Monday, July 24, 2006

The cost of cleaning a conservatory roof...

My conservatory roof sorely needed cleaning and the best way to do that is to climb on top with hot soapy water and a brush. As I’m not exactly small (!) I offered to trade a meal if a friend would do it for me. David is pretty small and he and Cat duly turned up at 4pm. We got straight on with the job in hand as I had prepared most of the food already – and it was hardly arduous…. Once finished the girls jumped in the tub:

All recipes are for four averagely hungry people. Total cooking time was probably 15 mins for the lot with preparation of maybe 15 mins. Good food ‘aint neccesarily difficult and time consuming!

Before we move on, a couple of comments. Firstly, you will note that I am not good at giving quantities. This results from being a chef – like any profession you get to know these things instinctively. I will make an effort to start weighing things but if I slip up, feel free to ask! Also, I will assume that some staples you have in your cupboard already – chilli sauce for instance.

Creamy devilled black pudding
Two black puddings (the ones here are the size and shape of a large kidney)
Diced pancetta (or bacon – I buy the Asda SmartPrice bacon bits, cut each pack in 3 and freeze)
Small piece of salami or chorizo (diced small)
Small pot single cream

Pan fry the bacon (I use a wok for most of these things), add the black pudding and fry for a few moments (not too long or it will go to mush) and add a little chilli sauce according to taste. The idea is to give it a touch of heat, not burn your mouth!) then lower the gas to minimum and pour in the cream. Heat gently for a few moments but not too long or the cream will separate, and throw in the salami before plating up.
Total cost of ingredients: £1.70

Basil chicken with tagliatelli
Two chicken breasts
Large onion finely sliced
100g sliced mushrooms*
2 cloves garlic (crushed)

Cut the chicken into strips and place in a bowl. Add the garlic, 2 teaspoons of basil oil, some marjoram, some dried basil and a little salt/pepper. Mix together and let stand – an hour is enough. Heat wok and put in a drop of basil oil then sauté the onions. Add the chicken and when it’s cooked, add the mushrooms. Adjust seasoning. Meanwhile cook the pasta a dente and drain, add a glug of basil oil and then the chicken mix. Mix together and serve with some fresh parmesan and a piece of ciabatta.
Total cost of ingredients: £3.00

* Use button mushrooms by all means. But if you can put up with the less attractive appearance, those big field mushrooms give a much better taste!

Yogurty Aniseedy Strawberries!
250g strawberries sliced
150g natural yogurt (Asda SmartPrice!)
Maple syrup or honey
2 teaspoon pastis (or pernod)

Add tablespoon of syrup or honey and pastis to yogurt and stir together. Chuck in strawberries and mix together. Put in freezer for 90 minutes, stirring half way through. the aim is for it not to freeze solid but o get very cold and yummy!
Total cost of ingredients: £1.60

The last dish was especially good and knocked together on a whim.

All washed down with a nice bottle of rose. Then some more of that white Bordeaux. Then 30 year old cognac (just a taste you understand) Then red wine….. I’m sure you get the picture and if I find whoever it was who was hitting my head from the inside at 4am this morning they are in trouble!!

Oh wow - I adore black pudding and I love the sound of the first recipe! I also like a man who's not afraid to say he buys ASDA bacon bits ;-) Keep the great recipes coming!
As the person on the receiving end of this amazing meal i can't praise the chef enough. The food was magnificent (never liked black pudding before but loved it), the company was great and the cognac was very tasty. I wish i knew who was doinf the head hammering because they did it to me aswell. little David
Hello, good to see another food blog. I'm an avid reader of them, but also like a geographical connection. I come originally from Blackburn, and lived in Accrington, so I know Briefield. Then, 12 years in Kendal, now far too many years in London.

There's a lot of good produce around Lancashire, and I'm kind of thinking about making a foodie trip to the triangle between the Pennines, Preston and Lancaster.

Look forward to reading more...

... sorry I mistyped Brierfield.

I blame that field of Ayrshires up t' Clough who have ideas above their station and think their milk's up to making Brie...
I love Black Pud, I like doing it with heaps of soft sauteed leeks and a creamy Stilton sauce, and of course, the trad black pud and bacon butty in a morning, mmmm.
Thank you for hte EBBP package!!! yay!
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