More River Cottage Adventures!

After a week of being "off the River Cottage Wagon" so to speak, we're climbing back on again, and eating slightly less meat. However, as Toupargel (frozen food delivery company) are making a delivery on Tuesday, and as our (new) freezer is already full of (old) food, I think I need to make a bit of an effort to clear it, so we will be eating some of the meat therein.
However, here's a jolly fruity old chap to remind me that all these veggies are good for us, and that I should be making more effort to eat my five-a-day. I don't always manage it: I usually have four, which isn't too bad, or four-and-a-half if a couple of leaves of lettuce in my sandwiches count!
Because I write these posts on a Saturday, and list from Sunday to the following Saturday, I have found that I don't usually get to comment on the Saturday food. So from today, I'll list Saturday to Friday menus, so I can comment on Saturday after we've eaten the food. I know what I mean!

So, from last week's post
SATURDAY: Here we have a link to Courgette & Rice Filo Pie from River Cottage. A little like the Spankopitta, I think, but different enough to be worth the effort. 

A book review site said, of this dish: The revelation was the courgette and rice filo pie, which made me regret the fact that I'd just cleared my courgette glut – and then found a recipe I would willingly make on a regular basis.That sounds like a recommendation! It will probably be served with yet another salad. It seems bizarre to cook more vegetables to go with a vegetable thing...but maybe a fairly thickish ratatouille might go quite well with this.
E (on Sunday) tA: This was indeed delicious. I baked it for the specified 35 minutes, but the rice still had a bit of a hard edge to it. I think it would need perhaps another 10 minutes - we had the leftovers for lunch today, warmed up, and it was fine. We had it with rat & half-a-baked-potato last night, and coleslaw this lunchtime.
SUNDAY: Steak, vegetable gratin (already cooked & in the freezer - we had the other on Thursday) and ratatouille from yesterday. Assuming there's some left!
No, not THAT ratatouille!

E(on Wed) tA: steak was delicious - I got it from Lidl at a very reasonable price and it is marinaded, with a good flavour and very tender. The rat was fine.
MONDAY: Gnocchi, with spicy tomato sauce and pork fillet. The pork is left over from Friday's sweet and sour. I was going to freeze it, but when we were transferring food from old frezer to new, I discovered there was already some pork in there. So I'll use this today, together with a tomato sauce that's already made (and, yes, you've guessed it, in the freezer.) I'll spice it up a little, and we'll have it with some veggies. But I'm not sure what. It depends what's hanging around.
TUESDAY: Fish pie (freezer) and peasncrots. Nothing spectacular, but the new Toupargel delivery arrrives today I need to make room!
E (on Wed)tA: The gnocchi was fine: it was of a type I didn't know, where you fry in butter for a couple of minutes, uncovered, to crisp the outside, and then cover the pan and keep cooking for another 4 minutes to cook the inside. It was a bit difficult to do, as my frying pan doesn't have a lid, but I improvised with a bread board! The gnocchi were very pleasant. The fish pie was fish pie, with cauliflower cheese delivered that morning by Toupargel. The cheese sauce definitely helped as the fish pie was quite dry.
WEDNESDAY: Spanish pork in the slow cooker. Hah! More meat from the freezer! Mr F-D will die of shock! I've taken the recipe from the "Eat In" magazine, but This recipe is quite close - except I'm using pork, not chicken!! Mine includes some chorizo as well, but the tomato/olive/pepper/spices base is the same. I'm working in Roanne, rather than Clermont, so won't have to leave at an unearthly hour of the morning, so I should have time to prepare the casserole in the slow cooker. We'll have this with bread.

THURSDAY: At last, we're back to River Cottage! Here we have what is described as "somewhere between a soup and a stew, this mushroom stoup is full of earthy flavour, and can be made even more generous with the addition of some little herby dumplings." I won't be making dumplings, as it's difficult to get suet, but I will be making a more "scone-y" cobbler topping. Looking for a recipe online there is nothing quite the same - creamy mushroom soup, yes, Gill's mushroom soup, yes, but not mushroom stoup...but this porcini soup recipe looks fairly close, although Mr F-W doesn't put tomatoes in his stoup.
FRIDAY: Basil, pesto and mozzarella tart, with salad and a baked potato. The recipe is here, but you'll need to scroll down to find it. It is given as "Tomato, thyme and goats' cheese tart" but Mr F-D can't abide goats' cheese so I'm taking one of the alternatives and adding some pesto to the mix, as I won't be finding fresh basil.

We'll probably have 1/3 each for supper and then have the rest for Saturday lunch, with Bean & leek soup, which, unfortunately, one reviewer has said this about: "Gallingly, it's a bit of a fail from the Hugh. I suppose he had to at some point. I mean it's okay, but it's hardly packed with flavour; it's wishy-washy and just a bit meh and I suspect the chilli oil is just a ruse to cover up it's lack of va-va-voom. I'd rather have a heartier minestrone, or leek and potato next time..." Considering last time a reviewer was a bit harsh about a recipe, it was a complete disaster for me, I shall make this with some trepidation.
I won't bother with the recipe, in case it does, indeed, all go pear-shaped. If it's nice, I'll let you know!
E(on Saturday): I swopped around Thursday and Friday dinners as I was due to be out at a meeting for the Artisanat on Thursday, and I thought tart and baked potattoes would hang around better than the stoup. As it was the meeting was cancelled, due to the weather (it was -10° when I got home at 4.00 and by 7.00 it had got to -13°. Brrrr!). The tart was fine - we finished it today with soup (but butternut squash and coconut, not bean and leek as planned.) 
The Mushroom Stoup was also fine, but my scone/cobbler topping wasn't - I think I neglected to put in enough baking powder, thinking that the "farine de gateau" (which is basically SR flour) would be sufficient. It wasn't, so the scones looked like small pebbles, necessitating a run round the village to find anywhere with bread. As it was 7.30 by then, it wasn't looking too hopeful, but Petit Casino (our Corner shop) came to the rescue, with some part baked loaves.  Mr FD said that the stoup was fine (good earthy flavours, asMr F-W promised) but would be improved with some lardons. I think he may be right!

I've not said anything about losing weight, mostly because I've not been weighing myself, and also because I don't think I have. It doesn't help that I have been making cakes and biscuits...Though my coconut cake (made with half a tin of coconut milk and adapted from a recipe for chocolate banana cake) was a bit dry, and my Cornish Ginger Fairing biscuits were fizzy (too much baking powder) and just a touch overcooked, so they tasted unpleasantly  dark brown! But I have some pineapple rings left from the sweet/sour pork yesterday, so I thought I'd make pineapple upside down cake I've no glacĂ© cherries, but, in my opinion, that's no bad thing!

 I think Mr F-D will like this. He's a one for cakes and biscuits!
Edited to add that I made the cake, and it was very nice...the creamed sugar and butter gave it a lovely crispy/sugary/syrupy topping, and although I only had 4 pineapple slices left (Mr F-D had eaten one!) it was enough to top the small cake I made. I didn't have any juice from the tin so I used a couple of tablespoons of orange juice instead.

So, I hope you've enjoyed this post and do please comment on anything. I'll be updating it through the week to let you know how things go.


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