Monday, 4 March 2013

A week of problem vegetables!

It is coming to the end of the winter and I am starting to get bored of winter veg. The first of the green house tomatoes are coming in, but as yet they are not really up to much, and to be honest I feel a little fraudulent eating tomatoes in February.

I was faced with a week that, thanks to the fine Mr Able, must include swede and parsnip. Somehow that enthusiasm that I greeted them with in the Autumn had waned and I was down right uninspired.

Then inspiration struck. I knew I had cracked it when the Pickle squeaked that she hated Swede then had thirds of what I dreamt up. I hope you are inspired. (There is a wild card on Friday night, decidedly not my style of cooking but even more rewarding for that).

Monday - laksa (I wrote about that last week)

Tuesday - potato and parsnip rosti with poached eggs
Normally I use floury potato for my rosti, as per most recipes, but with the parsnips I think a waxy potato (Charlotte or other salad type potato) would work much better given the choice just to give the rosti a little bite as the parsnips go a little soggy when parboiled.

Wednesday - spiced swede fritters with Penang bites (lite) and mango chutney
I wimped out of serving the little ones just the fritters at the last minute, so made some Penang bites by cooking some chicken chunks in a mixture of soy and sweet soy sauce.
I spiced the fritters up a little more between child and adult suppers.

Thursday - salmon and broccoli risotto

Friday - club sandwich incorporating loads of salad

Saturday - freezer chili with rice
A bit of a pyjama day as DB was under the weather - so I kept with the cuddles and did little cooking!

Sunday - slow roast lamb with potato boulangere and piles of veg followed by fake blood orange panna cotta.
I made a blogged version of a Jamie Oliver slow roast lamb. I reduced the garlic to four fat cloves and simplified the sauce: I just added a little flour and blackberry vinegar (my new fave ingredient, thanks River Cottage) to the cooking juices and mashed garlic and let it bubble a few mins to cook the flour.
It was delicious and the time it took to cook the lamb meant that I could cook the potato Boulanger to perfection.

I cooked the pud just to use up loose ends as I had some blood oranges and milk. I was not convinced it would work, but it was surprisingly delicious!

fake blood orange panna cotta
(I love that name, I just made it up as it is not a proper panna cotta but implies....okay I am running out of enthusiasm for the name already).

Heat a couple of tablespoons of rapadura sugar in a saucepan until it melts. The reason I recommend rapadura as it was a revelation how easy it was compared to normal sugar that can take for ages to melt and the burns before you realise. As soon as it has melted add some water - and mind as it spits rudely. Then pour this liquid caramel into the base of smallish over dish.

Start soaking 3 leaves of gelatine in about 1/2 cup of milk
1 1/2 cups milk
1 cup yoghurt
Gently warm the milk and yoghurt together, and mix in about 3 tablespoons of rapadura sugar and some vanilla bean extract to taste. Add in the gelatine leaves when soft and floppy and the milk. Stir in until the gelatine dissolves totally. Carefully add in the juice of two blood oranges. (I did this very gingerly as I was convinced it would curdle but it didn't). Take it off the heat and stir sporadically to make sure it cools evenly. when the mixture is getting gloppy - about half an hour later - pour it carefully into the dish into which you have added the caramel.
Pop into the fridge for a few hours for it to turn into a wonderful wobbling mass of sweet calories.

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