Sunday, 12 May 2013

Two delish meals in one day

I think we had a bit of summer here this morning, but it only lasted ten minutes. The rest of the time it has been miserable, not a lot of  incentive to go anywhere, so I stayed in and did a little simple experimental cooking, and stuffed my face. First off, this was my lunch. I bought a packet of Staffordshire Oatcakes (yellow sticker), spread some margarine and garlic puree on two of them, and sprinkled with mature grated  cheese.
Next add yellow sticker spinach, roll up into sausage shapes, sprinkle a bit of cheese on the top and microwave for a few minutes.
Served on a bed of spinach, with cucumber, sliced raw mushrooms, beetroot, pickled onions, grated carrot, and celery sticks. I had some Value Dip left which finished it off nicely.  All washed down with a can of pear cider. Scrumptious.
As I was browsing the shelves at Tesco yesterday, I came across this packet of Polenta for 75p. I like to read the backs of packets sometimes, to see if it is something I might like to try. I hadn't heard of this before, it looks interesting.
It can be fried, grilled, baked, boiled, and microwaved, and it can be served sweet or savoury, so it's very versatile. Well it's worth a go for 75p.
I googlied it and there are lots of recipes to choose from, so with some ideas to play around with, I decided to make up my own recipe. I chopped two small onions, and some small mushrooms, and cooked them in my new pan, in sesame seed oil. Then I added some garlic puree, wholegrain mustard, lemon juice, and a bit of grated cheese. I cut a slice of polenta, cubed it and added that to the mix. Let it cook for a few minutes on a low gas, then just before serving add some plain yogurt. Serve on a bed of spinach, with chopped cucumber and celery. It was flippin lovely. I thought the polenta would dissolve and fall apart but it didn't. It was kind of softish, not chewey, and the texture complimented the mushrooms, with the onions being slightly crunchy. You could serve it with a microwaved spud, or some pasta would be nice.
If you fancy having a go at cooking with polenta, here are some recipes. I think it is mainly bought as a loose grain which you cook for yourself, but I think this ready made stuff is perfectly adequate. I'm going to make a pudding with it for my next experiment. If anyone already uses it, let me know what you do with it.

I never watch cookery programmes, because I don't follow recipes, but I've just watched the Hairy Bikers Vegetarian programme, and it was very interesting. There is an article on the Vegetarian Society, and a film about an Indian family who hold dinner parties for paying guests, serving up vegetarian food. It looked delicious, and has made me want to experiment a bit more with different ingredients. I have to say though that I won't be following recipes to the letter, but just pinching a few ideas. I still need to keep my cooking simple, as I don't want to become a slave to the kitchen. Just trying a few different things would be nice.
Toodle pip.

6 comments:

  1. The cornmeal to make your own polenta is very cheap and useful for making many other things including cornbread. It can be used in cakes and is gluten free I think. It also makes nice porridge.

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  2. Ruth here.
    Great post-i love Staffordshire Oatcakes!

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  3. Isn`t it amazing that there are still ingredients to be had from the shops that we never tried before. It`s fun to experiment with new things, isn`t it? I shall look out for polenta now. I know that polish folk use it alot in their cooking, and I`ve seen it in the supermarket, but never tried it myself. I tried knochi before and didn`t like the rubbery texture, so did think that polenta might be just the same.

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  4. Hi Ilona, Yes, as Eileen M said, cornmeal is cheap and can be made into many other things besides polenta. But, polenta takes some time to make (you have watch over it while it cooks) so I don't think you're into that, are you? If you do want to try making it yourself, it is worth it because it can really be made very inexpensively and it tastes way better when it's fresh.

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  5. Ooh I like oatcakes, and the ready made polenta is very nice, but more importantly, very quick and easy to cook! i like a few slices fried.

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