Think is not braneing – cooking instead

A coloured painting of a miserable face with a swollen nose and red inflamed nostrils.  The nose is clamped shut by a carpentry clamp.


I find my concentration on the computer lapses when I have a head cold. So yesterday I started on some bulk cooking instead, to stock up my freezer with winter yums.

So far I’ve made a big lot of Italian meatballs with sauce and a big lot of Thai Red Curry of Chicken Soup (i.e. with much added chicken stock so that it becomes more soupish but still with the classic flavours of red curry)

This cooking spree has inspired me to clean out and reorganise my fridges (the laundry fridge has the stuff we don’t use every week but which doesn’t keep in the pantry between opening and finishing the jars – like red curry paste).

Anyway, it’s been a while since we had a recipe thread. Who’s got something good to share?

Categories: Life

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16 replies

  1. We had vegie fritters. We don’t use everything in the weekly organic box in our usual meals, so it was the end of the week and the fridge cleanout. I sliced corn kernels off an ear of corn, and finely chopped an onion, an eggplant, a few leaves of silverbeet, and a carrot. (Mini food processor ahoy!) I added a bunch of garlic, some salt, some spices (hot chilli flakes, cumin, paprika, pepper). Stirred that vegie mix all around. This can be pre-prepared.
    At dinnertime: I threw some potato wedges in the oven, then whisked a mix of four eggs, 2/3 of a cup of SR flour, a dash of milk, and some salt (This is very approximate – adjust texture/moisture accordingly). I folded that mix into the vegiestuff.
    Then drop 1/4 cup amounts into a moderately hot oiled pan. Flatten any too-high piles of mix with an egg slice. Fry off till bubbles appear on the top, flip, fry again. Cut the middle of one open to check that it’s fully cooked through to get a sense for the cooking time/temperature.
    Serve with sweet chilli sauce, hot chilli sauce, ketchup, or if you’re feeling really kitcheny, freshly made herbed tomato sauce (a tin of tomatoes, herbs, seasoning, cook down.)

  2. Those sound great Lauredhel!
    I like having stashes of stuff in the freezer to take for lunches to uni. When I have time to spare in the kitchen I tend to make those. Onigiri feature quite often as they’re filling and easy to freeze and reheat. Samosas are also good – standard shortcrust pastry, and whatever vegetables I have mixed with lots of Indian spices and a bit of coconut milk.
    I don’t have a recipe as such to offer, but I did find a delicious way of making Broccoli the other night. I went down to visit my mum and she always ends up giving me something to take back with me, this time it was a bag of broccoli. How to eat a whole bag of broccoli? Drizzle it in olive oil, pepper, salt and some sliced garlic, bake it for 20 minutes, then add some parmesan cheese and lemon juice. It’s amazing, really tasty and the broccoli tops go crispy and delicious.

  3. Oh, I’ll have to try roasting the broccoli! Drenching it in cheese sauce (a la cauli cheese) works here, but I’ve discovered another way to make it go down: modify garlic prawns to garlic prawns ‘n’ broccoli. Fry prawns and broccoli florets off in a very generous amount of butter, olive oil, garlic, and chilli. Serve in hot ramekins with lashings of Turkish bread.
    ETA: One other thing we’ve been doing for meat-free meals here is baked camembert. We have a cheese baker but any other suitably sized vessel could do. We stick garlic slivers and bits of rosemary in the top and add a drizzle of honey and a tiny slosh of white wine. Serve scooped up with bread bits and a big green salad.

  4. Last night’s dinner was a vindaloo with beef seasoning.
    For four or more people (or two people over multiple meals), you take one sachet of Vindaloo curry sauce, two onions, six small-ish spuds, a cup of red lentils, a tin of chopped tomatoes, and a small tray of beef offcuts from the butcher (the Coles at Beeliar sells these; I’ve found they’re a godsend). Chop everything large into reasonably-sized pieces. Bung all of this into the slow cooker on “slow” (or low) about mid-morning. Serve mid-evening with lots of rice. The aim is that the meat is very much a seasoning or garnish to the meal, because that lets you get away with less meat, and thus a cheaper meal.
    I’m having some now reheated as a sort of brunch. It tastes okay, although if I were going to be reheating the whole pot, I’d be dropping in about a tablespoon of vindaloo curry paste as well, just to get the aromatic elements of the curry back.

  5. That all sounds really yummy! Although baked camembert is a bit rich for me to have more than about a mouthful.
    I have another “using up things on hand” dish – it was more delicious than I expected (not that I expected it to be bad, but you know what I mean!).
    Saute chicken pieces, onion and garlic until chicken is brown on the outside and onion is soft.
    Add a can of chopped tomatoes and a can of kidney beans, herbs (I definitely used oregano – can’t remember if I added something else as well), smoked paprika and pepper. And red wine, but that isn’t essential.
    And don’t ask me about quantities – I just add everything to taste 🙂
    Simmer until reduced to taste (and the chicken cooked and the beans softened). If you want to slow-cook it, you probably need to add some water when you add the tomatoes, too.
    I served it with barley (cooked using the absorption method) but it would also work with couscous or rice. Or pasta, for that matter. Or potatoes. Mmm, you could parboil or parbake potatoes, then chop them and add them – probably saute a little just before adding the tomatoes and beans.
    It would work without the meat (although then you might want to add something else to add some additional flavour and texture, maybe okra). It would also probably freeze pretty well.

  6. The Baron’s away on conference for a few days so in the meantime I’m having a HEALTH PARTY. (Okay, okay, I admit – it’s actually loads and loads of fat, sugar, butter, and kangaroo steaks).
    But I’m still a bit hipster, because I’ve also been making sprouted lentil burgers, incredibly easy to make: soak a cup of lentils in water for a day or so, then drain and leave to sprout.
    Add a quarter of a cup of water, three tablespoons of olive oil, and some seasoning – three or four garlic cloves, a teaspoon or so of cumin, a pinch of salt and a dash of chili – and chuck it all in the blender to whizz for a bit. In the end, what you have will be…. a TERRIBLE TERRIBLE MESS.
    But chuck that mess in tablespoons on a hot frying pan with a bit of oil, smoosh it down into a patty shape, fry it both sides, and you’ll soon have a delicious lentil burger.
    I’ve also made yarrow beer! (Three or four pounds of fresh or dried yarrow for every five gallons of unfermented beer wort; throw it in the boil about 30 minutes before the end).

  7. Oh, you don’t have more than a mouthful of the camembert – it’s one small cheese shared between the family (who all eat more of it than I do!) Chicken, beans, ‘n’ barley sounds like great winter food.

  8. Curse you Hoydens! And curse me for reading this on the bus home from an evening yoga class when I am really hungry! I don’t even have the branes for recipe sharing right now. Only two more weeks of doing two jobs left!

  9. TimT, speaking of lentils, you know what freaks me out? When I cook lentil soup and they start sprouting as they’re boiling. And the next day all of them have little shoots. I mean, isn’t boiling things meant to kill them??
    On baked camembert: yum. We had it a few times when I lived in Germany, you can get frozen ones that are a lot cheaper (and less fancy too, but they still taste great) with breadcrumbs around them, and then you bake them and eat them with cranberry sauce and it’s gooey and amazing… These days, I can’t afford to even buy one camembert though.

  10. Lentils are clearly evil!

  11. Tonight’s planned dinner – salmon mornay-ish pasta bake.
    Take one jar of Dolmio Three Cheese pasta bake sauce. Combine in a large flat baking dish with a 400g-ish tin of salmon (remove bones) and a drained tin of sweetcorn. Cook up about 2 cups of small pasta until done. Combine with salmon and corn mixture. Top with breadcrumbs and grated cheese (I usually use a mixture of cheddar and Parmesan) and bake until the sauce is bubbling up and the cheese has melted. Makes about six servings when served with a side salad or veges, four if you’re just having the pasta bake on its own.
    Other additions which make it nice: a couple of thinly sliced spring onions; a finely chopped celery stick.
    I have no idea how long the leftovers keep for. The question assumes there will be leftovers in the first place…

  12. I love all those slow-cooked winter things. Have already shared my favourite cold climate dishes on LP though!
    Baked camembert sounds wonderful: how long do you bake it for Lauredhel? and at what temp?
    I “invented” another dish which turned out to be very similar to one Jill Dupleix wrote about, which is great because I’m a fan of hers. Fry some onions and sliced chorizo sausage (one sausage per person approximately) in a big pot with olive oil. Put in some small slices of parboiled potato, a couple of tins of canellini beans or chickpeas or borlotti beans, an entire bunch of silverbeet, and a large tin of crushed tomatoes. Oh and garlic,paprika (lots) and oregano. Simmer for about one hour. I love one pot meals where you have the protein, carbs and green veg all in one. Jill puts pieces of chicken in this, but I wouldn’t bother unless it’s for company!

  13. Helen: any recipe that starts with onions and chorizo is alright with me. For the cheese, 10-15 minutes at 200, depending on cheese size, baking equipment, and desired result. If you don’t have a cheese baker, another approach is to wrap it well with prosciutto then just bake on a regular tray.

  14. So then Lauredhel, you put it in the middle of the table and kind of scoop it with the bread, is that how you do it? Sounds like heaven on a stick!
    Yes, Chorizo makes everything better, and it’s surrounded by vegie slush so you have everything you need in one bowl. Keeps very well for delicious leftovers, too.

  15. Helen: That’s exactly it! Last night was chicken carbonnade – it’s hard to go past stuff cooked in onions ‘n’ beer for winter comfort food.

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