Classic Wok

September 14, 2023

Not all my cooking is SW friendly. That’s the beauty of Slimming World; it is about choices. If you want to eat carrots all week and have a few lagers and a kebab on the way home on a Saturday, you can and lose weight. Not exactly the healthiest approach but still possible. It is about balance and that’s not just food groups. We are human and deep in our psyche is the “forbidden fruits taste the sweetest”.

In this post I am sharing some of my most recent dishes. Foods I have cooked but not necessarily eaten because I am most definitely trying to achieve the implausible but possible.

The Return of Saturday Night Fake-a-way

One aspect I am enjoying at the moment is left overs; turning one dish into something completely different. On Friday I prepared a chunky chicken broth. There was plenty of soup and solids leftover so I decanted some of the liquid and used it to make the brown rice for a curry. I added a mix of curry powders and cumin to the solids and as the curry was ready, I spooned a little Quark to give a creamy texture. You can’t use Quark at simmering as it will separate due to its lack of fat.

I blended a little mango with banana and greek yogurt to make a raita which although was SYNable, added to the Curry Night experience. A wholemeal pitta bread (from allowance) masquerading as a naan.

Two for One

Sunday’s aren’t all about a roast in this house. I find it difficult to eat and relax until I have finished my pastoral role. A lot is said of fasting in many religions, that it cleanses and clears so that the focus is on devotion.

Last Sunday, I ate two dinners! The first was in the morning where I had the privilege of leading Holy Communion with a favourite congregation & secondly, Sunday evening when I prepared a family roast.

A cut of rib eye was first browned, then broiled in the multi cooker, before being allowed to rest. The juices were reduced to make a flavoursome gravy.

As for vegetables; I made “Rosties”. Grated, courgette, onion, carrot and potato, fused with white pepper (nice little kick) and salt, bound by grated 50% fat cheddar cheese. Made into palm sized patties and roasted.

Accompanying this was a swede and radish purée. I simmered diced swede with sliced radish in a little of the meat juice. When softened, I used a stick blender to purée. A very sweet accompaniment to the plate & palate.

How do Puddin’?

Another classic that graced our table was “Toad in the Hole”. No amphibians were harmed in the creation of this traditional dish. If you are unfamiliar with “toad in the hole”, it is a Yorkshire Pudding (roasted batter) which has sausages (usually pork) cooked inside.

Obviously this is not an SW recipe and to date I have laboured had between getting the right heat transfer between the top and bottom of the pan. Enter my new toys! Tefal Genio pans which come with a detachable handle & are quite deep.

I started off by cooking my sausages first in the airfryer. I lined the pan with oil and placed upon a high heat (hob). Whilst this was happening the oven was warming to 200C FAN (add 20 for non-fan). Next I mixed flour, pinch of salt, two eggs and milk to produce a thickish batter. I tested the pan by adding a droplet of batter and when I could the formation, I emptied the remaining batter into the pan, quickly placing the sausages. Literally it was another 2 minutes then the pan entered the oven (handle detached) and cooked for about 20 minutes until golden brown.

Toad in the Hole with roasted summer veg.

I’ve Crumbled!

Another classic this time a dessert. I am blessed to have so many caring and sharing people in my life. A good friend furnished me with apples and quince from her orchard. As I have not cooked with quince (made jam but not cooked a dish) before I was eager to see the result. Quince being the more stringy and hardened member of the pear family, when cooked can release its wonderful flavours and sweetness.

I decided upon a crumble which is always a crowd pleaser and arranged peeled apples and quince in an oven proof dish. Cheated with shop bought crumble topping (at bargain shop prices I couldnt make my own so why waste time and money!). I added a couple of tablespoons of granulated sweetener just in case there wasn’t enough natural sweetness. Boy did I get that wrong! The result was a balanced dish of fruity sweetness and flavours. The quince and apple making perfect partners as they waltzed across the ballroom of my tongue.

Happy birthday Mam

My mother would have turned 90 this week. I held her hand as she faded away some 13 years ago and it something I will never get over. In her hay day she was the consummate cook. Her meals were legendary and her baking was nothing sorting of orgasmic.

In her honour I made one of my childhood favourites – Corned beef pie. Corned beef, mixed with cooked onions and mashed potato, encased in a light shortcrust pastry. No added salt, pepper or flavourings. Plain, simple, and delicious.

And Finally…

It was hard not partaking in the more stodgy dishes but my joy comes from the inception, through execution to reaction. The look on the faces and the clean plates of my family. As for me, I enjoyed a simple Greek salad using allocations of SYNs and then a treat of a flatbread at 6 1/2 SYNS. A little herb, some balsamic and pure enjoyment.

Until the next instalment… be well!

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