7 May 2011

So come on, what's for dinner this week?

OMG Cat is surprised too!
Goodness, I can't quite believe it's Saturday and I'm only just getting around to telling you about what's on the menu for this week!

So, I'd better just get on with it quickly, hadn't I?

Crunchy fish (in breadcrumbs) with vegetable rice
Fish & chips
Devilled sausages & Ottolenghi's Green Couscous
High Tea : tuna sandwiches, ham & peas pudding rolls, coleslaw,
scones & cream
Beef & baby corn curry with rice
Chicken Kiev, Jersey new potatoes, carrots & broccoli.

There now, that's a fairly eclectic mixture!  We were originally going to have Ottolenghi's Kosheri & spicy minced lamb on Thursday, but after a particularly harassing day at work I was bushed and couldn't lift a finger - so we got fish & chips.

After bamboozling our son into accepting a stir fry, I decided to just go for it and put a stir fry on the list.  This one wasn't just a stir fry (as in just veggies), it included noodles and the chicken was prepared separately to the stir fry mix, so as to make it easier to eat for the poor wee soul.

I suppose you could call it Garlic, Chilli & Honey Chicken with Oyster Sauce stir fry - which just about describes it!  Anyway, it was extremely more-ish (which was just as well, because son left quite a bit of his) and is definitely going to appear on the menu list again some day soon.  (Poor son & heir).  I'll be blogging the recipe soon, too - as it's definitely one I'd want to pass on.

Wednesday's dish was all about satisfying hubby's craving for "crunchy fish", which is the frozen fillet of fish that comes in either batter or breadcrumbs.  Every so often he gets a mad craving for it, but this time instead of with chips, he suggested a home-made savoury rice.  Now in the past, home-made savoury rice has been a licence to throw lots of veggies in the bin.  However, this time I made it a personal quest to "up my game" (as they say on Masterchef) and produce something that was as tasty as it was satisfying.

I began by cooking some quartered carrot slices in enough fish stock (from a cube - or two, in fact, as the quantity was well over the 400ml that one stock delivers) to cook the Basmati rice.  After 2-3 minutes, I added the rice.  While that was going on, I cooked a sliced onion in some olive oil until it was golden, then added a little coarse sea salt to it and left it to one side until the rice was done.  In the meantime, I'd added a handful of frozen sweetcorn to the rice pot, then a few minutes later, a handful of frozen peas (all these veggies had to cook within the 9 minutes as stated by the rice packet, so hence the staggered arrival times in the pot).  Next in was a tin of Borlotti beans (for additional protein and fibre) and some chopped celery.

Once the rice was cooked, I tipped three chopped spring onions into the bottom of the colander and drained the rice over the top of them, thus heating them up a little and semi-cooking them.  Then the whole lot went back into the pan, accompanied by a knob of butter and the cooked sliced onion.  I gave the whole lot a mix with a fork (for some reason, mixing with a spoon just turns the rice gloopy - but a fork doesn't.  ~shrug~) and served wit the crunchy fish.  The whole effect was really lovely - in fact, I could have carried on eating the rice and forgotten about the fish.  Regrettably, I didn't catch a photograph of the rice (such was my lack of confidence in it).  The true test of it's validity as a dish however, was that hubby nabbed the leftovers the next day and stir-fried them for his lunch.  Now THAT doesn't happen often!

Thursday was a bit of a washout, owing to the harassing day at work.  It wasn't that people were harassing me, it's just that I had a deadline to make, but other people's deadlines kept getting in the way!  Everybody seemed to need my input, that day.

Just HOW Ottolenghi does that look?
Still, as it turned out, I'm glad that I bumped the Devilled Sausages and Ottolenghi's Green Couscous along until Friday, as I am quite sure the couscous wouldn't have turned out as awesomely fabulous as it did, if I'd have been tired and not too bothered about what I was cooking.

As I've said already, I'll definitely blog the couscous recipe, as it was something of a revelation.

Make it ciabatta instead of a bap, and you've got it!
Tonight, Saturday, is a lovely meal in lots of ways.  We're having High Tea.  This is one of son & heir's favourite types of meals, in that it involves lots of carbohydrate and very little vegetable matter.  *chuckle*  It's fun to have, every so often.  So we'll be having Tuna & mayonnaise sandwiches (maybe with sweetcorn, if I can wangle it), plus Ciabatta Rolls containing ham & pease pudding (a hark back to Hubby's youth in Newcastle), plus coleslaw, cherry tomatoes, cucumber and pickles.  For dessert, we're having fruit scones with cherry compote and clotted cream.  ~sharp intake of breath~  I know!  I haven't even cooked so much as the scones or the compote.  ~hangs head in shame~  But it's a once-in-a-blue-moon occasion.  We'll be making up for it in the days to come.  Gruel for the next three days.  Maybe a lettuce leaf or two, if we're extra good.

Or, perhaps a tad more seriously, on Sunday we'll be having a lovingly-tended, slow cooked beef curry - using Brisket of beef.  In fact, it won't be all that bad for us, as I trim the beef to remove a lot of the fat before cooking and am not intending on including any cream, as I want the full flavour of the brisket to come through.  I'm hoping for a full-bodied beefy curry, only tempered slightly by the inclusion of some baby corn for texture and interest.

So that brings us to Monday, which as it's another working day, I've booked in something that won't cause any arguments over the preparation or eating - Chicken Kiev with new potatoes (Jerseys, in this instance) broccoli and carrots.  Yes, the Kievs have butter in them, but the butter can be trickled over the Jerseys - and the veggies are there to help with our five a day.

Son and heir has decreed that he'll be cooking his chicken dish (wrapped in bacon) for us next Sunday, so that's one day of next week's menus sorted out!  Now all I've got to do is to work out the remaining six dishes before tomorrow - and tell you all about them, before next week is up!



  1. Only one thing to say, after this wonderful write up and recipes Jenny.................! :).

    "What Time Do You Want Us Round".....! :).

    Ah! And the Putty-Tat....Jonty and Basil resting are they...! Bless...! LOL.

  2. Maybe I missed it, how do you make devilled sausages? They sound nice.

  3. No, you're okay Rosie - I haven't blogged them yet! They're on the list, after the couscous, then the stir fry! LOL Keep watching, they'll appear soon.

  4. Wonderful. You put my meal planning, such as it is, very much to shame.

  5. Ah, it's horses for courses. You have an awful lot more on your mind than I do. Thus, I have the capacity to ponder endlessly on what to have for dinner. lol


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