Sunday, 17 April 2011

Tweaking recipes, Using Things Up

One reason for my fairly sparse blogging has been a dearth of new recipes. When I'm busy at work, and travelling, and eating out, home cooked food tends to resort to the staples.

Now that it's colder at night, a hearty soup is a fine thing. The most recent one I made was a variation on this chorizo and lentil soup. I had a tomato glut, and used B1's mouli to turn it into passata, so instead of a bit of tomato paste and a litre of chicken stock, I used half a litre of chicken stock and half a litre of passata. And I blended the soup before adding the chorizo; the bloke likes his soups smooth. (Except laksa. The rules are complicated.)

Another variation came because I was out of cumin. I decided to use a 1/2 teaspoon of ground wattleseed instead, having discovered quite some time ago that this goes surprisingly well with tomato. It adds a dark caramel roast savouriness - but do be careful not to overdo it. The half teaspoon was plenty.

So that was good.

I've also been cooking a lot of old standards. This week's muffin was apple and cinnamon, with some older apples from the fridge. We've been eating keema and spag bol with mince from the freezer. There's been a chicken noodle stirfry, and a lamb curry with paste from the market and the last of the beans from the garden. Homemade pizza is good for finishing the odds and ends of ham, salami, olive, artichokes, etc. I've been roasting tomatoes to use in soup and curry and pasta sauce, and roasting rhubarb from the garden - the latest time with some plums and rosewater.

I've also cooked and frozen a batch of figs, with the intent of making jam later in the year. We're off on a big holiday soon, and have our usual Easter houseguests before then, so I have no time to be fiddling with pectin and jars. I can't believe I never thought of doing this before. It's B1's idea.

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