19 October 2011

More of a porky week, this week : Meal planning w/b 17 Oct 11

My favourite style of potatoes
From last week's lamby week, to this week's porky week - in one fell swoop.

As has become traditional, let's finish off last week by telling you how I got on with the idea of the Lamb with Boulangere style potatoes.

Well, it was all going so well until it went into the oven.  The lamb mince, onion and carrots tasted good - full of different flavours but in a somewhat thicker sauce than I had anticipated, but I hoped it would do well enough.  Hubby likes to have a "sauce" rather than a "broth" on his plate, you see.

I painted each layer of mandolin-cut potatoes with melted butter into which I'd added a sprinkling of chopped rosemary, so all should have been well there.

Brussels sprouts!  ~mouth waters~
The trouble was, after 2½ hrs of cooking, the carrots were tender, the potatoes were cooked through - but all the lovely flavours had left home.

I'm really not sure where they went.  For all I know, they could be hiding at the back of the cooker, just waiting until the next time I make a meringue, when they will leap out and savoury it up.

No, all joking aside, I was disappointed.  I have a sneaking suspicion that the sauce was to blame, as it had nigh-on disappeared and I suspect had taken all the flavour with it.  I jolly well knew that sauce was too thick!  Serves me right for not letting it down with some water.  But there we are, 'tis done now.

Because I'm not happy with the recipe, I'll not be passing it on.  I may well have another go one day (and make sure the sauce is right, this time) so I'll blog it if it succeeds that time.

Mind you, those little brussels sprouts were divine.  From the bottom of our garden, they were little baby sproutlings of ultimate deliciousness.  Look at their happy smiling faces!  How can you resist?

So, shaking off the unsuccessful Monday, let's have a look at what the remainder of the week has in store :

Tues : Pasta alla Amatriciana
Weds : Slow cooked pork & celeriac with crusty bread (or toasts)
Thurs : Cheese, onion & potato pie, baked beans & hash browns
Fri : Pasta bolognese with doughballs
Sat : Beef Rendang & Sag Aloo with rice
Sun : "Posh Porks", with carrots, tenderstem broccoli & rice
Mon : Full English breakfast.

So, who is thinking "some of that sounds familiar"?

Well, after last week went so severely to worms, there are two meals included in this week's list that didn't make it onto last week's dining table - and because a) I'd bought everything for one (Pasta alla Amatriciana) and b) I'd promised son & heir we'd have it (Full English breakfast), I was committed.

Being Tuesday, we've just had the Pasta alla Amatriciana for dinner and it was marvellous.  I have been using Tarantella tomatoes in preference to any other kind of tinned tomatoes just lately and have now found some Tarantella tomato puree.  The flavour is a cut above other tomatoes, they don't cook up to be so acidic, plus the colour is beautiful.  So the colour you see in the photograph is absolutely the colour that the dish turned out to be.  Utterly fab!
Mind you, I very nearly killed the entire dish through SUCH a schoolboy error - but I won't embarrass myself right now - I'll save that for later when I blog the recipe for you.

Celeriac - the ugly duckling of veg.
I found the Slow cook Pork & Celeriac recipe on the BBC Good Food website and was intrigued by the combination of flavours.  I thought it sounded completely lovely and so perfect for these colder days we're having.
I was going to serve it with crusty bread for mopping up all the lovely flavours in the sauce/gravy, however, I notice in this month's BBC Good Food Magazine there's a natty little idea for anchovy toasts to accompany a beef stew.  Now I'm not suggesting making anchovy versions, but I'm definitely pondering on some kind of toast!

Thursday's Cheese, Onion & Potato Pie is very definitely "one for the boys".

Hubby astounded me the other day by announcing that he "loves Cheese & Potato Pie".  Say what?  This, from the man who abhors every incarnation of potato except the chip and crisp?

Well okay then!  I found a likely-sounding recipe on BBC Good Food (always my first port of call for reliable recipes) and we'll be having it with "man food", i.e. baked beans and hash browns.

Having made the males in my life happy, (well, one can but hope!), I get a night off when hubby cooks us a pasta bolognese.  Once again he'll be using the Tarantella tomatoes - and he does make a pretty darned good bolognese.  It will make son & heir happy, as any dinner that involves meat + carbohydrate, minus discernible vegetables but + cheese, is dinner nirvana for him right now.

My ever-faithful slow cooker
Saturday's Beef Rendang I'm very much looking forward to cooking.  It's a recipe by Atul Kochhar which I found on the UK TV Good Food website.  I will be cooking it in the slow cooker, as the recipe demands a good 2 hrs cooking in the oven, otherwise.

Thanks to the success of the Keema Mutter and Vegetable Curry, I've got a bit of confidence in supplying two Indian dishes (and a rice) at any one time.  So, owing to the fact that I'm using the slow cooker and will have time to spare, I decided to take advantage of what seemed like a cracking recipe for Sag Aloo (from the My Dish website).  I'll be able to make the Sag Aloo while the rice is cooking.

I'm quietly excited about this one, as they both sound completely delicious.  Fingers crossed!

Before I started writing Rhubarb & Ginger, I used to keep a note of yummy recipes by blogging them on my personal blog, Timewasting.  So the other day, I decided to go through them and pick out the ones which were particularly nice, to do again and blog them onto Rhubarb & Ginger.

The first of these is a lovely recipe that now goes by the name of "Posh Porks".  Well, it's all because it uses pork and my internet nickname has long been PoshPaws.  See?

It's basically a "pork in mushroom cream sauce", served with seasonal vegetables and rice.  It was one of the first recipes that I devised completely, without any adaptation of another recipe - so I am quietly proud of it.  I think it will be interesting to cook it again, in the light of the experience I've gained since then.  I can feel (already) the urge to include some white wine in that sauce ...

Which brings us back to the Full English Breakfast, a meal of bacon, sausage, egg (but not for hubby), mushrooms (but not for son & heir), black pudding, baked beans (but not for me), tomato (but not for either chap) and fried bread (definitely not for me - I'll have toast!).

Looking at that list of likes, dislikes and dietary requirements, I'm jolly glad I'm not cooking it!



  1. Oh, I should never read your meal planning posts when I'm hungry!

    I love the idea of anchovy toasts with stew - must have missed that in this month's GF so will be going back to have a look. Although to my mind, anchovy and lamb would work really well - such a classic combination.


  2. Sorry about that, Seren! LOL

    I agree - the anchovy toasts with lamb would be lovely! I'm looking for a toast to go with the Celeriac and Pork that I'm about to put in the slow cooker. I figured I'd wait until I'd assembled it, to see where the flavours where going, before deciding. :)


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