Saturday, 19 October 2013

Post Preview: Pseudo Subway!

If you have been following my blog for a while, you will know that I generally use my phone to take my photos. Well, my phone may or may not have gotten very, very wet a few days ago and is currently unusable... But I have a camera! However, I do not have the connector cable. I knew exactl where it was until last weekend when I decided to have a good tidy up and sort out. I went to use it today, and lo and behold, it's not there. Moral of the story: never tidy up... I'm joking; I actually quite like to clean... anyway. I have the photos of tonight's tea on my camera as I didn't know I had lost the cable, so I will write about it when, and I mean WHEN I find it. But just a little taster to keep you interested...

I'm not a huge 'fast food' fan, but I do like Subway. I also have a great love for Indian food. Put the two together. Magic. Subway are currently selling a Tandoori Chicken Flatbread, and I decided to make my own (cheaper!) version. So I have something to write with the photos I'll say no more, but I will just say that it was very, very satisfying and tasty... so watch out Subway ;-)

Monday, 14 October 2013

Cool Cookies

The cookies I mentioned in my post yesterday, are quite literally cool. I made Fridge Cookies! It is quite a strange method for making cookies, as it starts off rather like making pastry; by rubbing butter into flour. I must admit, this is one of my favourite kitchen jobs, and has been my 'thing' for as long as I can remember!

My 'breadcrumbs'!

After the butter is rubbed in, you add the rest of the ingredients, which are sugar, an egg, vanilla extract and finely chopped walnuts. Although I did just crumble my walnuts...

Then you shape the dough into a log and chill it for eight hours. I just put mine in the fridge overnight, and it was absolutely fine. It was a big log, it barely fitted in the fridge! It had the whole bottom shelf to itself and it had to go diagonally/ The recipe does make 50, so I'm sure you can imagine. My log made 52 and a bit. Am I the only one who finds it satisfying to get more out of dough/mixture than the recipe states?!

The giant cookie snake!

After the dough has chilled, you just slice it thinly and bake for 10-12 minutes. They do spread a little, but not a lot. I got 20 on a baking sheet and they were okay.

I think they look like pieces of nougat, and they look like it even more when they are unbaked. They are now all ready and waiting to go into work on Tuesday and be demolished in a few hours. If they are enjoyed though, I can't complain.

Sunday, 13 October 2013

A Riotous Rainbow

It took me a long time to choose this meal. As in 45 minutes of looking through recipe books. Leaning towards one recipe then changing my mind and leaning straight back the other way. But I eventually landed on this one- a lentil salad. I know, I know salad when the weather is cold, again! But this is, for want of a better word, a 'manly' salad. Big and beefy and filling. Well, it doesn't have beef in, it has gammon, but you get my drift... Anyway...

When I realised I had been looking at recipes for 45 minutes, I just went for this recipe because I was fed up- not of looking through recipes (I could never get fed up of that!), but with myself and my inability to make a decision. It was one I had earmarked, but I wasn't totally happy. It was tainted my all the undecisiveness. In the suggestions bit after the recipe, there were quite a few options to add in, including ham/gammon/crumbled bacon. I love gammon. And when I went shopping I just had a quick look at the gammon, as I expected it to be quite pricey, so I was very surprised to see little joints for £2 to £3! I looked through them all as there wasn't many, and picked up the cheapest at £2.07. Even though it was an extra cost, I think it was totally worth it as it made me happier with my meal and at the risk of sounding 'chef-y', I really think it contributed something to the salad.

My lentils, before I started cooking them.

The ingredients list simply stated 'finely chopped'. I sliced mine at a jaunty angle. Why not?

So colourful! Spring onions, tomatoes, a huuuge red onion and fresh mint. I kept the tomatoes quite chunky to add variety, as there were quite a lot of little and finely chopped things. There was a choices of herbs to add (parsley, mint, basil or coriander), and I noted them all down on my shopping list, and decided to just pick whichever one I felt like at the time. It just so happened to be mint.

The lighting really doesn't do justice to how colourful this salad was, I really wish you could see it! And that was another reason to be happy about the gammon, it just added another little bit of rainbow!
As it is my last week on placement next week, I am making biscuits to take in to say thank you. I started them today, but to save confusion I'll do a whole post about them tomorrow. 

Friday, 11 October 2013

Freestyle Friday #17

At the end of this week, I ended up with half an onion and half a green pepper in the fridge. I can't even remember what the other halves of them were used in... Not that it matters. The remaining halves I gently sauteéd for a few minutes, then added some curry poweder and sauteéd for a few more.
Just after I added the curry powder.

While this was going on, I had some basmati rice cooking. I had originally planned to overcook the rice, mash it into a sort of paste, and then make rice patty kind of things. But, I remembered that basmati rice (which is the only rice I have) isn't as 'sticky' as other types such as long grain, so I changed my plan. When the onion and pepper were soft, I tipped the rice into the pan, along with a teaspoon or so of curry paste. I like to make my own curry paste usually, but I used some out of a jar I have had for absolutely aaaaages, because I hate waste! And there is nothing wrong with the shop bought stuff every now and then!

I cooked it like this for about five minutes, then flipped it onto a plate and slid it back into the pan to cook the other side.

I got a quick snap of it when I flipped it out as it stayed together remarkably well, in case it all fell apart when I put it back in the pan!

I know I could have used an egg to bind it. But that would be too easy. Anyway, it did actually stay together quite well. There were a few bits of rice that were crunchy, and the rest of it was just like normal rice, only with slightly more bite- but it wasn't the kind of undercooked 'bite'. As it is currently grey and raining outside, the warmth and spiciness of this was very much welcome. Although imagine my horror when, after washing up, I realised that I had forgot to add in the sultanas I was going to! Me. Forget dried fruit. Let us never speak of this occasion again... All I can say is that they made a nice dessert, along with a cup of rooibos tea!
I added some mint leaves as a garnish because I had some. That is all I can say about that. It's Freestyle Friday, after all.

Sunday, 6 October 2013

Sweet Potatoes and Salsa

As my mum and dad are visiting today, and I am off on Friday (so I can do Freestyle Friday!), I only needed four meals for this week. But for once, I didn't have any idea of what I wanted to cook! I don't really know how it came about, but I ended up baking four sweet potatoes, and making some salsa to go with them.

The salsa has onions, green pepper, tomatoes and chilli powder in. Of course, I tasted it while it was cooking, and it isn't that sweet... so I think it is the perfect counterpart to the sweet potatoes. To bake the potatoes I just stabbed them all over with a fork, stuck a knife into each one and put them in the oven at Gas Mark 6 for about an hour and ten minutes. Perfectly cooked, I have to say! They don't have a crispy skin, but I will look forward to that for another day.

The onions and peppers for the salsa.

All ready!