Dave's Free Press: Cooking

in which I try not to poison you too much


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weird meta lamb whisky drinking stoo kimchi vegetarian review parsnip beetroot barley steak omelette lolcats culture politics religion silly duck phone chocolate perl prawns palm mussels rabbit pork soup hacking
Sat, 7 Apr 2012

Barley soup

I was going to make a tarka dal for my tea, but I'd run out of lentils, so put some barley on to boil instead. And then I went off-piste.

Simmer the barley for half an hour. Add several cloves of finely chopped garlic and a veggie stock cube. Simmer for another half hour. In a frying pan with some hot oil, fry some of your favourite garam masala (mine's the stuff from the Sri Lankan corner shop - helpful aren't I!) and some ginger, add a finely chopped onion. When that's gone golden and delicious, add two chopped tomatoes and a little of the liquid that the barley is simmering in. Let it reduce a bit, then combine everything together. Once it's reached the right consistency, add some chopped coriander and baby pea pods. Stir those through to warm them and serve immediately.

Posted at 22:11 by David Cantrell
keywords: barley | soup | vegetarian
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Tue, 10 Jan 2012

Lamb Stoo

Fry some diced lamb in butter and oil. Once it's browned and the liquid released, add a finely chopped onion and four crushed cloves of garlic, a teaspoon of coarse mustard, a little chili powder, and a little ginger powder. Cook in the lamb's juices until it starts to go dry, then add veg stock, just enough to cover the lamb, and some chopped dried apricot, and reduce to gloop. Add a dash of calvados and reduce again.

Because the lamb is chopped up small and cooked for quite a long time, you can use the cheapest cuts.

Serve with rice and peas.

Posted at 21:48 by David Cantrell
keywords: lamb | stoo
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Sun, 8 Jan 2012

Omelette with smoked duck fat

Last night I had, amongst other things, a smoked duck breast. There was a nice layer of fat between the meat and the skin, which I removed and kept back. This morning I used it.

Melt some butter with some olive oil. Fry a small shredded potato. Add three beaten eggs, a small chopped onion, and the duck fat. Cook. Nom.

It's important to note that the duck fat was not used to fry the omelette, that's what the butter and oil were for. The duck fat was embedded as little fatty chunks in the omelette. You could substitute bacon instead.

Posted at 20:33 by David Cantrell
keywords: duck | omelette
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New journals

My main journal has been mostly filling up with book reviews, which tends to hide all the other content, so I have decided to split things up a bit.

All my reviews and cooking posts will now appear in separate dedicated journals, and will shortly disappear from the default view of my main journal. However, they will still be available at the old URLs if you link to any particular post or keyword, including if you link to keyword-specific RSS feeds.

The new journals do, of course, have their own RSS feeds.

Posted at 19:30 by David Cantrell
keywords: meta | review
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Tue, 19 Oct 2010

Pork and kimchi with noodles

Grill some pork. Mix with a spoonful of mustard, some fruit vinegar, lemon juice, black pepper, and kimchi. Leave to marinate. Cook some noodles. Put the pork and kimchi mixture into a saucepan with some hot oil, heat through, stir in the noodles and cook for about a minute. Remove from the heat and stir in two chopped spring onions.

Posted at 21:22 by David Cantrell
keywords: kimchi | pork
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Sat, 10 Jul 2010

Mussels in white wine

Chop two strong red onions and four cloves of garlic. Fry in a humungous amount of butter with some mustard, chili powder, and powdered ginger. Once the onions are done, add your mussels, enough white wine to barely cover them, and some concentrated fish stock*. Depending on how salty the stock is you may want to add some sugar. Cook until the liquid has reduced and turned to gloop. Remove from the heat, and add some chopped baby pea pods. Stir in the peapods, and serve with lemon rice and the remainder of the wine.

* you must use a concentrated stock here, as you don't want to add any more liquid than necessary. You can easily make this, of course, by taking your normal fish stock and reducing it seperately.

Posted at 21:36 by David Cantrell
keywords: mussels
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Sun, 21 Mar 2010

Ahhhh ... rabbit stoo

Brown your quartered rabbit in lard, then gently simmer for ages with the lid on (so the liquids don't reduce) in a saucepan with a pint of dark ale, a tin of chopped tomatoes, an onion, a few cloves of garlic, a handful of sage, and some black pepper. Top up with pork stock until the rabbit is just covered. Once the meat is cooked, remove the quarters and strip the meat from the bones. Return the meat to the pan and continue to simmer with the lid off until the liquid has reduced to gloop. Serve with mashed taters.

Keep the bones to make stock.

Posted at 20:06 by David Cantrell
keywords: rabbit | stoo
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Sat, 20 Mar 2010

Lamb with beetroot syrup

Cooked some beetroot in a little bit of water - just enough to cover the thin slices - then once it was done took the remaining water, added a bit of cider vinegar and some muscovado sugar, reduced it to a syrup, and poured it over my lamb, that i'd fried in mustard oil. Ate the lamb with the beetroot, and some cabbage that had been briefly fried with a little turmeric, ginger, and some curry leaves.

As a bonus, the beetroot will turn my pee red tomorrow, without the burning sensations that are the traditional accompaniment to such colourful micturations :-)

Posted at 19:13 by David Cantrell
keywords: beetroot | lamb
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Sun, 7 Mar 2010

Steak tartare

For each person, 8 oz of steak, a teaspoon of capers, half an onion, an egg yolk, salt, pepper, parsley, and a splash of Worcestershire sauce. Finely chop everything that can be chopped, mix it all together, leave to moulder for half an hour or so, and serve on toast.

Posted at 21:25 by David Cantrell
keywords: steak
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Sat, 23 Jan 2010

Recent kitchen adventures

I went to Wing Yip recently, cos it's the cheapest and (more importantly) most convenient place for getting kitchen stuff. I needed a sharpening stone and a sieve. Of course, I was seduced by some of their many frozen delights, and filled a drawer in my freezer full of fish balls, pre-cooked prawns, a duck, etc

I need to empty that drawer so I can fill it with bits of Edmund's pig, so as well as turning the duck into smaller more compact and easily storable pieces, I've been cooking with prawns recently.

First, a nice healthy dish. Toss your prawns (fnarrr) in lime juice and chili. Serve with a salad of warm parsnip chunk with spring onions and tomatoes.

Second, marinade your prawns in lemon juice, cider vinegar, tamarind sauce, garlic and chili for a few hours. Parboil some chunks of butternut squash and then roast 'em with a chopped chipotle chili. Chop and fry a red onion, adding several teaspoons of Pataks* curry sauce. Combine everything in the pan with coconut cream. Just before serving, add coriander leaves and chopped up baby pea pods and stir through. If you have any coconut cream left, have it in your after dinner coffee - it's OK, not as good as real cream, but worth trying at least once.

I've still got some prawns left, but the bag's now small enough to squeeze into another drawer. Success! I have room for bits of pig!

* this is not cheating. Well, it is, but it's authentic Indian-housewife-style cheating!

Posted at 19:39 by David Cantrell
keywords: parsnip | prawns
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