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The recipes this week came about because we had an assortment of vegetables which needed using up: a bag of potatoes we bought which were at their sell-by date, a butternut squash we bought last week but hadn't used yet, some frozen spinach from last year which we keep forgetting to use.
The Saag Aloo contained onion, potatoes, and spinach and was spiced with garlic, ginger, chilli, mustard, cumin and turmeric.
The Prawn and Squash curry was spiced with cumin, chilli, turmeric, ground coriander and curry powder. We had a pot of plain yoghurt open in the fridge so I used that instead of the double cream in the original recipe.
I served the curry with a mixture of plain and wild rice.
Yesterday we went to the supermarket and bought a loaf of fresh-baked multiseed bread. We thought it would go very well with some soup for lunch but we didn't have any packets or tins of soup in the house. I thought I'd make a simple leek and potato soup but I realised we didn't have any stock (either fresh or cubes) so I would have to make everything from scratch.
I realised that we had a lot of vegetables in the house, some were 'staples', some were leftover from Christmas, others (such as the celeriac) were bought yesterday from the 'reduced' section of the supermarket.
I started off by dicing the veg and adding them to a pan with just enough water to cover everything. In went 1 sweet potato, 1 onion, ½ leek, 1 carrot, 3 cloves of garlic, ¼ celeriac, 1 cooked potato, and some of the leftover roast butternut squash from the freezer. I added a sprinkle of fresh parsley and 1 diced chicken breast, and simmered everything until the veg were cooked.
Everything went in the liquidizer. To serve, we added some jerk seasoning to add salt and spiciness (no salt went into the cooking liquid) and some double cream.
It ended up a bit more complicated than the simple leek and potato soup I intended to make but it was good, and there was enough left over to go in the fridge for another day.
I have been trying to empty the freezer so it can be defrosted so for most of this week I'll be eating various odds and ends. The first thing to be defrosted was a pack of Tesco Mashed Potato.
Potato Cake 1 - pan fried
A lot of potato cake recipes call for spring onions but our chives have grown huge and looked like a suitable alternative.
After the mash had thawed out it was quite sloppy, so I added quite a lot of flour to try to firm it up. I stirred in some chopped chives, parsley and a crushed garlic clove. I fried it at roughly medium heat for about 4-5 minutes each side.
The potato cakes were still a bit soft so they weren't easy to turn over - I probably needed to add more flour.
Potato Cake 2 - oven baked
A lot more liquid had drained out of the potatoes by now, which I had to carefully pour off. Even after that, the potatoes were still very wet and sloppy.
I made the potato cakes in a similar way to above but without the garlic, and with more flour added (a combination of plain flour and cornmeal). I added flour until the mixture was very thick and sticky, but not as firm as bread dough.
I spooned the mixture out onto a floured baking tray and baked at gas mark 7 for around 20-25 minutes. The end result didn't have the tasty crispy 'fried' coating of the pan-fried cakes but the internal texture was better.