Tuesday, 30 July 2013

Crammed Cookies, Quinoa and Pantry Putanesca

I have been busy in the kitchen today! The first thing I made was some cookies for my colleagues, as my placement ends on Friday. I like to think they'll miss me. Not least because this is the third batch of cookies I've baked for them. They were a variation on a recipe I've made before, and here is where I'd usually link you to the post about them. But could I find it? Nope. Feel free to trawl back through previous posts if you're that bothered though! The first time I made them they were normal chocolate chip cookies. This time I replaced 25g of the flour with cocoa powder, and used some leftover white chocolate for the chips (I cut it into small chunks). I also cut up a Yorkie bar for chocolate chips as well. I had one, and I wasn't going to eat it. It made up the weight of chocolate chips to the exact right amount. Meant to be, obviously. I didn't have one, but they look and feel exactly how cookies should, chewy and soft in the middle, slightly crisper around the edges. Now, if they were biscuits, that would be all wrong. But that is a topic for a different day.

Look at these bad boys!
Thing two (this is turning into Dr Seuss!). Tea for tomorrow and Thursday. It may seem early to do it, but I like to be organised and prepared. I called it pantry Putanesca as most of the ingredients are likely to be things you will already have in your cupboard, which makes it good for a quick meal. They are: spaghetti (I used fettucine as I already have some. I think tagliatelle or similar would also work- anything long and ribbony!), tinned tomatoes, olives, anchovies, capers, garlic and an onion. All you have to do is fry the onion and garlic until soft, then add everything else and simmer for ten minutes. You can make the sauce while the pasta is cooking, so it really takes no time at all. I tasted a little bit of the sauce, and I have to say, I can't wait to eat it! I love the depth of flavour the anchovies bring to the sauce. It is more than just saltiness, there's an actual flavour there as well. I really don't think you could replace the anchovies with salt. It just wouldn't be the same.
You may observe that there aren't any capers. That may be because I forgot to add them... I'll have to remember to add a sprinkle in each tub before I leave the house!

All ready.

The last of my kitchen quests today was Quinoa Tabbouleh, which is the recipe I actually purchased the quinoa for- although I also used it for  salad. I actually took the time to very carefully chop the vegetables into teeny chunks. Usually I can't be bothered, but I enjoyed it this time as I had plenty of time and didn't feel the need to rush. I liked the dressing as well, as it was slightly unusual. A finely chopped shallot (I used a small segment of onion as I had half a one in the fridge- waste not want now!), lemon juice and cinnamon. I may pinch it for other salads and the like. This time, the quinoa was cooked with a little bit of a chicken stock cube; I cooked it in water last time. I think it did need to be cooked in stock this time otherwise it would have just been lost under the strongly flavoured dressing. However, I will continue to experiment. As well as water and stock, I have an idea of my own...
Look carefully at how neat they are chopped- it may not happen again for a while...


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