and the beef and vegetable stock. Add a desert spoonful of dark soy sauce. Stir occasionally.

Serve with boiled potato (twenty minutes),  and diced Savoy Cabbage, steamed for seven or eight minutes.

Sunday, 19 March 2017

Beef and Mushroom Stir-Fry

Boiled beef chunks cut into thin strips and stir fried in sunflower oil with bamboo shoots for five minutes. 

Then a stir-fry mix of sliced mushrooms, red chilli, garlic, ginger, carrot, onion, white and green cabbage, chopped baby sweetcorn, and bean sprouts was added, along with a dash of a sweet chilli sauce, and stir-fried for five minutes at a high heat. Served on a spiral of dark soy sauce. 

This was a very quick meal to prepare, since the stir-fry mix came ready made, with the exception of the chilli, garlic, ginger, sweetcorn and bamboo shoots. Preparation time starting from scratch would be about twenty-five minutes. 

Friday, 17 March 2017

Baby Sweetcorn, Mushroom, and Bamboo Shoot Stir-Fry

The ingredients are: baby sweetcorn, bamboo shoots, mushroom, red and green chillies, garlic, ginger, spring onion, red pepper, cabbage, sweet chilli sauce. All stir-fried in some left over beef fat.

Chop all the vegetables into pieces while the beef fat is heating in the wok.

Decant into a pyrex bowl, and add a little vinegar, sweet chilli sauce, and some chinese rice wine. Stir, and allow to stand for a few minutes.

The point of using the beef fat is twofold - the avoidance of waste, and to impart flavour to the stir-fry. You can cook this dish with sunflower oil instead, but you won't get the same flavour. Spoon the vegetables into the hot fat, and stir-fry at a medium to high heat for seven minutes, stirring frequently.

Afterwards, the stir-fried vegetables were decanted  into a metal seive, and drained for two minutes into a bowl, shaking every ten seconds or so. That way ninety percent of the beef fat is gone from the dish after cooking.

Thursday, 16 March 2017

Meatball Stew with Capers

Beef meatballs shallow fried for twenty minutes in sunflower oil, with a cornflour thickened gravy, and an assortment of vegetables to hand in the kitchen. Such as, half a red pepper, two small white onions, two medium sized spring onions, half a teaspoonful of capers in vinegar, two small potatoes, two sundried tomatoes, four chestnut mushrooms, white pepper, and beef stock.

There is time to prepare all the vegetable additions while the meatballs are cooking. Turn the meatballs four times, to ensure even cooking and browning.

Mix browned cornflour with water, and bring to the boil slowly, stirring occasionally. Chop all the vegetables into small chunks, and add to the gravy. When the meatballs are cooked, add them to the gravy and simmer under glass for at least an hour, stirring occasionally.

Making your own meatballs is easy. Essentially they are spherical burgers, so mix minced beef with flour or oats mixed with a beaten egg, and shape by hand until all the minced beef and the egg and flour mix is used up. You can add herbs and salt to the mix if you like.

Saturday, 11 March 2017

Mustard Ham Omelette

Cooked with a base of small onions and shredded tomato, stir-fried until soft. The mustard ham  was steamed for twenty minutes before being added to the onions and tomato.

I used one onion, one salad tomato, and three eggs for this dish. The mustard ham offcuts were about 200g altogether.

Cooked in an omelette pan for five minutes after adding the ham. The eggs were whisked with chervil and paprika and salt, and added to the pan.

Cooked under glass for around ten minutes at a medium heat. Then transferred to the grill, and cooked for another ten minutes or so, until puffed up.

Served with a sweet brown pickle. Excellent!

Friday, 10 March 2017

Pork and Mushroom Chilli

Stir-fried roast pork with Spanish onion and chestnut mushroom, plum tomato, and chopped red and green chillis.

After stir-frying the pork and onion until browned, add a cup of boiling water, and the plum tomatoes. Stir in thoroughly. Add the vegetable stock, the chilli, the chopped garlic, and the diced chestnut mushroom. Finally add two pinches of coriander leaf.

Simmer under glass for at least an hour. Serve with a lightly toasted pitta bread, or another flatbread of your choice.

Egg Noodles and Pork in Hoisin and Garlic Sauce

A really simple dish which can be prepared quickly. Roast pork from a carved joint cut into strips and stir-fried with garlic and chopped spring onion. Cook at a high heat until the pork begins to brown.

Turn down the heat, and add the hoisin and garlic sauce. Stir in thoroughly and simmer under glass for five minutes. After which it is ready to serve.

The egg noodles (Sharwoods) were prepared in slightly salted boiling water, for ten minutes or so, until soft.

The noodles can be drained and served as they emerge from the cooking pot, but they can also be stir-fried until crispy. A matter of choice.

Wednesday, 8 March 2017

Pork and Apple Soup

The diced pork was sourced from a pork joint I roasted two days earlier. The ingredients were: roast pork, roasted red pepper (bought commercially, preserved in vinegar, with garlic), Three dessert spoonfuls of already prepared stewed apple, a large Spanish onion, two teaspoonfuls of tomato puree, ham stock, diced garlic, black pepper, and half a teaspoonful of paprika.

Relatively simple to prepare - the pork, the red pepper and the chopped onion were all added to boiling water at the same time. Cooked until the chopped onions were tender (about 45 minutes at a medium heat under glass). Then I added the stewed apple, tomato puree, the ham stock, the black pepper, and the paprika.

Cook under glass at a low heat for a further fifty minutes or so, before serving. I used no herbs in this case, but oregano, basil and rosemary would be good options if you wish to improvise.

Tuesday, 7 March 2017

Roast Pork with an Apple and Rosemary Gravy

The joint (just over 2kg) was cooked for two and a half hours in the oven, for the first 25 minutes at 220 deg C, and for the remainder of the time, at 180 deg C. Allowed to cool for a couple of hours on  the hob before it was cut into slices with an electric carving knife. Stored overnight in the fridge.

I prepared some stewed apples (three peeled and segmented) in a little water. Then the apple pieces were mashed. Allowed to cool, and also stored overnight in the fridge.

I made the gravy with water and a teaspoonful of cornflour, some vegetable stock, and some dried rosemary. Bring up the heat until the gravy starts to thicken. I added two dessert spoonfuls of the stewed apples to the mixture, and then added the slices of roast pork to the pan. Simmer under glass for fifteen minutes, adding a little water if necessary. Stir occasionally, and turn the slices.

The rest of the dish is peeled boiled potatoes, and fresh brussels sprouts. Cooked for twenty minutes and nine minutes respectively. Serve together with a dusting of freshly ground pepper.


Monday, 6 March 2017

Leek, Lentil, and Mustard Ham Soup

A simple soup made with a limited number of ingredients - One large leek, half a cup of red lentils, 150g of fine beans, chopped, fresh basil leaves,  and 100g of mustard ham trimmings. Supplemented with ham stock, and white pepper.

The leek was topped and tailed, chopped in half, and then finely chopped transversely. Added to a pot of boiling water, along with the half cup of red lentils. The chopped (Kenyan) fine beans were added shortly afterwards (they cook quicker than the leek).

The ham trimmings were diced into smaller chunks, and added to the soup base after the pot had been simmering for at least thirty minutes (forty-five minutes is better), and the contents had been mashed.

Cooked for a further forty-five minutes at a low heat under glass. No herbs or spices, apart from the finely chopped basil leaves,  though you could add some paprika, oregano, or coriander, according to taste.

Sunday, 5 March 2017

Noodle Soup with Prawns

This is fast food. Cooked peeled prawns marinaded in a red chilli sauce (ten minutes will do). The noodle soup was MAMA brand 'Hot and Spicy Flavour', which is a wheat-based noodle, and comes dried with separate soup and chilli powder in sachets, and another one of dried vegetables. The dried vegetables include chopped cabbage, carrot and spring onion.  The product is made in Thailand.

Like most dried noodle soups you simply need to put the contents of the packet and the sachets into a bowl, and cover in boiling water. Put a flat plate on top for five to ten minutes, according to how much bite you want the noodles to have. Stir occasionally, until the tightly packed noodles have softened and separated. If the noodles cannot all be submerged initially, turn the block in the bowl for the first two minutes, so that the entire block softens and then can be submerged.

Once the noodle soup is ready to eat, decant the prawns in the red chilli sauce on top of the noodles. Delicious!