Hello everybody, it’s time for another look at what I’ve been eating! I’m sure everyone has been on tenterhooks – I’ve actually had this written for ages but have been trying (and failing) to sort some pictures out so apologies, this is thin on photographic evidence!
This week the weekly “meal plan” fell by the wayside a little bit but that doesn’t mean I haven’t been eating well. In fact, this week has been the week of the leftovers, and I’ve been alternating big exciting meals with their jazzed up leftovers.
Rory and I came over all ambitious last Sunday and decided to pull out all the stops to make a full on roast dinner for 2. After a slightly false start where the only butchers open on Sunday morning were all Halal (what are the chances?) we abandoned our “shop local” mission and headed to trusty Waitrose to lay our hands on some pork. We wanted shoulder but they only had leg, so leg it was. Incidentally, isn’t it weird how pigs have shoulders but not arms?! Anyway, I was a bit worried about our ability to actually cook a roast, but we outdid ourselves. We cooked it low and slow just like Jamie said, and my roast potatoes in particular were spectacular. I have concluded that it is all about giving them a good old shake up in between the par-boiling and the chucking in the oven, and also heating up the oil just before you put them in.
Pulled Pork Wraps
Inspired by my old friend Jamie, we made enough pork to use the leftovers the next day. We were going to do tacos, but in the end we went for pulled pork wraps: we shredded the leftover pork, fried it for a few minutes with copious amounts of BBQ sauce, and put it all in a wrap with some red cabbage and avocado. No pictures, but it was fab.
On Tuesday Mae invited Tas and I over for dinner and we were very pleased to discover that dinner was all ready and awaiting us the moment we arrived. As both the other 2 are vegetarians, we had Quorn (I assume – could have been another chicken substitute). I usually wouldn’t mention fajitas as they’re a go-to of mine but the veggie factor was such a novelty I figured I would. Plus, Mae had used chopped tomatoes as well as the usual pepper/onion/spice mix combo, which acted like a ready made salsa and I personally thought was inspired. And we had Heston’s hidden clementine christmas pudding for dessert. Followed by rather a lot of wine and custard creams…
I was also tasked with cooking for Rory this week, and after a considerable amount of time spent in the cookbook section of the Waterstones next to work, I decided on a Caribbean feast of jerk chicken, coconut rice & beans, and sugar snap peas. I have a bag of jerk seasoning in my cupboard (got a bit too excited in the international supermarket one time), so I mixed that up with a bit of olive oil and some lime juice to create a marinade, but there are plenty of recipes to make your own spice mix if you don’t want to buy one. As for the coconut rice & beans, I was excited to try this and used about a third of a can of low-fat coconut milk and enough water to cover the rice. I was very concerned as it cooked because the texture looked distinctly more rice pudding than anything else, but it didn’t take too long to reduce away. It tasted probably more creamy than coconutty, but it was still a nice change from ordinary rice.
Jerk Chicken Wraps
See a theme here? I had two leftover drumsticks after the Caribbean feast, which I decided to make good use of the next day. I was a bit sceptical about whether two little drumsticks could create a whole meal, but after I’d pulled all the meat off them I easily had enough to create two wraps. I also stirfried some frozen stir fry veg and the rest of the sugar snap peas in lime juice & soy sauce, and stuck some lettuce in there, too. This was actually one of my best meals this week so sometimes improvisation does pay off!
Jamie’s Sicilian Chickpea & Butternut Squash Stew (Save With Jamie)
This was a dish I had planned to make last week but it takes a little while and I never got chance, so it was first up this week. It does take quite a bit of time, but remarkably little effort, so it’s a good one if you’re going to be in the house for a while but can’t actually be bothered to do much. Basically you roast the squash for 40 minutes, and then put it in a pan with chopped tomatoes, onion, chickpeas, raisins and various spices, and let it all cook away for another 30/40 minutes or so – easy! I used frozen squash because I have yet to figure out an efficient way of peeling/chopping an actual one, which meant that pretty much all the ingredients are things you can buy once and keep for ages – it’s a bit of a store cupboard gem, this one!
This week I’m determined to keep on the hunt for new and exciting recipes – I’ve been taking inspiration from Ibbs who posted the most delicious looking salmon and quinoa recipe the other day that I can’t wait to try!