Yesterday was the first day of half-term, which meant the girls and I had a lie-in that we very much enjoyed. Even though I was up at 7.30am, I didn’t feel like getting out of my pyjamas, much less like leaving the house.
I hadn’t done a proper shop at the weekend, however, and was resigned to the fact that I might have to actually leave the house; but then I cleared out some cupboards (chucking millet flakes with a best before date of June 2008 and other delicacies in the process!) and realised that, actually, we had plenty. Yaay! I could stay in my jammies and not bother sticking as much as my nose outside the door!
So, here are the recipes I rustled up by just using the bits and pieces I found in my cupboards (and fridge!).
8 medium eggs
8 Salad potatoes
2 Red chillis
30g Ginger-Garlic paste
2 Tablespoons of Olive Oil
20g Hard cheese
½ Tablespoon of mixed herbs
Salt & Pepper to taste
Heat your oven to 180 degrees.
Beat the eggs with the herbs, salt and pepper. Leave to one side
Chop the onions, beetroot, carrots and potatoes (or about 750g of whatever root vegetables you have handy) into chunks.
Toss the vegetables with oil, and garlic-ginger paste.
Pop the oiled vegetables into an oven-proof dish.
Tuck a red chilli in at each end.
When the oven is ready, put the veggies into the oven and roast them for about 40 minutes, tossing them halfway through the cooking.
When the vegetables are cooked properly, pour the egg mixture over the vegetables and scatter the cheese over the top.
Pop the dish back into the oven, and continue cooking for another 15 minutes.
I know that with 8 eggs in this dish – at 29c each – this is not exactly a cheap dish, but it is very filling and we got a eight generous servings from this amount. The frittata can be eaten hot or cold, with bread if you have it, and a green salad if you happen to have some leaves in your fridge.
Also in my cupboard-rummage, I found the end of a bag of rye flour that was two weeks shy of its best before date. An opened bag of ground almonds lay beside them and I decided they might make an interesting pairing.
Rye Almond Shortbread
75g Rye flour
75g Ground almonds
75g Light brown sugar
Cream the butter with the sugar.
Add the rye flour and the ground almonds.
Mix the lot into a dry-ish dough.
Press into an oven proof dish.
Pop in the oven for 30 minutes.
While it’s still warm and still in the tin, score the shortbread into eight pieces.
Leave to cool in the tin.
As you can imagine, this was quite dry, so one of my girls had it with a spoonful of Greek yoghurt. I enjoyed mine with a cup of Earl Grey tea.
While I was at it, I used up the end of my besan (chickpea flour) and made flatbreads.
2 cups of besan
1 Tablespoon of olive oil
1 Tablespoon of curry powder
Add the oil to the besan.
Carefully, add enough water to draw the mixture into a pliable dough.
Chickpea flour is of a very different texture to wheat flour, and this can quickly become a sticky mess, so be sparing with the water additions.
Knead the dough for about 10 minutes an leave to one side for 20-30 minutes.
Break off a lime-sized piece of dough and flatten it out on a wooden board. I didn’t roll it because I didn’t have any rice flour to dust it with in order to stop it sticking. I did have wheat flour, but I’m wheat-intolerant so chose not to use that.
Dry-fry the bread over a medium heat – about 30 seconds each side.
Keep warm in tinfoil lined with kitchen paper (the tinfoil keeps it warm, the kitchen paper stops condensation forming as a result of the steam from the bread).
I also realised I had one blood orange left from last week’s shopping and four carrots that were just a few days short of rubbery. I was going to make soup, but Ishthara begged me to find some other way to use them up. So I grabbed a tin of chickpeas and made this:
Chickpea, Carrot and Orange Fry.
1 Tablespoon of oil
1 Tablespoon of butter
400g Can of Chickpeas
2 Teaspoons of cumin seeds
3 Cloves of garlic
Zest of 1 orange
1 Tablespoon of freshly-squeezed orange juice
2 Teaspoons of smoked paprika
Salt and pepper to taste.
Melt the butter in the oil over a medium heat.
Add the cumin and cook for about 2 minutes, until the cumin releases its aroma.
Tip in the carrots and cook for 8 minutes or so – until the carrots are softening and starting to brown.
Add the garlic, paprika, salt, pepper, orange zest and chickpeas.
Continue cooking, stirring occasionally, until the chickpeas have been heated up (about 5 minutes).
Remove from the heat.
Pour the orange juice into the pot and stir to mix.
This was yum – and very filling – served with the chickpea chapatis.