What are you cooking today?

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Lamingtons and anzac biscuits for ANZAC day tomorrow... yum!

My ANZACs are just about to come out of the oven - will be on the bus down to a touch rugby tournament in Vienna tomorrow so these are for group morale.

No Lamingtons, but as well as the biscuits, there's caramel slice, afghans and sausage rolls.

Might post the recipes tomorrow if they turn out ok.

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Vegan chili. After being a guinea pig for pumpkin scones and caramel slices this weekend (stares pointedly at someone), a little moderation on the calorie front was in order... :o

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Be glad you've avoided the Afghans, they are effectively chocolate buttercream with cornflakes added, but parading themselves as biscuits...

The new caramel slice has coconut in the base, surprised any made it into the tin as it was too delicious uncooked. :ph34r:

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Ratatouille

 

1/3 cup olive oil

2 medium onions, chopped

4 garlic cloves, minced

2 large eggplants (2 pounds), peeled in strips and cut into 3/4-inch cubes

4 to 5 medium zucchini (2 pounds), cut into 1-inch cubes

Coarse salt and ground pepper

3 yellow or red bell peppers, ribs and seeds removed, cut into 3/4-inch cubes

1 can (28 ounces) diced tomatoes

1 teaspoon dried thyme

½ cup chopped fresh basil

 

EDIT: Sorry. :lol: forgot to put down how it's done.

 

In a pot heat oil over medium heat. Cook onions, stirring occasionally, until soft, about 5 minutes. Add garlic; cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Stir in eggplant and zucchini; season generously with salt and pepper.

Add 3/4 cup water; cover, and simmer until vegetables are beginning to soften, stirring once, about 5 minutes. Stir in bell peppers; simmer, covered, until softened, 5 minutes.

Stir in tomatoes and thyme; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low. Partially cover; simmer, stirring often, until vegetables are tender, 15 to 20 minutes. Remove from heat. Before serving add basil.

 

post-13864-1209073033.jpeg

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There is a school of thought that suggest that each individual component in a ratatouille should be cooked separately, then later all combined. Does not seem to make alot of difference to me. Bloody great dish though.

 

Pub quiz info coming up:

 

Ratatouiller sorta translates to "mixed rations" in Frog. Touiller actually means "to stir", but interestingly, originates from a latin word "tudicula", which was a machine for bruising olives.

 

I once worked with a seriously, seriously awesome chef, who had done his time, worked in some great places, and even trained in one of the restaurants owned by the veritable Roux dynasty. He served a piece of cod on this semi-raw ratatouille style bed, with all the veg cut into super small pieces. Fantastic dish.

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I'll be making paella this evening. I don't really follow a recipe per se. But, this is roughly how it goes

 

Saffron rice

1/2 onion, finely chopped

spicy sausage (both beef and pork)

shrimp

yellow and orange bell peppers (I usually omit these as I don't care for peppers)

and garlic to taste

cayenne pepper

 

The meat all gets cooked in one pan with the onions, garlic and peppers. Once the meat is cooked and the rice is done, you chuck it all into one pot, mix, and serve.

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ribs w/ homemade sauce and cooked on the smoker (grill). probably some home made french fries and other stuff.

 

technically, i'm not cooking it. my dad is i'll be around and probably help with some of it though!

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Lamb in Spicy Tomato Sauce with Chili Potatoes

Chili Potatoes

400g firm potatoes

30ml chili olive oil*

Salt from the mill

 

Spicy Tomato Sauce

2 firm tomatoes

1 small onion

2 cloves of garlic

small handful of fresh thyme

10ml olive oil

15g tomato paste

10g grated horseradish

pinch of salt

 

Lamb steaks

2 steaks from the leg

20ml olive oil

Pepper from the mill

Rosemary, either ground or fresh***

 

Peel and wash the potatoes, dice, put them in a shallow baking pan

Pour the olive oil over them, salt (from the mill)

Let them draw for app. 20 minutes, stirring occasionally

Put in oven pre-heated to 200°C

Roast app. 45 minutes, stirring occasionally

 

Peel the tomatoes**, remove seeds and pulp, chop

Mince the onion

Mince the garlic and thyme as finely as possible

Sautee the onion in the heated olive oil, add the garlic and thyme

Just as the garlic looks glazed add the tomatoes

When the tomatoes begin to fall apart add the tomato paste and horseradish

Reduce until most of the liquid has evaporated

 

Heat the olive oil in a griddle with raised ribs (ideally)

Pepper the lamb steaks

Season generously with ground rosemary

 

Preparation/cooking time app. 1 hour

 

*You can either mince some chili and mix it with the oil, or you have made your own chili olive oil by adding two to four slit chili pods to 1l of olive oil and letting it steep for three months in a dark, cool place

 

**Best method of peeling tomatoes: Bring water to a boil in a kettle, slit the end of the tomato opposite the stem crosswise, stick a fork in the stem end and hold the tomato in the boiling water for app. 1 minute, then immerse the tomato in a bowl of ice water for app. 30 seconds. The skin comes off like a charm.

 

***Or heat the sprigs of rosemary with the olive oil and leave them in the oil while frying the lamb

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So, it's bank holiday monday*, weekend has been completely knackering, and you need to bang something together quickly for dinner. It's highly likely that some random family member will pop in, and suddenly you have to cook for them too, so I'm doing pasta, because its easy to stretch out a bit if people arrive out of the blue. I've got some asparagus, I've got a bit of ham, which go well, and I'm gonna whack it all together with some egg yolk and creamy nice stuff, to make a little pasta sauce. Massive amounts of calories, but actually gets away with tasting quite light. As Delia would probably say, "serve as a starter, or with a salad as a light lunch". I hate that phrase. Still, applies here.

 

STUFF YOU NEED TO BUY, OR ALREADY HAVE

 

Bunch of green asparagus - leftover cooked asparagus, even if its got some hollandaise sauce on it, would be fine

 

3 egg yolks

 

Shitload of grated parmesan

 

Some cooked ham from Aldi, Prosciutto cotto. Well, that's what I'm using, because I live near Aldi, but some good ham would be fine too. Cured ham would

also be wicked. Asparagus spears wrapped in prosciutto and roasted are ace, the flavours work, but cooked ham also goes well. Cannot go wrong with these flavours really. Asparagus, egg yolk, ham. sweeet.

 

Few tablespoons of creme fraiche, or a goog old glug of double cream, or even some carton of schlagsahne, from Aldi.

 

Pasta. I'm using penne, because I have some.

 

COOKING IT, WHICH IS WELL EASY

 

This is a bit like carbonara really, just with some asparagus chucked in. Basically, its just a case of cooking your asparagus, cutting them into 1 inch lengths and setting them aside. Mix up the egg yolks and creme fraiche, add the shitload of parmesan, and a bit os salt. Not alot, just a bit.

If you are using dried ham, cut into strips and fry in a pan for a minute until crisping up, then toss the asparagus in it to get some of that ham fat flavour. If using cooked ham, don't fry it, just cut into squares, and add to the egg/creme mix. Actually, chuck the asparagus in there too. If you have some parsley knocking about, chop it up, and toss into the sauce. Toss the parsley into the sauce that is. Don't just chop up the parsley, and then actually have a toss into the sauce, that'd be totally gross.

 

cook the pasta. drain it. Then dump your egg/creme/ham/asparagus into it, get stirring with a wooden spoon, and the residual heat will totally cook the eggs, and thicken the sauce. Job done. You can add more cheese to. Why not. Cheese is well nice.

 

SERVING SUGGESTION

 

I'm serving this up with a load of mixed salad leaves, and accompanying it with wiessbier drunk straight from the bottle to save on washing up one of those massive glasses, that don't fit properly in the dishwasher, and neither does your hand get to the bottom of them, so fuck it, glug from the bottle.

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Black-eyes peas and Cornbread and Southern White Cornbread.. I could not find decent salt pork so I used american ( according to the package) bacon.. Yum yum... if only I could find Okra!

 

The recipe:

dried black eyed peas soaked over night then

cooked all day with garlic, salt pork or bacon- jalepenos and a onion.

served pored over white southern cornbread (aunt jemima white corn bread mix brought back from the usa)

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Chicken Legs in a Sesame Crust (first attempt)

Dredge your chicken legs in flour

Dip in 1 egg mixed with whipping cream - You may have to scoop the slightly goopy mixture up and pour it over the chicken leg, press a bit to make it stick

Dip in sesame seeds - Same thing, press them onto the chicken leg so they stick

Heat oven to 180°C, cook for app. 45 minutes

 

Serve with salsa/chilli sauce/tzatziki

 

I intend to develop this by adding e.g. seasoning to the flour or chilli flakes to the sesame seed, or toasting it beforehand.

 

EDIT: See following post for now corrected errors.

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Dreg your chicken legs in flour

Is 'dreg' some strange 'local' version of dredge - cos that does not seem very appealing to me. :unsure:

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Because I've been slightly worried about my eating habits, so have been trying to bring lunches and snacks to work. Have been doing pretty well so far and it means that the 5 a day is doable, rather than always playing catch up at night.

 

Today's lunch was half a cup of bulgur wheat, which instead of cooking in a pan, I just bunged it into a bowl, covered with boiling water, put a plate on top and left it for about 20 mins to fluff up. Into that went chopped fresh mint, parsley (frozen - Plus BioBio), a chopped roasted red pepper (from a jar from Penny - strangely better than any others including Waitrose and Käfer) and got mixed together. Then came a layer of roasted aubergine, red onion and zucchini/courgette (done last night in the oven in a big batch with a dash of olive oil and with rosemary and thyme - all from BioCorner/BioBasic). Finally a sliced griddled lamb filet (NZ, bought frozen from Aldi) which had been marinated in ral-el-hanout and harissa (both from Kaufhof) alongside a plum tomato which I cut up here.

 

Was bloody lovely as a filling lunch, very transportable and, if you look at the sources, pretty cheap too.

The tabbouleh/bulgur wheat salad also went well with felafel earlier in the week and I'm looking forward to roasted veg and hummus pitas tomorrow lunch. Hummus, tatziki and babaganoush was been my accompaniments to veggies sticks in the afternoon.

 

Don't know why I go all North African/Arabic when it comes to upping my veg intake, know that it works though.

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Sounds very tasty, that lot! I have some of the Aldi lamb fillet lurking in my freezer - is it OK?

Edit: Stupidity disclaimer: Of course I don't want Katrina to tell me whether the lamb in MY freezer is OK, but just give me a lowdown on the quality of the Aldi lamb in general. Just in case anyone comes over all smart-arsey.

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Have only used the lamb filets leicht gesalzen, couldn't tell you if the marinated ones are good or not. Each pouch contains two 100g pieces of lamb filet and there are 2 pouches to a pack.

Not recommended for a microwave defrost, I bunged the pouch into cold water instead. Used my ridged griddle with a spray of oil after the spice rub, high heat to seal and then reduced the heat to cook through. Not stringy at all, in fact really quite tasty. Just rest it a bit before you cut/serve (but you know this anyway) and go for a pink centred result. Not a great deal of marbling as it is filet and well trimmed.

The venison in the same range was also good - it's Australian, strangely enough, was expecting that to be NZ as so much farmed venison is exported from there to Germany.

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I think I've had that before and it was good (as is the ostrich by the way, I think it's right next to the lamb in the freezer section at Aldi!). But I am German and we all have no taste and like Aldi food. So you may want to wait until someone un-German tells you it's okay.

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