Sunday, February 27, 2011

Tagliatelle with Meatballs

Sunday, 27th February
Courgette Quiche, Olive and Lemon Meatballs with Tomato Sauce with tagliatelli - Ultimate Slow Cooker p68, Nut Cake.  A three course meal for one is a bit extravagant, but I only actually cooked one of the courses.

Sunday shopping day in Lindenthal turned up a new Italian deli where I got some delicious cheese and salami, this very nice slice of quiche and some grilled mushrooms.

Before going out I put the meatballs in tomato sauce in the slow cooker.  This is not something that I would have thought needed slow cooking and, to be honest, I didn't find there was any benefit in the taste.  I had to boil the sauce to reduce it anyway.  A nice recipe, but next time I won't bother with the slow cooker.  I like meatballs but mine always taste a bit bland. Not sure what I am doing wrong.

For dessert, a slice of excellent Torta di Fregoloti nut cake baked by my lovely girlfriend Monika, with a glass of Sauternes. Delicious.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Lamb curry, Bhindi, Paratha, Lime Pickle

Saturday, 26th February
Nahari (Morning Delight) - India Cookbook p433, Bhindi Pyaz (crispy okra with onions) p246, Paratha (flaky bread) p609, saffron rice and home-made lime pickle.  The Nahari is a lamb curry with onions and a nice rich sauce spiced with coriander, black cardamom, turmeric, chilli, cloves, cinnamon, garlic and ginger  .  [For any German readers, "curry" is a generic term for any Indian main course dish (or, indeed, the meal as a whole) and not just a name for a spicy brownish sauce you have with sausages.]

The Nahari recipe calls for rather a lot of a sort of roux, made from garam flour, to be added at the end.  It seemed like far too much, so I left a lot of this out, but the sauce was still very glossy and thick.  With all the roux mixed in, the sauce would have been like glue I think.  Making the Paratha was fun and it did come out lovely and crisp and flaky, but still a bit floury in taste.  The bhindi were much better than I expected.  I cooked them for ages to reduce the gooiness but they still had a surprisingly good bite.  The home made lime pickle is something I did last year and which is still fabulous.  Not quite as hot as I would expect in an Indian restaurant in England, but very flavourful.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Teriyaki Tuna

Monday, 21st February
Teriyaki Tuna with shitake mushrooms, spring onions, steamed rice and pickled cucumber.  This is largely made up on the spot based on what I have done before.  Teriyaki sauce is made from Soy, Mirin and Sake typically in a 1:1:1 ratio, although I use a little more Mirin. When you heat it it boils down rapidly to a sticky caramelized goo, ideal for coating meat or fish.  The Shitake were quickly fried at a moderate temperature and then added to another sake/soy/mirin mix, this time with more sake and a dash of lime juice. The spring onions should have been quickly fried, but I overcooked them.  Still tasty but no bite left.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Boiled Eggs and Toast Soldiers

Friday, 11th February
Soft boiled eggs and toast soldiers!  Comfort food for when I have a cold.  In case anyone is wondering I like my toast burnt.

Beef Stew and Dumplings

Thursday, 10th February
Leg of Beef Stew with herb dumplings, done in the slow cooker.  Coat the leg slices in seasoned flour and fry until browed on both sides.  Remove the meat and add red wine to the pan, then stock and tomato puree.  Put the meat in the slow cooker with some whole shallots and cover with the liquid.  Cook on high for 6-7 hours, or longer on medium.  Make dumpling dough with 1/3 suet and 2/3 flour and add herbs and baking powder.  Divide into small balls. Put some diced veggies and small potatoes into the pot and then the dumplings, making sure they go half way down into the liquid but aren't squished.  Cook for another hour or more.
My dumplings were lovely and fluffy but I was a bit generous with the suet so a little too fatty. The meat could have done with another hour even but was still very tasty. A richer sauce (beer?) would have been better.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Chicken Soup

Wednesday, 9th February
Chicken Soup (again) - I have a cold (again), so had another go at the chicken soup.  This time copying the approach of my girlfriend.  Bung some chicken in a pot with water, seasoning and a stock cube, cook for 40 minutes.  Add veggies, cook for 20 minutes more.  When it's done shred some of the chicken into a soup bowl and ladle over broth and vegetables.  Delicious.  Much better than the fancy concoction I tried last time.  I put in way to much water, so I took some out near the end.  Now I have enough chicken stock for a couple of dinners and still a big portion of soup left over.

Pasta from the Deli / Wild Garlic Bratwurst

Sunday, 31st January
Quick evening meals.  Wild boar pasta from the local italian deli.  I wanted to make a tomato sauce, but found I had no tomatoes.  So improvised with softened onions, some spicy tomato ketchup and some sweet pepper jam.  Hence the rather glossy appearance of the sauce.  Didn't heat the ketchup and jam, just mixed them into the onions and let the pasta warm it up.  Surprisingly good combination of sweet and spicy without overpowering the pasta too much.

Monday, 6th February
Wild garlic bratwurst and small new potatoes.  Stick it all in the pan with some olive oil and onions, cover and let it brown and steam at the same time. Turn things occasionally.  Very good sausages from the butcher in Dellbruck.