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Garden Pond recipe

The tale behind this oddity is nearly a silly as the end result.......

I went on my morning forage to the discounts isle yesterday and spotted some interesting looking sausages. Your standard low cost sausages are off the menu for us as they use Wheat Flour as a packer. On Wednesday evening we’d made a tray bake and the ludicrous question appeared in my mind “What would you call a combination of a giant Yorkshire pudding Toad In The Hole and a Tray Bake?” I came up with Garden Pond! We had all sorts of bits and bobs of vegetables which really needed using up so after joking with Sue I quickly scuttled back to the Supermarket and bought said sausages.

We didn’t have a great deal on yesterday afternoon so a silly idea soon developed into a full scale project. I foraged a few extra fresh herbs to dress the dish and Garden Pond was born! The planting around the pond is Sage, a Ruby Chard flower and Rosemary. The water lillies are Tomatoes, Sage leaves and Chive flowers. In the middle of the pond you can just see Sue Carrot Coy Carp!

Clearly we don’t expect anybody else to try this at home. But if you can’t get the kids to eat their veg a slightly more sane version would make a great talking point and possible incentive…. Nothing was wasted and we finished it this evening.

Rosemary and Sage roast Pork shoulder

Rosemary and Sage roast Pork shoulder, tray baked Vegetables, roast Potatoes and Gluten free Yorkshires.

It’s possible not really worth adding a full recipe here. We foraged quite a bit of fresh Rosemary and Sage the other day which really working with the bit of Pork shoulder we had in the freezer. Again we had quite a few bits and bobs of vegetables floating about so we tray baked them. Add some roast spuds and Yorkshire puddings and – you guessed it – Sunday roast on a Wednesday!

The experiment here was the crackling.

As you’ve probably noticed if you freeze pork the slow freezing process allows ice crystals to form in the rind. This damages the structure and makes getting good crackling very difficult. More often than not you end up with something which resembles boot leather! So we cut the bendy rind off the roast when we’d taken it out to rest and popped it in the deep fat fryer. It’s not quite like crackling, probably more like Pork Scratchings. But it was very tasty and still had the Sage and Rosemary taste to it.

 

Pork Liver Curry & Courgette Bhajis

A 19p pack of Pork Liver was hidden at the back of the discount fridge this time. So an 80p jar of Jalfrazi sauce and a pack of Poppadoms and Curry night was well under way. I’m pretty sure nobody needs instructions on frying a bit of Liver with flour and Onions then adding to the sauce!

But for a bit of fun we made Courgette Bhajis as we had a Courgette which was a bit bashed about. They were actually quite tasty!

Ingredients:-

Gram Flour
Garlic Salt
Chilli flakes
Turmeric
Juice of ½ a Lemon
Water
1 Courgette
Baking Powder
Salt & Pepper

Method:-

(1) Slice the Courgette into 1cm sections and marinate in the Lemon juice, Salt and Pepper
(2) Mix the other ingredients with enough water to make a stiff batter and allow to stand until the Baking Power makes in increase in volume by about a third.
(3) Stir again and heat some oil to 180C.
(4) Coat each slice of Courgette and fry in batches until golden brown on both sides.
(5) Drain on kitchen paper and serve with your curry.

Chicken Leek and Mushroom Pie recipe

 

This sounds like it should be well over our budget. But it was created mostly from left-overs. We had some tired looking Mushrooms, a couple of Leeks, half a cooked Chicken and half a bunch of fresh Coriander in the fridge. If it’s not dead nothing goes to waste here and we really enjoyed the filling in the Polenta Pie  we recent made – if not the Polenta itself….

So we had everything we needed to reinvent the recipe with Chicken and Gluten free pastry, which Sue had in the freezer!

Ingredients:-

100g Margarine
1 large Onion, sliced
1 clove of Garlic, minced
225g cooked Chicken,  mixed vegetables (Leek, Mushrooms, Carrots, Swede etc.)
1 tbsp on Flour
A Handful of chopped fresh Coriander
½ tsp dried Basil
Juice of a Lemon
Chicken Stock
Salt and Pepper
Oil

Method:-

(1) Prepare and chop the vegetables into bite sized pieces. The vegetables can be anything you have to hand.
(2) Fry the Onions and Garlic with a little Oil and Margarine.
(3) Add the meat and fry until browned.
(4) Add the vegetables and fry until they still have a little bite.
(5) Add the Stock, Flour, chopped Coriander, dried Basil, and Lemon Juice.
(6) Season with Salt & Pepper and simmer gently.
(7) Transfer to an oven proof pie dish and allow to cool slightly.
(8) Top with Pastry (We used frozen left over home made Gluten free pastry).
(9) Brush the pastry with an Egg wash if you prefer a more golden brown pastry top.
(9) Place in a pre heated oven at 180C for 30 minutes or so until the pastry has browned.

We served ours with mashed Potato, Cabbage, Carrots, Leeks and gravy.

 

Radish "Cress" experiment

We bough varions seeds to plant in the boxes on our balcony. To our ammusment the Radishes turned out to be real thugs and overwhemed everything else. We had over half a pack of seeds left so I wondered if you could use them in a salad a bit like Mustard Cress.

Well we're still alive! They do have a very strong Radish flavour. Unfortunately they do not stand up well with a DIY vigegarette dressing. So as Sue suggested last night they are probably better just used to add a bit of colour as a micro salad. But I think we'll be growing some more very soon.....

 

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