Friday, June 10, 2011

A day in the life of my Rayburn

Got up to another showery day, with gaps between the showers too brief for a walk, and the flue on my fire requiring a bit of attention so a studio day out of the question, all leaving me a bit loose endy feeling.

So I reverted to my default setting for a rainy day, I lit the Rayburn and spent the day cooking.

I started by playing a little game I like to call  'Deep Freeze Tease', which basically involves finding random unlabelled packages in the chest freezer and cooking something out of the contents.

Today I found:

2 duck breasts
1 small joint of shin of beef
1 handful of chestnuts
5 hot dog sausages

which translated to:

1 spicy chinese duck with noodles
1 beef curry
1 mediterranean beef casserole
6 spicy beef kebabs
10 sausage rolls

So here are my recipes for June

Spicy Beef Kebabs

500g  lean beef 
3 slices of bread
1 teaspoon chilli powder
1 onion
2 garlic cloves
4 tablespoons of dried parsley
2 tablespoons of lemon juice
1 tablespoon of tomato puree

I started by piling all the ingredients into my food processor and whizzing them all up together.

If you are going to barbeque these, then make sure you soak the kebab sticks, but as I am going to grill mine I haven't bothered.

Flour your hands and take a golfball size of mix and roll between your palms to create a sausage shape, then push the stick up through the centre.  Coat with flour and leave to set in the fridge for at least an hour before cooking.

 This the joint I found in the freezer, as you can see it is not that big, but it was half price, and that is always a selling point.

After taking the bit required for the kebabs, I cut the rest up into little chunks and spread them out between two further dishes, a curry (on the right) and a light summery mediterranean casserole.

Mediterranean casserole

2 large onions roughly chopped
1 kilo of tomatoes roughly chopped
4 cloves of garlic
500g of lean beef cut into small cubes
1 large courgette cut into chunks
12 pitted black olives

Fry all the above in a little olive oil, then add a litre of water and a veggie stock cube and leave to cook overnight in a Rayburn or 4 hours at 150°C, season and serve with hot crusty freshly baked bread.

Spicy Duck Noodles

Marinade ingredients:

2 cm of fresh ginger
2 cloves garlic
1 fresh red chilli
1 tablespoon of soy sauce
2 limes
1 tablespoon of sesame seeds
1 teaspoon of chinese 5 spice powder
1/2 teaspoon of ground black pepper

Blitz everything up together in a food processor.

2 duck breasts
1 small glass of wine
1 teaspoon of brown sugar
250g of dried rice noodles

Take 2 duck breasts or chicken or pork or whatever meat you have, and cube, then stir over the marinade and leave for about 4 hours in the fridge.

Scoop the meat out of the marinade with a slotted spoon and fry.

Once browned add back in the marinade juices and leave to cook for a couple of minutes. 

In the marinade dish break up the dried noodles and pour over enough hot water to just cover the noodles, cover and leave for 5 minutes, enough time for the noodles to swell and soften and absorb most of the water. 

Add the noodles to the meat pan, pour over a little glass of wine and finally add a teaspoon of brown sugar to thicken and sticky up the sauce.

And finally, what are you supposed to do with 5 random hot dog sausages and a handful of chestnuts.....

....well sausage rolls of course.

Chestnut Sausage Rolls

Whizz up some hot dog sausages with a couple of teaspoons of whole grain mustard and a handful of blanched and peeled chestnuts.

Roll in some pastry, either filo or flaky, whichever you have or whichever you like to make, I like to make neither but usually have a roll of flaky in the fridge for tarts and the like.

Bake in the oven at 180°c for 20 minutes and eat either hot or cold. 

Well - that's the rainy day cooking over, just enough residual heat to make me a pot of coffee!

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