26 March 2013

Oooh look! It's a menu plan!

I know, I've been remiss in not publishing the menu plan lately.  It's down to a number of different reasons (excuses) which would be really boring to go into here, so I'll save you from them all.  *wink*

However, even though this week's menu plan isn't all that exciting from a gastronomic point of view, it does contain a number of meals that are our favourites and might be your favourites, too.  I'm often not reminded of a dish until I see it mentioned on someone else's blog, so here we go with this week's menu plan :

Tues : Kedgeree
Weds : BBQ Pork wraps with guacamole & sweet potato wedges
Thurs : Cheese & bacon pasta/Cauliflower cheese and a side salad
Fri : Cottage pie, savoy cabbage, carrots & peas
Sat : Lamb meatballs with tomato & fennel, broccoli & orzo
Sun : Corned beef with savoy cabbage, carrot & swede mash and crushed new potatoes
Mon : Sausage curry.

On second thoughts, perhaps it is a little bit exciting from a gastronomic point of view!  LOL

Tonight's Kedgeree is always  a family favourite and hopefully tonight's will be no different.  I much prefer my Kedgeree to be on the dry side - like a pilaff - and interestingly, the other day I discovered a way of drying off the cooked rice.  I hate it when some moisture from the rice adds to the buttery fish and dilutes your lovely Kedgeree.  Quite by accident, I discovered that if you cook the rice and drain it, then return it back to the hot pan and put it on the cooker top (off the heat) with a lid on for some 5 minutes or so, then give the whole lot a shake to loosen the grains and put it back onto the hot (but switched off) burner to keep warm - and repeat a few minutes later, it dries the rice off a treat.  It doesn't become sticky, either.  So I'll give that a go this evening with the Kedgeree and see how we get on.

Tomorrow's BBQ pork wraps are easy peasy to make - and jolly good job too, as it's choir night which doesn't leave much time for cooking.  Using pork mince, it's an easy job to just fry off the mince and an onion, then add Mic's Chilli El Loco BBQ Sauce and fill the wraps.  Pair up with some home made guacamole and sweet potato wedges and we're happy for the night.

Thursday night involves my making two main courses - one Cheese & Bacon Pasta and one Cauliflower Cheese.  You see, I've been lusting after Cauliflower Cheese for so long that I can't bear it any longer and on a trip to Ferndene Farm Shop close to where my parents live, invested in a lovely fresh white cauliflower.  The only problem is that I'm the only one who likes Cauliflower Cheese.  Both of my menfolk dislike it intensely, so in order to feed them at the same time, I'll be making a pasta dish with bacon that will take the same cheese sauce as my Cauliflower Cheese.  At least that way we'll all be happy!  I can't wait!

Friday's weather is promising to be a repetition of that which we've been suffering all week - freezing blinking cold.  So, following along with the comfort food recipes, I've press ganged hubby into making a Cottage Pie.  That will keep the cold at bay!  It will also give us a chance to use the lovely Savoy cabbage that we bought from the farm shop, too.

Because of a bit of a "forgetting to take the lamb mince out of the freezer" moment last week, we've a pack of the same still roosting there waiting to be turned into meatballs.  Because of the success of the lamb & carrot meatballs that we had recently, I've decided to go again with them, except this time include some fennel in the sauce.  I'll serve them with orzo and broccoli and by rights, it should all wind up being lovely.

What, like this?
Aha!  That brings us to Easter Sunday's Corned Beef.  No, not out of a can - this is going to be "real" corned beef.  I'm starting the process off today, which will be to soak the beef brisket in a brine for 24 hours.  After which you remove it, dry it off and pack it covered in lovely flavours such as black peppercorns, chilli, paprika, cumin - you name it, it will be there along with some salt and sugar.  The brisket gets turned regularly (so it will be packed into an enormous freezer bag) to ensure that the cure is well distributed over the course of the next 3-4 days, after which it will be languishing in the slow cooker for a number of hours!  Fingers crossed, the end result will be awesome and well worth the effort and love that's gone into it!

No!  Like this!
Currently, the plan is to serve it with savoy cabbage, carrot & swede mash along with some crushed new potatoes.  Sounds yummy to me, but that plan may change as we go along, if we find something better!

Monday's sausage curry will be something of a "breathing space" after the extravaganza of the corned beef on the previous day.  Hubby's in charge of this one - and his last sausage curry was great, so we'll be able to enjoy it whilst thinking of new things to do with the remainder of the corned beef.  How do you like that for confidence, eh?

So what will we be making aside from all this?  Well, I'm planning on making either a devilled lamb's liver dish for my lunch one day (again, I'm the only one who enjoys liver), or maybe a redcurrant/mint lamb's liver combination.  Either way, it'll be going into a pitta bread and I think either would work.

Aside from the liver, I also picked up a small piece of pork belly from the Farm Shop, which I haven't decided what to do with yet.  Suggestions on a postcard, please!

All this talk of the Farm Shop means that I'd better explain what's going on.  It's all to do with a new page that I'll be opening up soon here on Rhubarb & Ginger (it's in creation at the moment), which will be entitled "The Travelling Hamper".

On this page, I'll be visiting local (and not-so-local, online enterprises) food outlets - from farm shops through ethnic grocers, bakers, patisseries to cafes and restaurants.  The ones we love and want to re-visit, will be the ones who make it to The Travelling Hamper.

For instance, yesterday - and quite by accident - we tripped over a fabulous (and it really is fabulous) Italian style delicatessen cum cafe/restaurant in Southbourne, Bournemouth.  Called Deli Rocks, we dived in there to save ourselves from the icy blasts of wind along Southbourne's main shopping street - and found us a little gem.

We both had a slice of their Cranberry & Beetroot cake with a latte - and, well, I won't tell you all about it now, or it will spoil their entry onto The Travelling Hamper.  However, you get the idea!  Hubby was so enamoured of the cake, he immediately researched the recipe and is planning on making the cake very soon.  Well, it must be soon as we bought all the ingredients for it this morning!

So, exciting times for Rhubarb & Ginger - watch out for the big unveiling, very soon!

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