Archive for March 7th, 2011

March 7, 2011

Last Night’s Dinner: Monday 7 March

We had an onion, a lovely Savoy cabbage, a large tomato and some tins of chickpeas in the cupboard, so I popped to the shop for a red pepper and a couple of small fennel bulbs. This Denis Cotter-inspired stew is always a winner and a lovely balance of flavours. It’s one-pot cooking of the simplest variety and in no way bland. And there’s always a lovely olive oil-scented broth at the bottom of the bowl. This being us, we added a spoonful of some rather hot homemade chilli sauce to serve. Nice. As for Denis Cotter… his name will be cropping up regularly. Just wait and see. Or Google him. And buy his cook books.

March 7, 2011

Spring greens

At ETP Towers we usually prefer the crinkles of a Savoy cabbage to the slightly drearier, flat old leaves of ‘spring greens’. But there is a lovely – somehow sweet and bitter – sharpness to their leaves. The Savoy is more earthy, don’t you think?

Anyway, while harvesting some greens recipes today I came across this old ‘East Seasonably’ website, which still provides an easy tip off for seasonally adjusted menus and places to eat locally etc. March really is all about spring greens. Think soups, stews, stir fries and, of course, bubble and squeak.

Eat Seasonably

March 7, 2011

Last Night’s Dinner: Mushroom Egg Foo Yung

So, what do vegetarians eat? Well, last night we made a rather comforting bowl of Mushroom Egg Foo Yung with Fried Rice.

It’s perhaps fitting that it should be the first of our ‘Last Night’s Dinner’ entries as I’ve long been a lover of this dish – except I only used to have it in takeaway form with that signature taste of nasty MSG. Ella is a convert to the home-cooked version.

Basically, of course, it’s a mushroom omelette with rice. For the omelette we stir fried chestnut mushrooms with a split of sunflower and sesame oil before adding the beaten eggs. This is done after making the rice though. And the trick to good fred rice is to boil the rice well in advance and leave to cool completely. Trying to fry hot, just-boiled rice is self-defeating as it steams and becomes puddingy. While frying we added a clove of garlic, some chopped spring (salad) onions and some peas – a little greenery is always good. And, of course, soy sauce. When the rice looks slightly glistening and crackles a bit in the pan, then you’re getting there. Then make the omelette, chop it up slightly once it’s set and golden – and bowl it up. Comfort food for a Sunday night.