Friday, 21 November 2014

Black Eyed Beans with Mushrooms - adapted recipe

The other day I made us this recipe from a book by Madhur Jaffrey. I had doubled the recipe in pencil for some reason so thinking the original doesn't make enough, went with the pencil ingredients. I always adapt this recipe otherwise we find it way to 'wet'! You can find the normal recipe here

Once I started cooking and had to change from my largest pan to the wok, I realised my error. The double up in pencil was from our previous go when I was cooking for our school chums!

Anyhow, from a taste point of view (and the fact I have been cooking this for us for 30 odd years), we have adapted it to our own taste. You might like to try it in its original form first!

Here it is just beginning to cook - such a lot but it is doubled up here:
And finished:
Then one portion each served with noodles - didn't have any rice!:
This is what we had leftover from doubling and adapting the recipe:
Yep, 4 oblong foil cartons enough for 4 meals each for us both! Anyway, we reckon that the meal for us, plus these 4 cartons made each meal just 50p, very nice:)

What do I adapt in the recipe then:

Water - we decrease it from 1.15 litres to 850 ml. We put the beans in the water, bring it up to the boil, simmer well for 10 minutes, cover and leave OVERNIGHT rather than the 1 hour. We find this cooks the beans almost.
Oil - we halve the amount down to 3 tablespoons
Cinnamon - usually never have a stick so use 1 tsp powder instead
Garlic - we halve it down to 2 cloves
Cayenne pepper - we quite often haven't got any in so put in 1/2 to 1 whole dried one
Salt - we miss it out altogether for the reason below
Coriander - we hate it fresh so substitute 2 cubes of frozen spinach at the end instead

What do we add:

2-3 tablespoons of tomato purée at the end to help thicken it.
1-2 stock cubes of your choice - that is why we leave out the salt!

We adjust the seasoning at the end by either adding in a little more stock cube or tomato purée. If it is still a little runny, then we will thicken it with a little cornflour and water, just enough to get rid of excess fluid.

You don't have to buy black eyed beans, dried haricot would work just the same but we like to see the little black fleck in the dish.

Thursday, 20 November 2014

Damson Brandy Puddings

Firstly, welcome to Finola Smith and Sylvia den Hollander via Bloglovin.

Having used a few of the damsons rescued from the brandy we made, I decided to chop them up and make some more mini sponge puddings. These will be used over Christmas.

First they were chopped small by DB plus some dark glacé cherries were rinsed, chopped and also steeped in some of the Damson Brandy:
I made a basic Victoria sponge using the weight of 3 eggs. Once everything was weighed and mixed, I stirred in 2 tablespoons of Damson Brandy:
I had already greased, floured and base lined 8 mini pudding tins. I was just about to drop my first ice-cream scoopful of mixture into a tin when I realised I had forgotten to stir in the fruit!

Anyway, the tins were filled, covered and steamed for 1 hour:

We shall look forward to these on Christmas Day with custard for us three and home made ice cream for FDiL. If the uncooked taste was anything to go by, they should be nice!

Wednesday, 19 November 2014

On my knitting needles...

Is the front part of a sleeveless jumper taken from an old WWII women's magazine. The pattern is only for a 32" chest which I am not and should be knitted in 3 ply wool which is very difficult to get hold of today.

Anyway, not to be outdone, I went on-line where it was explained to me that you can substitute 4 ply and if you also need to go up one or two sizes to use a thinnish double knit and drop down one or two needle sizes for each bit.

It is a lovely pattern but involves cable stitch all over the place which was too much for me to attempt. However, I changed wool and needle sizes and cast on! I originally decided to just use plain stocking stitch in an effort to get it finished before this winter is out as I am such a slow knitter.

As I was required to cast on 112 stitches, I though I would do the middle 12 in basket weave (double moss stitch I think) and either side of it in stocking stitch.

I'm using a trial wool from a shop which is £1.75 per 100g ball and think I shall need up to 200g but have bought 300g just to be safe. It is a nice shade of lavender

Want to see how it is progressing:
I think it will be a little tight on the rib side of things at the bottom but is filling out to a better size as the full 136 stitches get added on. I still have another 10 to add, then it has to be knitted up to 11" before starting to cast off for the arm holes. Obviously it won't be so bunched up once off the needles!

Hope I can interpret and allow for my changes to the pattern okay. I can only knit 4 rows at any one time before my fingers cramp so it is going slowly but this is the result of 2 - 3 weeks work at that pace so hopefully, I might get it completed by February:)

Talking of WWII patterns and also patterns from other era's, I came across this fantastic web site
where you can download and drool over old patterns. Enjoy!