10/08/2015: Carrot noodles with a peanut sauce – Thank Your Body
I couldn’t WAIT to use my new Veg-a-Spin spiralizer today and we had a bunch of carrots to use so I chose this carrot and peanut sauce recipe. The Veg-a-Spin is quite simple and essentially works like a pencil sharpener rather than a worktop version with a crank. I did regret choosing a carrot-based recipe instead of a courgette-based recipe as I think courgettes would be much easier on the arms! As for the sauce, I found the it a bit rich and thick so I think I would try and make it thinner next time, but it was a good combination.
11/08/2015: Flavoured pasta three ways – own recipe
I had SO much fun cooking this! This was the last packet of pasta that we brought back from Pastificio Giacomo Rizzo in Venice and contained black cuttlefish pasta, red beetroot pasta, and yellow curry pasta. There wasn’t enough pasta to make one standalone dish with each flavour for 2 people so I decided to go for a “pasta 3-ways” and try to use ingredients that celebrate the flavour of each pasta. For the cuttlefish pasta, I went for chorizo, cherry tomato, and basil; for the beetroot pasta, pancetta and sweet pear; and for the curry pasta I went with onion and chilli. I couldn’t pick a favourite because they were all so different, but they all worked really well and I would love to make any one of these again if I find good flavoured pasta…or maybe even learn to make it!
12/08/2015: Duck namban donburi – Noodle Foodle, Wimbledon
Duck donburi! Yummy! Namban is a sour-sweet-salty sauce and is goes well with some nice slices of duck. As I’ve said before in a previous post, duck is one of my favourite meats, so you can imagine that this donburi went down well. I think I’ll try cooking this one in the new year and see how it goes!
Lizi: Orecchiette Pugliese – Strada, Royal Festival Hall
I was out for dinner at Strada tonight with a friend and I went for the Orecchiette Pugliese which is orecchiette or “little ear” pasta with Italian Luganega sausage, pancetta, tenderstem broccoli and Grana Padano. After a while, I found the sausage a little salty and found myself wanting some sort of sauce, but it was a pleasant dish.
Mark: Yasai katsu curry – Oki, Wimbledon
With Lizi out I was playing catch up on a meal that she had used up earlier in the year. Yasai katsu curry is a vegetable dish with breaded pumpkin, tempura vegetables, curry sauce, and a nice portion of rice. I would give this a go if it was regular katsu but I didn’t fancy carving up a pumpkin, or making the tempura vegetables on a work night. Take away it was then! Oki is a local favourite for Japanese, and the curry was good. Generous portion of vegetables and the tempura was delicious.
14/08/2015: Tuna and basil pasta
Tonight we were back at Mark’s mum’s place ahead of Mark’s full distance triathlon on Sunday! Claire cooked for us a big pot of tuna and basil pasta with red onion and a tomato sauce. Such a simple and tasty use of tuna!
15/08/2015: Pasta Bolognese – own recipe
Mark: Night before the triathlon and I needed a good old carb-loading dinner. I also can’t believe I made it to August before having a pasta bolognese! Crazy year. For added flavour in the bolognese sauce our home recipe adds a vegetable stock cube while simmering, and also a touch of tobasco to give it a little kick. Grated cheese on top rounded the meal off nicely and definitely filled up my energy stores.
Beautiful sunrise this morning as Mark got ready for his triathlon and what great conditions for a dip in Farmoor reservoir! A little nippy for me though!
Dinner: Blackened mahi mahi on saffron rice with curry sauce and pink grapefruit chutney – Ye Olde Red Lion, Chieveley
No way were any of us fancying cooking tonight and we wanted to celebrate Mark’s huge effort in his full distance tri today. Mark and I were both so intrigued by this dish on the board of the Red Lion in Chievely and it more than lived up to our expectations. The fish was perfectly cooked and the flavours of the saffron rice, curry sauce, and grapefruit chutney just blew my mind. Great cozy little village pub atmosphere with some seriously tasty food. We also met Susie who founded Susie’s Preserves who sell lurvely jams into Saddleback Farm Shop and other stores. She’s a lovely lady and it was really interesting hearing about how she set up the business and the challenges facing small food business in the UK today.