Report 5 – Shepherd’s pie & Portabello burgers

Right, straight in with the recipes:

Shepherd’s Pie

1 onion, chopped

2 cloves of garlic, crushed

1 tbsp olive oil

1 carrot, chopped

3 mushrooms, sliced

200g veggie mince

1/2 cup of peas

300ml vegetable stock

1/4 tsp basil

1/4 tsp oregano

2 tsp tomato puree

2 tsp Braggs

salt & pepper

1 tsp cornflour

8-10 potatoes

Peel and chop the potatoes and put them on to boil in a large pan. Warm oven to 200 degrees.

Heat the oil in another pan on a medium heat. Fry the onion and garlic until soft. Add the mushrooms and carrots and cook for a few minutes (until mushrooms soften also). Add mince and peas. Mix herbs, puree and Braggs in with vegetable stock (made with boiling water). Pour over mince and veggies and warm through. Mix cornflour with some water and add to mix to thicken. Stir and simmer on low heat for a few minutes.

Put mince mix in a casserole dish and smooth flat. Mash the potatoes and cover mince to top of casserole dish. Pull a fork across top to ruffle it up so it goes a bit crispy (see pic). Put in the oven for half an hour until top is browned.

Portabello Burgers

Best for barbecues, marinate some portabello mushrooms in a 50/50 mix of olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Grill for about 10 minutes on each side on a high medium heat. Stick in a burger bun with a handful of salad and a dollop of ketchup or burger relish and enjoy.

This is one I’m working on. I’m going to try a few variations, coz it seems too easy, but really it works as is so give it a go.

Pages done: None.

Recipes done: See above.

New things done: Wrote some limericks, agreed to do a charity sky dive (more on that later), bought a ticket to go see Dave Gorman (on my own, which is a bit of a departure for me as I always fill like a bit of a saddo going to stuff like that on my own; but I’m tired of missing out on stuff coz of other people being slow and rubbish, so sod ’em), and bought a ticket to go see a West End show (been in London for over 11 years and never been to a West End show, can you believe it?!?) which I’m going to on Wednesday for my birthday (which is Monday – I’ll be 36).

That’s it for now. A flying visit from me. Oh, wait! I almost forgot the limericks…

Work are having a Valentine’s competition. People are meant to send in their best chat up line and/or most romantic poem to win some worthless piece of tat or other. Now I absolutely LOVE it when workplaces try to pretend they’re more than just some meaningless place you go to trade your valuable time for a pittance of cash, so here’s the romantic poems I came up with. NB: I work for a Swedish TV company.

A rather posh girl from Nantucket
Who drank pink champagne by the bucket
would let you get far
for some good caviar
coz it’s salty, and boy could she suck it.

…and…

A lonely young lady from Sweden
thought one day “It’s love that I’m needin'”
but then after date two
(and some quick how’d-you-do)
realised all that she’d missed was the breedin’

nuff said 😉

Report 4 – I’m late, I’m late!! (Lentil dahl & Student pasta sauce)

Ok, first an apology (to my almost entirely absent readership). I’m a bit late with my report. No excuse really, I was just in a fowl mood (not just angry, but chicken angry, grrr-cluck-cluck!) last week and I just couldn’t be arsed. Was actually quite unusual for me. I was in such an almighty blue funk, and I couldn’t figure out why? Best guess it was a combination of early starts at work – I do TV transmission which is a 24 hour a day, 365 days a year job, so as well as working all night sometimes; this week I’m gettin up at 5am to get to work for 7, which basically sucks ass! – a severe lack of proper sunlight (B12/B6/Bmybaby) and bad nutrition (work means lots of packed lunches, braised tofu rolls, and crisps. Anyway, that was then, and this is now. Down to business.

Lentil dahl

No picture for this as they all came out blurry (will try to do one later, as I have some frozen) but basically imagine something gloppy and yellowey.

1 cup red lentils

2-3 cups of boiling water

a splash of oil

1 onion, chopped

2 cloves of garlic, crushed

1 tsp cumin seeds

1 tsp black mustard seeds

4 curry leaves

1 tbsp of chopped coriander

1/2 tsp turmeric

1 tsp garam masala

1/2 tsp salt

Rinse the lentils thoroughly. Warm oil in a pan on medium heat, then sweat the onions until tender. Add the mustard seeds and cumin. When seeds start to pop add the garlic. Stir to prevent garlic browning. Add the curry leaves, coriander, turmeric and garam masala and stir. Add the lentils and water and bring to boil. Add salt, then simmer until lentils are soft (approximately 12-15 minutes at least). Water should cover lentils easily. Add more or less water depending on how thick you want your dahl (2 cups minimum). Serve on a bed of brown basmati rice. Can also be enjoyed as a soup with some naan bread by adding a lot more water.

Student pasta sauce

This is a vegan adaptation of the recipe that got me thorough college. What used to be tuna is now braised tofu, but apart from that it’s all the same.

1 onion, chopped

2 cloves garlic, crushed

splash olive oil

1 can braised tofu

1 heaped tbsp sweet corn

1 tin chopped tomatoes

1 tsp tomato puree, heaped

1/4 tsp basil

salt & pepper

Heat oil on medium heat in a frying pan. Sweat the onions and garlic until soft. Add the braised tofu and sweet corn and heat through. Add tinned tomatoes, tomato puree, basil, and salt and pepper to taste, and simmer on a low heat whilst you cook the pasta. Easy peasy lemon squeezy!

If you’re a proper student this one can be done without the basil and tomato puree. Just use mixed herbs instead (you should always have some mixed herbs knocking about the place) and be sure to reduce the sauce a bit more to intensify the flavour. It’s quick, easy, cheap, and you can make whilst drunk/stoned. What more could you want?

Apart from the cooking, here’s what else I’ve been up to:

Recipes done: Lentil dahl & Student pasta sauce

Script pages done: None, of course. Have you not spotted the pattern by now?

New thing done: Booked tickets to a West End show. Never been to a proper West End show, so going to go see Legally Blonde for my birthday. Really looking forward to it actually. No idea what to expect. Something amazing I hope.

On a further note, I’m trying to pin down what a ‘new thing’ should constitute. Whether it should be something I’ve never ever ever done before (which could be hard as I’ve done some stuff), or if it should be something new for me now? I mean, just because I’ve tried something before doesn’t mean it can’t open up a new chapter for me now, does it? It’s a tough one. I’m going to play with it for a while, see what comes up; though for the moment I’m leaning towards the entirely new. It seems a bit more challenging.

TTFN y’awl.