What I'm cooking and eating

Friday, 31 May 2013

Kate and Sidney

I know this is another two-posts-in-one-day, but there you are - my posts are like buses.  None for ages, and then two come along at once!  This one is specially for DBNY, who wanted a recipe.

1 tbs olive oil
1 large onion
1-2 cloves garlic (optional)
1-2 large carrots
1/2 punnet mushrooms
1 400 g tin tomatoes
1 beef stock cube or Stock Pot
The tomato tin full of water (or red wine)*
400 g stewing steak (or thereabouts)
200 g kidneys (ideally ox, but whatever you can get)
1 tbs flour (I used besan, or gram flour, which added a lovely flavour but didn't do much in the way of thickening)
Salt, pepper, mixed herbs, Worcestershire sauce

Peel and chop the onion, garlic, carrots and mushrooms, and fry in a little oil for several minutes, ideally until the onions are softened.  Meanwhile, mix the seasoning with the flour (not the Worcestershire sauce, of course, but....), and toss the cubed meat in it.  Transfer the vegetables to a slow cooker*, and then fry up the meat, stirring constantly, until it has browned.  Transfer this to the slow cooker, and add the tomatoes and water (and Worcestershire sauce, if using).  Leave cooking on high or auto for the rest of the day, and in any case at least 5-6 hours. Serve with potatoes or a hearty pasta and a green vegetable or two.  Left-overs even better re-heated next day!

* If you don't have a slow cooker, use an ordinary casserole dish and cook it in a slow oven for 2-3 hours.  You may well need more water than I used, though.

Unrepeatable soup!

This was so delicious, but it's very hard to find wild garlic in London which is why it's unrepeatable.  I did buy a bunch at my local farmers' market, but it was eye-wateringly expensive.  I am actually wondering whether spring onions (scallions) would work instead - after all, the French cook their peas with lettuce and baby onions....

1 bunch ramsons (wild garlic, bears' garlic)
Outside leaves from a Little Gem lettuce (or any floppy lettuce, really)
1 litre vegetable stock
About 100g frozen peas
2 tbs creme fraiche
A plank of Chinese noodles (or a large packet of instant noodles and discard the flavour sachet)

Boil the ramsons and lettuce in the stock for about 10-15 minutes.  Blend until smooth.  Add the peas and noodles and cook for a further 4-5 minutes.  Stir in the creme fraiche.

If you try this with spring onions, let me know how it works!  And if I do, I will update.

Friday, 10 May 2013

Carrot salad

AKA carottes rapées.

3-4 medium-to-large carrots, peeled and grated
2 snack pack boxes of raisins (the kind you give children who are low blood-sugar or bored)

The traditional dressing is lemon juice and olive oil, and when I made it this way earlier in the week I also added some honey as it was a little too sharp.  However, my preferred dressing is toasted sesame oil and balsamic vinegar, which doesn't really need anything else.

Put everything in a bowl and mix.  Keep in fridge.

Tuesday, 7 May 2013

Giant couscous salad

About 1/2 cupful giant couscous.  I got mine in Morrison's but if you can't find it, ordinary couscous is fine.
About 2 tbs cooked chickpeas (tinned is fine, but dried are nicer)
About 2 tbs sunflower seeds
About 1-2 tbs sultanas or dried cranberries
1 tomato, chopped
Chunk of red pepper, chopped
Handful of parsley, chopped.
You could also add a chunk of chopped cucumber, but I've gone off cucumber, so I didn't.
1 tbs lemon juice
1 tbs olive oil
I also had some tahini dressing that wasn't doing anything, so that went in, too.

Cook the couscous - if you're using the giant stuff, you boil it for 6-7 minutes like ordinary pasta; the regular stuff you just soak for 10 minutes in twice as much boiling water.  Drain and transfer to a bowl and mix in the rest of the ingredients.  Leave in the fridge for a couple of hours for the flavours to develop.  Serve with lettuce, flatbreads, hummus, olives, other salads.....