Roast in a pot

Apologies for the lateness of this week’s post — I’ve been getting a barrage of short stories coming in at odd times, which rather discombobulates my scheduling. Still, it’s all good, paying work ^^

Pot-roast silverside of beef this week, done in the slow cooker — very nice! Silverside is one of the cheaper, tougher cuts, which makes it excellent for slow cooking. Six to eight hours in a slow cooker, especially with a slightly acidic, tomato-based sauce, really brings out the flavour of the meat and makes it meltingly tender. It’s also an excellent make-ahead dish that’s perfect for autumn/winter weather — handy, as the nights are drawing in and seasonal blues can sometimes sap one’s energy for doing anything other than fishing something out of the freezer and sticking it in the microwave. At least with Hairy Dieters recipes like this, one can be safe in the knowledge that it’s reasonably healthy fare rather than a fat- and salt-loaded ready meal (though those do have their place, especially as comfort food… Co-op microwave macaroni cheese… Mmmmmmmmmmmm…)


Tagging the tagine

It’s getting to be slow-cooker weather here in the UK, which is handy because I’m on the slow-cooker chapter of Hairy Dieters: Fast Food 🙂

First up, chicken tagine — delicious! I left out the chickpeas (I dislike them, and hummus wouldn’t have worked in the recipe) but otherwise, everything was there — chicken thighs, chicken stock, onion, garlic, coriander, cumin, ground ginger, lemon zest and juice, dried apricots… Yum!

It all turned out pretty well 🙂 The chicken was properly cooked, moist and meltingly tender, and everything else had gently merged into a very nice sauce/gravy. The  flavour combinations were a little unusual to my very Western palate, but they were by no means unpleasant. I’ll definitely put this one on the roster!

Short one

Just a short post this week — I seem to be coming down with the first rhinovirus infection of this autumn/winter.

I have a good amount of room in my schedule at present, so get in touch if there’s some proofreading you want done!

Food-wise, I made pork and black bean stew yesterday and it turned out brilliantly — just the right amount of savouriness and spice 🙂

Congratulations to the winners of the 2016 Philosopher’s Annual! — The Philosopher’s Eye

Each year, The Philosopher’s Annual faces the daunting task of selecting the 10 best articles in philosophy published that year. For 2016, they’ve chosen two articles from journals published by Wiley: Shamik Dasgupta’s article “Metaphysical Rationalism,” published in Noûs, and Una Stojnić’s article “One’s Modus Ponens: Modality, Coherence and Logic,” published in Philosophy and Phenomenological […]

via Congratulations to the winners of the 2016 Philosopher’s Annual! — The Philosopher’s Eye

Simple is best

Last week’s pork medallions in BBQ sauce turned out very well — so much so that I’ve put the BBQ sauce down as something to repeat with other meat dishes, such as sausage and mash. Delicious!

As for this week, I’ve done sirloin steaks with a quick, low-calorie ‘béarnaise’ sauce. The sauce didn’t turn out quite so well — though it was edible and reasonably tasty, the texture needed work — but the steaks were very simple. Two and a half minutes per side under a hot grill had them cooked to medium done-ness and they came out tender and juicy — delicious! The recipe in Hairy Dieters: Fast Food didn’t actually have a calorie-count-per-portion for some reason, but I’d estimate the figure to be between 350 and 450 calories per serving.

Next I’ll be doing sticky chicken thighs — the recipe calls for drumsticks done in a roasting tin, but I prefer thighs for the meat-to-bone ratio, so I’ll be cooking this particular recipe in a casserole dish to keep the extra juices corralled. It’ll probably turn out rather like a confit, but I don’t mind that 🙂

Quietly meaty

It’s been a bit of a rough weekend — had a small scare about my cat’s health (she’s ok now) — but I’ve still managed to crank out some good food 🙂

Yesterday’s dish was chicken livers, escabeche style, a very tasty low-cal version of a popular Latin American dish — though I left out the tabasco sauce as I find that a bit too fierce (a few twists of black pepper seemed to work just as well).

The final dish was pretty darn good — it behaved, more or less, like yer classic liver and onion but with red bell peppers added and an awakeningly spicy zing to the gravy. I got four portions out of the recipe, so I’m covered for the next few days 🙂

Next up on the recipe list is pork medallions in barbecue sauce. Again, I’ll be leaving out the tabasco — I’m a little more inclined to sweet-savoury combinations where pork is concerned, rather than blow-your-tastebuds-off spiciness. Should be good!

How to Get Published in the Humanities: The Wiley Humanities Festival — The Philosopher’s Eye

There’s no question that research can change the world – and great research can come from scholars from any background and any academic discipline. Last year, Wiley launched the first Wiley Humanities Festival to explore the myriad ways that the Humanities matter and are vital not only to research and academia, but to life.. The infographic below […]

via How to Get Published in the Humanities: The Wiley Humanities Festival — The Philosopher’s Eye

Bank Holiday seafood

It’s fruits de mer week here, and it has been brilliant so far!

Yesterday was cod veronique — a new one for me. The idea of fish and grapes in a creamy sauce seemed really strange at first, but it actually works really well. All of the flavours are quite subtle — the sweetness of the grapes, the savouriness of the onion and the stock, the rich fullness of the single cream and the symphony of the cod itself — but they complement each other beautifully. I had to go half-quantities on the cod — 300g instead of 600g — due to the cost, but that didn’t hurt the dish at all. I think this is my favourite recipe so far from Hairy Dieters:Fast Food 🙂

I got three portions of the cod veronique; I froze two of them for later consumption as the dish I made today would need extra preparation time and I couldn’t be certain of the amount of time I’d have for food-wrangling once work starts coming in after the bank holiday weekend.

The dish to which I refer? Chilli prawn pasta! Part of the prawn component was to be a pack of smoked shell-on prawns which I received recently as a gift. Thankfully, they didn’t need to be deveined, but given that I dislike eating prawns shell-on and with the heads attached I had to peel the lot (hence the need for extra time which I mentioned in the previous paragraph). It turned out to be much less fiddly and annoying than I expected, which was good,and I ended up with a nice-sized pile of heads and shells which I boiled up for a quick stock to use in the sauce for the pasta. I got 450ml, of which I only needed to use 100ml for the recipe. I decanted the rest into a suitable container and put it in the freezer, to be used when I find a suitable recipe.

The chilli prawn pasta itself turned out very well, although I did start sweating very quickly — the chilli flakes I used are a good bit stronger than the recipe seems to assume, so the single teaspoon I added (per the instructions) was probably two or three times more than I really needed. That’s not too great a concern, though — Greek-style yoghurt helps ameliorate the effects and is relatively inexpensive.

All in all, a successful week so far on the food front — I hope the chicken livers escabeche that I have pencilled in for next week turn out as well!

Green fritters and ham

Work is back to a more manageable flow, so I can post on time again!

This week’s culinary experiment was pea-and-ham fritters, in a similar vein to last week’s spicy sweetcorn fritters — although the pea-and-ham fritters were more successful, because the batter was supposed to be green from having 300g of mashed-up peas stirred into it (very memorable!).

The fritters turned out PERFECTLY — they looked exactly like the photo next to the recipe, give or take a wiggle — and they tasted brilliant with the mustard dip (4 tablespoons of 0% fat yoghurt mixed with one teaspoon of wholegrain mustard).

I’m hoping that this success can be replicated with this week’s other recipe — white bean and tuna fish cakes. I look forward to the attempt ^^


I’m slammed with work again this week, hence the delayed post…

I did manage to find time yesterday to make spicy sweetcorn fritters with spicy soy dipping sauce, though!

The sauce went well — very zingy and a real kick in the taste buds, with the chilli, copped garlic and the lime juice.

The fritters also went well — eventually! I noticed after making the first couple of fritters that I’d forgotten to mix the sweetcorn into the batter. This threw off the ratios for the other fritters a bit, but I did manage to make 9 fritters total, with not much escaping sweetcorn. Delicious! They went very well with some cheap ham trim 🙂

One thing I’m especially happy about is how little the fritters stuck to the frying pan. I think this is partially due to my using about 4 tablespoons of oil and making sure it was fairly hot before adding the batter (so that it cooked before getting a chance to stick). I’m convinced that part of it, though, was the egg-to-flour ratio in the batter being just right to make the egg less sticky while not being inedible or turning into brioche dough. I’ve made a note of this and intend to use it for future omelette-making attempts, whether adapting this recipe or using another one — hopefully I’ll get something that behaves like an omelette, rather than a tasty-but-disintegrated pile of tasty eggy bits, as has been the tendency with past omeletty endeavours…