What I'm cooking and eating

Tuesday, 25 October 2016

Pelau?

My mother used to make this often in our childhood; she always called it "Pelau", although I am not at all sure this is the correct name.  I called it risotto when I first made it, but then I learnt how to make "proper" risotto, so have reverted to its original name.  And updated the seasoning a bit, too!  You can also make this with chicken; and probably with any leftover cold meat, but I usually use lamb.

1 quantity cold cooked lamb (enough for two people - I can't be specific as to quantities), cubed
1 onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, crushed or finely chopped
1 quantity frozen peas (again, you know your family's appetite!)
1 quantity sultanas or raisins (I used a 70g tub)
1 quantity roasted peanuts
Leftover gravy
Seasoning (I used pepper - no salt, as the peanuts provided that - Worcester sauce and ras el hanout)
1/2 cup by volume uncooked rice (125 ml)

Cook the rice as you normally do, and while this is happening, sweat the onions and garlic in a little cooking oil.  When they start to turn translucent, add the rest of the ingredients and allow to simmer until the rice is cooked.  Mix together, and serve, with mango chutney if liked.

If you have leftover vegetables, by all means add them!  And if you don't have any gravy, use a little water and perhaps a "Stock Pot" - I see they do them in lamb now.


Thursday, 20 October 2016

Emergency chicken soup

This was made in rather a hurry as my daughter went down with tonsillitis.  I put a great deal of immune-boosting foods in there, and the end result was really rather spicy.... not unpleasant, though, with a spoonful of cream in there to cut the spice!

For the stock:

1 chicken carcase (I bought a cooked chicken from Lidl, and removed all the meat from the bones; we used the meat in salads, sandwiches and suppers, so nothing was wasted)
1 onion
2 carrots
1 parsnip
2.5 litres water
1 chicken "stock pot"
1 chicken bouillon cube

Boil all this up together in a pressure cooker for 30 minutes. Allow to cool, then drain, and discard solids.

For the soup itself

1/2 cup "soup mix"
1 small onion
5 cloves garlic (or more - why not?)
1 chilli pepper
1 cube frozen grated ginger (or use about 25g fresh ginger)
1 leek
1 sweet red pepper
1 tsp turmeric powder
Salt to taste

To serve: spoonful of creme fraiche or sour cream

Soak the "soup mix" (grains, beans and peas) in boiling water with 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda for at least 30 minutes. 
Put the onion, garlic, chilli and fresh ginger (if using) into a food processor with a little water, and blitz until smooth.  Put this mix in to a casserole dish to which you have added a little cooking oil.  If you are using the frozen ginger, put that in, too.  Cook gently with the turmeric until just not raw any more.

Add the stock to this mixture, and put the drained, rinsed soup mix into the empty pressure cooker with 1 litre fresh water and boil for 10 minutes.  When it has come down from pressure, drain and add to the soup with the leek and sweet pepper, which you have chopped very finely.  Bring to the boil and simmer for about 15 minutes.  Adjust seasoning - I found this extremely spicy, so am serving it with a dollop of creme fraiche or sour cream in each bowl to "cut" it.  But it is very good.

Tuesday, 18 October 2016

Oodles and Oodles of Vegetable Noodles!

I was feeling a bit silly this evening, and it is silly to leave the spiraliser in the cupboard doing nothing. So.....

The following vegetables were chopped, and they were all, except the peppers, peeled:
1 onion
1 clove garlic (actually, this was crushed, but same difference)
1 leek
1 chunk butternut (I would have spiralised this, but it wasn't the straight neck bit but the curvy bit that goes round the seeds, and it didn't want to)
2 tomatoes
1 pointed sweet red pepper
1 chilli pepper

The following were spiralised. If you don't have a spiraliser, of course, you may continue to chop, but I have to say I did like the difference in texture that the spiraliser gave.
1 courgette
2 carrots
1 parsnip
1/2 sweet potato.

 For the baba ghanoush dressing: 
1/2 aubergine, peeled and diced
1 clove garlic
2 tbs olive oil
1 large tbs tahini
1 tbs lemon juice
A little boiling water, to slacken

Put everything into a large sauté pan or casserole dish into which you have put about a tablespoonful of cooking oil. Add the veg as they are ready, so prepare those that take longest to cook first, and stir the result every time you lift the lid. Season to taste - I used salt, pepper, soya sauce and a little chilli sherry. When all the vegetables have been added, leave to cook for a further 15 minutes or so, until everything is cooked to your taste.
Meanwhile, also peel and dice the 1/2 aubergine, and put this in a separate saucepan with the olive oil and crushed garlic. Allow to cook on a low heat until the aubergine is very soft. Transfer to a food processor and add the remaining ingredients, except the hot water.  Process until it stiffens, then add hot water and continue to process until it reaches the desired texture - what I think in cake terms is called a "dropping batter" - it will drip off your spoon, but not too runny.
That is not a very good photo, sorry!  I never pretended to be a food photographer....

When the vegetables are cooked to your liking (I like them more cooked than many people do), stir the baba ghanoush (it isn't quite that, because that requires roasted aubergine, but almost) through the stew, and serve.  It makes enough for four, and I'm debating poaching an egg in the leftovers before I serve them....




One day I shall learn that my phone casts its own shadow when I photograph my plate!!!