Emptying The Freezer
Slowly but surely my, or rather my cute landlady Aline's, fridge-freezer is dying.
It started with one of the shelves cracking and breaking, scattering broken glass and jam all over the floor,
then I noticed that my gin is no longer coming out of the freezer compartment as syrupy as I like it,
and that my beers aren't cooling quickly enough while I wait for my baths to run.
Then the freezer failed to make sorbets for the Hobbes' crew's Mexican Meal
and now it's all dark in there.
It might be the lightbulb, or it might be the little button which is supposed to pop out to turn the light on when you open the door,
but is all cracked and broken on my fridge, and sometimes pops out,
and sometimes just gives you an electric shock when you accidentally touch the exposed metal terminals inside.
Well, at least it still has power!
So I'm in the process of inventing ways of using up all my frozen food before the fridge turns itself off or explodes.
Broad Bean Couscous
A hot broad bean salad with cucumber, peas and mint
Serves 1 greedy bastard
Since I'm clearing out my freezer I happened to have whipped up some yoghurt sauce earlier to eat with one of my fabulous frozen
Spicey Cottage curries
I added a dozen sliced finger chillies (rolling out their seeds first) to the curry before microwaving it
so I really
needed the yoghurt sauce.
I basically whizzed up
- juice of half a lemon
- half a red onion, roughly chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, chopped
- teaspoon or two of tamarind concentrate
- teaspoon mint sauce
- teaspoon amchoor (mango powder)
- teaspoon or two garam masala
- half teaspoon ground cumin
- half dozen green chillies, seeds removed
- half teaspoon chilli powder
- large bunch coriander, stalks removed, leaves washed
- salt and ground mixed peppercorns
and then mixed it into a large pot of yoghurt.
I know it sounds like I added a lot of chilli to what ought to be a cooling sauce,
but I just kept throwing stuff in until I liked the taste. So I like it hot. So sue me!
But now I have a tasty yoghurt sauce that I thought might go well with couscous, and some broad beans...
- 1 onion, roughly chopped
- couple bay leaves
- 2 cloves garlic, crushed and chopped
- couple handfuls frozen broad beans
- couple handfuls frozen peas
- bunch mint, chopped
- 1 cucumber
- couscous to taste
- yoghurt sauce
Roughly chop the white onion
and set it to simmer with the bay leaves in a little water.
Peel, crush then chop up the garlic.
Add the garlic to the pot, followed by the broad beans, followed by the peas.
Peel, deseed and chop a cucumber and add it to the pot.
Cook everything together briefly until the cucumber starts to soften and the beans are tender.
Add the chopped mint, season and stir the mixture into your couscous.
Add enough boiling water to just cover the couscous and leave to stand for 10 minutes until the water is absorbed.
Fluff the couscous, season and stir through a little walnut or avocado oil and serve with a yoghurt sauce.
A quick and dirty stewing steak tagine
Since I am
emptying the freezer, the meat and the mixed veg came right out of frozen packages.
Otherwise I might have been inclined to add chickpeas, flaked almonds, squash, maybe prunes.
I was deliberately trying to stay away from tomatoes though.
You'll need couscous (feel free to throw some onions and herbs into it) and a yoghurt sauce with this too.
perfectly tasty yoghurt sauce
I made earlier (though really, it's hard to go wrong!):
- 1 clove garlic
- juice of 1 lime
- 2 green chillies, deseeded
- 1 teaspoon mint jelly
- 1 scant teaspoon dried mango powder (amchoor)
- 1 teaspoon garam masala
- generous handful coriander leaves and some stalks
Whisk up the non-yoghurty ingredients first, then stir into the yoghurt.
- half head garlic
- 1lb stewing steak, cut into 2" pieces
- juice of a lemon
- 1 teaspoon concentrated tamarind
- mixed vegetables
- thin slices preserved lemons
- 2-3 kaffir lime leaves
- coriander/mint leaves
- 1 teaspoon garam masala
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon ginger powder
- 1 teaspoon cumin powder
- pinch chilli powder
- ½ teaspoon paprika
- a generous grind mixed peppercorns
Rub the steak all over with the spices and leave to marinate in the fridge overnight or longer.
Heat some oil in a large pan, fry the meat until it is browned, add garlic fry briefly,
add lemon juice and tamarind, add the mixed vegetables and lime leaves. Cover tightly and cook on low for a couple of hours until tender.
Towards the end, add some chopped herbs and thin slices of preserved lemons.
Serve with couscous.
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