Thursday, 30 April 2009

chicken bolognaise

More double cooking sorcery tonight with classic Bill Granger chicken bolognaise - although we use turkey, and after Sunday's debacle I don't add any white wine.

chicken bolognaiseBrilliantly not only is there enough for us, some for milo's tea tomorrow and enough for a couple of chunky-baby-sized meals in the freezer, I get it all done in time to watch tonight's amazing episode of Midsomer Murders. Can it get any better?

Food of the Milos
Actually it can as Operation Make Loads of Extra Food for The Milos is off to a cracking start with maximum take-up of ratatouille. Maybe I should've put some wine in the bolognaise afterall?

pad thai & ratatouille

This week the plan is to cook some extra meals on top of our dinners for milo to have the following night, with some extra to put in the fridge for him. Naturally it's already gone awry as last night I was too knackered, so tonight we begin.

To pick the process up we're having pad thai because it's quick and easy. As it turns out although quick, for some undefinable reason tonight's is possibly the worst pad thai ever. Maybe not enough shrimp paste? Not sure but it looks a bit anaemic and watery...

pad thaiMore successfully I knock up a batch of St Hugh's ratatouille for the magic.

Food of the Milos
Maximum picklage tonight with food all over the floor when I get home, and a minxy look on his face. The anas are less-than pleased, but then she shouldn't have got him drunk on red wine on sunday *ahem*.

Monday, 27 April 2009

chorizo, tomato & butter bean casserole

So tired, so sleepy, which is odd as mynci slept until half seven this morning, but regardless I hit the wall at about four this afternoon so something quick is required. As it's cold the ana's decide she wants to warm-up so we have a barnes-mccarthy classic; chorizo & butter bean casserole.

chorizo, tomato & butter bean casseroleIt's the first recipe in the black book, was a staple of our trip around the South Island of NZ, and could quite possibly have come from ana's favourite sports and fitness magazine, Zest.

Naturally we watch it whilst sniggering at Nigella Express. At the end ana feels Nigella has 'empowered' her to have a pudding, which is lucky as she's got three Gu's in the fridge.

Food of the Milos
After last night's dip in form he has plain food today, just in case; weetabix, pasta and tomato sauce, and another smorgasbord of milo-sized things for tea.

stuffed pasta shells with roasted tomato ragu

Hmmm, BBC Weather says 'pissing it down all weekend' and yet it seems to be blazing with sunshine outside. And we pay our license fee for this?

On the upside it does mean we can have an al fresco Sunday lunch with the lovely Magnus O'Leary, and as it's sunny we have pasta from last year's Italian issue of Delicious; stuffed pasta shells with roasted tomato ragu!

stuffed pasta shells with roasted tomato raguThough I say it myself, it's my most successful attempt yet despite the freaking large pasta shells stick together *again*.

I started the tomato sauce on saturday night, and ana plans ahead by putting the wine into the freezer and remembers just in time for Sunday lunch. Oh, also Laura upstairs gives us a couple of marvellous passion fruit cheesecakes for pudding - aces!

Food of the Milos
So good and bad. He had dippy egg with ham-wrapped mini-breadsticks for breakfast, a smorgasbord of avocado, houmous and cheese for lunch, and then his own portion of pasta. *However* I forgot half of the pasta sauce is in fact, red wine (not frozen), which perhaps doesn't go down as well as I thought. A thought confirmed later that night with a spectacular vom described by magic as 'burp'. Burp indeed.

Sunday, 26 April 2009

chicken stock, mushroom risotto & fragrant chicken and spinach curry

Good morning, good morning, you only slept to 0130 and then flapped around in our bed until 0430, and then woke up again at 0600, good morning, good morning to you!

What starts quite badly and ends as the longest day of this year, is also the most star-studded; me and magic 'run into' Phillip Glenister in Barnes, and we all get to lurk behind Penelope Wilton in the baby/shower gel aisle in Waitrose. Woo - but it doesn't make up for only having three and half minutes sleep though.

Seeing as he's back in bed earlier than usual we have time to plan our shopping and meals for the week, ana finishes her OCD cleaning of the windows, and we have a pre-Richmond lunch of mixed mushroom risotto using last the chicken stock from last week's roast.

chicken stock
mixed mushroom risottoLater for dinner as we had experimental cookery last night tonight we have a curry, bill granger's fragrant chicken with spinach curry, although I go slightly off menu by adding the left-over mushrooms and the remaining stock rather than canned tomatoes. I blame Radio 7s version of Rebecca for leading me astray, although it ultimately doesn't matter because whilst i'm culturing it up in the kitchen the anas are dumbing down with My Best Friend's Wedding in the front room.

fragrant chicken and spinach curryFood of the Milos
Not sure what went on last night. He wasn't unhappy, just 'awake', but on the upside there are signs his appetite is coming back as today he had:
  • two-egg scrambled eggs for breakfast,
  • some risotto for lunch (he's so middle class),
  • annabel karmel pizza and a yoghurt for dinner.
Plus the usual raisins, breadsticks, fruit and milk of course.

steak with cherry tomatoes and cannellini beans

Experimental cookery is a controversial choice for a Friday night, but you can't go very wrong with steak can you?

steak with cherry tomatoes and cannellini beansActually, the beans and tomato base is pretty good at soaking up any booze any irresponsible parents might have drunk whilst maybe at their friend Claire's, or even at work happy hour.

Food of the Milos
Claire cooks him and his betrothed some sort of food, I have no idea what as I was 'working', so it's just bath, milk, a quick read and very late to bed for him. Naturally this won't come back to bite us in the arse at all.

Thursday, 23 April 2009

chicken caesar salad

Another 'oldie' makes a reappearance as the days lengthen and warm up; Jamie Oliver's 'Proper' caesar salad.

chicken caesar saladIt's another recipe I find peculiarly satisfying to make, particularly the sauce. However Jamie is only half right in his opinions: It *is* better to use chicken legs as the meat is moister, but unless you like croutons soggy and full of chicken juice, like doughy parson's noses, they are patently not the best croutons ever.

caesar sauceInterestingly this is one of those dishes where the anas, her hair wafting like brown smoke in the wind, only reveals her true feelings after she's eaten it about ten times and I think it's a winner. Tonight she decides it's not 'zingy' enough, and more as a lunch thing. Unfortunately for her we've got two more legs in the freezer and unless I can find something else to do with them, she's having it again. Mu-ha-ha-ha

Food of the Milos
He was a bit better today, he had pasta and cheese but still didn't eat an awful lot, although he has seemed to be less coldy and teethy of late.

Wednesday, 22 April 2009

chilli and tomato fish

It's ana's first day back at work after easter, she's still got a cold, is on anti-biotics and the milos are still being extra-vexing. What she needs is something comforting to make her feel better.

What she gets is experimental chilli and tomato fish, described by the Mortlake AA Gill as "What, just a lump of fish on tomatoes, with some salad?"

chilli and tomato fishAs it turns out it tastes pretty good, although I think you probably do need to find a chunkier cut of fish than a fillet, otherwise it's a bit wishy-washy.

Food of the Milos
The maternal wails and gnashing of teeth continue as a certain monkey starts his descent into full-blown terrible twos; no dinner eaten tonight, maximum dinner (chicken pie) thrown on the floor along with raspberries, cutlery and his water. Which is odd as he normally eats all of that stuff. I hate him.

I don't really. I heart him to the max, after the anas.

chicken and sweet leek pie

After the A&E debacle, the much-heralded chicken and sweet leek pie finally makes it's reappearance, although it was a near-run thing as I realised I had the wrong pastry in the fridge and had to make a mercy dash to sainsburys. Sorry WHAG...

chicken and sweet leek pieIt's actually a variation of Jamie Oliver's turkey and sweet leek pie from this year's christmas collection, and I only have it on DVD so I have to have the laptop out, but it works just as well with left-over chicken.

Food of the Milos
He spurns the opportunity of eating chicken, potato and cauliflower cheese in favour of chicken and passata, before lobbing it over the floor. The ana's aren't best pleased. He seems to be going backwards at the moment, the pickle.

Tuesday, 21 April 2009

cheese toasties

Bad parenting-a-go-go sees us spend about a million hours in Kingston A&E only to discover the milos haven't really done anything to their foot. By the time we get home I can't be bothered to pick the remaining meat off the chicken carcass to make a pie, so we have cheese toasties.

I'm less than inspired, but at least he hasn't developed tagliatelle hamstrings or gouty foot through his recent close contact with Daviss and Greggy.

cheese toastiesFood of the Milos
Before hospital Zoe stuffs him with pizza from annabel karmel - she's become quite the thing hasn't she? - and we fill him with raisins in casualty.

The lucy's, if you're commenting as I'm writing this at half ten at night, how sad are we (to the power of 30)?

roast chicken, boulangerie potatoes and cauliflower cheese

Summer's coming, and we've also decided to have chicken and sweet leek pie this week, so we need a roast chicken - woo! Everybody says Simon Hopkinson has the best roast chicken recipe - and they're bang on although curiously I've not cooked anything else from that book.

roast chicken, boulangerie potatoes and cauliflower cheeseSlightly controversially I redo the boulangerie potatoes premiered a couple of weeks ago, and annabel karmel's baby cauliflower cheese, with delicious' chicken gravy.

The negative side to all this mix-and-matching is the work surface is halved by various books, and the bottle of wine doesn't help.

Food of the Milos
You leave ana mccarthy for one second and she's immediately buying ready meals for him - tsk! In my drunken absence yesterday she buys him a Little Dish cottage pie, which he scoffs in seconds, leaving me only a small portion for 'tasting'. I eat his pudding to show him.


No cooking today because it's all about playing THE LEGENDS of rugby in a charity game. I'd like to say I completely dominated former internationals in our last game, but seeing how it's on Sky (allegedly) the truth of being Peter Winterbottom's bitch will be all too obvious.

tiffin boxOn the upside I didn't die, and full of hearty life-giving ale I make the executive decision to get a take away. ana folds, but curiously we don't have our usual. Fired by a billion pints of Guinness I opt for a jalfrezi and spac goes for the old fashioned. She made the correct decision.

Food of the Milos
I have no idea what he ate for I was playing THE LEGENDS, and being drunk. Sorry

spaghetti with cherry tomato sauce

Normally Friday nights would be curry night or something else demi-exciting, but tonight we've got the solid gold cherry tomato pasta from Donna Hay.

spaghetti with cherry tomato sauceFor such a simple dish, it's one of the most satisfying to cook, or it could just appeal to my anal side. Steady Dave...

Food of the Milos
The teething and cold hangover from Dorset continues so we're surprised last night's cauliflower cheese goes down so well. Admittedly I blitzed it to fuck, but he still ate it all!

moroccan chicken stew with lemon and gremalota

It's a bit grim outside so we decide to warm up (and combat Ana's cold) with a hearty dose of turmeric and ginger to blow the blues away. We used to do a moroccan chicken stew with more cinnamon and dried fruit in, care of Melissa Turner, but this Delicious version has become the hands-down winner. Sorry Melissa...

moroccan chicken stew with lemon and gremalotaFood of the Milos
The good thing about the stew is it simmers away on it's own for 20 minutes, which gives me time to do an experimental annabel karmel cauliflower cheese for milos dinner tomorrow

Wednesday, 15 April 2009

keralan fish curry

Despite being Wednesday there are still lingering post holiday blues, which get banished with my favourite (so far) fish curry - Nigella's Keralan fish curry in Feb's Delicious.

keralan fish curryGiven it's got coconut milk in, I was surprised at the lack of pictures of Nigella sucking cream off her lips whilst accidentally pouring the can down her top illustrating the recipe.

Food of the Milos
Definite teeth issues so the anas gave him pasta and cheese for dinner, which he seemed to eat.

Tuesday, 14 April 2009

pad thai

The illusions of beginning a healthier recovery diet begin with a zesty pad thai.

pad thaiOur planned health kick goes out of the window in a torrent of wine and beer. Well one can and one glass.

Food of the Milos

As he's had a few teeth 'issues' over the weekend and now has a cold, he gets macaroni cheese (with the added cauliflower). Usually it's his favorite but not tonight, although ana suspects this might have something to do with the platter of cheese sandwiches and packets of 'erb puffs he was stuffing down earlier rather than any illness.

fast asian fish recipe

Fast Asian Fish
The lovely Mrs White wins this week's mini-vote with a request for Fast Asian Fush!
Serves 2, takes about 20 minutes

2 x salmon fillets
3 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon ginger paste
3 tablespoons sweet chilli dipping sauce
Spring onions cut on the diagonal to garnish

1. Preheat the oven to 200C, and stick the rice - we use basmati and wild rice which takes about 20 minutes, hence it goes on first.

2. Put salmon fillets in a shallow oven-proof dish. Mix the soy sauce, chilli sauce and ginger paste in a jug and pour over the fish. Cover with foil and bake for 15 minutes, or until just cooked through, turning the fish over about halfway through.

3. Divide the rice between the plates, top with the fish and drizzle over the sauce and if you can be bothered, the spring onions. I also sometimes sprinkle some chopped coriander over the top as well.

It's like an old friend.

macaroni cheese

A long bank holiday drive back from Dorset after a weekend of over indulgence requires one thing, a big slab of carbs coated in four cheeses care of Mr J Oliver. I read somewhere recently that adding cauliflower into it is a really good way of increasing your veg intake, so I bung some in as well. Naturally this is offset by a really small salad.

macaroni cheese

It goes a very small way to making up for the following massive meals ingested over the weekend, naturally washed down with booze:
Vegetarian AND meat lasagne from Greggy
Chicken curry, chana masala and what looked like green slime in lentils but probably wasn't from The Star of Daviss
A massive roast lamb from the Good Lucy's &
Ratatouille from me via Saint Hugh

In retrospect it doesn't seem like much, but I feel like I've put on about a bazillion pounds. The anas have been stunned into silence by the sheer weight of carbs.

bad lucy & good lucy

The observant amongst you may have noticed experimental cookery week hasn't actually been *that* experimental so far, but from Wednesday it went spectacularly pear-shaped thanks to Miss Lucy Ferguson, hereafter known as Bad Lucy.

A quick post-work pint with the former C4 dream team ends at 0240 with a hearty meal of a packet of Ainsley Harriet's god-awful Cous Cous I got free from Delicious last year, via impromptu karaoke, an abortive search for a take away, and a £20 taxi journey from Hammersmith home. I felt very brackish the next day - only my third day at a new job.

So broken am I, I insist on having a curry from T Box when I get home as it'll mean "we'll have more time packing" for our weekend in Dorset with the Good Lucy (Miss Brenda Baxendale-Taylor), Daviss, Greg, Spandy, Rob, Sex Shop, Ellie, Tilly, Harry, B-Jamin and Cerys.

Ana puts up a massive struggle but eventually gives in on the condition she can try a spoonful of the Old Fashioned.

experimental shepherd's pie

Only experimental in the sense I had a load of squash leftover from the pearl barley casserole, so I added that to bulk up Saint Hugh's most excellent method of using left-over roast lamb.

shepherd's pie
Usually I cook it with mince but it definitely, genuinely tastes much much nicer with the left-overs.

Monday, 6 April 2009

fast asian fish

As it's half term, ana has taken the milos down to the diamond isle, so I've got a week of semi-experimental cookery ahead.

First up, a fish dish which isn't that experimental at all.

fast asian fishWe used to eat this loads before ana selfishly got herself knocked-up and went off it completely, but I've missed it.

salted rosemary roast lamb with fennel & garlic boulangere potatoes, and tarte tatin

More entertaining, only today it's the lovely kate from school. However we're running about an hour and a half late because we spent too much time drinking frothy style coffee by the pond, so she arrives just as I've put the lamb and potatoes into the oven. It's nothing wine can't fix.

salted rosemary roast lamb
f & garlic boulangere potatoes
tarte tatinBecause we ate late-ish and had a pudding, we don't have anything for dinner. Although the fact I failed to buy any butter, which meant the ana's couldn't have toasted sandwiches after lady detectives might have been a contributory factor.

Food of the Milos
He has porridge for breakfast, scrambled eggs for lunch and squash risotto for dinner, although he doesn't really eat much of the risotto.

old fashioned chicken curry & chicken tikka masala

Jude and Pat come over for dinner, and whilst Jude cooks up onion bhaji's (and sticks rice to the bottom of my pan), we cheat and order in a take away from our current Indian du jour; Tiffin Box.

Food of the Milos
Now, with an Old Fashioned Chicken Curry and sundry garlicky side dishes temptingly steaming away on the work top, Operation Smug Parenting goes completely tits up.

It had started well enough, I went off to play rugby (I only got the two today Whitey) and the anas and milo went to Claire and Isla's to nail down our final dowry demands. He has a Carluccio's spag bol for dinner, which goes down a treat. He goes to bed. Our curry arrives. He decides he wants to get up and play. After an hour of trying to convince him to go back to sleep, and with our lovely curries cold, we get him up to exhibit. The bugger.

He goes back to bed at 23.00.

Friday, 3 April 2009

pearl barley, bacon and leek casserole

Experimental cookery for the anas tonight, which she's been putting off all week. As it turns out she's right - the pearl barley turns out to be an experiment too far for her, but she ate everthing else. I'll add the recipe to the list of meals I cook when she's on the Diamond Isle...

pearl barley, bacon and leek casseroleFood of the Milos
With Dorset only a week away Operation Smug Parenting hits a snag as magic absolutely refuses ratatouille for dinner. What will B-Jamin say? We're particularly embarrassed as Jude witnesses his recalcitrance, and we have to cook him a second meal of pasta and cheese. He did eat a Gordon Ramsay broccoli and stilton soup for lunch mind, and spent the afternoon farting. Just like his mother then.

This Week's Recipe
For the Brendas - Warm Mushroom & Haloumi Salad with Red Wine Vinegar.

Haloumi - sliced
Large Mushrooms - sliced
Lemon Wedges

For the Vinagrette
1 shallot - finely sliced
1 garlic clove - finely sliced
2 tbsp finely chopped lemon zest
1 1/2 tbsp lemon juice
1 1/2 tbsp red wine vinegar
1/4 cup of olive oil

1. Place ingredients for vinagrette in small pan & cook on a low heat for four minutes.
2. Fry haloumi until golden in pan, drain on kitchen towel and keep warm.
3. Add the mushrooms to the pan & cook for four minutes.
4. Put haloumi & mushrooms on top of the rocket, and drizzle over the vinegrette.

sardine, chilli and lemon spaghetti

So, with employment looming and the holiday of redundancy ending we decide to take a trip to Folkestone, home of the SeaCat, to fix my mum's computer - hello mum!

Job done, we malinger in rush hour traffic on the A3 before getting home in time to put my three-part plan for Thursday night entertainment into action:
  2. Watch the new series of The Inbetweeners
    - incidentally, the teacher lives at the bottom of our road, oh yes!
  3. Finish my book.
Naturally it all goes tits-up as the milos decides he wants to stay awake despite the fact he's not allowed so we miss most of THE MENTALIST. Inbetweeners is of course brilliant, but with one paragraph left in the book *somebody* decides he needs to wake up again. Grrr!

Anyway I digress, for tea we continued our resolution to have one fish dish a week, this time it's the sardine. Okay, so it's from a tin but it's still a fish.

sardine, chilli and lemon spaghettiFood of the Milos
Another gut-busting day; porridge for breakfast, cheese omelette for lunch and last night's macaroni cheese.

Wednesday, 1 April 2009

macaroni cheese

It's another beautiful day, made better by the fact the milos is at child care. So me and the ana's have a lovely day in the sun stretching ahead of us; I totally pwn golf, and then naturally we spend half of it indoors sorting out various photos.

However we do have a top drunken lunch at the pub, before staggering off to Julia's to pick up our first born. He laughs manically all the way home.

Full of the booze and feeling sleepy we opt for a really simple dinner from Jamie Oliver's otherwise useless Cook with Jamie.

macaroni cheeseFood of the Milos
M Magic's appetite knows no bounds this week. Not only did he have porridge, toast, a croissant and chicken stew at Julia's, for tea he has a massive bowl of last night's ratatouille, half an avocado, some cheese and a fresh fruit salad and yoghurt. Then he does something 'interesting'. He creates his first cocktail:

the milos
I'm going to introduce it to Greggy, Daviss and Manwaring in Dorset next week. In Dorset? I recommend it to anyone! That's twice Tom...


Following the interminable tale of Kendra's meatballs, I decide to double up on veg this week and cook her Saint Hugh's ratatouille. It's a triple bonus because there's enough for milos, we have it with a jacket spud, and Kiki gets the rest. Everyone wins, especially if Kendra's got a really small appetite.

ratatouilleIt's a weird one because the anas don't like aubergine, but the four pan method of cooking makes it taste really creamy and she loves it. Well, she liked it more than the expected 'tolerate'.

Food of the Milos
The milos have been on ace form this week, and the combination of hunger and two days of swimming mean he's really hungry, consequently this time he *does* eat the pasta bows with prosciutto and peas. Although I don't have any prosciutto, but ignore that. He eats it all. Marvellous!

Recipe Vote
The public have spoken, but I'm going to sort-of ignore the clamor for recipes. That is I've had a test run and it takes far too long to write them out every night, instead I'll continue to link to the relevant book. However I'm a nice chap so I'll write out the most requested recipe each week. Until I get bored. Thanks for playing though...

spaghetti with cherry tomato sauce

After the extravagance of Sunday's booze-and-posh-cheese-a-thon, we opt for another oldie and somehow gold by comparison; the v-quick Donna Hay spaghetti with cherry tomato sauce.

spaghetti with cherry tomato sauceFood of the Milos
Actually so quick is it I cook it twice, and the milos have it for his tea too.