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All posts for the month November, 2014

Cheating coconutty curry

Published November 25, 2014 by Storm

I’ve been so busy having adventures that I nearly forgot to write about the recipe I tried last week. A far more interesting, I hope, post about my adventures will follow just as soon as I can whittle down my choice of photographs to illustrate it. In the meantime I give you…

Mushroom curry

This particular recipe is from The Book of Vegetarian Cooking. It’s very easy but I’m pretty sure it’s not very authentic. Aside from the button mushrooms, which are briefly fried whole, all the ingredients, onions included, are puréed raw to make the sauce; the sauce is then poured over the mushrooms and the lot is heated through for about ten minutes.

At first taste I wasn’t keen but by the end of my meal I felt the dish had potential. My biggest dislike was that the sauce, which should have had a mildly spiced, creamy coconut flavour tasted strongly of raw onions; I like raw onions in salad but the flavour was too strong and overpowering for this curry.

The simplicity of this means I may try it again but I’ll be deviating a bit from the recipe as written. The most significant change I’ll make will be to cut the onion into wedges and fry it with the mushrooms, hopefully giving a sweeter, more subtle flavour. I’m also likely to use a mix of mushrooms as button mushrooms alone are a bit boring.

5 out of 5 for clear instructions and ease of cooking.

3 out of 5 for flavour.

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The little cat said, “roll over”

Published November 17, 2014 by Storm

I’m a day late appreciating cats this month, I got a little distracted by my first ever filet crochet project yesterday and forgot to post!

What I’d like to know is, if two cats fit so snugly in this basket…015

…why does the smallest cat barely fit on his own?

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Here’s a bonus picture of our rapidly growing kitten, eyeing up my cup of tea.

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The best recipe I’ve tried this year, plus a tasty side and a speedy supper

Published November 10, 2014 by Storm

Whoops! It’s been a month since I’ve written about the recipes I’m trying. I only skipped trying a new recipe one week of that month and that was my birthday week. I ate out a couple of times that week and had a delicious lunch in the café of The Ashmolean, if you’re in Oxford give it a try.

The best recipe of the year (so far)

In Vegetarian Cooking Through The Year I found myself thumbing beyond autumn and into winter, there I found this delicious Almond Roast. I’m a little shocked at realising that it is my favourite of the dishes I’ve tried so far this year; I have a love hate relationship with nut roasts, Dad makes a fantastic one (and I do have his recipe) but the mention of nut roasts always pulls up the unpleasant memory of those dry packet ones you mixed with water and cooked in the microwave, cloying, over-salted, and generally yuck. Anyway, I pushed past my initial aversion and I’m really glad I did.

This recipe combines almonds and mushrooms, two foods I can never get enough of. I did ignore the celery stick in the ingredients list, the one vegetable I strongly dislike, and I used a red onion for it’s delicate sweetness while I suspect the recipe intended white as it didn’t specify. My only pause for thought was how to halve the quantities, the method suggested making a half sized roast in a 1lb loaf tin or a full-size one in a 20cm ring tin; not that my maths is bad but how do you halve three eggs? My solution was to use two smaller eggs and not add the splash of water. Other than that minor mathematical challenge this roast was a doddle to make. I liked this so much I made it again last week and even the firmly carnivorous Railway Modeller found it palatable in place of stuffing with his roast dinner.

5 out of 5 for clear instructions and ease of making.

5 out of 5, plus a bonus point, for tastiness.

Also, something which is unheard of from me as I always complain recipes don’t go as far as they say they will, I got more portions out of this than the recipe suggests!

A speedy supper

Wanting something quick and easy to cook after a late shift, I decided to try the Mushroom Stroganoff recipe from the pages of The World Vegetarian Cookbook. Fry, or sauté if we’re being precise, some onion with some theoretical celery, then add some mushrooms and sauté a bit longer; herbs and stock follow, with some yoghurt at the last minute. The recipe reckoned on 30 minutes for preparation and cooking but I’m pretty sure I shaved it down to 15. Obviously, I skipped the celery, choosing to replace it with garlic which is a zillion times tastier!

5 out of 5 for ease of making.

4 out of 5 for tastiness.

And a tasty side

Already decided on making the Almond Roast again, which feeds me for most of a week, I decided that last week’s new recipe should be an accompaniment to it. A few dishes caught my eye but most were similar to things I make without referring to a recipe or didn’t quite lend themselves to working with both my main roast and The Railway Modeller’s pie. In the end it was a new, to me, method of cooking new potatoes which I decided to try. The Greens Cookbook gave the technique for New Potatoes and Garlic Baked in Parchment. As the oven was going to be in use anyway making maximum use of it’s capacity seemed a sensible idea. Also, roast garlic cloves are far nicer than they have any right to be and I was definitely interested to know if baked garlic cloves were as tasty.

This is a great way to cook new potatoes. I think we both enjoyed these; though the Railway Modeller declined to try his garlic cloves, giving them all to me. Garlic cooked like this is almost as good as roasted but it doesn’t quite have that fabulous texture, needing scraping out of it’s skin instead of sucking out. Jerusalem artichokes are freshly onto the shelves at work this week so I’m thinking of trying those cooked with this technique.

5 out of 5 for clear instructions and ease of cooking.

5 out of 5 for tastiness (there’s not really a lot that could go wrong with new potatoes and garlic).

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