Sometimes things just don’t go to plan! Last week was one of those weeks. But – I am woman – I can adapt.
Monday – week began without challenge to my sense of order – picked up a cabbage on my home from work. I had a couple of gammon steaks in the fridge so I made some bubble and squeak cakes to go with them – and of course a fried egg.
Eggs are the one food I couldn’t live without – followed closely by potatoes. If I had to chose my “desert island discs” luxury item – it would be a constant supply of eggs (or some hens if that was allowed)
Tuesday didn’t go to plan. I was going to do some pork tenderloin – but due to son ending up in A&E for most of the evening – I had to change the plan.... When we finally got home I dispatched husband to the fish and chip shop. He- asserting that he was not very hungry – not sure if he would actually get anything. I told him to get me a small fish supper. Clearly the sight and smell of fish and chips affected his decision as he came home with a small fish supper for me as requested and a “man versus food” portion for himself.
If you have never seen man versus food – it is an American programme – title explains the premise... you wouldn’t think it could be in any way entertaining and – honestly, once is probably enough but for some reason my children have watched multiple episodes. Sometimes I make pancakes and my son does a “James versus pancakes” session where he eats enough pancakes to feed a family of 6. James always wins that contest – the pancakes always lose!
Wednesday – Pork tenderloin in cider and mustard sauce. I used the pork that had been destined for Tuesday. Ground up some fennel seeds, salt and pepper, mixed with some olive oil, cover slices of tenderloin in the oily mixture. Sweat some onion in butter and a bit of oil add half a 330 ml bottle of cider (drink the rest – I hate waste!) and reduce by about half. Add in a teaspoon of Dijon mustard – or more if you like – and a tablespoon of cream. In a frying pan sear the pork slices in a bit of oil and cook for about 5 minutes. Add the pork to the sauce – or the sauce to the pork – who cares which way round – and it is ready to serve on a bed of rice – which we had – or with new potatoes. I did some spinach to have with it. Just wilted in a tiny bit of butter and cooked for a couple of minutes.
Thursday – Both daughters either late in or going to the gym or something – husband at an evening meeting so just me – or so you would think. One thing I have noticed though is that despite the cries of “don’t worry about me – I’ll get a sandwich at the meeting” from husband, he can seem a bit miffed if there is nothing left fro him when he gets in. So I usually put something in the oven to keep warm. Thursday night is usually my dog training night. My feeble attempt to get some discipline into the JRs. I started with the best intentions but frankly by week two I was bored of the whole thing. There is an awful lot of waiting for your turn to do something in a village hall that you can do in the comfort of your own home. We tried agility last year and I found that tedious – as did Milo. He had to wait for ages to get the opportunity to run through a tunnel and then wait again to do the same. At least there is something in it for the dogs – bits of sausage. So I made shepherd’s pie (my sister’s recipe). My children used to come back from staying with her saying she made a much better one than me so I have adopted her recipe. Sweat some onion in oil and butter, put the mince in and brown it. Add a small tin of baked beans and a tin of sweetcorn, and some stock. Cook for 20 minutes/half and hour put in a pie dish and top with either mashed or sliced potatoes and brown in the oven for half and hour. Trust me – It seems a bit odd but it is really nice.
Friday - I made a lamb curry from my Nigella Lawson book Feast – I think it is the Maharaja’s lamb, some rice and home made naan. I have experimented with naan recipes and ways of cooking them for ages. I have cooked them in the oven, in the grill and now – I think I have found the best way.
7g sachet yeast
235 ml warm water
45 ml milk
Mix all the above together – knead for 5 – 10 minutes, let the dough rise for an hour, knock back and divide into about 10 – 14 balls which you flatten out with your hand stretching into a round shape – brush with melted butter and cook in a hot frying pan – both sides. Keep warm in foil.
Saturday – Can you have too much of a good thing? Not if it’s fresh fish. Well that’s what I am telling myself. Lovely fresh haddock – cut into chunks, dipped in seasoned flour and covered in beer batter. Beer batter is the easiest thing in the world – 8oz flour and 10fl oz lager (drink the rest) whisk up and leave for 20 mins. Dip the fish in and cook in hot oil in a frying pan. Serve with chips and mushy peas.
Sunday – We arrive back at roast chicken. We must have roast chicken at least twice a month but I never tire of it. But then I never tire of prawns, smoked salmon, slow roasted lamb shoulder, beef wellington, vichyssoise, eggs Benedict, jersey new potatoes, New York cheesecake, raspberries and so many other things. As Sunday is pudding day – I made some little lemon possetts – one of my daughters all time favourite puddings and so easy to make. Half a pint of cream heated up with 2 oz icing sugar, boil for a couple of minutes and cool. Stir in the grated rind and juice of a lemon and pour into glasses or ramekins – put in the fridge to chill/set. Serve with homemade shortbread.
So – that was our food week and it all begins again today. Just realised I am out of frozen peas – better nip out and get some.