Today has been my day off (weird seeing as I was only just off on Sunday but we are gearing up to a very busy week ahead!) and I have spent it well! Off I took myself down to Lewes on a pilgrimage to Middle Farm Farmshop for some yummy delights. And back I came with the boot full to the brim! I also caught up with a colleague for coffee before I jumped in the car and headed home (via the gym). A great day off.
Before I left I had a very early lunch of soup.
Actually this is no ordinary soup this is the French family broth! This broth keeps my Dad going all through the winter- when there is not a pot of it on the top of the cooker there are always emergency rations in the freezer. This soup is full of goodness: leeks, potatoes, carrots, swede and sweet potato, topped off with vegetable stock. I have enough for the next couple of days lunches at work so I will be warmed through in the coldey days.
For dinner tonight we have had some lamb chops from the farm shop with some carrots, parsnips, sugar snaps and little new potatoes. Very nice.
Tonight I have been testing Colin’s new found love of fishies by making a curry with salmon. And….. it was a triumph! The great thing about salmon in a curry is that it holds its shape and does not disintegrate into the sauce. Tonight’s inspiration came from an Ottolenghi recipe for braised salmon and here’s the recipe:
1/2 tsp turmeric
400g fish fillets
1 tbsp oil
1 onion, chopped
1 tsp mustard seeds
1 tsp curry powder
1/4 tsp fennel seeds
1/2 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1 cinnamon stick
2 red chillis, chopped
1/2 tsp salt
1 tin chopped tomatoes
squeeze lemon juice
- rub the turmeric into the fish and cut into chunks.
- warm the oil and fry the onion for 10 mins until soft.
- add all the spices, chilli and salt and stir for 5 mins.
- add the tomatoes, 150ml water and lemon juice and simmer for 15 mins.
- when the sauce is thickened add the fish and simmer in the sauce for 10 mins, or until the fish is cooked.
Another day off- yippee again!!!
Lunch was our usual picnic of soup and cheeses. Today’s soup was Duchy Tomato, Thyme and Pepper and was surprisingly good- tasting like the best of homemade soups. The Belvoir Elderflower Presse was a good drink although a little sweet. It needs to be very chilled.
Last weekend I was going to make Colin a cheesecake but we were both too full so I didn’t! However all the ingredients were still in the fridge and about to die so I set to work on it today. Individual little cheesecakes- quite a thick crunchy base, creamy cheesecake layer, topped with a mango and lime puree and blueberries. The cheesecake was ok but Colin was not too keen on the topping. I think the lime made it a bit bitter/sour when I was looking for a velvety sweetness of mango. All learning’s for next time. Here they are though looking groovy…
Dinner was a spaghetti- nothing unusual and a weekly occurrence! But here’s a pic anyway!
Today was another DVD day- Tim Burton’s Frankenweenie. Back to work tomorrow for a busy Easter week- let’s hope I have enough Easter Eggs in for the hungry Horshamers!
Weekend off- yippee!!! The weather is freezing and it is snowing (what’s the date again???), but the flat is full of food and DVD’s so we are hibernating for the weekend.
First up lunch…. and it’s a tale of 2 fishcakes!
Guess which one is mine! The fishcakes are from the fish counter at work and are consistently good- lots of chunky fish on the inside and crunchy on the outside. I do have a soft spot for mushy peas, I must admit it (sorry Marie- actually Marie, I know you hate peas but is that mushy ones as well?). Crinkly chips for Colin in his cool chip holder.
For dinner I had 2 lovely dry-aged sirloin steaks which I marinaded in a chimichurri style- paprika, cumin, lemon juice, parsley, garlic- and then griddled the way we like them. With them I served some side dishes: a cherry tomato salsa, a chunky guacamole and some spicy little potato men. A really tasty dinner.
It’s been a lovely day off, snuggled up on the sofa with a blanket and Skyfall on DVD!
Tonight I did manage to get home at a decent hour and was going to make a chicken tagine, but decided I was way too tired (read that lazy..) and called out for an Indian takeaway instead. The Teddington Tandoori came up trumps and we went to bed with happy full tums.
Tonight we have had tomorrows dinner! I was supposed to be home early as I was attending a focus group, however, I had to get to work instead and work a longer day than expected so a quicker dinner was called for.
For those of you who know Colin you will be amazed that today what we had was some pan-fried salmon- yes salmon- and he ate it all and declared it was ok, nowhere near as fishy as he was expecting it to be! Yippee!
We still have quite a few bits from the butchers we visited last week so tonight some massive steak burgers came out of the freezer and into our tums!
I griddled the burgers for a few minutes and then finished them off in the oven to make sure they were cooked all of the way through. I served them on half a ciabatta roll, topped with some sauteed red onions. I topped the burger with a slice of tomato and red onion for a contrast of texture. On the side we had some jalapenos, salad, cheddar and Stilton and a tomato and radish salad- a bit of a pick and mix. The burger was nice but could have done with a bit more seasoning if I’m honest- it’s always better to make your own in the end as you can get them seasoned and flavoured to exactly the way you want.
Today it has been my appraisal so off to Bracknell and back in the pouring rain. Good day though and topped off with a super hot and spicy veggie curry!
Normally it is Colin who over chillis dishes but tonight it was my turn…. Actually I was ok with it but the poor lad must have bitten into a few hot pieces and his mouth was on fire for a little time. The leftovers are coming to work with me on my late night tomorrow to warm me up on a cold evening.
A good, relaxing day off for me- a hard day at work for Colin!
Dinner was designed around the Moroccan Chicken we bought at the butchers, giving me the excuse to try 2 new dishes from my Ottolenghi cookbooks.
The chicken was lovely, delicately spiced and really juicy. With it we had a roasted cauliflower salad- cauliflower roasted in the oven with spices and tossed with herbs, and a spiced carrot salad- cooked carrots with spices and a little sherry vinegar to lift the flavours. All served with some roasties as it is Sunday night!
Over in the other Thomas household tonight they were having some roast lamb. Here’s how it looked before it hit the oven!
Looks delicious, and we are assured went down very well with some roasties and a rosemary gravy. Yummy!
Despite not really being at work this week it was our day off today! In the morning we had a quick trip around some of the places we are considering moving to and in the process found a great butchers in Claygate. We bought several different types of sausage, some chicken, bacon and burgers. This has moved Claygate into number 1 position!!! For lunch we popped along to Richmond where there is a fish and chip shop you can have a sit down in. I had some fishcakes and Colin had some cod- his plate did not stay full for long…
For dinner I made a Turkish style pizza: a flatbread base with a spicy meat topping. It was OK I guess: the topping was tasty but the base was too crispy on the edge and soggy in the middle. It had promise so I will try again and share the recipe once perfected!
Tomorrow I am actually going to do a full days work! A late shift no less, so Colin will be having some sausage and mash (sausages from the new butchers) and I will be giving my tum a rest.