What we’ve been cooking … June 2015

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I have had an idea to do a regular post like this for ages.  I ran the idea past Maus and she assured me that the idea was ‘boring‘ but I have decided to proceed, nonetheless, as I think the idea good.

I have been writing a blog for 3 years now and, whilst it is good to try new things, the reality is I have old favourites that we make, time and time again, and some of the new recipes I have posted, I want to make again.

So what I have decided to do is: once a month, tell you what previously posted recipes we have made in the last month.  I don’t know what I will do if, in one particular month, there aren’t any – we will have to wait and see.  After a while, I am sure there will be  repeats but that is good.  You will soon get an idea of which recipes we love the most.

This post should appear about mid month – the IMK posts happen at the beginning of the month so that time is a bit crowded.  That means a bit more discipline in my life.  I am retired and am flourishing on the lack of discipline but we will see how I fare.

Ok, let’s go.  So far this winter, we have already had two pots of Pea and ham soup.  Pea and ham soup is, most definitely, my favourite soup.  I have always loved it, even as a small child.  My mum used to make it and now I do, every winter and many times.  Because everything is blitzed, I don’t bother chopping the ingredients much.  I just throw everything into the pot after they have had a couple of chops and cook the shit out of it.  I then remove the bay leaf and the hock.  Take all the meat off the hock and return it to the pan and blitz it with a stick blender.  With a slice of toast, this is my idea of heaven.

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What, more soup? Yep.  We have been making this recipe, Bean and tomato soup, for years now.  This is Maus’ favourite.  I love it, too, but, because everything is not blitzed, you have to chop the ingredients more carefully so it takes a bit longer to prepare than pea and ham soup.  But it is not too burdensome if you have a mandolin.   My mind turned to this soup because it has 2 x 400g cans of tomatoes in it.  That is 800g of tomatoes!  As you all know, I have cherry tomatoes coming out of my ears.  I replaced the two cans of tomatoes with 800g of cherry tomatoes, blitzed with a stick blender.

Another pot of this soup is on the stove at the moment.  That is another 800g of cherry tomatoes.  I have also made two huge pots of pasta sauce – one: the Australian favourite, Bolognaise, and the other: my special creation of tomatoes, onion, capsicums, olives, capers, dried sausage and parsley.  In both cases, I use huge amounts of cherry tomatoes.

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Talking about cherry tomatoes…  Originally, I made this recipe, Tomato and sage tart,  because it used 500g of cherry tomatoes.  It appears nothing has changed.

To be honest, this month’s was not as yummy as previous times.  Firstly, I decided to use up a jar of caramelised onion my darling sister, Sandra, made.  I love my sister dearly but her caramelised onion left a lot to be desired.  This tart rests on the quality of the caramelised onion so use a recipe you know and love (or buy a good jar of it). The recipe I posted with the tart is a winner.  Also, I had tomatoes everywhere.  I don’t know if I didn’t cook it quite so long or whether the pastry sheets are smaller this year but, all in all, not as successful as previous times.

046copyAnother recipe chosen, in part, because it uses tomatoes.  Earlier this year, when I posted this recipe, Jane Grigson’s beef stew, I knew I would make it again and again, and I will.  It is just fabulous.  The first time I made it, I served it with mashed potatoes.  This time, I served it with baked polenta.  Next time, I am going to serve it with dumplings.  I can’t wait.   I again used my slow cooker and again the sauce was perfect without any adjustments.  This one is a winner.  BTW, this recipe required 800 grams of cherry tomatoes – yeh!!

IMG_5988 copyFinally, but not least, a non-tomato recipe: Noodles with chicken coriander and peanuts.  This is another oft-repeated recipe in our house.  You couldn’t buy takeaway as quickly as you can make this dish.  It is what we make when it is after five and we haven’t even turned our minds to dinner.  A quick trip to our local Vietnamese grocer and we have all we need.  You can be very flexible with the quantities:  Love coriander? Add more.   I just throw the ingredients in the wok with gay abandon and it always turns out yummy.  Do try it.

20 thoughts on “What we’ve been cooking … June 2015

  1. I love your technical use of ‘cook the shit out of it’ in lieu of a cooking time 🙂 Sorry Maus, but I’m on your side with this – it’s not at all boring. I could take some of your tomato crop off your hands if you were closer – we are having cold roast tomato soup for dinner, last week we had fish with a tomato & olive sauce and later this week I’m making meatloaf with ….tomato sauce.

  2. Boring? Never! Golly I love these dishes and yes, p&H soup right up there but I leave a few chunks of veg from the cooking in. Those tomatoes are making me sigh, amazing how that colour is missed so much when you don’t see it for a while. Can you get caramelised onion in a jar? Wow, I should get out more, are they OK that would be a great time saver.

    • Hi Maree. I suppose you can, you can get everything in a jar these days. 🙂 I was just guessing, I don’t buy any preserves myself. Tomatoes, tomatoes, tomatoes they are everywhere here.

  3. I love seeing what you are cooking and eating especially as we are in the same season. I’m so tempted to make old fashioned pea and ham soup (as opposed to my quick version from potatoes, chopped ham, onions & frozen peas which I make to put in the in-law’s freezer!). The G.O. hates the smell but loves the soup. For me it is the smell of childhood winters. Maybe if I set it out on the balcony in the slow cooker while I’m at work…

    • Ella that is a brilliant idea. It will not matter one bit if it is over cooked as it all gets blitzed and you will have a lovely dinner for no effort.

    • Hiya Celia The tomatoes are not ripening that well on the vines. I am bringing them in as they turn and letting them ripen on the bench. I am amazed they are still producing. I took a photo yesterday – the vines look so healthy.

  4. Not boring! Love the idea. I would think that this is something that many people do. We try something new, but we always go back to favourites. Like how you are creatively using up your crop of cherry tomatoes!

  5. Love the idea. It’s funny that you’re heading into soup season and we’re heading into salad and barbecue time. That chicken really looks awesome.
    I don’t know what happens with my caramalised onions – sometimes they’re a winner & sometimes, well they’re just not.

    • Hi Diane, I bet you are excited about salads and barbecues. You deserve them after that winter you had. I don’t know what my sister did with that onion but it wasn’t good.

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