It’s been another busy week in the day job arena for the entire Renegade household so most meals were made based on existing stocks and following the line of least resistance. We also took a fair degree of inspiration from other bloggers this week – thank you for helping keep tummies full, taste buds tantalised and faces smiling.
Monday: Chilli-non-carne made using left overs from Medieval’s birthday meal: the remnants of both sweetcorn and tomato salsas, jalapeños, fire roasted chillies, chilli ketchup and a whole heap of diced onion and peppers went in, along with tinned tomatoes, kidney, black-eyed and haricot beans, mushrooms and a little vegetable stock. Left doing its thang in the slow cooker all day, it came out with the flavours beautifully melded and with the perfect degree of ‘kick’.
Dressed with plenty of grated Monteray Jack, a good dollop of soured cream and freshly chopped chives this chilli was a very welcomed (if short stayed) visitor to our table.
Nice and easy – pork, sliced apple (no need to peel), onions, vegetable stock, cider and seasoning, braised in the oven. While that’s happening – prepare and steam veg (in this case new season potatoes, carrots and purple sprouting broccoli). Remove pork and keep warm – add a large teaspoon of wholegrain mustard to the cooked cider mix then blitz in the blender/food processor. Transfer to small pan, add double cream until you think it’s enough (sorry…it’s how I cook!!), warm gently, adjust seasoning, pour over pork and serve.
I nearly always forget to do it, but the finished dish is more visually appealing if you keep some of the onion and apple pieces in chunks, adding them back into the sauce after blitzing the rest. Either way…this is a lick your plate clean kind of sauce!
Wednesday: There was only me to consider for dinner as Barn was out gym-ing (sing it with me to the tune of Bob Marley – “We’re gym-ing, we’re gym-ing…”) and would therefore fend for himself later, and Petit Man was out for the night doing I-care-not-to-think-what with his girlfriend.
I chose to have a version of bread and butter pudding. That’s it, that’s all I had. Apart from the chocolate ice-cream on top. It pleased the kid inside me who once declared, “When I’m a grown up I’m going to eat a whole pudding all to myself!” It confirmed (as if it were needed) to my adult self that there is a good reason we don’t let kids eat a whole pudding all to themselves.
It all started because The Sweet and Savory Bite published this recipe for Amaretto Bread Pudding. Now I’m not blaming the lovely Lizzy for what then ensued, nor am I saying her delicious and rather stylish pudding bears any relation to the gooey nursery food that I produced…I’m just sayin’ that her post was a catalyst… Until reading that post, I’d not thought about traditional English bread and butter pudding in years; once the memory had been awakened I could not get it to go back to sleep.
I don’t exactly use a recipe for this dish but the Delia recipe linked to above has similar quantities for the custard, and uses the same method that I do. One of the great things about bread and butter pudding is that works best with stale bread and it’s very flexible, so you can use up all sorts of things. This time, I used a mix of brown and white bread, making banana sandwiches with them before adding to the dish. I’ve used jam before which is also good. Malt loaf is fantastic instead of bread, as is panettone…if you’ve got it and it’s going stale, chuck it in there. As long as it’s not some kind of savoury bread – olive bread would not be so good.
I am fully aware that if you’ve never had bread and butter pudding this probably looks and sounds quite revolting…however, it is one of those dishes that is far more than the sum of its ingredients and I implore you…give it a chance!
Thursday: Pizza dough revisited – this time I tried the chilli one and made calzone, served with a salad of spinach, watercress, rocket, tomatoes, cucumber and spring onions. The guys stuck with pizzas and bbq wings, same as last week, so I didn’t bother taking pictures of theirs 😀
First off, I should just say, yes, I do feel like a heel for buying out of season asparagus. What can I say? I was overcome with longing. If it’s any consolation, I’m not likely to do it again in a hurry – it was not a patch on in-season locally grown asparagus.
So, on to the calzone: A garlicky tomato base sauce was topped with black and green olives, artichokes (in lemon oil), yellow capsicum, guilty asparagus, pepperoni and, of course, lots and lots of mozzarella. I was going to add mushrooms but was worried they’d make things a bit soggy – as it was I had to flip the calzone so the underside could crisp up a bit in the last 5-6 minutes of cooking.
Although the chilli dough was good, I preferred the flavour of the rosemary dough that I used last time, although they both handled and cooked really well.
Friday: More leftovers being used up, this time to make chicken noodle soup. Is it just me, or do you also feel virtuous when you make meals that ensure no food is going to waste? I think that little dash of smug adds a certain something to the flavour of a dish 😉
The guys had used chicken for their pizzas the previous night so there were the leftovers from that, together with sliced mushrooms and yellow capsicum that had been prepped but not used. Quick chicken noodle soup here we come!
This was a big hit, with everyone having seconds.
Saturday: We had non-photo worthy take-away for dinner. However, earlier on in the day I whipped up a batch of super easy, eminently praise and photo worthy cheese puffs – adapted from the recipe for Cheesy Puffs posted on Cooking Up The Pantry.
I used a gluten free flour mix (Doves Farm) rather than the straight tapioca flour Ros uses, and I added fresh chives (hence the slight green tinge). They came out like a light savoury scone, with a slightly more crisp top – absolutely delicious, especially warm from the oven. I would probably add a little more cheese (parmesan?) next time, and possibly extra chives, nonetheless they were disappearing so fast I was barely able to get a picture! Thank you Ros…this recipe is definitely a keeper 🙂
Sunday: Brunch time and the guys wanted a big greasy fry up. I didn’t, so I left them to get on with that while I made this:
American style blueberry pancakes, drizzled with maple syrup and served with fresh raspberries. That glass in the background contains a blueberry and pomegranate smoothie. Super fruits R Us or what?!