Wonderful Wednesday Wok. PROTEIN.

So, Jon is adding more snacks into his day to try and boost the amount of protein and calories he’s eating. Damn Celtic body-types, with their tiny, easily-filled stomachs and high protein requirements. :p

So he’s adding in pea-protein about twice a day –sometimes three times! :O He’s also eating bits of pan-fried chicken, bananas and servings of oats as snacks. Also more butter in everything. So, for this week’s Wok, I made him roast beef, buttery mixed-veg chips and fried chicken nibbles and a pie for pudding.

 

Recipe 1: Spicy Roast Beef and starting the Chips.

Ingredients (1 serving):

-200g beef joint (if it has little fat then lard it with some fatty salt pork)

-smoked paprika

-onion powder

-garlic powder

Ingredients for the chips (3 servings):

-1 parsnip

-300g celeriac

-600g potatoes

Utensils:

-chopping board and knife

-baking tray

Recipe:

1: Slice the parsnip, celeriac and potatoes into chip-sized and -shaped pieces. Spread them over the bottom of the baking tray with a little butter.

2: Season the beef and place it on top.

3: Roast at 140-160C for two hours.

4: Rest the beef.

Recipe 2: Finish the Chips.

Ingredients:

-the oven-cooked chips

-butter or rendered talllow

-salt

-pepper

Utensils:

-frying pan

-spatula

Recipe:

1: Place the chips in the pan with the fat.

2: Brown evenly.

3: Season.

 

Recipe 3: Chicken Bits.

Ingredients:

-2-5 chicken thighs or breast fillets

-salt, pepper, smoked paprika

-herbs

Utensils:

-baking tray

-chopping board and knife

-frying pan

-spatula

Recipe:

1: Season the chicken with salt, pepper and smoked paprika.

2: Bake in the oven at 160-180C until fairly dry and crisp outside.

3: Chop into small nibble-sized pieces (about as big as a peanut).

4: Fry in their own fat, more salt and herbs.

 

Serve the beef carved into thin slices, the chips dressed with sea-salt and maybe parsley and place a handful of chicken bits in a small tupper, to  nibble on. Add a pie, cake or piece of fruit for extra calories.

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Recipe Corner. Gari and Cheese-and-Ham Pies.

First off, my total for this week is a pathetic 10/21. On the other hand, I am getting somewhere with my paintings and my tutoring, so I can get back to everything next week and put the effort into keeping it normal without derailing more important things than the plan.

Now, some baking I’ve been doing.

Recipe 1: Ham and Cheese Pies.

Ingredients:

-250g spelt flour

-100g rice flour

-150g butter

-50g cheddar

-2 rashers bacon

-1 onion

-onion powder

Utensils:

-chopping board

-mixing bowl and spoon

-greased/nonstick cupcake/baking tray

Recipe:

1: Mix the flours and butter with your fingers until all that’s left are thick crumbs. Add water, stirring until it reaches a consistency like honey. Add onion powder.

2: Pour/spoon 1/2 the mix across the base of your cupcake or baking tray.

3: Chop the bacon, onion and cheese into bits and share throughout the cupcake spaces or spread evenly over the mix in the tray.

4: Spoon the remaining half of the mix across the top of your cupcake or baking tray. Flatten down so the top mixture and bottom mixture meet.

5: Cook in an oven at 160C for 1h.

Taste-test on the bottom left. They're good.

Taste-test on the bottom left. They’re good.

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Recipe 2: Gari Not-Cornbread.

Because Jon has a corn allergy and I am trying to keep grain consumption minimized, I decided to try out some gari instead of cornflour. Gari is a popular West African food made of shredded cassava/tapioca root and makes an excellent flour for making denser, richer breads. It is made by soaking and fermenting mashed cassava root before drying it out and grinding it down. Yellow gari is actually fried in palm oil, so it’s not the best choice in hindsight, but I’ll make sure to get white gari next time.

Ingredients:

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Yes, my lard-saving jar has a sketch of a tiny pig on it. My chicken-fat one has a chicken on it, my tallow one has a cow on it, my lamb-fat one has a sheep on it and my olive-oil one has some olives on it. I’m cool like that.

-300g gari

-200g lard (mine was from roast gammon, so I didn’t use any more spices)

-4 eggs

-1tbsp dry yeast

-1tsp sugar

-water

Utensils:

-mixing bowl and spoon

-cup

-bread baking tray

Recipe:

1: Mix the sugar with 50ml of hot water. Add 100ml cold water. Stir in the yeast and leave to rest.

2: Mix the gari and the lard together.

3: Stir in the egg.

4: Add the yeast mix.

5: Stir and add water alternately until the mixture is workable but too thick to pour.

6: Spoon into a greased cake-baking tray.

7: For flatter trays, bake at 160C for 35min. For deeper ones, bake at 160C for 50-60min.

Serve with butter spread on top, because it wouldn’t be complete without butter.

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Wonderful Wednesday Wok. On Smoked Paprika and Veg Pots.

First of all, I know I haven’t been putting up my daily paintings lately, even though this week’s plan is nothing BUT painting (all in all I think I owe you four). But you’ll see what I’m doing later. It’s a secret.

Also, I DO owe a book review (“The Picture of Dorian Gray”), which I forgot due to the paintings, so I’ll do that tomorrow.

 

For now: WWW! 🙂

This week was a bit simpler, but for the sake of extolling the virtues of simplicity. [Disclaimer: Not wholly true. Also because of painting.]

I made roast chicken, a fresh vegetable mix and, although I’ll be making some rice pudding later on in the week, for today I gave him a cookie and his usual morning bananas, squash and coffee.

 

Now, please give me a few minutes to praise three marvelous, yet underrated spices.

1: Smoked Paprika.

Paprika, using the Western European definition*, is a powder made from ground dried peppers. Sweet paprika is made from bell peppers. Spicy paprika is either made from chili peppers or from a combination or bell peppers and chili peppers. Paprika is usually red, but you could make paprika from green peppers if you wished to. [*In some Eastern European languages, like Polish, “papryka” is a bell pepper, so that’s why I mention it!]

Many people are familiar with the taste of normal paprika, as it’s commonly used in a variety of traditional European, American, African and Middle-Eastern cuisine and used globally in some form or another. In fact, it’s been incorporated into the traditional cuisines of most countries, even in recipes where it didn’t initially exist. It adds a sweet, slightly piquant flavour to most food. Sweet paprika is often used when a bit of spice is desired, but without the heat or burn of fully chilies. Spicy paprika is used where heat is called for, and it carries the flavour more evenly through a broth, gravy, stew or paste than fresh or dried chilies can. Both also offer the advantage of keeping longer than even dried chilies.

However, smoked paprika adds another dimension entirely. It is usually made out of bell peppers and, on top of the sweetness and slight spiciness, there is a smokey, barbequey flavour. It’s hard to describe beyond that, but it’s marvelous (if I haven’t said so already).

Smoked paprika is best used on:

-all red and white meats

-fried protein dishes

-making sausages, pates, meatloaves or burgers (meat and veggie)

-grilled dishes

-anything involving cheese

2: Powdered Onion and Onion Salt.

Dried onion that has been powdered and maybe mixed with salt.

This is also brilliant. Basically, depending on how much you put in it will add the flavour of French onion soup or the je-ne-sais-quoi of junk Chinese food (besides the MSG). That is pretty much all you need to know.

Powdered onion is best used on:

-savory dishes where you would ordinarily use onion

-anything baked or roasted

-combining with breadcrumbs and savory batter

-most fried things

-anything sort-of-Asian

3: Ground Cloves.

It seems everyone but bakers and ham-makers underestimates the power of the mighty clove. It has an acrid taste, like concentrated real ales with a touch of earthy or nuttiness. Something to be used in very small quantities, usually to impart flavour before being discarded. Cloves are the other thing you find in an Indian dish (alongside cardamoms and bay leaves) that you bite into and have to spit out, confused that this strange piece of wood was intentionally put into your meal. But cloves are brilliant. They can intensify spicy or savoury flavours, contrast with sweet ones and take the edge off salty ones.

Ground cloves are to be used very sparingly. But they are preferable over whole cloves in two aspects:

1, Whole cloves stay whole in your food, and that’s just gross.

2, Ground cloves don’t take as long for their flavour to impart. Being a powder, it just dissolves into the fluid or paste you’re making.

Ground cloves are best used on:

-pepper crusts for meat

-in curries and rich stews

-in jams and preserves

-baked goods

 

Now, that out of the way, you will now understand why the main recipes were so simple. When you use ingredients and spices artfully, the tastes do all the talking.

 

Recipe 1: Spiced Roast Chicken.

(for one)

Ingredients:

-1 chicken thigh

-1/8tsp pepper

-1/4tsp salt

-1/2tsp smoked paprika

-1/4tsp onion powder

-1/16tsp ground cloves

Utensils:

-baking tray

-knife for slicing

Recipe:

1: Coat your chicken, over and under the skin, in the spices.

2: Cook in an oven at 160C for 45min.

3: Slice and serve.

 

Recipe 2: Seasoned Vegetables.

(big pot)

Ingredients:

-150g courgette

-5 large carrots

-500g potato

-300g celeriac

-2tbsp onion powder

-2tbsp pepper

-1tbsp salt

-1tbsp smoked paprika

Utensils:

-chopping board and knife

-large pot, stirring spoon

Recipe:

1: Slice the celeriac, potato and carrots and put on to boil for about 15min.

2: Slice the courgette. Add alongside the seasonings.

3: Simmer for 1.5h. Top up water as needed.

4: Serve with some form of flavoured fat stirred in (gammon lard, goat’s butter, salted coconut oil, etc).

 

And that’s what I served Jon today. What did he think of the seasoning? 4/5, but could have been a 4.5/5 if I’d put more of the stock in with the veg. Live and learn. 🙂

 

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