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All posts for the month May, 2014

Coconutty Beans

Published May 31, 2014 by Storm

This week saw me trying a recipe for a side dish rather than a main. I had some mildly spiced chickpea burgers to try, bought not home-made, and I fancied an interesting accompaniment for them.  This was to be a purely self indulgent meal, I was cooking the Railway Modeller one of his favourites and felt I should do something nice for myself while I was about it. I’d happily eat locally grown asparagus every day while it’s in season but my budget might end up a little stretched if I did, and I’d already indulged in asparagus this week, so I looked to the other green crops arriving at work and was spoilt for choice on the bean front. The french beans at the moment are some of the longest I’ve ever seen and absolutely flawless so I chose a recipe to take advantage of them.

Long Beans in Coconut Milk

I remembered having seen this recipe when I was flicking through The World Vegetarian Cookbook and thought it might be just the dish I was looking for this week. Yes, the burgers were evidently inspired by Indian cookery while the bean recipe is Thai inspired but isn’t fusion cookery supposed to be all the rage?

I had to miss out the galangal as getting to the one shop in town which would sell it isn’t really practical on a work day but the beans certainly didn’t taste like they were lacking anything; chilli and lemongrass gave a nice, subtle seasoning and the coconut milk gave them a richness I don’t normally associate with green beans. I cooked half a pound of beans and ate the lot!

My beans did go well with the burgers, though I’m not convinced I’d bother with the burgers themselves again. The one lesson I would take from this first attempt at the recipe would be to chop the lemongrass much finer next time as I found it a bit tough and woody. I’m not sure what I’d choose to serve the beans with next time; I’ll have to keep in mind finding a partner dish for them when I’m browsing my recipe books for future cookery experiments.

5 out of 5 for ease of cooking

4 out of 5 for flavour

Carrot and Tomato Soup

Published May 25, 2014 by Storm

I haven’t been doing so well at trying a new recipe every week; a whole month passed without me trying anything new, though I did make a couple of the dishes that I’d tried earlier in my challenge. I blame a recently rediscovered social life! There’s the somewhat raucous and off the wall weekly quiz, a couple of gigs, medieval fancy dress, family lunches and (when I’m not being sociable) I’ve been losing myself in some damn good books. None of which is good for my housework, my cookery challenge or finding time for crafty things but it is fun.

This week though I did find my way round a recipe book and made

Soup

I don’t think I’ve ever followed a recipe for soup before but I’ve noticed a few which sound interesting amongst my recipe collection. This week’s was a fairly safe option, carrot and tomato, from Just One Pot. It was also a very simple soup to make; chop and fry a couple of onions, chop the carrots while the onions fry, then add everything else to the pan and boil for around half an hour. My largest pan wasn’t quite big enough so I reduced the volume of stock by ½ pint, this wasn’t a problem as I like a good, hearty soup.

The day I cooked it I was a little disappointed in it; I was disappointed in the carrots anyway, they were pretty bland and something of a let down. Reheated the next day the flavourless carrots became less of an issue as the spices from the curry powder came through more noticeably. I took some to work to heat up and got approving comments on the aroma in the kitchen.

The only thing lacking in this soup as a meal is some protein. I accompanied it with cheese and crackers but if I made it again I’d probably tweak the recipe to add some lentils or split peas.

5 out of 5 for ease of cooking

3 out of 5 for flavour (blame those carrots)

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