Foodie catchup

Apologies for the gap over the weekend – I was out for dinner:) So just a quickie catchup today continuing the exploration of the new pressure cooker as I was intrigued and excited to have done sausages in there – a bit of water in the bottom then the sausages and onions in the trivet basket for 8 minutes at pressure and they tasted really lovely, very juicy and succulent – helped that they were turkey and chilli sausages rather than just boring old pork ones:)

Pressure Cooker trials continued

So after yesterdays purchase of a new pressure cooker tonight’s dinner was pot-roast chicken with steamed vegetables all nice and tasty and cheap. It was the first time I’d tried anything like this in a pressure cooker as I usually just use them for stocks and soups and gammon and even then I haven’t owned one for the last few years so all in all it was a new experience for me. First I browned off the outside of the chicken to seal it by dribbling a tablespoon of oil in the bottom of the pressure cooker and allowing to get really hot before rolling the chicken around until all sides and ends are a good brown colour (a couple of minutes on each side seemed to work fine) before creating a trivet of carrot pieces and adding a couple of mugfuls of a decent chicken stock. After sealing the pressure cooker up I allowed the steam to build up to pressure and timed 25 minutes for cooking, during which time I boiled some potatoes in the bottom of my steamer and when the timer went I steamed some carrot, leek and parsnip for another 5 minutes while at the same time adding some broad beans into the bottom. When the chicken came out it was gorgeous and juicy (in fairness it was from the Morrisons “Extra Tasty” range) and I’ll definitely be experimenting more with my trials comparing pressure cookers and halogen ovens – I’m still interested in hearing more views on them please?

Fish, a healthy start to the year

So for those of you that have read Healthy food tips will have realised I’m trying to fit in more fish than I’ve had recently so tonight is a double whammy – smoked kippers and trout with boiled new potatoes and steamed cauliflower. I’m going to assume you can managed the potatoes (reduced price new potatoes) and (reduced price) cauliflower yourselves? I’m fortunate enough to have been given many years ago a thick bottomed hob top three-tiered steamer which works well for me and is tried and tested (and “no” I still don’t add any salt).

For the fish then… nothing too complicated, my preferred method of fish cooking is to wrap in foil with a small knob of butter, a grind or two of seasoning, a splash of lemon and a tablespoon of boiling water per fish fillet and into the oven for quarter of an hour at a moderate heat. Quick, simple, retains flavour – trout and kipper both have fantastic flavour and again, as with all fish, I regularly pick up reduced price fish in the evenings at the larger supermarkets – especially those with fresh fish counters.

Calling all foodies in the UK and elsewhere

Ok so I’m having another push for interested Facebookers for by rapidly growing group called

UK Foodies

It has a close tie in with what I am doing here but allows much more interaction between members without being all about me and boring people with my health issues if they don’t want too:)

We’re all sharing recipes, food tips, ideas on ingredients, shopping tips – current discussion is best/favourite way of preparing potato mash:)

Please do have a look and please do join in:)

You know it’s Christmas when…

…the parcels arrive – ok, ok so its not technically a Christmas present and Sushi is not considered the most traditional of Yule Tide cuisine but I’m excited all the same and it’s been an eagerly awaited knock at the door from dear old postie:)

In fairness and all joking aside I was pretty impressed with the turn around in getting it out to me anyway we only ordered it at 12:30 on the Thursday 15th and it arrived early morning of the 17th so definite spot on at this time of year:) Fast delivery, securely wrapped and all intact – can’t ask for more.

Had planned on ordering sooner but we’d been distracted by the lead up to yesterdays events but now that’s out the way I’m ready to crack on. So I better explain – after many years of eating sushi all over the Far East and now, as you know, with a pressing need to be eating healthy food regularly I’ve been looking further and further into the opportunities presented by sushi and I’ve discovered a thriving community of home Sushi makers here in the UK and many more restaurants than I expected.

I even tried applying for an apprenticeship in one of the South Yorkshire sushi restaurants but was advised by the college that as I already have a degree I wouldn’t be eligible:(

That being the case I’ve decided to take the plunge in the home kitchen and, after research  found that SushiSushi are considered *the* sushi supplies shop in the UK and placed my order for an all inclusive 4 person kit (I do have a mish-mash of odds and ends from my travels but decided to start from the beginning) Yes you guessed it – its that parcel that’s just arrived so I’m off to have a read up and see what fun I can – its been a few years, wish me luck:)

 

 

Food photography – still learning…obviously

So I’ve got the camera out over the last few days at meal times to get a few shots together for my banner (ok admit it you just scrolled back up to have a look) This food photography thing is harder than it looks – these photos were taken on my point and click camera as my full DSLR (pro-camera with exciting flashy bits) is not geared up (yet) for consistent close up photography. I’ve done product photography before but not a lot so small.

Main problem seems to be the flash unit – those of you that are reading this as a result of following my exploits elsewhere will know that a large chunk of my previous photography work has been mainly people orientated – modelling, portraiture and weddings etc with a healthy smattering of landscapes thrown in due to my love of rambling, hiking and scenic walks. The flash I use (a professional Canon 580ex II for anyone interested) is fantastic for those roles but not totally ideal for a close up of Spag Bol as the light comes from 6 inches above the lense. It did fair a little better a bit further away for the meat joint and stylised plate of home made piccalilli – I think I need to add either a ring flash and/or an off camera flash trigger to my Christmas Wish list although if anyone has further/better ideas I’d be delighted to hear from them.