15 June 2011

Exciting menu list for Father's Day week! Meal Plan 14/6/11 - 20/6/11

Just lately, I seem to go through the week wondering vaguely what we'll be eating next week and keeping an eye open for interesting recipes - yet not finding any.  Then, when I sit down on a Sunday to trawl the cookbooks and internet for inspiration, suddenly there appears all those interesting recipes that had been hiding previously!  Now, I'm not complaining, but it's  a bit weird how it happens.

Anyhow, before we get into this week, let's deal with the end of last week.

We had a couple of meals that we won't be repeating.  Firstly, and most regrettably, was the Caribbean Chicken Curry.  When the curry was almost ready, I got Hubby to taste it with a view to whether it needed sweetening or not.  Bear in mind that he's mildly diabetic, so we're quite wary of the sugar content of ingredients.  However, after putting in ginger, pineapple, tomato, banana and a whole lemon's-worth of zest and juice (and it was a BIG lemon), I was understandably concerned that it was too acidic.  He declared it was okay for sugar, but terribly wishy-washy and weak and "didn't taste of curry".  Now I'd been tasting it as we went along and it tasted fine to me, I agree it didn't taste of curry - but I didn't really think that it would taste of curry.  Not the Indian Takeaway kind of curry, anyway!  After all, it was supposed to be Caribbean, not Indian.  I think I may have lost the plot at that stage, as I dumped a heaped teaspoon full of Garam Masala into it - which of course didn't help matters at all.  It then became a thoroughly confused curry, which we won't be repeating.

So that idea needs some refining, to put it mildly!

The other meal that we won't be repeating was the Venison sausages that we bought to have on Monday evening.  For all that they were quite nice and the venison flavour was good, there was also an odd stale flavour going on in there.  Like cheap stale pork sausagemeat that tastes really "piggy".  Do you know what I mean?  I don't think we'll be investing in the amount it cost to buy venison sausages, when their good old Cumberland are ten times nicer!

So, apart from those two, a dish that bit the dust was the Asparagus & Gorgonzola Risotto.  Hubby just wasn't in a happy place that evening and was having serious misgivings about this risotto.  He was highly relieved when I suggested that we have fish & chips instead.

However, the biscuits I baked to accompany the Gooseberry Creams were light, crisp and delicious - and the dessert itself was just beyond gorgeous.  So it wasn't all bad.

Now then, let's turn our attention to this week.  I'm a little bit late in posting this, as with one thing and another I've not had the opportunity.  As a consequence, this week has begun without you - but it does enable me to tell you that a) Tuesday's dinner was amazingly gorgeous and Wednesday's dinner didn't happen and became something else!

So here's how this week is looking :

Tuesday : Smoked Haddock & Sweetcorn Tart, Jersey Royals & salad
Wednesday : Sweet Potato Gnocchi with spring vegetables
(which became Spring Vegetable Chowder)
Thursday : Thai meatball curry with rice
Friday : Chicken ala Jao (or Chicken in liver sauce) with rice & stir fry veggies
c/o Adora's Box
Saturday : Beef stew & horseradish dumplings, but has since been changed to :
Beef Red Dragon & Aduki Bean Pie, veggies (yet to be decided).
Sunday : Father's Day takeaway
Monday : Chicken noodles.

So you can see how things have changed - and not all of them intentional.

Tuesday's Smoked Haddock & Sweetcorn tart turned out to be beautiful.  Largely, I think, because of a piece of top quality smoked haddock from Asda.  Kudos to Asda, because it really isn't often that the words "top quality" and "Asda" are uttered in the same sentence.

Anyway, I won't witter on about this here, as it will just spoil the next blog entry - which will detail the tart in all its loveliness.

Poor old Wednesday.  Oh dear, what a disaster the home-made gnocchi became.  It was a great idea, to make gnocchi with the three sweet potatoes and two huge baking potatoes I had left over, but I'd say that a) there's a reason why you can't find recipes detailing that mixture for gnocchi and b) there's also a reason why it is recommended you make your first two or three goes at gnocchi with just plain old potato.

The sweet potato mixture was just too wet, even though I oven-baked the potatoes to attempt to dry them out a little.  We put enough flour in the mix to have made several batches of scones - and the resultant gnocchi were just sweet potato flavoured plasticine.  Not nice.

Definitely Gnot Gnocchi!
All the dough went in the bin and I made a Spring Vegetable Chowder with the milk I was going to make the sauce with and the celeriac, fennel, carrot and asparagus.  I also added an onion, sweetcorn and potato just to bulk it up a bit.  As a last-minute addition, I remembered we had some ham in the fridge and some strips of that went in.  As it happened, it turned out to be a really lovely combination that we had with bread and butter, so I think it was a disaster averted.

It was a shame, because it was Hubby's brainchild and it will have knocked his confidence right at a moment when he could do without it, as he's up on Thursday cooking a Thai Meatball Curry, with rice.  This is another of his brainchildren and I suspect he won't be following a recipe other than the one that is in his head, so fingers crossed that he is happy with the results!

Friday brings a variation on a recipe (Chicken Adobo), that I've cooked in the past.  I found this recipe on the mouthwatering Adora's Box blogsite.  There are just so many interesting dishes on that site, I suspect it'll keep me busy for a while!  The one I'll be trying on Friday is Chicken ala Jao - or Chicken in liver sauce.

If Hubby is reading this, please don't panic over the "liver" bit.  The sauce comprises a hugely interesting combination of ingredients such as fish sauce, soy sauce, sherry (which we bought yesterday and which has been subject to some serious quality control.  I think I'll just need to check it once or twice again, before the day!), onion, liver pate and curry powder.  I'm imagining a rich, savoury mildly spicy and tangy sauce.  We'll see what it turns out to be!  Can't be worse than the Gnocchi.

Saturday - and the menu here has been subject to change thanks to my lovely Twitter friend @Martink10, who tweeted me the suggestion of Beef Red Dragon & Aduki Bean Pie.  It sounds so interesting - and uses the same brisket that I was contemplating using for the stew, that I did a bit of a swap around.  It involves finely sliced brisket with an assortment of spices, the Aduki beans, then covered over with potato slices and baked.  I think I can see where it is going, and am just hoping that it doesn't turn out to be a glorified cottage pie of sorts.  Once again, time will tell!

Father's Day is on Sunday and Hubby's one desire is not to have to do the washing up, all day.  :)  I'm sure we can accommodate that - and a lovely Indian Takeaway will do nothing but help that become a reality.

The prawn version!
Which leaves us with Chicken Noodles on Monday.  Again it's one of Hubby's recipes that is going to resemble the Chilli Prawn Noodles, except with chicken.  As I love the prawn version, I see absolutely no reason why I shouldn't love the chicken version and I'm quite looking forward to it.

So there we are.  Apart from a Strawberry Shortcake idea that's formulating in my mind for dessert on Saturday and maybe some muffins of some denomination, I suspect it'll be Sunday all too soon and I'll be sat here wondering what the heck to eat this week.  You never know, we might even be able to schedule some meals and actually have those meals - or am I being too hopeful?


  1. Oh! poor old Gnocchi.....Try this.....
    Used to be known as Roman Gnocchi....I'll try and go through it.....With a little help of my grey cells......

    Put 1/2 pint milk and 1/2 pint of water, 5oz of Semolina, in a pan. Little nutmeg.
    Bring to boil, and boil for 5mins. But, keep stirring. Until thick. Stand a spoon up in it.
    Remove from heat, at little butter, little parmigiano cheese and two beaten eggs.
    Spread the mixture over something like a Swiss roll tin, lined with grease-proof.
    Leave in fridge over night.
    Pre heat oven, 400 degrees F (200c).
    Cut the mixture into fingers or shapes. Put them, overlapping in a baking dish, spread over with butter and bake for 10mins.
    AND....Nicer still, spread more butter and Parmigiano over the dish, and bake, top shelf in oven for, 30mins.
    Bit lengthy,....But worth it.....! :).

    That's it....I'm off to bed.....Buona Serra..! LOL. :).

  2. Oh! Better say.....Otherwise l won't sleep...
    The above is for 3-4 people....As you can get 24-26 slices from the mixture....But, like me, depends how much of a pig one is...! :0).......Nite...Nite. :).

  3. Thanks, Willie! I'll put that one behind my ear for later! :)

  4. I really liked the sound of the sweet potato gnocchi...shame it didn't quite work though :(


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