Well once more the week appears to have flittered away faster then I could foresee - necessitating a rubbishy short post right here in place of anything proper and more substantial. Though for all I know you may be heaving a sigh of relief at the enforced lack of wittering. *shrugs shoulders in an 'I don't know man, you tell me' kind of way.*
Maybe making of pickled eggs, shelves to go up, potentially some sort of nettle brew or elderflower if we get ourselves into gear,a lick of paint on the old blue chimney pot.
Enjoy the bank hol and I hope for sun where y'all are too.
Next week - meat cooking for the faint hearted... :-D
Wednesday, 25 May 2011
Tuesday, 24 May 2011
Speedy prawn pasta
Stock cube - veg
2-3 cloves garlic
Jar arrabiata pasta sauce - ours was Aldi for about 75-80p-ish but not bad
2-3 tbsp tomato puree
Grated cheese - parmesan if you have it in, cheddar if you don't [or are forgetful of your recent parmesan purchasing activities like I was - dur!!]
Cook the pasta in plenty of water seasoned with the stock cube and a splosh of oil to prevent sticking. (I always put the kettle on for the water for things like pasta as it takes a lot less time than boiling the water on the hob from cold - especially if you have an electronic hob - I'm soooo glad I have gas!!) Ensure to cook al dente as it'll be added to the sauce and heated again later.
Meanwhile heat a little butter and oil in a large wide saucepan.
Chop the onion and garlic and add to pan. Cook gently to soften.
Chop the mushrooms - use however many you like / have in stock. I used 5/6 I think.
Add to the pan with the onion and garlic, sprinkle a little salt and cook covered to keep the juices in, stirring occasionally until the mushrooms have sweated right down.
Add the pasta sauce. As I mentioned ours was an Aldi effort - not bad but it did taste a little sweet to me so I added a good squirt of tomato puree - probably 2-3 tbsp and a splash of mushroom ketchup to counteract this and give the sauce some depth.
Add a decent pinch of basil - I was out of oregano otherwise I'd have added this too. Any Italian herbs you have will do.
Stir thoroughly then add the pasta and stir well again to get it all covered in sauce. We had S'bury's basics penne - the grooves hold the sauce nicely and it's v. frugal at a mere 17p for 500g dried product - that's even better than Aldi or Lidl can manage!
Ensure it's heated through thoroughly then add your prawns. I buy the S'bury's basics frozen 300g bags at £2 a go. As long as you don't overcook them they're fine, just smaller. (Hence if overcooked they'll a) vanish and b) turn hard - yeurgh!) It means that for that price I don't mind adding a large handful - I love prawns!! [I also know myself and after defrosting while they're sat on the side waiting to go into the pan we seem to magically lose half of them - very odd it is...]
Cook only enough to just heat them *through then add the spinach and turn it into the pasta and sauce, cover the pan and remove from the heat. Let stand for a bare minute to wilt the spinach.
Serve and sprinkle with grated cheese and a good few twists of black pepper on top. Voilà!! Shouldn't have taken too long so now feel free to go collapse and chillax.
*Obviously using your common sense where seafood and the heating / cooking thereof is concerned. I accept nowt &c &c...
If you don't have spinach use whatever you have; adding at the right point so it gets cooked. EG - if it's calabrese I'd add for the last 2 mins of the pasta cooking time and thereafter drain it etc all together. Treat this as a vague guideline suggestion type iof thing and ensure you have value pasta and a jar of sauce in the cupboard for those times and you're away.
Tomorrow is Towel Day - a day dedicated to the remembrance of Douglas Adams; author, mac and net enthusiast, sometime scriptwriter for Dr Who and bit part player in Monty Python. Carry your towel and celebrate the man that came up with the Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy - a pocket sized electronic guide to - well - pretty much everything, 2 decades before reality managed to catch up with him. Skills. :-D
Monday, 23 May 2011
Wednesday, 18 May 2011
Crunchy Topped Fish Pie
2 cloves garlic
Mushrooms - approx 4-5
White wine (optional)
2oz plain flour
0.5 pt milk
Tarragon - or your preferred herbs - a pinch
Peas / sweetcorn - to your taste - defrosted if frozen. I added a little seabeet we had too.
Put oven on at Gas 6 to heat up.
Chop onion, garlic and mushrooms and fry gently to soften.
After a few mins add a splosh of white wine and raise the heat to boil off the alcohol and reduce the liquid a bit. Or don't bother with the wine - we had an open bottle to hand so I popped some in.
Meanwhile make the sauce by melting 1oz butter in the microwave.
Whisk the flour in - 2 rounded tablespoons is a good measure for 2 oz.
Add a little milk and whisk in to get rid of the lumps then add the rest of the milk and season with S+P and a pinch of tarragon.
Microwave and whisk periodically until thickened and the flour is cooked out.
Lay the raw fish out in the base of your casserole dish and put in the oven to start off.
Pour the sauce over the fish.
Mix the breadcrumbs and grated cheese and sprinkle evenly over the top.
Friday, 13 May 2011
Well the Blogger dashboard has been down most of today so I've been unable to bring this up to date with my scintillating exploits. *Sob* Have a top weekend one and all - I shall possibly be attempting cheese making for the first time [woop woop] and allotmenting and things of that nature. Enjoy. :-D
Wednesday, 11 May 2011
A sunny afternoons wander in the countryside back round easter. We had a pleasant walk round the Parke Estate on the edge of Dartmoor in Devon, not a place I knew of before. We wandered along the stream, tried to spot oil beetles [we didn't but we saw some other pretty ones] and generally had a lovely afternoon. Pics follow.
Wednesday, 4 May 2011
[Mighty nippy.] All in all it was a thoroughly restorative day for someone cooped up with hurty eyes for too long. Found various shells, some dog whelks and one full size whelk which we stashed in the cool under a rock and failed to find again on the way back! [Darn those pesky rocks all looking the same!] I loved the colour of this little crab shell though.