Photoset with 2 notes
Guess what my mom got me for my birthday this year? If you guessed Velveeta, you guessed right. And what a gift it was: Velveeta Macaroni and Cheese brings back memories of childhood. I’d eat that shit all the time! Breakfast, dinner, detention, funerals. I jumped at the chance to share the magic with Justyna, who was geared up for experience.
But what to have it with? I’m not 5, I can’t just eat a big bowl of Velveeta and call it a day. Fortunately, KRAFT have got you covered: they’ve printed a photograph of beef loaf with broccoli on the back of the box. So that’s what the fuck I did.
MINIMAL FUSS: I used this meatloaf recipe as it does not require a wealth of ingredients. Justyna, however, made a key change to this furore by creating her own glaze. No sugar, no ketchup, no mustard. Instead, she used the ass-end of a jar of Red Chili Garlic Jam and ( Q:Justyna what did you do? A: Literally just put a bit of warm water in the jar of jam to make it looser and then spread it on top of the lovely loaf Bob had made.). That was great because not only did it taste great, but it used the high-class dregs of something that we already had in the house!
I also blended my own breadcrumbs from soya linseed toast. If you don’t want to hanky-Panko it up, I encourage you to do the same.
We served this with steamed broccoli and classic Shellz. Velveeta is a trashy guilty pleasure, but as a whole this meal was hearty and (reasonably kinda) healthy. Feel the burn!
Drippy Fish Rain Town
Check it out! We got a whole lot of rain on Friday afternoon, which culminated in a massive flood on the corner of our road! Actually that’s not true, you can see it’s a very small flood. No properties got damaged, but cars had a difficult time driving through that slop!
To celebrate (another lie, it was a coincidence), we made some trout fillets! We don’t have a frying pan at the moment, so Justyna put the fillets inside well-oiled packets of tin foil, then lubed them up with butter, lemon and parsley. 12 minutes at 180C is plenty!
We served this with a sweet potato mash: take a really big sweet potato, boil it up til it’s soft, then drain it and mix with milk, butter, salt, pepper and cinnamon. We used a hand blender to make a mound of creamy goodness.
Served with a generous portion of spinach on the side: Not a lot to say about spinach, but if it ain’t broke don’t fix it.
Also if you look very very closely you can see an insignificant amount of tiny salad leaves. This was from Justyna’s rooftop garden, the lettuce got drowned in their buckets and they were taking ages to grow anyway - so she ripped em up and shoved them on the plate. They tasted…like lettuce.
After a disappointing cocktail at Hyper Japan* we thought we’d wave the weekend adieu with a mojito! These are easy, refreshing and glitzy. This is what I did without any fancy cocktail equipment:
I bashed up 12 mint leaves with a pestle and mortar, I transferred that to a tumbler. I place in a shot and a half of rum (that we had been chilling in the freezer) and a tbsp of sugar. I squeezed in half a lime and then dropped them in and topped the mix up with soda water. I stirred and dropped in a few ice cubes and CLINK you’re done!
*More on this from Bob later
After we enjoyed a courgette dip we ventured out in the face melting heat to the Walthamstow Garden Party at Lloyd Park. It was a blast, high lights was the crafts tent, mum was particularly taken by the knitted cacti. AND the craft beer, we supported Wildcard Brewery again and got a pint of Jack of Clubs and Queen of Diamonds. We sipped these in the shade on the grass as we caught up and had a laugh. We wandered around, watched a bit of music on the main stage and then realized it was 7.30…time to be wandering home. I purchased a marsh mallow plant and stroked a small dog’s head, he was called Morris.
My appetite had been slightly deadened by the heat, but I revved it up again and we headed out to the nearby Forest Tandoori. I go passed there everyday thinking: BREAK ME OFF A PIECE OF THAT PESHWARI NAAN! Followers will know that Bob is not a curry man, so this was a strictly mother & daughter affair. Forest Tandoori didn’t disappoint, brilliant service, classy food and really cheap!
I had marinated duck, dry vegetables and a beautiful peshwari naan. I love peshwari naans and have a special/awkward way of eating them: peeling off the top and scraping out the sweet stuff in a methodical and meticulous manner. I can’t believe I didn’t take a photo of the beast, I think I was over excited by our sizzling entrees arriving! Mum went for lamb korai, dry veg and some pilau rice and from what she reported, she was having the time and dinner of her life too. We ordered a small beer each, I a Mongoose and mother a Cobra.
When it was time to pay the bill we were both given a rose and an after dinner mint, which was a nice touch, although it made me sad because I saw that they didn’t give roses to the males. ROSES FOR ALL! We tipped generously because the meal and everything was great and then we strolled into the summer night feeling full and flouncy.
DIP I DIP U DIP!
This was Saturday, my mum came up to see the new flat and to wish me a happy 30th in person. As with Polish tradition she brought us a loaf of bread and some salt. Wonderful Maldon sea salt and a glorious cheese and onion loaf baked that morning. The night before had fashioned a dip based on a recipe for aubergine caviar but using courgettes, as they are in abundance at the moment.
Here’s how to make a lovely courgette dip:
This was served with the gifted bread and carrot sticks. Good times!
(Not-So-)Slow-Cook Beef Chili!
Sometimes I fuck up when I’m reading recipes, and I mix shit up like I’m Amelia Bedelia or something. I’m not saying I put a calendar in a cake or anything so don’t even think about that. Despite my downstairs mix-ups, I can still put food on the table in a tasty fashion.
Last Sunday I picked this recipe from BBC good food to give a whirl. But whoopsie, guess who read “cooking time: over 2 hours” as “cooking time: 2 hours”? (Spoilers: me). You’re supposed to slow cook this beef for seven hours. Who’s got that kind of time? Jeez!
But I knew deep within my heart of hearts, I had the power to make this right. I’m going to tell you how to make slow cook chili at a medium speed.
Let’s follow along with this recipe together and I’ll tell you were I deviated.
Step 1: First of all, we don’t even have a slow cooker. The first thing I did was get a big big wok, and I began to fry the salt & pepper-seasoned beef strips in a tabelspoon of olive oil. I pushed them around the pan on a medium heat for about 8 minutes until they began to brown. Then, I lifted them out and set them aside in a bowl. Don’t dump the beef oil!
Now, I fried the onion, coriander and red pepper in the beef oil. After they began to soften (roughly 7 minutes)…
Step 2: I added the garlic, puree, chopped tomatoes (i used 2x cans of 400g tomatoes), stock, spices and beef strips back to the wok. Bring it to a boil, then turn the heat down low to a simmer. Put a helmet on that soldier! I mean, cover the pan. I cooked this mixture for 1 hour and 45 minutes, giving it a stir every 30 minutes.
Step 3: This is where you can rejoin the recipe without any problems. Turn off the heat, put in your chocolate and coriander, then stir it all around!
As you can see, we served this on top of basmati rice. I gotta say, this worked out really beautifully. The beef was tender and succulent, almost resembling barbecued brisket burnt-ends. Who needs 7 hours? Not these goons! I really recommend you try this out for yourself, because it’s the best beef chili I’ve ever made.
BAKED ZITI (Minus the Ziti!)
i didn’t really know what baked ziti was, but I remember hearing Linda Belcher from Bob’s Burgers repeatedly scream about it in anger, so I decided to give it a whirl! Justyna said we had a bunch of leftover pasta, so we didn’t get any ziti: what we have here is baked tagliatelle with a little bit of penne. Them’s the breaks!
So you boil up ya pasta, and while you’re doing this, you fry the zucchini, onion and mushrooms for 10 minutes. Then you add the tomato and garlic and cook for another 3-5 minutes. I seasoned with oregano and salt and pepper.
Here’s the funky ass bit: Take a big thing of ricotta cheese and it combine it with a beaten egg and some salt. Voila! Dump everything into a casserole dish and bake it at 180c for 30 minutes. BAKED ZITI!
Justyna loved this, I thought it was simply “pretty good”, but could’ve benefited from extra seasonings and a ball of mozzarella. But hey, next time!
SUMMER NIGHT CITY
Who the hell is that weird little man wearing my clothes? Oh…I see
More excitingly, in my blurry mitt is a homemade strawberry, honey and hazelnut milk ice lolly!
I think I coulda been more generous with the honey…you live and you learn. A perfect treat for all this sweaty-arse weather we’re having.
Fine, but I don’t think I’ll make it again
My commentary on these two Linda McCartney recipes I tried out this week. I’ve been carrying around Linda’s Kitchen ever since I left home 11 years ago. The dirtiest page is the chickpea curry, a student staple if ever there was one! I thought I’d give some of the other appetizing recipes a go, but these didn’t quite work out right. Serviceable and moderately tasty…but we won’t be making them again.
The first is a Lancashire Hot Pot or Not Pot as I used quorn chunks, which is a variation of this kiddie here, but boring-er. This was nutritious and ‘fine’ but massively watery. We tarted it up with garlic chili jam and a cascade of sweet snacking garlic which really got the party started. I guess the best thing about this is that it’s cheap and easy…and all the stuff we shoved on top of it from the Garlic Farm.
Second up this week was Cottage Crunch Casserole, which really piqued my interest as it has all sort of goodies in it: walnuts, mozzarella, courgettes! But it turned out to be a relatively tasty bowl of rubble. I opted not to put curry powder (!?) in as there’s sun dried tomato and mozzarella going on. This recipe seemed to come from the old school of vegetarian cooking where everything was shoved in to make it exciting. I didn’t bother to puree the mince, because why bother? Maybe that oversight cost us this casserole at full force…cos taste wise…it was just bit boring. Texture wise it was a little bit crunchy from the walnuts, but wasn’t that exciting. I’m sated, it was healthy and I’m sure I’ll enjoy my portion for lunch tomorrow but…I don’t think I’ll make it again.
JAB & BOB’S BEER FEST
We’ve moved to a swankier part of town, where our local SPAR holds an impressive assortment of craft beers. We were gripped by a stifling heat wave meaning that the only way to cool down was to partake of some fine ales. We spread our beering out over the day so we weren’t a terrible mess by the end of it…so ladies and gents our sweaty and boozy Saturday played out thus:
JB: First off was Wild Card Brewery Ruby Red Ale, this is made in Walthamstow and we’ve been meaning to visit one weekend, but today the ale visited us at home. We drank this on the balcony eating lunch. A rich, robust and refreshing red!
RF: This one was a pleasant surprise. The Wild Card Ruby Red Ale is a full-bodied drank with a nutty after-taste. It looks and tastes classy!
JB: We sampled a Belgium Corsendonk, which was…ok…nothing impressive but a cold treat in the deranged heat.
RF: I can’t say I liked this one much. It was OK, not a terrible beer at first, but it got all congealed and weird at the end, with yeasty chunks sticking to the bottom of my glass. I don’t think that’s supposed to happen!
JB: My camera work is a little blurry like my boozy heat addled brain, but next up was an Anchor Porter, which was grand as far as porters go, but didn’t really have much of a personality compared to some of my fave porters. At this point I was tipsy enough to attack our overgrown garden.
RF: Anchor produce some really excellent beers, particularly their Steam Beer and their Maple Autumn Red, but this Anchor Porter did not make much of an impression. Stick with their lighter offerings for maximum flavour! I’m not proud to admit that I actually had to take a nap after this beer. ( ु⁎ᴗ_ᴗ⁎)ु.｡oO
JB: As you can see by my mud spattered face I had almost won against bindweed and it was time for a treat, in the form of Samuel Smith’s Chocolate Stout. This was ridiculous, the smell alone divulged that we were in for an extravagance! Like drinking alcoholic chocolate – so basically the best thing in the world. Bit nutty, bit caramel-y and very chocolaty. We declared this the best chocolate stout we had ever drunk.
RF: Holy crap, this really is the best chocolate stout in my world. I didn’t even know you could get this, let alone outside a pub! Many competing chocolate stouts give a hint of mocha in their scent and flavouring, but Samuel Smith’s Chocolate Stout is a truly chocolatey and delicious dessert beer. It’s like drinking a chocolate pie. As demonstrated by his similarly flavourful cherry and apricot beers, Samuel Smith is the master of sweet flavoured beers.
JB: Last beer and look at that percentage! The Mud City Imperial Stout at a cracking 9.9% we decided to go out with a bang. This was a beaut and I was in the best mood of my life after doing a heroic amount of gardening and drinking beer throughout the whole day. This was creamy, dark and woozy boozy!
RF: You can tell by the way this beer uses its walk that it’s 9.9%. Pitch black, rich but not overwhelming. It’s very drinkable despite it’s alcohol quotient. This is a beer that I plan to have again in a hurry. But don’t let it sneak up on you! I bet it could quite easily.
I RANK THEE AS SUCH
1. Samuel Smith’s Chocolate Stout
2. Mud City Imperial Stout
3. Wild Card Ruby Red Ale
4. Anchor Porter
If you’re ever in Walthamstow, be sure to check out the SPAR on Orford Road for its excellent selection of craft beers from around the globe. Get a pizza and some bacon jam while you’re there, too!
Page 1 of 61