July 15, 2011 § 1 Comment
Sag aloo [or saag aloo or even saag aluu] is one of those amazing things that if you’ve never had it you’ll never miss it, but it’s so cheap and easy that once you have in your repertoire it’s very tempting to trot out at any given opportunity. Usually served with roti bread, or nan or even rice, it’s a sort of catch-all term for leafy greens – usually spinach [sag] and potatoes [aloo] that are fried in mustard seeds and other spices. I usually team it up with a meaty curry, but sometimes it’s just as nice on its own, which is what myself and husband refer to as ‘pauper’s curry’ as it’s a really dirt cheap meal when you’re craving spice and carbs. Mmmmmmm…… spicy caaaaaaarbs……
July 14, 2011 § 1 Comment
Some days in the golden kitchen I have hours to research, tweak, fiddle and faff about with what we’ll be eating. Other days, when there’s somewhere else to be or something else to do there’s barely enough time to chew and swallow, never mind prepare food. We had such a day this week, when husband was going to have a turnaround time of 10 minutes from arriving home before we had to leave again and make the mammoth car journey to Castlebar. I say mammoth not because it’s far [about an hour's drive] but because it’s one of the most awful twisty depressing roads I’ve ever had the misfortune to travel. If there wasn’t for the lure of shops, people, and general town-like-activity at the end of it, then I’d happily never travel that road. But I digress…
Sunday evenings in our house when I was growing up were called ‘get a bit of bread time’. Mum would have been knackered from cooking the obligatory roast chicken lunch, [the same meal every Sunday for over 40 years - my parents are nothing if not consistent!] and any hunger pangs later in the day were, in her eyes, up to ourselves to sort out. The premise was that you [a] got a bit of bread and [b] put something on it and [c] ate it. Which is what we did the other day…
July 10, 2011 § 1 Comment
Well, here’s a thing – today’s goings on in the golden kitchen are also inspired by that episode of Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall’s ‘River Cottage Everyday’ that was on telly the other night. I say ‘inspired by’, because as I watched it I thought ‘oh yum’ but forgot the details of it all about half an hour later… I usually make soup with roast butternut, and I have stuffed them before, but something about Hugh’s addition of bacon and nuts to the stuffing triggered something in me. Something deep, deep down within me that said ‘MUST. EAT. THIS. SOOOOOOON.” I had a squash in the fridge that I was planning to roast and soupify anyway, so armed with what I could remember of Hugh’s recipe I set off.
And in my personal history of eating things stuffed with other things, I think this was the most delicious stuffed thing I’ve ever eaten. Really, I’m not just saying that. It was amaaaaazing….
July 5, 2011 § Leave a Comment
There’s something I want to address before I start showing you what I cooked today. And that’s why bloggers feel the need to apologise for not posting recently, or not posting as often as they think they should, or even not posting as often as they think their readers think they should. I’m forever reading all kinds of blogs, and as a result I invariably end up reading a lot of these apologies. The blogger apology is usually followed by a long list of things the person has been doing, [sometimes so unashamedly exotic and exciting the inner bitch in me cries ''oh really? you haven't been posting recently 'cause you've been on Iggy Pop's tour bus? really? really???''] which is then followed by a promise to stop doing those other things and concentrate more on posting to their blog.
The thing I never really get is… well… are there really people out there who wait and hang on the words of a stranger to the extent that they feel they deserve an apology if that stranger gets caught up with… well… their life? Is is a bit conceited to think that because you haven’t updated your blog in a few weeks and your posting rhythm is a bit broken, that someone out there in web world is sitting glued to their screen, refreshing your home page till they get thumb apnea in the hope you’ve posted something new? Or is it some kind of inner feeling of failure on their part – that by not posting as regularly as they think they should they’re ‘neglecting’ their readers, they’re letting the internet down, they’re not being a ‘good blogger’?? I’m not going to pretend I understand this phenomenon, and I’m certainly not going to subscribe to it. When the newest post on a blog I read is an apology I curse the blogger for wasting my time. I don’t care why you haven’t updated your content recently – I just care about the content!!!
So yeah, it’s been eons since I last posted, but I’m not going to apologise for it. I was on Iggy Pop’s tour bus for a few weeks….
***Rant over – onto the cooking!!!***
June 6, 2011 § 2 Comments
The other day I made a simple curd cheese. It didn’t exactly turn out like it should have done – it wasn’t the fluffy white cloud of Ricotta like yumminess I had been hoping for, but it still tastes damn good. Like a fresh lemony feta without loads of salt. After a few rounds of myself and husband standing in front of the fridge spooning it straight from the bowl, today I decided to put the remainder to use in dinner.
Husband loves chicken kiev, and I had some Spanish Serrano ham in the fridge so I decided to make a kind of bastardised cross between kiev, a ravioli filling, and parma-wrapped chicken. I realise, sitting here saying that last sentence out loud as I type, that it doesn’t sound the most attractive, [I'm not very good at the restaurant level of hyperbole that can make mac 'n cheese sound like a Michelin star level dish...] but trust me, these were divine!
June 3, 2011 § Leave a Comment
So, this isn’t my usual ‘what I cooked’ post, more a ‘this is some food we encountered on our holidays’ post. Husband and myself packed up the car and headed south last week. He wanted to drive the Ring of Kerry, and I wanted to make the pilgrimage to Ballymaloe, so off we drove.
We ate some wonderful meals along our travels, but don’t worry I’m not going to bore you with every one of them… god how boring would that be to read…just the highlights, promise…
May 24, 2011 § 2 Comments
I don’t know what the weather was like wherever you are, but here it was what they call in North Mayo ‘a woeful day’. We had winds of over 140 kilometers an hour, rain, hailstones – all I felt like doing today was curling up on the sofa to watch coverage of Barak Obama kissing babies and drinking Guinness in Moneygall and eating comfort food.
And when it comes to comfort food there’s nothing better on a cold horrible day than a thick rich beefy stew that you can fling into the oven for hours and forget about till it’s ready. This is a tweak I came up with on the more traditional beef in Guinness, which I find a wee bit bitter. You can tweak it back and include the Guinness if you prefer, I won’t be offended.