I would normally leave long-winded cooking to the weekend, but I have been known to get a mindless bee in my cook's bonnet and won't give up until stung.
So this week saw me coming home from work on Tuesday, for example at just gone 5pm, make the dough for flat-breads, slice up 4 turkey breasts for goujons, chuck them into a marinade, do a taxi run, roll out 16 flat breads thinly, start dry-frying them (a couple of minutes each), do another taxi run, finish cooking breads, take out marinated turkey, dip in egg and dukkah/breadcrumbs and start frying in small batches.
|Mine did look something like this!|
Not having learned my lesson, yesterday I had the brilliant idea of making samosas. It would have been fine, had my DB not wanted veggie ones rather than the pork ones I was making for the rest of us. It would also have been fine had not my mincer decided it was a piece of crap and mincing pork was above its price grade. This meant I had to scrape all the squishy bits out of the machine and throw them in the food processor instead. Time, it all takes time!
|Mine looked a teeny bit like this, just add black bits and general untidiness|
I am throwing out my measly mincer (bought from low-cost store Norma). My cleaner had first refusal, and refused, can't blame her... Enough is enough!
So then I made the pork filling (recipe) with potato, onion, carrots, frozen peas and mild curry paste (I wimped out of grinding and roasting my own spices), and turned my attention to the Hairy Bikers' veggie filling - onion, garlic, garam masala, mustard seeds, turmeric, potato, carrot, frozen peas, curry leaves, parsley (as the plastic bag of fresh coriander that had been lurking in the fridge, possibly for weeks, produced a selection of rotten black soggy stems and leaves... mmm tempting...).
Once done, the fillings had to be added to the samosa circles which I did NOT make, and the intelligence test of how to fold the little sods. I've never been terribly good at geometry so I ended up with a bit of a mess, but miraculously they all held together when they hit the hot oil, all 13 of them, in small batches. It's the cooking in small batches that takes up so much time, isn't it, but by then I'd run out of large frying pans and had to use the wok.
Everything tasted lovely, but it damn well should have done the effort and time it took to make. I won't be getting stung like that again for a while. I'll stick to my slow cooker and a roast chicken this weekend I think. Nice hands-off cooking!
Guess what we're eating tonight? LEFTOVERS! YAY!!
Do you do things à l'envers too? Like busy cooking on week days, cool cooking at weekends?
I used to buy those rounds of brick, cut the discs in half, wet them and fold each half double.ReplyDelete
then plonk the filling on the bottom and fold triangle wise up to the top.
The next day I looked up how to do it on a video and it all became much clearer. The instructions on the packet were a bit vague. I got 'fold over circle to make semi-circle', but got lost at 'put filling 3cm from edge at one end'. Which edge? It was all downhill from there so I had to make it up.Delete
You're very brave to attempt samosas, I must say.ReplyDelete
If you like flatbread-type things, have you ever done socca? A Niçois specialty, accepts many yummy extras and needs to be washed down with rosé.
Basic recipe here:
I've eaten socca in Nice and it was nice enough, but very fattening from what I remember. I might give it a try one day though, for variety's sake.Delete
Thanks for the link. :)
Yes, they're amazingly filling. What's French for that? Surely not remplissant?Delete
I want you to know I'm drooling over here in the Middle East with all your pork talk! Dear God that sounds so delicious!ReplyDelete
We cook fresh most nights, with the occasional dinning out once per week.
I feel for you. I spent a year in Cairo and longed for something porky. The one time I found a pork butcher and bought chops and sausages, the sausages were off and I was violently sick. Typical!Delete
Ah, that looks wonderful.ReplyDelete
Everything tasted better than it looked, to be honest. I'm not hot on presentation, let's say (can't be fagged), but taste buds are happy.Delete
You clever person, you. You are morphing into a French woman - juggling complicated recipes and after-school mum responsibilities.... I'm impressed! If I'd tried that I would have finished at 4 in the morning due to bad organisation, vomiting cats, taxi reponsibilities for offspring and lack of correct ingredients.ReplyDelete
Aaargh!!! MM I take after my mother who is very good at cooking and juggling. :)Delete
I was pretty impressed with myself too, but I was knackered by last night, so I reckon it'll be back to old favourites next week.
And I've gone down with a cold too so I'm taking to my bed with my cat and Kindle. (Must get stew in slow cooker before I conk out though...)
Those look wonderful, but I too would never have dared attempt them in those circumstances. I have never bought ready-meals, but in my working days had a lot of home-made stuff stashed in the freezer for weekday evening meals.ReplyDelete
PS Being one of the world's messiest cooks, I always wear a pinny. It's that or changing before I sit down to eat. :-)
I think people call them aprons now. Pinny is so 50s housewife. :) We had to make one at school during Home Economics lessons with the skirt bit, criss-cross straps and front pocket. I hated mine. :)Delete
Snap! First form needlework to make a proper bibbed cookery apron for use in second form cookery lessons. Being a northerner I still quite often refer to any bibbed apron as a pinny. :-)Delete
Timing's always my problem when doing anything new and the urge to cook is completely irrational, it'll just strike and I've got to do something different. In those circs if we end up by eating before 9 everyone's really lucky.ReplyDelete
Right! We would have been eating at 9ish too if I hadn't got the boys on board to help. They were keen to eat earlier though so got on with it. :)Delete
I enjoy cooking too and (having been brought up that way) almost always cook from fresh although I will admit to the occasional pizza! My problem is inspiration. Unless I have planned out what we are going to eat for the week, I find myself falling back on old favourites and everyone gets bored.ReplyDelete
How about this: get on to BBC Good Food, type in the main ingredient you have and get some inspiration from there.Delete
I do that all the time. If you have one of those famous 'well-stocked cupboards' you can usually whip up something tasty and a bit original. :)
yum... both meals sounded just fab.ReplyDelete
You wouldn't happen to have the recipes handy? - though I suspect I'll be enlisting the kids and making them as a 'Saturday treat'...;-)
The recipes for the samosa fillings are in the post highlighted in green (one says 'recipe', the other says 'Hairy Bikers''). I bought filo pastry I think it is, for the samosa pastry.Delete
The flat breads came from here:
For the goujons, I did a marinade from olive oil, sherry vinegar (could be wine), garlic, soy sauce, powdered ginger (had no effect on the taste in the end) and pepper. Mix it all up and chuck the meat strips in. Leave for an hour or so, or longer in the fridge.
I mentioned dukkah because I had some in the fridge. I would not make it specially!! Anyway, here is a recipe for it:
I took the meat strips out of the marinade, dipped them in beaten egg then into the dukkah and breadcrumb mix, then fried them gently.
They went into the wraps with lettuce, cucumber, tomato, sweet onion and any sauce we had handy. Quite healthy in the end. :)
That's a great way to do meat stripsDelete
Oh my goodness I am stunned! These both are chef-like meals that I would never attempt - and they both photograph so prettily. And you've got a mincer. Inspired by you I bought a crockpot thingy but have yet to actually fill it with (uncooked) food. Im a bit intimidated as what to start with. (sorry about hanging participles)ReplyDelete
The photos are not mine, Jody!! My samosas looked a pale imitation of the photo above, but they tasted great! :)Delete
I'm just about to get rid of the mincer. I hardly ever use it, and it's a cheapo crap one. If I replace it, I'll get a sturdy hand one. The only thing my mincer can deal with is fillet steak and that's not what you want to use to make lasagne!
As for the crockpot, this is what I did last Saturday when I was actually sick in bed but had one of my son's friends over because his parents had a party of 30 and there was no room for their kid.
I had bought some beef chunks which were in the fridge but semi frozen. I opened the packet and turned the whole lot out in a block into the slow cooker. Then I opened a tin of tomatoes and chucked that over the top.
I cut some onions into chunks, some carrots, some garlic, chucked all that in. Poured some red wine over the top, boiled up some water and poured it in together with a stock cube. Lots of pepper, bit of herbs, turned it on High. Four hours later a delicious stew came out which the boys ate with baked potatoes.
The absolute easiest thing you can do with it is to buy some pork belly, smother it with hoisin sauce or barbecue sauce, chuck it into the slow cooker and put it on Low for several hours. You don't need salt, pepper, herbs. Nuffink!
If you put it in before lunch, it'll be heavenly by dinner. How easy is that? You get a delicious sauce that goes will with crusty bread, rice, etc. :)
Well, I too am impressed. I know me too well to even try to make samosas. I am not sure that I would be patient enough. hank God for Ocado in this country. I wouldn't be able to live without it!ReplyDelete
But Muriel, you're French! Don't you make samosas and dainty verrines in your sleep?! :)Delete
My boys are with their dad for the next 10 days. I intend to do as little cooking as possible! :)
Ooh I missed this. Very impressed. I tend not to make things with dough, so flat breads and samosas are shop bought but I do make proper dinners most nights. This week we have been mostly eating a chicken and white wine casserole, a pork and bean stew and a shepherd's pie. Must be feeling the cold! Tonight chicken fajitas with packet tortillas!ReplyDelete
Very tasty too!Delete
I usually only succumb to making things like flat breads because I don't have any in a packet in the cupboard. I usually buy the ones made by Samia which are much bigger than normal (30cm) and taste really good. :)
Actually the samosas were made with their 'brick' round sheets.