I am writing this on my day off on Sunday as I watch the leaves blowing crazily off the trees outside my living room window. We have put the clocks back this morning and there is a definite Autumnal feel in the air. I love this time of year: I love the colours, I love Halloween, Bonfire Night, Christmas madness, being all wrapped up warm. We are waiting for the Great Storm Jude to arrive so the remaining leaves on the trees are not likely to be there for much longer!
In terms of foodie yumminess it has been a mixed week. It started with a chilli made by Colin which was…. not good… but not Colin’s fault. I had bought a new chilli mix which made the chilli really gloopy, like it had a load of flour into thicken the sauce. We don’t really like thickened sauces as we prefer a more natural tasting sauce and we simply have more veggies to soak up the juices, and this definitely spoilt what would have been a good chilli I am certain.
Wednesday saw better food as I made a pie!
…you can just about make out the C&J on the top!
I had intended to make a shepherds pie but forgot to buy some more potatoes for the mash topping. Remembering that I had a piece of puff pastry in the freezer I adjusted the plan and made a shepherds pie filling with a puff pastry top. The only change I really made was that the veggies in the pie- parsnip, carrots, suede- were chopped alot more chunkily than I normally make them, and I cooked the mixture down until nice and thick before covering it with it’s pastry lid. Lovely on a dark evening.
Thursday was my day off and I fancied something a little decadent so I popped into M&S and bought some coquilles St Jacques for my lunch- I felt a little naughty tucking into this for my mid week lunch with a cheeky glass of Italian white.
For dinner I will call this ‘like a moussaka’.
Not a pretty picture but a lovely dinner! The gratin dish is a layered concoction with Greek overtones:
- Layer of thinly sliced new potatoes
- Layer of spicy lamb ragu
- Layer of griddled courgettes
- Layer of spicy lamb ragu
- Layer of griddled aubergines
- Layer of fresh tomatoes
I grated over some parmesan with 5 mins cooking time in the oven left. You will see that the cheese is only on part of the bake- despite Colin becoming alot more adventurous he can still not abide melted (yummy) cheese!
Being my day off I indulged myself in the afternoon with a browse through my cook books. I came across a recipe in my favourite book- Food of the Sun, Alastair Little- that I had not tried before. Here’s my version.
Libyan Fish Tagine
1 celery stalk, chopped
2 onions, sliced into half moons
4 medium potatoes, chopped into chunks
2 red chilli, chopped
2 tsp paprika
2 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp turmeric
2 pieces of white fish, we used cod
2 tins cherry tomatoes
- Fry the potato chunks in some olive oil until crispy.
- In a separate pan fry the onions until softened. Add the chilli and the spices and season, before adding the tomatoes and simmering until reduced and thick.
- In a tagine or a deep baking dish add the potatoes and place the fish on top. Cover with the tomato sauce, pop on the top and bake in the oven for about 30/45 mins.
- Eat with some flatbreads, potatoes, rice, couscous, or even pasta!
Really yummy- and no surprise from the best cookbook ever.