I can't believe how time is escaping at the moment! Here we are at the dawn of the weekend and I haven't even got around to telling you what happened at the end of last week - never mind where we were headed with this week's menus!
It's Christmas, you see. That's what I blame it on. I swear, I'm going to start organising - and buying - for Christmas next August. It's the only way.
So - what happened at the end of last week (aka Monday)? We were due to have a Shepherd's Pie, cooked by hubby, and much anticipated. Didn't happen. Why? Well may you ask! Flipping Christmas got in the way, again. Poor old hubby spent all day christmas shopping while I was at work, so we took pity on him and bought frozen pizza from Sainsbury's. Ahhhhh - all together now. *chuckle* Well, it didn't seem right to have him slaving over a hot stove when he'd been wearing out his shoes up and down from Bournemouth to Boscombe all day.
Tuesday began the new week's menus and to start off what promises to be a good week, I had booked in a Pork Ragu with Chocolate and Tagliatelle. This one is a real gem, as not only was it easy-peasy to create, but it tasted truly delightful - and even got the thumbs up from our son. Can't ask for more than that! If you're even a tiny bit intrigued by it, print it out and put it on your dinner table - you won't regret it!
Wednesday continued my "attempt to have son happily eat aubergines" when I had booked in Sausages (see appeal for 12yr old?) with Parmigian di melanzane (or Aubergines with Mozzarella and Parmesan). I figure that if I serve the aubergines completely plastered in a tomato sauce and Mozzarella, he can't help but eat them. Well, I was almost right, if it wasn't for his adeptness at peeling the Mozzarella from the top. He did at least eat the middle of the aubergine, even if he baulked at eating it's black skin. What IS it with children (or maybe it's just my child) and the colour of the food he eats? Bizarre.
Thursday brought about the welcome (and by now, much anticipated) Shepherd's Pie. Now I say Shepherd's Pie and that's what I mean, as it utilised 500g of Lamb Mince. No faux-Shepherds around here, thankyou very much! Mmmmn, but it was lovely. Really lamby with perfect mashed potato on top. Hubby had opted for a departure from our usual run of vegetables, by the inclusion of some Celeriac. Son declared it to be tasty and indeed I agree with him. It's been a long while since I had Celeriac and I can see it appearing more often now we've made it's re-acquaintance.
So that brings us up to date (as I write this) with Friday's first attempt at a Goan Curry - and my first attempt at a fish curry, (that doesn't involve prawns). I can remember, at one time, fancying making a fish curry but being far too overfaced by the idea of possibly over-cooking the fish. I guess it's a measure of how far I've come, that I can view the possibility with relative equanimity. My one real challenge is to make the sauce thick enough to please Hubby, yet thin enough to make it a Goan Curry, as opposed to any other curry! We shall see.
Saturday is an old family favourite, that of Muffin topped mince. It's a bit like a Teviot pie, except with a fluffier (and suet-free) topping. The Muffin in this instance is made with cheddar cheese, which does a similar job to suet but with a lighter (and tastier, to my mind) finish. With a lovely savoury mince in a thick gravy underneath, it makes a smashing comfort food fix. Bearing in mind that we're likely to have a decent amount of snow on Saturday, it will probably be a first that I haven't served salad with snow on the ground! I've bought a little Sweetheart Cabbage and we'll have that with butter-glazed carrots and peas. Yummy!
Sunday is one of those "salad in the snow" days, as referred to above. It's not quite as bad as all that, though, as topping the bill is a Pasticcio di spaghetti con salmone affumicato e gamberoni. Or, "layered spaghetti with smoked salmon and prawns". Right. We'll have a side salad with avocado alongside. Again, this is another dish I've never made before, but the idea of oven-baking a) spaghetti, b) smoked salmon and c) prawns was too intriguing to resist. I'm hoping that the 100g packets of smoked salmon offcuts will do nicely, considering I can't afford "nice" smoked salmon - but we'll find that out on Sunday!
Monday is one of Hubby's "in the kitchen" days and all being well with the Christmas Shopping (my god, if we haven't finished it by then ....) he should be cooking up a lovely Chilli Con Carne - except this time, filled with enthusiasm by the addition of chocolate to the Pork Ragu, he's anticipating using a little chocolate in his Chilli. Can't wait!