Sunday, 29 April 2012

Using up the freezer stuff

 Last night was incredibly windy, and we lost electricity for several hours in the village. We awoke to quite a lot of mess, but thankfully (for us!) none of it was ours!
The Collège next door has lost several roof tiles, the Hotel next door lost a chimney and all the TV aerials that were attached, and one house further into the village appears to have lost most of its roof tiles. Mr FD and I wandered down to Shopi to see if there was any power there (I needed my morning doseof caffeine!) There wasn't, which meant that Gilles was struggling with a recalcitrant generator in order to keep his freezers of food going. We spent a long time moving frozen goods from the freezers that weren't connected to those that were - hopefully we'll have saved a lot of the food. If not, Gilles will have a big insurance claim to make!

Our new fridge freezer has a 16 hour "autonomy" so we're hoping that nothing has been lost. We haven't opened it since the power went off, then on, then off then on again. So we're guessing it should be fine. I'm planning on utilising our freezer stocks this week.

This isn't our fridge freezer, as we have a bigger freezer part, but it does as an illustration. As I'm using up a lot of stuff from the freezer and store cupboard this week, hopefully it'll just be the fresh goods I need to buy.
SUNDAY: We had a surprise invitation to Gille's girlfriend's, so we ate there at lunchtime. We had asaparagus and fish terrine, followed by chicken in a cream sauce and then chocolate eclairs (rescued from the Shopi freezers) and sorbet. As we'd spent the morning helping Gilles , we were ready for a big meal. Tonight I'll make some carrot-and-ginger soup (recipe earlier on. I'm pleased to see that Nancy enjoyed the soup! ) and I have some rolls I can bake. The boulangerie was shut this morning, not because there was no bread (although subsequently we discovered there wasn't) but because they couldn't raise the electric security blinds!
                                                    Source: Nancy's blog. It's her cup of soup!
MONDAY: I made a casserole on Saturday to eat on Sunday. But we'll have it today. I don't know what it will be like, as I forgot to defrost the meat, so when I came to cook it, the meat was still in the freezer. "Never mind," I thought, "Ten minutes on 'defrost' in the microwave and it'll be fine" But I pressed the buttons wrongly and it had 10 minutes on "high" so it was quite well cooked when I realised!!! So it may be really, really tough when we have it in the casserole. Nous verrons! To be eaten with mashed potato and green beans.
TUESDAY: I'd planned on meat pasties, made at the same time as the casserole, with casserole meat. But there wasn't enough. So I made a vegetable-bacon mix to go in these. I made pastry for the first time in many, many years, using my new food processor. I forgot the salt, so the pastry is a bit bland, but I think it'll be okay. We'll have these warmed through with some oven chips and maybe some broccoli.
WEDNESDAY: we'll have the Pasta Putanesca that we didn't have last week. I've got all the ingredients in the cupboard already. As I said last time, I might make some garlic bread to have with this.
Oh my! That garlic bread looks good! I may have to make some tonight, just because!!! The photo comes from this site where a French person raves over garlic bread. That may seem strange to many Britishers, who imagine that garlic bread is a French invention. It uses a baguette, and garlic? Bof! It must be French! But in fact, it is unknown in France. I remember when we were cycling our charity ride from Amiens to Colmar (800 km in 3 days) (done relay style) we arrived in Colmar, and were sitting outside a bar drinking much needed and very welcome beers. Some fellow riders arrived, and demanded garlic bread from the café owner.
"It's French! You must have it!" they cried. "Pain de garlique!?"
"Garlique. Pain avec garlique!" There was much confusion, until the Flamenkuch I'd ordered for our little snack before a four-course-dinner arrived.

"Oui! That'll do!" our fellow cyclists cried with delight. "Deux of those!"
The waiter departed thankfully, shaking his head over what was meant by "pain de garlique". He wouldn't've recognised Pain à l'ail either

THURSDAY: I've got two sea trout fillets in the freezer, so I'll make this salmon (but with trout) noodly dish. We like it lots and it's easy to prepare.
FRIDAY: Last week, I cooked some faggoty meatbally kind of dish to go in the freezer. I think we'll have that on Friday with mashed potato and some vegetable...possibly braised leeks, as I'll be buying them for yesterday's fish.
SATURDAY: When in Lidl last week, I saw some pork ribs at 30% off. It's not something I've ever cooked, but this recipe looks quite easy. A lot of recipes include "barbecue sauce" in the ingredients, but that's not something one finds easily in France, so this recipe uses ingredients I can find (altho I'll use tomato purée in place of the ketchup) Served with rice and salad. Or maybe rice-and-peas.
They do look good, don't they?! The picture is taken from the same site as the recipe.

Oh goodness me! No updates!! I am sorry. Let me see...
Casserole was fine, though the meat was a bit chewy, as expected. Very tasty though.
My pastry on the "pies" was a bit thick & chewy - I've not made pastry for so long - but generally fine.
Wednesday saw no garlic bread, as Mr FD was in charge of making the sauce. Very nice it was too!
Thursday, I went "off piste" with the recipe, using a noodle mix that I'd bought cheap. It wasn't a great success.
Friday's faggots were yummy. I was very pleased with them. I'll be making them again. As I heated them in the oven, we had them with oven chippy-type thingies, so I wasn't wasting the heat. 
Saturday - I went "off piste" again with the ribs. Mine weren't quite ribs anyway, so I cooked them as the recipe (but with tons of sweet chilli sauce added to the liquid) & cooked for about 25 minutes. Then I removed them from the liquid and reduced it a bit more. Then I grilled them with the cooking sauce as a marinade, until they were crispy. We had them with rostis from the freezer and salad.
I also made an asparagus and ham quiche (more home made pastry!)  which we had for Saturday lunch with baked beans...we've had a new supply of Branston baked beans delivered via Richard who was over in the UK to watch Swindon Town FC romp to a 5-something victory. I think we have some more waiting for collection at Mij & Bill's. Still, you can't have too many tins of beans, I say. Huzzah for Branston Baked Beans!

Tuesday, 24 April 2012

This week (or is it next week?) as we go along

So I thought, I'd say how things were going...
Sunday's turkey roasting joint was fine.So that I could rub/pour the marinade over it, I took off the little net thing that was holding it together, which unfortunately meant it fell apart into two lumps of meat. Not very pretty to look at, but quite tasty. I used the marinade (cooked) in a tomato based sauce, and we had the meal with chips and broccoli.
At the same time I made meatloaf, oaty/apple biscuits, apple crumble and a dish of faggots (which have gone in the freezer), so I used the oven to its full advantage. For the faggots, I used some of the meatloaf mixture, stretched with breadcrumbs, oats and grated carrots. 
This isn't my oven; it belongs to this person but it illustrates my full oven quite well!

Monday was meatloaf night, with pasta mixed in a tomatoey vegetable sauce. The meatloaf was delicious. We have it planned for another meal too. I think it might just make sandwiches, if we slice it thinly enough.
                                                             Sorry! Wrong Meatloaf!!!

Tonight (Tuesday) was going to be turkey again, BUT a couple of weeks back I bought some cheesy sauce puff thingies to have for lunch. We haven't had them, and they've reached their sellby date. So I'm going to bake them tonight with jacket potatoes, to have with salad for dinner. 
We'll have the turkey tomorrow (Wednesday) with salad, and abandon the Puttanesca pasta planned for Thursday (It uses store cupboard ingredients so I didn't buy anything special for that. It can easily be transferred to another week.)
Thursday now ...I actually made a mushroom sauce to have with the turkey; we ate it with rice and sweetcorn. Meatloaf tonight with sautéed potatoes and salads. Yum!
Friday we had spinach & ricotta tart, as planned. Mr D didn't have too much, as he'd eaten out at lunchtime, but I had mine with green bean salad and a baked sweet potato.
Saturday's imam wotsit, falafels and tzatziki was fab. Loads of it and very delicious. I jazzed up the flafels with a bit of cayenne pepper, and used the end of a tin of ratatouille in the aubergine dish, but it really was yummy. Definitely a make-again.

Sunday, 22 April 2012

Delicious soup: Ginger-Carrot soup

I don't always post recipes, but this is a delicious one. I didn't follow the recipe exactly, so here is my take on the recipe that I was given.

2 tbsp olive oil
2 sweet potatoes, peeled & chopped
2 onions, chopped
about 500g carrots, but it's not a definite quantity. Chopped. Peeled if you wish
2" piece of fresh ginger (or in my case, ginger that's been hanging round in the fridge for about 5 weeks...), peeled &chopped
Chicken stock, about 1 litre, but a bit more/less depending on the thickness
A good splash of orange juice.

Sweat onions in oil for about 5 minutes.
Add sweet potatoes, ginger and carrots. Then add stock & seasoning.
Boil and then simmer for about 20 minutes.
Zuzz until smooth. Add orange juice and more stock/water if it all looks a bit thick.

You've had last week, now it's this week!

This painting is entitled "Jesus Eating With Sinners" ...I just like it because it looks like everyone's having a good time. We are lucky enough to be able to enjoy our food, to choose what we eat and to spend time and money (though many of us are trying to spend less!) preparing and eating it. Over at Tracing Rainbows Ang posts about the 2012 Live Below the Line campaign. I won't say much about it, as she explains it better than I, but basically, one is challenged to spend no more than £1 a day on food (per person, I think) in order to experience how millions of people below the poverty line live on a daily basis. She links to the official site, and it was interesting to read the comments of other people who had done this, some saying how much food became less of a pleasure, but more of a necessity, more just a refuelling exercise, when one is reduced to eating the very cheapest foods. To be fair, others seemed to approach it more rationally, spending money on vegetables (rather than tinned soup and spaghetti!) and found it challenging but enlightening. I'm not sure I could bring myself to do this, but it is certainly a concept worth considering...

And having said that, I will consider our menus for the week...

I have put Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall to one side for a while, and am going back to my own folder of collected recipes for a while. I'll return to River Cottage in the summer, because I do want to complete my challenge to try all the recipes in the book, but for now I want a change. However, we will still be eating at least two, but probably more vegetable based meals a week.

I have been a little inspired to think more carefully about what and how I cook by The Frugal Queen's post about using energy wisely. Often I pop just one thing in the oven (admittedly our smaller "top oven" but oven all the same) without considering the cost. I should try to use the space a little more. So with that in mind, I'm planning on cooking several things this evening, which can be used through the week, or frozen for a later date.
Here's Frugal Queen's oven; I really need to take lessons!

SUNDAY (today) We're having "Spice rubbed turkey breast" from the booklet Ang sent me. I didn't get a turkey breast, but instead I bought what is labelled as "Turkey roasting joint". I think it should do. I don't have the recipe to hand, but this looks similar. I'm hoping that it will do for another meal plus sandwiches, but it does look a bit small; I may be being a bit ambitious! I may have to forgo the sandwich filling. Here is a photo of a turkey who doesn't look very cheerful...perhaps s/he already is aware of his/her impending use as a turkey roasting joint.
MONDAY: I'd planned a meatloaf yesterday, but we went out. So, following FrugalQueen's example, I'm making the meatloaf tonight (Sunday), at the same time as cooking the turkey. We'll have it cold with pasta and tomato sauce tonight (Monday). The recipe uses loads of meat, and no filler (oats/breadcrumbs etc) ; I'm thinking I will add some filler, and also use FQ's recipe to make faggots which I can then freeze. I have loads of carrots so I should be able to make a carrot-filled gravy to go around them. Gilles-from-Shopi gave us some past-their-sell-by date apples and pears, so I'm going to cook them and make individual crumbles for Mr FD, plus a kind-of appley/oaty/crumbly flapjack (this recipe looks a possibility)
                                                                      Source: as recipe
TUESDAY: Turkey from Sunday, served with couscous salad and something else. The recipe from Ang's booklet suggests a couple of salads, but I've not got the ingredients, so I'll make it up as I go along, and see what's in the fridge!
WEDNESDAY: Meatloaf with jacket potatoes and salads. I may make coleslaw for Tuesday, so that will be one. Plus the usual lettuce, tomato combo, and maybe something else too. 
THURSDAYPuttanesca pasta - who else but dear Nigel Slater to give you the recipe This is a fast, easy recipe and I might run to making some garlic bread to go with this.
FRIDAY: Spinach and ricotta tart which I've made before and really like. It's a creamy tarty-quichy thing. We'll have it with sweet potato chips and green bean salad.
SATURDAY: Ages and ages ago I downloaded some recipes from the Innocent website (I've looked, but they're not there now, but this guy has very kindly typed the recipe out for you! ) which provided at least 3 of your 5-a-day fruit/vegetable portions. I've never cooked them, but I thought that Saturday would be a good time to try falafels with imam bayildi and tzatziki.
                                                                                                               Source - as recipe
I think it looks very tasty! It seems a bit faffy, but on Saturday I usually have more time and feel more inclined to cook stuff. It uses the oven so I'll have to try to get prepared for other things - maybe a casserole for Sunday, to be reheated in portions in the microwave. Goodness! You do have to be organised don't you!!!

Tonight, I look forward to watching Silent Witness on TV and tucking into chocklit from Easter. We have an egg plus minieggs to eat. And then I bought some more chocklit when I went to Noz. And then some just happened to leap into my shopping trolley (nobly aided by Mr FD !) when I was shopping. No wonder we are members of the Fat Dormouse Club and not the Thin Dormouse one!

First of all, Catching Up on last week

I'm sorry I didn't comment on last week's menus as the week progressed. I'm getting very lax about doing this, and I do hope nobody is getting upset about it! Highly unlikely, I would imagine!
The veggie lasagne on Monday was okay, but not amongst my best. The sauce was a bit claggy and it all felt very heavy. Still, it fed us both on Monday, and Mr FD on Wednesday, when I was elsewhere.
On Tuesday, I felt very lazy. And I didn't fancy the ham linguine that had been planned. So I cooked up some pasta, fried some courgette and onion and used the tub of caincaillotte that I'd bought on impulse, to make a macaroni and vegetable cheesey bake. I'd bought some merguez sausages too, so we had them. It was a good meal to make as I had to do some preparation for my lessons that evening. I shoved it all in the oven, instructed Mr FD to turn the sausages at regular intervals and went up to my study to work. After an hour, there was a delicious meal waiting for me!
Wednesday was Les Mis night up at Cathy's.There was me, Cathy, Richard, Clare and her three children, Maxim, Joseph and Alyssia. Jean was there for a bit, but then went home (next door) to make a phone call, which lasted so long, he decided he'd missed too much and went to bed!!  I stuffed myself on cheese-and-ham crepes and then banana-and-nutella crepes. Lovely.
The DVD of the concert version of Les Mis was very good. It's not a musical I know well, as I was more a Phantom of the Opera girl (I saw it about 5 times when we lived in the UK) but I can certainly see the attraction. On this site, there's a link to the YouTube of Alfie Boe as Jean Valjean singing "Bring Him Home"...Very moving. And on a purely carnal level (!!!) very good looking
(though a bit on the short side for me!)
Thursday saw us eating vegetable soup and bread with Cathy, as we'd been out to Clermont Ferrand to see "My Week with Marilyn".
 I had a 2 hour lesson, so to make it worth the petrol, we went and spent more money having lunch and going to the cinema!!! It was an excellent film, which we really enjoyed (save for the whispering girls on the row behind us. Paddington hard stares didn't work, nor did Mr FD's hissed "shut the f*** up!" (Oh! Mr FD!!!!) )
Friday saw two aubergines languishing in the fridge, and me with no inclination to stuff them. So I made an aubergine gratin, with layers of aubergine, mushroom and onion, and a jar of pasta sauce. I shredded some ham and put mozzarella on the top. We had this with some slightly dead asparagus that Gilles-from-Shopi had given us.
Saturday was Gilles-from-Shopi's birthday (see my other blog for details of card and gift) and he took us out to a restaurant in Roanne.  

Here you can see the menus we chose from - I had the 19€ one, which was very good value, I think. I had the tatin of boudin noir, followed by the lamb. Absolutely delicious! I certainly don't need breakfast today - but I probably need a brisk walk!
And so now onto next week's plans...

Sunday, 15 April 2012

Abandoning River Cottage for a bit

 Just a quick reminder that I have another blog, View from the Teapot, which can be found here.I blog about my life in France a bit more over there. This is mostly just food!!

Much as I like Mr F-W River Cottage Veg Every Day! I'm finding it more difficult to trawl through the book and find something that makes me think "Mmm, yes!" - especially as many of the remaining recipes are for salads, and the weather at the moment is definitely NOT salad weather! It is grey and rainy today. And chilly. So, I'm leaving River Cottage to explore New Horizons (two booklets I won in a giveaway from Ang) and to revisit Old Favourites, for a few weeks.
                          So, here is a painting of a horizon (!!! How's that for a spurious link!?)

We had an enjoyable evening last night - Mr FD and I went up to see Cathy. Our friend Richard was there, with the two boys from next door. We had dips (courtesy of River Cottage, we had  bean & artichoke dip - I can't find a recipe online. But it's cannelini beans, artichoke hearts and seasonings whizzed together. - houmous (I always use Nigel Slater's recipe for this, but with half the amount of tahini), and a made-up-as-I-went-along salmon (tinned) and cream cheese dip) then pizzas, then very creamy desserts, courtesy of Carrefour, via Richard. We watched "The Eagle" on the big screen
which we all enjoyed, although it was only loosely based on the wonderful, wonderful Rosemary Sutcliff book:
I have a version, called "Three Legions" which includes three of her Roman Britain stories. Meant for young teenagers, I still enjoy reading them today. I felt the film showed a lot of (beautiful) scenery and riding through Wild Scotland, plus a lot of chasing (a little bit like Doctor Who - there's always rather too many shots of The Doctor running about) and lacked some of the excitement of the book. But, isn't that often the case with films of books? Here is a really interesting article from The Guardian about the books, about the author and about the journalist's reaction to the book.

Here is a Roman wallpainting of dinner, which helps us to link in to this week's menus.

TODAY (SUNDAY) We're having what I'd planned to have last night: it's not what I call a "Sunday dinner", but tant pis. It's beef and pepper fajitas - recipe made up, but basically fried, spicy beef, peppers and onions. If the avocado is ripe, I'll make guacamole as well.
MONDAY There's a vegetable lasagne in the freezer, made from last Sunday's roast veggies. So we'll have that.
TUESDAY: Ham linguine, I think. This isn't quite the recipe, but it's quite near - although the one I'm doing is slightly lower fat, as it doesn't include creme fraiche. As I'm not a great peas fan (which could explain why Mr F-W's Macaroni Peas didn't get a resounding vote of confidence!) I may use courgettes instead of peas.
(I just want to add that the site that I've taken this photo from looks really good, with some delicious very-good-for-you recipes. I've just bookmarked it. )

WEDNESDAY: "Les Mis" night up at Cathy's - we're watching Les Miserables on the big screen and eating crepes. Mr FD is not a fan of musicals, so he'll be at home. I'll have to find a dinner for him. There may be something in the freezer.
THURSDAY: I think we'll be having Cous-cous and apricot stuffed aubergines. This isn't the recipe I was planning on using, but looks so much nicer than the one I have! I think I'll do this one instead!!!
                                                                                             Source - as recipe
FRIDAY: Cauliflower/broccoli cheese, with fried bacony bits and chips. Full of artery-choking goodness (plus a few veggies as well!)
SATURDAY (I'm adding Saturday now, instead of at the start of next week, because I'm finding I have less time on Saturday to catch up with the blog. It seems to be becoming a Sunday thing instead.) So we're having meatloaf, from the other booklet that Ang sent me. I'll have to tweak the recipe though, as it users hard boiled eggs which Mr FD can't stand. Otherwise, it's a standardish meatloaf, using both pork and beef mince, with a layer of tomatoes, fried bacon and olives (and hard boiled eggs) between two lots of mince. It uses a heck of a lot of meat (almost 1kg!) but I'm hoping it will do us two meals plus two lots of sandwiches, in order to get value from it. Maybe I can bulk it out a bit with oats, and use less meat...? Does anyone know how this might work out? I'll also cut down on the number of eggs used to bind the mixture - 4 seems excessive. I'll see how I get on with two. We'll have this hot with jacket potatoes (using the oven at the same time!) and a tomato sauce and maybe some green veggies.

I hope you all have a week full of fun, and delicious food! Do let me know if you try any of the recipes as well. I'd love to know your reaction to them.

Sunday, 8 April 2012

Happy Easter!

A good start! I'd written a few lines and somehow (I was looking at the keyboard not the screen) I pressed the wrong key, there was an ominous "bonk" sound and I looked up to find that Blogger had dissappeared and I was on a different web page altogether. How did that happen? No idea!

I was apologising for my lack of commitment to this blog - I've not updated all week due to getting home later than usual. I can check other people's blogs using Tabby (my tablet) but, although I can use it to blog, the keyboard isn't very condisive to typing very much.


 here's a cute rabbit picture to say Happy Easter, and

to remind us all why we have cute bunnies in the first place.

We've just had a lovely Easter lunch with two friends. We started with a salmon and asparagus starter. We'd had this when we went to other friends' for lunch, and it seemed perfect for an Easter celebration. We then had roast chicken, gratin dauphinoise, broccoli, roast vegetables, hasselback potatoes (again!) and a spinach/feta/pinenut/puff pastry combo for the vegetarian. We finished with pannacotta
I don't really know quite what the menus will be this week, but as we've got a lot of leftovers, I suspect they'll consist of
one meal of cold chicken, gratin dauphinoise, and broccoli
one meal of salmon and asparagus, probably with a baked potato
one meal of spinach/feta etc combo. Possibly with salad.
one meal of something made with roast vegetables, probably (possibly?) a veggie lasagne
Chicken soup for lunch. Twice. At least. With cheese (as there was a lot of uneaten cheese board)
Just to correct my dear Commenter's idea - the cheese wasn't in the soup. It was on sandwiches eaten WITH the soup...however, thinking about it, cheese IN the soup mightn't be a bad idea. I love parmesan on my minestrone, and cheesy croutons in onion soup, so why not in other soups too? I know chefs recommend throwing the tail ends of parmesan into soups to give them "depth"
"The something made with roast vegetables" went into the freezer for next week, but we had River Cottage Patatas Bravas plus a Bean & Artichoke dip on Thursday, and a pasta and readymade (but jazzed up a bit with extra veggies) sauce on Friday

That takes us to Friday. I'll be shopping on Wednesday; so I'll think later about the following few days, but I might go for easy no-brainer options, like sausages etc.

I'm sorry this is shorter than usual. I've had a tad too much wine at lunch to be too erudite!

Sunday, 1 April 2012

Abandoning River Cottage for the Week!

We've all gone slightly Zumba-mad here in St Just...There are four of us (middle aged) ladies who have decided that Zumba is the Way To Go...Cathy brought her DVDs from England, when she came over this time, Clare and Alison have bought copies too. And me? Well, I'm lagging behind a little. While I enjoy the Beginners session, I still don't feel ready to move on (I have only done it twice!!) - the others are, as far as I can tell, Zumba-ing away every day. My knees certainly found yesterday's workout a little tough! Having said that, I do love dancing, and this seems a fun way to try to get a bit fitter. It would be great if we could find an instructor to come to St Just, but I can't see that happening.

Anyway, on with the Important Things...FOOD!
I'm starting to see the fruits I love arriving in the shops - I know it's not the season yet, so I'm not buying them; they'll still be fairly tasteless. But I can begin to look forward to strawberries, melons, and nectarines. I don't know which is my favourite, I love them all! I don't really enjoy much winter fruit, so when the summer berries arrive it's heaven!

SATURDAY: Yesterday I had planned to make turkey burgers, but in the end, instead of mincing the turkey escalopes, I hammered them thin to make turkey rolls. Gilles-from-Shopi (he's a good friend, and the owner/manager of our local mini supermarket) gave us a couple of boxes of not-quite-out-of-date Apericubes
which are little cubes of flavoured cheese spread. I used several of the tomato flavoured ones, spread on the escalopes, before wrapping them in dried ham; I used several of the garlic & herb flavoured ones in the cheese sauce to go on the gratin of bette stalks
 I used the leafy part in place of chard in the soup on Friday, but the stalks are a bit tough for that. However, baked in a cheese sauce, they're not bad. I made Hasselback potatoes too, which are my Favourite Potatoes du Jour!
SUNDAY: We're having a salami tart (spread puff pastry with Aubergine pesto, slice tomatoes over, lay slices of salami on top and mozzarella if you have it. I don't. I have grated Emmenthal. Oh well.) We're having this with chips and salad.
MONDAY: I won't have much time to go shopping this week, and Mr FD can't go till Thursday, so we're using up bits that are around. It won't do us any harm! I have a couple of lamb steaks in the freezer, and I made a batch of houmous for lunch today, so Lamb steaks with houmous mash seem to be a sensible option for dinner tonight.
TUESDAY: Piri-piri baked sausages tonight. These also use baked vine tomatoes (see recipe above) As I've got some courgettes, I may roast some courgettes for yesterday's dish, and have them with the left over bettes, saving the tomatoes for tonight.
WEDNESDAY: Something fairly quick is required - probably fresh pasta with a homemade tomato sauce. I'm pretty sure there's some in the freezer, which I can jazz up with a few veggies (grated courgette's usually a good one for this) and a splash of chilli sauce!
THURSDAY: Last week I bought a butternut squash. Not because I'd planned to use it, but because they're a seasonal veg here, and it's coming to the end of the season, so I thought "Grab one while you can!" I'll make spicy butternut squash soup for the weekend (there's an annoying ad, but you can skip it) but for tonight, I'll probably make a buttternut squash risotto.That's one recipe, but I usually use the Slimming World recipe below:
 FRIDAY: I bought some Italian tortilla wraps in Noz a couple of weeks back. I love chilli in wraps - so MESSY! So I think I'll make a stiffish chilli (with meat, dammit! Sorry, Mr F-W...River Cottage doesn't get a look in this week) and some guacamole, and make wraps for a messy Friday meal...No!  I've just remembered, it's Good Friday, and for some reason, I feel I shouldn't eat meat on Good Friday. (I'm originally Methodist, not Catholic, so it can't be that!) So, maybe we'll go for Kamchatka, with peppers and tomatoes, and baked eggs, and have the messy chilli meal next Saturday.

Spicy chilli and butternut squash risotto (makes 4 servings)
Bring 852ml/1½ pts stock made with Vecon to the boil in a saucepan. Meanwhile, spray a large non-stick frying pan or saucepan with Fry Light. Add 1 finely chopped red onion, 2 finely chopped cloves of garlic and 1 deseeded and finely sliced chilli, and cook gently for 2-3 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Increase the heat under the frying pan to medium and add 255g/9oz of Arborio or risotto rice to the pan, along with 140g/5oz chopped butternut squash. Stir in a ladleful of the hot stock.
Wait until the stock has been absorbed, then continue to add a ladleful of boiling stock at a time, as soon as each addition of liquid has been absorbed. Stir constantly to prevent it from sticking.
Add the stock in this way until the squash and rice are creamy and al dente (tender, but retaining a bite). Season, stir in some parsley and serve.