Saturday, 10 May 2014

Setting out your stall

When I chat about food and cooking to friends I am often asked :

a/ How many ingredients do you keep in the larder?
b/ How do you find the time?
c/ Why bother ?

As to the ingredients, I have to admit that I have a good stock cupboard with flour, oil, spices, and cans of beans, coconut milk etc. I probably have way more than is necessary but when you want a basil infused olive oil rather than sunflower oil or vanilla sugar rather than just caster sugar then the extras can make the difference between mediocre and fantastic. When I am at home and get the chance to add to the weekly vegetable box with a few specialties from the market then the resulting fresh produce tends to look like this:

A lot of this will be pickled, cooked, packaged this weekend and put in the freezer or the fridge ready for the next few weeks when I might not have the time to be as creative. As for the expense, all this fresh fare came in at under £25.

That brings us to the second question. By pre-preparing dishes like methi coated chicken, pickled fruit and vegetables, packaged sauces and flavoured oils I can throw together a really tasty meal in minutes. As for the last question, nothing gives more pleasure than a good meal, home cooked, full of flavour and goodness. Today we have to go out for the evening so we needed a quick, energy giving lunch that would sate our appetites in case we don't get to eat later but is not so filling that if the opportunity of a pleasant meal with friends does come up then we are not too full to enjoy it. From the raft of the ingredients above and with the addition of some maple syrup pickled turnip, some home made wok oil, pak choi and beansprouts I created a flavour filled stir fry to compliment some stir fried chicken thighs that had been cooked and preserved in my own methi leaf sauce. (I promise I will add the recipes for each as soon as I can). Was the result worth the 10 minutes it took to get it onto the plate ?

No comments:

Post a Comment