Thursday, January 16, 2014

This Week... I Wanted, I Bought, I Made

And truth be told probably found it in the freezer or the drawer in need of using up. New Year, isn't it, and I really do need to clear the stockpile of  lovely bits and pieces, so for the next month at least they are my starting point. I am determined to be good.

So, Friday we shall have grilled pork chops (freezer) with mash and carrots and peas, a meal I really lovely for its simplicity and how gorgeous it is on the plate and in my mouth. Already this plan has gone to pot! Woke early with jetlag and changed my mind to Viet beef and noodles for Friday supper. Went to the market and Ginger Pig had sirloin on the bone for £8 each - as I asked for a slice of rump for noodles they offered me these instead - with the offer of cutting me rump if I really wanted some. Didn't! So I had nothing for dinner - remembered bacon and peas in the freezer so it was pasta - using tiny little ditali from the cupboard so very quick - with bacon, onions and peas with a little creme fraiche.

Saturday we may start the day with porridge as the man and I have been to Oz where the sun shines practically daily so our blood is warm and our bodies are surprised to find themselves back in the dark dank winter chill of  London. Off to Suffolk for the weekend, there was a change of plans so breakfast was toast from a loaf from the freezer and dinner will be the fabulous steaks with a simple salad. Still thinking dal - lentils in the cupboard - and rice with roasted spiced cauliflower when we get back Sunday night, as it's an easy thing to put together and works a treat cold for lunch. Even without going away it was a good idea, specially with the pretty purple rimmed  heritage carrots in lunchboxes.

Monday we're at the Royal Court to see the Beckett trilogy, so dinner out somewhere. Tuesday we shall have a Vietnamese style vegetable curry - I have tofu sheets in the cupboard and an open book on fresh veg as the fridge is post holiday bare. Actually had a little of the steak left from Saturday so made Viet herbed noodles topped with stir fried steak and it was gorgeous. I really enjoyed making this salad, actually called bun in Vietnam which I do find slightly confusing. The salad is a mix of shredded lettuce with sprouts and cucumber and herbs that goes into the bottom of the bowls undressed - no jokes please about naked buns!. The cooked fine rice noodles go on top and then the stirfried meat goes in on top of  that. I made a couple of little bowls of condiments which is what really made the meal - spring onion oil, toasted crushed peanuts and a bowl of nuoc cham, a hot/sweet/sour chilli sauce. Once all three were added you toss the whole lot together and it was amazing. Also made me realise what I should have been doing in Vietnamese restaurants when I've always felt slightly disappointed to be presented with this.

Wednesday omelette with black eye bean salsa - got a bag of beans already cooked and frozen. Bun was so good last night defrosted a chicken breast and cooked it with ginger and lemon grass and made the noodles again to use up the herbs and beansprouts I'd bought for last night, 

 Thursday I really fancy spaghetti with a simple tomato sauce with lots of Parmesan and a big salad. Instead it is vegetable curry to use the other half of the cauliflower and the last of the beansprouts and a tin of coconut milk from the cupboard.

At the market I bought coffee from Monmouth - £12.50 then went to Ginger Pig and bought the steaks and some eggs - £17.50. At L'Artisan du Chocolat I bought a bag of misshapes for the man £2.50 and, after asking a guide where to find them bought olives from the recently moved Fresh Olive stand £3.50. At Gastronomica I bought a lovely piece of Pecorino £9.20 - while I was being served a woman came and asked to try the provolone, I was amazed to see her simply stuff it in her mouth as she walked away without so much as a thank you. Milk and yoghurt at Neals Yard - £5.05 and I was done, except for the hot chorizo roll from Brindisa - a delight at £4.95

Bought more in the week, creme fraiche for the pasta at the Lidl newly opened round the corner. Lettuce and carrots from Oval farmers market, and cauliflower from Brixton farmers market as well as spinach and coriander, cucumber, lemons and limes, passionfruit, clementines, ginger, chillies, lemongrass, beansprouts and Thai basil from Brixton market.

Thursday I got a new vegetable juicer, possibly a mad notion given how difficult it is to buy decent veg but I've been hankering for juice lately. So went to Brixton again and bought beetroot, carrots, peppers, apples and more ginger, theplan being to have juice every evening when the man returns from hunting and gathering instead of beer. We'll see how that goes!

I made as well a chocolate mud cake from a recipe in the Graun only because, you understand, I had salted butter and lots of chocolate in the fridge. I used passionfruit instead of limes and it was gorgeous to eat and a big hit when the man took it into work. Think he may regret sharing so generously.

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