Ugly Turkey Stew.

It’s ugly. The stew, not the turkey. Turkey mince is ugly and tomato based stew is ugly and cabbage is ugly. But it’s delicious and it’s high protein and low carb, so no complaints. Well, at least not since I managed to get Jon to put on surplus fat with a bulking diet (I knew he wasn’t an alien!) and he wants to lose it.

So here’s our current staple, with herbs and spices as needed.

Ingredients:

  • 500g minced turkey
  • 800g chopped or pureed tomatoes
  • 400g cabbage
  • 400g peppers, aubergine and courgette
  • 2 large onions
  • 100ml chili sauce (10% chili, so around 10ml concentrate or paste)
  • 10 large leaves of sage
  • 1tbsp smoked paprika
  • salt and pepper to taste

Utensils:

  • chopping board and knife
  • pot and wooden spoon

Recipe:

  1. Rinse and chop the vegetables very finely.
  2. Tear the sage leaves.
  3. Mix the tomato, chili, paprika, sage, salt and pepper together and bring to a boil.
  4. Add the vegetables and turkey mince.
  5. Keep simmering until everything is cooked through.
  6. Serve up with baked garlic, jalapeno sauce, mustard or all three.

Not very pretty, so no pictures, but it’s yummy, warming, filling and low carb, so it wins all round.

TTFN and Happy Hunting!

Not-Thai Fish Curry.

Well, as I was saying yesterday, I like to buy from clearance websites. So I went a little crazy a few weeks ago and bought a 10kg restaurant-sized tub of Sharwoods curry paste (for only £1.50). Just a little crazy. And, to test it out, I made a Not-Thai Fish Curry. It was a bit hot for Jon, but I’m working on that next time.

This is a lie. It is not the fish curry. Same ingredients in the base, but not curried. I can't find my fish curry pictures. :(

This is a lie. It is not the fish curry. Same ingredients in the base, but not curried. I can’t find my fish curry pictures. 😦

Ingredients:

  • 2 basa or pollock fillets
  • 3 small (15-20cm) squid
  • 100g mussels
  • 100g fish pie mix or smoked fish or salmon
  • 400ml coconut milk
  • 400g mixed vegetables (pick plain ones, like broccoli, peas, spinach or aubergine)
  • 4tbsp curry paste or powder
  • 2tbsp soy sauce
  • pepper if needed

Utensils:

  • measuring utensils
  • chopping board and knife
  • large pot

Recipe:

  1. Chop the fillets, squid and vegetables.
  2. Mix all the fish and vegetables together in the pot.
  3. Stir in the seasonings and leave to rest a little.
  4. Add coconut milk and water. Bring the pot to a boil.
  5. Simmer for 30min.
  6. Serve with rice or beans.

As I said, Jon liked it but found it juuust too spicy, so I will work on that next time. Always learn the heat of every premixed sauce or paste you use, and adjust accordingly!

TTFN and Happy Eating!

Chicken and Parsnip Pizza with Baked Potatoes.

Been a little busy, so here’s a post-bomb day.

We had an amazingly bad for you chocolate cake for pudding. Mmm!

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Ingredients:

For the dough:

-2.5 cups self-raising flour or flour with agents

-3tbsp olive oil

-1tsp salt

-1tsp sugar or honey

-1/2tsp paprika

-1/2tsp mint

-warm water as needed

For the sauce:

-1 small parsnip

-400g/14oz chopped tomatoes

-1/2 sweet onion

-chilli oil to taste

For the toppings:

-1/2 sweet onion in rings

-2 diced chicken breasts

-200g/7oz cheddar cheese

Utensils:

-chopping board and knife

-frying pan

-flat tray

-mixing bowl and spoon

-rolling pin

Recipe:

1: Mix the flour, salt, sweetener, paprika and mint.

2: Make a well and add the oil.

3: Slowly incorporate the water into the well until the dough is firm, dry and stretchy.

4: Roll into a ball and leave to one side.

5: Finely dice the tomato, parsnip and half onion.

6: Pan-fry with oil and a little salt until everything is softened and there is no fluid left in the base of the pan.

7: Stretch the dough out into shape on the tray. Add the sauce.

8: Crumble the cheese on top and add the chicken and onion.

9: Bake at 160C/30F for 35-45 minutes, or until the crust sounds hollow when tapped.

10: Serve with a jacket potato, chips, beans or a side-salad.

The pudding that's really, really, REALLY bad for you.

The pudding that’s really, really, REALLY bad for you.

WWW. Spicy Pizza. Also, we have a cat.

First of all, warm-blooded-rat-trap update 1: He’s home. Meet Wally/Wallace. He’s not good with adults, children, other cats or dogs. I accidentally scared him because the pheromone spray that’s supposed to be used in the corners of the room to soothe him actually sounds like a cat hissing. It’s taken a day to show him I am not hostile. However, now he’s settled he’s eating, fairly affectionate, not disturbed by my stinking of chickens and coffee and starting to get playful. We ended up with this fiend of a creature because the non stray/feral cats ran away from Jon, while Wallace wanted attention off him. He was also apparently supposed to take weeks to settle, yet 48h in he’s happy to go about his business in front of us and can’t get enough of being patted.

 

However, I did manage to find the time to make a pizza for dinner. There are far too many tarts and with Jon’s birthday coming up, there will soon be crumble and cheesecake, so I opted against making another pudding.

Ingredients for the dough:

-450g self-raising flour

-1tbsp olive oil

-1tbsp paprika

-1tsp ginger

-cold water as needed

Ingredients for the filling:

-300g tomatoes (crushed or paste equivalent)

-100g strong cheddar

-30-50 marjoram leaves

-40g chorizo

-50g ham

Utensils:

-mixing bowl and fork

-greased flat baking tray

-rolling pin

Recipe:

1: Mix the flour, paprika, ginger and olive oil.

2: Add water, continually mixing until the dough is dry to touch but elastic and soft.

3: Roll it out with a rolling pin into the shape you want it, then throw or spin it a little to stretch it fully.

4: Place on the tray and allow to rest.

5: Roll up the crust. You can add a crust filling if you like.

6: Spread the tomato over the centre. Add the marjoram leaves.

7: Grate or slice the cheese and cover the centre.

8: Add the toppings.

9: Bake at 160C for 1h.

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WWW. Lamb Bake and Banana Cake.

Ooh, rhymes. Lovely meter too.

Anyhow, first post since Jon came down with the plague bronchitis and nearly died needed much care and attention. I have another for tomorrow, a FitFriday worth mentioning and a book extract for Saturday. Yay for return of writing!

Today Jon came home for lunch and this is what we had.

Both need to be prepared in advance. I did Stage 1 on Tuesday and Stage 2 on Wednesday, but you can just leave 2-5h between the two if you like.

Recipe 1: Spicy Lamb and Potato Bake.

Ingredients:

-4 lamb chops

-400g potato (I made more, but that was so I could make good use of it for a breakfast tortilla de patatas)

-2 small onions

-4 small carrots

For the marinade:

-6-10tsp hot sauce (tabasco or green habanero sauces are good)

-1tsp Worcester sauce

-2tbsp honey

-2tbsp herbs

-1tsp ginger

-1tsp salt

-1/2tsp paprika

Utensils:

-chopping board and knife

-cup and teaspoon

-baking tray

Recipe:

Stage 1.

1: Mix the marinade ingredients in a cup.

2: Add warm water to dissolve them.

3: Slice the potatoes into 1cm thick rounds. Layer along the base of the tray.

4: Place the lamb on top of the potatoes.

5: Pour the marinade over. Use any thicker parts at the bottom to coat the lamb.

6: Add water until everything is just covered.

7: Leave to rest.

Stage 2.

8: Chop the carrots into sticks and the onions into quarters.

9: Submerge the carrots in the marinade and place the onion quarters on top.

10 Bake at 160C for 120min.

11: Bake at 200C for 30-60min.

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Recipe 2: Brandy and Banana Cake.

Ingredients:

-5 ripe or very ripe bananas

-300-400g flour (self-raising or plus suitable raising agents)

-200g raisins

-150ml rich brandy

-100ml double cream

-1tsp ginger

-1tsp cinnamon

Utensils:

-mixing bowl and spoon

-baking tray (greased or nonstick)

Recipe:

Stage 1.

1: Mash the bananas into a bowl.

2: Add the raisins and spices and the cream. Mash more.

3: Mix in the flour and raising agents.

4: Slowly stir-in the brandy.

5: Leave in the fridge to raise.

Stage 2.

6: Pour into the baking tray. Spread evenly and smooth the top.

7: Bake at 160C for 2h.

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8: Serve with thick cream or ice-cream.

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WWW. Frying, spices, flapjacks.

This week Jon’s having a chicken stir-fry, fried rice and a sultana and seed filled flapjack.

Oil contents not specific apart from flapjacks so you can measure how much you need for your own foods. Juicier vegetables may need a little more, as will less cooked rice, for example.

Recipe 1: Garlic Ginger Chicken Stir-Fry.

Makes 2 servings.

Ingredients:

-1 cooked chicken breast

-3 small carrots

-1 small parsnip

-3 cabbage leaves

-3 cloves garlic

-olive oil

-salt and pepper

-Chinese five spice

-powdered cloves

-onion powder

Utensils:

-chopping board and knife

-vegetable peeler

-large frying pan or wok

Recipe:

1: Finely dice the garlic. Cook in the olive oil with the spices until soft.

2: Wash the vegetables and slice them with the peeler. Tear or chop the cabbage leaves into strips. Add to the mix and stir as it cooks, to ensure even softening and browning.

3: Dice the chicken. Add to the mix.

4: Heat thoroughly. Serve.

Recipe 2: Chili Fried Rice.

Makes 1 serving.

Ingredients:

-30g/1oz rice

-olive oil

-chilli powder

Utensils:

-small pot

-frying pan from the chicken

Recipe:

1: Boil the rice until cooked through.

2: Add to the pan once the stir-fry is done.

3: Add the oil and chilli.

4: Stir until the rice has soaked up all the oil. It should be making squeaky sounds and “jumping” in the pan, but not burnt.

Recipe 3: Flapjacks.

Makes 8 servings or 16 snack-sized servings.

Ingredients:

-200g/7oz oats

-200g/7oz plain flour

-1/2 cup oil or fat

-25g/0.9oz sultanas

-50g/1.8oz mixed seeds

-2 eggs

-3tbsp honey

-cinnamon

-powdered ginger

Utensils:

-mixing bowl and spoon

-baking tray

Recipe:

1: Mix the flour, oats and seeds.

2: Add the spices.

3: Add the oil. Stir until crumbly.

4: Add the eggs and honey. Stir in.

5: Mix the sultanas in so as to guarantee an even spread.

6: Pour into a lightly greased tray. Bake at 180C/355F for 25min.

7: Slice.

[8: Optional. Drizzle melted chocolate over them.]

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Wonderful Wednesday Wok. Dunno, really. Another roast dinner?

Everything’s running a bit late, but some of the students cancelled lessons, so I have some more time now. As a noteworthy aside, I have now reached a point where I get over £100/week even when some of my students cancel, so that’s my first tangible goal met. 😀 Now for fluent French (not far off), GCSE German (at least), selling art, get the chickens in (and then the garden goal will be met), finish two books (one’s almost there!) and shrug, deadlift and squat my body weight (currently at 69, 61.5 and 55.4 percent, respectively).

Jon came home for lunch, so we had it at the table, which is looking a lot tidier now my jamming and pickling jars are set to one side. The amount of extra space we have from putting a cabinet in the hallway is amazing. Suddenly all the books fit on the shelf, the kitchen shelf is cleared of the nice china so I can put my jars there, the booze is moved out of the pantry so the biking and gardening gear can live there and everything’s that bit more homely. The garden, by the way, is starting to take shape.

As for the work on the blog, I should be submitting a recipe for roadkill rabbit tomorrow (not half as awful as it sounds) and an essay on the relative priority of femininity Sunday or Monday. Something on the progress of the garden on Sunday or Monday too, depending on when the essay goes up.

Without further ado, here’s what Jon and I had for lunch on Wednesday.

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Recipe 1: Ginger Roast Chicken.

Ingredients:

It’s all in the spices with this one.

-1 chicken

-2tbsp ginger

-2tbsp smoked paprika

-1tbsp cinnamon

-1tbsp pepper

-1tbsp salt

You could try putting onion salt and butter under the skin for extra juiciness, or using honey to glaze it at the end.

Utensils:

-baking tray

Recipe:

1: Rub the chicken with ginger and salt and let it rest a while, at least 35min. If in a warmer area, put the chicken in the fridge while it rests.

2: Add the pepper, paprika and cinnamon. Ensure to evenly cover the skin.

3: Place in a preheated oven at 160C for 90min. Drizzle the honey over the top at the 1h mark.

Recipe 2: Roast Patatas a la Todo.

Potatoes with everything. Or every spice I regularly use, anyway.

Ingredients:

-500g potatoes

-5tbsp olive oil

-1tbsp salt

-1tbsp pepper

-1tbsp onion salt

-1tbsp smoked paprika

-2tbsp mixed herbs

Utensils:

-chopping board and knife

-baking tray

(I cooked ours under the chicken.)

Recipe:

1: Chop the potatoes into 1cm thick circles or wedges with a 1cm thick back.

2: Place them in the baking tray and toss them with olive oil.

3: Add the herbs and toss again to coat the potatoes.

4: Put in a preheated oven at 160C for 90min.

Recipe 3: Spicy Mixed Roast Veg.

Just generally nice, although a couple of bits of swede burnt up, so I’ll need to be more careful next time. Surprisingly, nothing else was even remotely singed. Oh well.

Ingredients:

-25g butter

-200g swede

-2 large beets

-7-8 medium carrots or 5 large carrots

-2tbsp hot chilli powder

-1tbsp smoked paprika

-1tbsp salt

Utensils:

-chopping board and knife

-baking tray

Recipe:

1: Wash, peel and slice the vegetables. Salt them.

2: Make sure they’re dry, maybe put them in the oven whilst it preheats.

3: Melt the butter over them and add the chilli and paprika.

4: Cook in a preheated oven at 160C for 90min.

And that was lunch on Wednesday.

Now off to make an omelet and salad.

I like having Jon home for lunch. 🙂