Gastronomically Terrific

February 5, 2014

Lone star chilli

Filed under: main, meat — Tags: , , , — lawsonanna @ 8:18 pm

Lone star chilliThis dish looked so promising. Whilst it was bubbling away on the hob, it looked and smelt amazing (contrary to what the photo might make you think), and it was fun to make. The aroma filled the whole house, and I was very excited about eating my dinner.

So, what a disappointment the actual eating of this was. It tasted basically of lager, of which there was far too much. Admittedly, I used jalapenos rather than chillis (which I admit may have been a mistake considering the title), but all I really believe this would have done is make the meal hotter. A hot meal does not make a tasty meal. There were also nowhere near enough vegetables. Obviously, I knew this when I was making it and could have added more, but it smelt so good I decided to try it without the veg – I get plenty most days so one meal with scant amounts isn’t going to hurt.

Now, I admit, I could counteract most of these problems – I could use chillis instead of jalapenos, I could add more vegetables, and I could use less lager. But I’m still not convinced this would actually taste very exciting. Considering it takes 2-3 hours to make (most of which is just waiting for the beef to tenderise in the casserole dish), it just doesn’t seem worth the effort of making it again, when it’s most likely going to be disappointing. A real shame.

Who made it: Anna

Recipe: The Daily Cookbook, pg. 14 (7 Jan)


February 7, 2011

Salmon/Halloumi Ramen

Filed under: main — Tags: , , , , , — thinkingdan @ 9:57 pm

Anna wanted to try something a bit different with fish; I was left to do something inventive to make it work for vegetarians.


Salmon Ramen = Salmon noodles. With lots of flavour!

Halloumi Ramen = Haloumi Noodles. Also with lots of flavour!


The recipe is an interesting one, and worked very well – with the modifications we made.  It has several components:

  1. The marinade: Teriyaki.  This is an intriguing mix of (1 tbsp) sake, dark soy sauce and sherry, with (1 tsp) brown sugar and some garlic and ginger.
  2. The “meat”:  either fish or Halloumi, covered in the marinade (“glaze”) and grilled.  (I fried the Halloumi, but the effect is basically the same).
  3. Stock (vegetable stock mixed with garlic and soy sauce).  We also added plenty of vegetables here!
  4. Noodles (Ramen if possible, or whatever).
  5. Coriander, chopped chillies and beansprouts, for topping.

The recipe sounds complicated, but it actually works out very simple and only takes about 25 minutes.  You heat the stock and simmer (adding the veg as it needs it, e.g. carrots go in straight away, bamboo shoots and spinach go in at the end).  Meanwhile, mix the Teriyaki, and pour over the fish/halloumi on a greased dish.  Grill this until the fish crumbles but is pink inside, or until the Halloumi  is crispy on top.  Then cook the noodles (taking about 3 minutes) and serve by putting a bed of veg with noodles on top, add the fish, then the topping.

The dish is slightly hot and just a little different to anything we normally have.  Because we added plenty of veg, it was well balanced – unlike the recipe below, which had a very sad amount in!  I particularly like the teriyaki, which would work well in many dishes.

Who made it: A joint effort between Dan and Anna.

Recipe: “The daily cook book” by Love Food, February 7th.

June 20, 2010

Samosas, Bhajias, potato cakes

Filed under: starter — Tags: , , , , — thinkingdan @ 1:31 pm

Mixed Indian starters today:

(right) samosa, (top) bhaji, (left) potato cakes.

Some fun with Indian cooking: how authentic can we get it?  Turns out, when following a good recipe we can get quite authentic indeed.

All of these are fried in fairly deep oil and are about as unhealthy as it gets.  The samosas were awesome – we added butternut squash instead of potato and it worked amazingly.  The bhajias were exactly as they taste in a restaurant – complete with that strange tangy taste that is unique to them.  (Its the asafoetida, a bitter but very interesting spice).  The potato cakes we were less thrilled by – they were just a bit plain.

The samosas are made with spring roll pastry, which is cheap from eastern supermarkets and really easy to work with.  You just make up whatever you want inside, wrap, and fry – what could be easier?  We were really impressed with how the Bhajias turned out – its just a whole bunch of spices mixed in with enough flour to get them to stick together with some onions, then fried. Quite a messy procedure in practice but very much worth it!

Who made it: Anna and Dan jointly.

Recipe: “Indian” by Shezhad Husain and Rafi Fernandez.  Bhjajias: page 14, Potato Cakes: page 23, Vegetable Samosas: page 34.

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