Sunday, 15 November 2009

Sunday's marathon bake off

Which is being done with John Barrowman covering Elaine Paige's Radio 2 Show as my soundtrack, when that finishes I'll move over to itunes and shuffle some more showtunes, because as well you know, I'm just that cool.

A dead oven and the workload from hell have conspired against much blogging of late, but with one of those sorted (not the workload sadly) I thought today would be a good day to throw myself up to my elbows in flour and the likes.

I decided this month's freezer meals would be the Lentil Ragu, of Dinner Diary infamy; seriously, it's spreading across the blogosphere faster than swine flu - but in a good way, obviously. However, a consensus was reached after my first batch; whilst tasty, filling and healthy myself and a few friends really felt it needed something added to it (apparently the piles of grated cheese just weren't enough). Jules of Domestic Goddess in Training suggested bacon, and another friend suggested chorizo. Elin, that friend has also recently converted me to the ways of Waitrose's Butternut squash and chorizo chilli and so I went with that recommendation. Brava Elin! As well as the oomph (it's a technical term) that I felt it was missing, the chorizo really complemented the flavours. Alongside the Dinner diary recipe I added a whole chorizo from Asda - about 300g (which handily was on 2 for £4.00 which means that next week I can use up the frozen half of the butternut squash and make the chilli too for no more money! Thrifty and tasty.)

I also added - just because they were in the freezer really - some grated red cabbage and carrots that I felt needed using up. I think that accounts for the darkness of the ragu this time, and clearly the extra vegetables cancel out the chorizo. Honest.

Lentil ragu not being enough, I kept to the pattern of the last three months and roasted a free range chicken, some potatoes and piles of carrots and broccoli. Since the weather started to turn I've really got back into the swing of doing a roast on a Sunday, having leftovers on Monday night, and sarnies on Monday and Tuesday for lunches, then stripping the chicken - using the carcass for stock, and the meat for a risotto with mushrooms and chicken using the stock, then freezing the last pint or so of the stock for some soup. As it's only Monday night I've obviously not done that yet, but it's a really effective way of stretching the £6 chicken over *counts* about 10 meals, which works out at about 60p per portion chicken wise.

My first batch of parkin was also knocked up as I was out gallivanting with the Brownies on Bonfire night (we had a fireworks promise party) I didn't make it then, and I was out gallivanting again on the Saturday so didn't make it up to Alexandra Palace either. Anyway, using my amended recipe from last year I made a lovely sticky batch. Although I should say, I opened a new jar of ground ginger yesterday and heaven only knows what Waitrose do to their ginger but I swear it's rocket powered! This batch certainly has a kick to it. I'm taking it into work tomorrow and then if there's any left on to Guides for the Parent's meeting before my holiday licence in December. If I'm not too stressed, I'm planning to try and blog our menu.
Did I make anything else? Yes, apple crumble, now in the freezer. And Mabel's still doing well, hopefully coming out of the freezer on Wednesday to be trialled as focaccia on Thursday and if that goes well then pizza base on Guide holiday.
Oh and short of rhyming it with Yentl, I really couldn't link lentils to a musical... as always when my brain fails me, answers on a postcard please!


Jules said...

I really must try Elin's butternut & chorizo chilli sometime. I openly admit to having John Barrowman on my iplayer. A bit of cheesy tunes from him (with me singing along) blows away the blues for me.

Jules said...

iplayer?! I mean iPod!

H said...

I tried your ammended parking recipe the other weekend, definitely a thumbs up x

Pen said...

Thanks both, and Jules really do try the chilli it is great. John Barrowman is a guilty pleasure of mine.

Glad you liked the parkin, oddly mine is a bit dryer than usual - nothing dreadful, but not up to my normal standard. I think it's the oven though, it's cooking things faster than usual (creamted roasties are also testament to this)


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