Monthly Archives: May 2013

Tuesday 14th May 2013

We have started to stock paneer at work again and it got me to thinking about giving it a try in some veggie recipes.  I actually hadn’t tasted it before and was expecting it to taste like a cross between halloumi and feta, but it was a lot less salty and, if I’m honest, not really tasting of anything.  I guess that is why it works so well in highly spiced and flavoured dishes as it can take on the taste really well, while adding a firm texture to the dish.

So tonight I concocted some red lentil and paneer fritters with a spicy tomato sauce.  The fritters were easy to make and surprisingly lovely: I simply mixed some cooked red lentils with grated paneer, ground cumin, salt and pepper, and a little cayenne pepper.  I moulded them into little cigar shaped lads, rolled them in wholemeal flour and baked them in a hot oven for 20mins until cooked through and crispy.

They were really lovely, and could have taken on more Spice. However, I nearly killed Colin with a very chilli tomatoey sauce!!!! I think he is turning into a wimp!!!!

Weekend 11/12th May 2013

Sunday was my day off and what a great lunch for me!!!

ImageThis pan of loveliness turned into a clam linguine- I sautéed the clams in garlic, chilli, white wine and a handful of chopped cherry tomatoes, popped the lid on to make the clams pop open.  It was absolutely delicious if I say so myself! And one of the perks of having a different day off to Colin as this would not have brought a smile to his tum……

I had some butternut squash in the fridge which needed to be used up so I spent some time (probably way too much time….) looking at suitable recipes as an accompaniment for dinner.  In the end I brought several recipes together to make a really lovely side dish.ImageFrom 12 o’clock on the photo we have : rosemary roasted potatoes, pan fried sirloin steak, mustard sprouts, and finally the squash.  An absolute triumph across the plate, but my favourite was definitely the squash, roasted with sage and tossed with walnuts and stilton.  It would be great on it’s own for lunch, well if you made a bigger portion of course! Here’s the recipe:

Sage roast butternut squash

1 butternut squash, cut into 1cm thick slices

4-5 fresh sage leaves, torn in half

Olive oil

4-5 walnuts, roughly chopped

Small piece of stilton, or other strong blue cheese, crumbled

  • place the squash on a roasted sheet. Scatter over the sage leaves, season and splash with some olive oil.
  • roast in the oven at 200° for about 30mins until browned around the edges and soft.
  • put on a serving plate. Scatter over the walnuts and cheese and eat immediately.

Yesterday we had kebab night- spicy lamb kebabs with pitta bread and salads.  It was ok I guess, filled a gap! Tomorrow night I am late night so no dinner for me (pie and mash for Colin).

Friday 10th May 2013

I have been trying to make some space for my books and made the (quite scary) decision to get rid of my ‘Food and Travel’ magazines. I love the magazine, but rarely go back to look at them, and they take up ALOT of space! So I have been spending some time going through the magazines and taking out any recipes or articles in there that I want for the future.  Tonight’s dinner was inspired by a recipe I found, and only slightly adapted to make a delicious meal.

ImageHere’s the recipe…

Spiced Haddock with Indian Potatoes

2 Haddock fillets – or cod, or any white fish

1 tbsp Medium curry powder

1 tsp vegetable oil

1 tbsp lemon juice

3 large potatoes, cut into small chunks and par-boiled

1 tsp black mustard seeds

1 tsp yellow mustard seeds

1 tsp cumin seeds

Small handful of curry leaves

1 large onion, chopped

Fresh coriander, chopped, for garnishing

  • mix the curry powder together with the oil and lemon juice.  Rub all over the fish and leave to stand for half an hour.
  • heat the oven to 180°.
  • pop the fish into the oven and bake for 20mins, or until lightly cooked through.
  • meanwhile… heat a splash of oil in a frying pan and add the mustard seeds, cumin and curry leaves. Add the chopped onion and stir fry for 10mins. Add the potato and stir until the potato is browned and a little bit crispy.
  • serve the fish sitting on top of the potatoes, with the coriander strewn over the top.
  • bon appetit!

 

Wednesday 8th May 2013

Last night I did not get back from work until late, and I forgot to get any food in, so we popped along the road to Loch Fyne for dinner. It was a good choice and we had some really good food: for Colin (unsurprisingly!) fish and chips, and for me (probably unsurprisingly!) a seafood pasta.  I was a little skeptical when my food arrived as there was a creamy, garlicky sauce which looked a bit insipid! But it was delicious, I can not fault it in any way, and we will be back for more- if I forget to buy dinner again….

Tonight it is comfort food, my style, with a spaghetti bolognaise. If I say so myself it was pretty groovy! I used a mix of beef and pork mince, a good glut of Riesling, and a mixture of tinned tomatoes and Passata. Cooked slowly the sauce was tangy and juicy, and served with some whole wheat spaghetti. Simply lovely.

Monday 6th May 2013

A bank holiday day off, and a lovely sunny day!

 For dinner I decided to experiment- it has been a while since I cooked something of my own creation as I have been spending time going through my cook books.  But on the night I had a vision! And this was the outcome…

ImageI guess you could call this a Mediterranean/Indian fusion!  What we have is a roasted red pepper which is filled with a spicy red lentil dal.  This is sitting on a lovely, tangy, tomato sauce; a quite chunky sauce with some mustard seeds and curry leaves.  It was lovely, filling and healthy, so I may do some more experimenting in the kitchen!

Bank Holiday Weekend- 3-5th May 2013

Three unusual things have happened this Bank Holiday weekend.  Firstly we were both off work.  Secondly the sun was shining (well almost all of the time).  And finally my Mam came to visit.  So lots of eating and drinking was called for!

We began with Friday night dinner at Arthurs on the Green, on Twickenham Green.  We hadn’t been there for a while and couldn’t really understand why as it is so lovely in there, food fantastic and great service- and all on our doorstep. 

For starters we shared a mezze type platter with houmous, pickles, chorizo, manchego & membrillo, olives, bread and other little yummy bowls.  A good way to start a meal when none of you are sure what you fancy!

For main course I could not decide, but eventually went for an onion and parmesan tart, with a butter bean and beetroot salad.

ImageIt was a good choice, very tasty, not too cheesy, with delicious caramalised onions.  Other dishes around the table included fishcakes, rack of lamb and beef bourguignon.  All gobbled up, not a crumb left. Ice-cream ended a very nice evening.

PS we are not talking about the bizarre gymnastics incident that Colin took part in………..

On Saturday we ventured down for a walk along the Southbank with a quick walk across the bridge to St Paul’s, ending up in my favourite place- Borough Market!  It was absolutely heaving though, reminding us of why we always visit super early in the morning usually.  But some good bread and gnarly tomatoes were purchased, with a couple of bottles of Westmalle for me.

Lunch was at Black and Blue in Borough Market, which is fairly new, certainly the first visit for us.

ImageI had the rib eye steak, cooked rare, with a peppercorn sauce.  The steak was cooked really well, but the stand out star was the peppercorn sauce which was really hot and peppery, a perfect dip for my fries!  Other food at the table was a sirloin steak, chicken breast with Pancetta and mozzarella, and more lamb chops for Mam! All food cleared and happy Tums all round.

Luckily, although the food was yummy the portions were spot on which meant there was still room for the dinner extravaganza I had planned.

ImageI had marinated the turkey crown on the right of the picture overnight in parsley, mint, coriander, garlic, lemon juice and marsala.  I then simply roasted it until the skin was crispy and a yummy gravy made from the juices of the meat and marinade.  The little side plates were:

  • Taboulleh
  • Tomato, red onion and pomegranate salad
  • Spicy chickpeas
  • sautéed potatoes
  • baba ganoush
  • carrots marinated in paprika and cumin

What a hit! The turkey was delicious- you know how it can sometimes be dry, this marinade made sure that it remained juicy and gorgeous.  I will definitely be making this again. Even if it is with chicken breast for just the two of us.

Sunday arrived and we all had a little lie in followed by a walk around Strawberry Hill.  A full English filled Tums ready for the journey home. We dropped them off at the airport mid afternoon, a good weekend had by all!!!

Colin made a chilli for dinner which was yummy as always.  For dessert I assembled meringue, berries and cream….

ImageI would expect we have put a few pounds on when I get on the scales……

1st & 2nd May 2013

Why is it that you have weeks at work with not alot going on, and then others where there is not a minute to spare!!! This week has been one of those weeks so quick dinners Wednesday and Thursday.

Wednesday we ate a dish loosely inspired by one on Masterchef- where they cooked for a family in Italy, although it was in no way as good a looking dish as theirs was!  It was spaghetti with mini meatballs, sautéed red and yellow peppers and a tomato and white wine sauce.  Hit the spot.

Thursday we had a mini indoor bbq- a couple of burgers and kebabs from Laverstoke Park butchers in Twickenham.  Some chips for Colin and salad for me made a perfectly yummy dinner for 2 Thomas-men.

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