In the soup

Just a short one this week, things are really ramping up work-wise — it’s my main client’s big push for Christmas/New Year/Valentine’s releases.

Tried split pea soup with gammon this week — the end result was pretty good, and using the cooking liquor from last week’s duck for stock added a really nice edge to the flavour, but I ended up adding a bit too much water on top of that, so the soup turned out somewhat runnier than I’d’ve liked (ah well, more portions that way!). Also, when soaking the split peas overnight, I had them in a bowl that was a bit too small and consequently didn’t give them quite enough water for the soaking. They weren’t bullet-hard, by any means, but they weren’t mushy and falling apart either.

Lessons learned for next time:

*Soak split peas in the largest bowl available with PLENTY of water

*Start the actual cooking process with about a pint (568ml) water and go from there

Ah well, whizzing the stuff up with a stick blender was surprisingly fun ^^

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hOI!!! i’m dUCK!!!

…it’s been a stressful weekend, ok? Between that and going on a kick of watching Undertale videos on youtube in the evenings over the past week or so, my brain is going a bit weirder than usual…

This week’s recipe was hoisin duck — the recipe in the book directed that little gem lettuce leaves be used instead of pancakes to wrap the duck etc., but I only had an iceberg lettuce that was stripped down to the inner leaves, so I just made a sort of hoisin duck pile instead ^^

Apart from that I stuck to the recipe pretty closely — the only other significant modification was the amount of duck I used, and that was only because the recipe instructed ‘2 duck breasts’ without giving weight or size guidelines. After a bit of nosing around and research, I used 2 packs of this: http://www.sainsburys.co.uk/shop/gb/groceries/duck-game/gressingham-duck-breast-portions-250g, with the reasoning that they’d shrink in cooking anyway and that 500g uncooked weight of meat seemed a perfectly reasonable quantity given the proportions of other ingredients I was using. Don’t let the low ratings on the product page fool ya — the duck meat turned out to be pretty darn good! 😀 As is to be expected — Gressingham duck is premium stuff.

Cooking the duck was fun — it involved gently simmering the lumps of meat for an hour in a sort of broth or stock comprising about a pint of water, 2 tablespoons of soy sauce, 2 cloves of garlic (peeled and chopped), about 25g root ginger (peeled and chopped) and 2 star anise. It worked perfectly — the duck was cooked and tender all the way through, and the cooking liquor is currently sitting in a sealed container in my freezer because it’ll make awesome stock for the soup I’m going to make next week. Why waste it? 😀

Of course, Ethics Matters — The Philosopher’s Eye

I’m a consequentialist, so forgive me if I don’t spend a great deal of time parsing the meaning of ‘ethics matters’. I shall leave that task to ‘real’ philosophers. Ethics uncontroversially matters if we take ‘matters’ to mean ‘be of consequence’. In case you doubt this claim, and you should not, let me give you […]

via Of course, Ethics Matters — The Philosopher’s Eye

Baaaaahhhhhh!

Absolutely stumped for puns this week >_<

Went to a family gathering/feast-type thing on Saturday and had to spend most of yesterday recovering (socialising is hella exhausting for me, ye ken), so this week’s culinary experiment had to be put off until today. And what was it, I hear you ask?

Low-calorie doner kebabs, I answer!

I made a few changes to the recipe — 500g lamb mince (more cost-effective) and 1 onion (which needed using) modged up with the spices etc by hand (I really don’t like putting stuff through a food processor, as a rule, so I don’t own one), 3 cloves of garlic in the garlic sauce and the Co-op Food’s finest low-cal plain naan bread instead of pitta bread — I couldn’t find any pitta bread when I was shopping for ingredients and got the idea to use naans instead from one of the innumerable takeaway leaflets that keep being shoved through my letterbox…

It turned out pretty well, overall, although the naan tended to fall apart a LOT — I’m going to stick with bog-standard sliced wholemeal bread to go with the remaining lamb patties tomorrow. The other naan from the pack I bought is securely in the freezer and I intend to save it for when I do curried sausages a bit later on.

In non-food news, my copy of Goldenhand came a couple of weeks ago and I was able to get a couple of free days last week in which to read it. It is AWESOME!!! Further commentary is going to have to wait for a dedicated review post centring around the Old Kingdom series, which will probably appear some time around the Christmas/New Year period.

Congratulations 2015 Philosopher’s Annual Winners! — The Philosopher’s Eye

Once again, The Philosopher’s Annual took on the task to choose the 10 best articles in philosophy published in 2015. We are very pleased they chose two articles from journals published by Wiley: Chiara Cordelli’s article “Justice as Fairness and Relational Resources,” published in the Journal of Political Philosophy, and Kenny Easwaran’s article “Dr. Truthlove or: How I Learned […]

via Congratulations 2015 Philosopher’s Annual Winners! — The Philosopher’s Eye

Tikka moment to catch your breath

Chicken tikka masala (low-calorie edition) this week 😀

I used 0% fat yoghurt in the sauce instead of the cream mentioned in the recipe — budget (didn’t want to spend too much on stuff that I wouldn’t use a lot) and calorie content were the deciding factors with this.

Both the sauce and the marinade for the chicken called for certain quantities of ‘medium curry powder’ — again, not something I was willing to spend money on given how little I’d be using it. I therefore briefly investigated ‘medium curry powder’ as described on the Sainsbury’s website and improvised my own from turmeric, dried coriander, cumin, ground white pepper and dried chilli flakes. It worked pretty well ^^ The sauce came out a bit watery, possibly because I didn’t whizz it up with a stick blender or anything — I have to admit, I don’t really like doing that because of its effect on the texture of the sauce…

Overall, though, things turned out pretty much ok 🙂 I also learned that grating root ginger with an actual grater is kind of a pain what with all the fibres and so on, so in future I’ll stick with chopping it into the smallest cubes or matchsticks that I can manage. Should come in handy very soon — I have about 100g or so root ginger left over and an easily-adaptable shortbread recipe, mwahaha! 😀

Sending prawns by clacks

Anyone who’s read the late, great Sir Terry Pratchett’s The Truth (the 25th Discworld novel) will get this one ^^ (For those who haven’t it’s a reference to an amusing sustained misunderstanding by a minor-ish character early in the novel. To say any more than that would probably end up being spoilerish.)

Anyways, I chose that particular line/reference/pun because this week’s dish was prawn korma! (Well, possibly a bit closer to a biryani or something in terms of spice mix, but I was vaguely following a korma recipe, so…) Instead of using korma curry pasta out of a jar (which I wouldn’t be able to use up before it went off), I used 1/4 tsp turmeric, 1 tsp cumin, a good sprinkle of dried coriander approximating a teaspooon’s worth, and 1/4 tsp dried chilli flakes. Instead of the single or double cream, I used the remains of the creme fraiche that didn’t go into last week’s beef stroganoff (I’d kept it in the freezer, so it hadn’t gone off). The whole thing turned out extremely tasty, much better than the last time I made a korma (that time, I think I added two heaped teaspoons of turmeric, which… didn’t taste great. I ate it all — no sense in wasting food — but, yeah, turmeric is something to use sparingly). Ehehe.