Tuesday, 24 November 2009
Cheating in the Kitchen
This week's Blog This Challenge is all about Quick Fix Meals.
I have a few, and sadly, they are all getting a bit of a workout at the moment.
Oene of the easiest meals we do involves, sometimes as little as a packet of pasta, a pasta sauce and a little cheese.
I usually (remember this isn't fine dining people, this is a quick fix) buy the Romano Cheese Pasta Sauce, some spirals and some tasty cheese. If I'm feeling human, I'll cook some onion, garlic, bacon and mushrooms in a small frying pan. In the last couple of minutes of cooking the pasta, add a cup or so of frozen, diced vegetables (peas, carrot, corn and capsicum).
Pour the sauce over the pasta, add the mushroom and bacon mixture, stir in some cheese, bake it at 180C and voila. Pasta back. Dinner on the table in less than half an hour.
Now. I'm an ok cook. I have a couple of dishes I do pretty well. I do a good lasagne. I've tasted plenty that are as good and some that are better. But it's pretty great.
I do a good potato bake. Good risotto. Good cannelloni. I bake a bit.
But I make a freaking awesome pumpkin soup. I can say this unabashedly - I've yet to find one as good.
I can give you a recipe, but to be honest, it changes a little each time (as good recipes do).
But I get 2 leeks and a clove of garlic. Half a Kent, a quarter of a Jap and a whole small Butternut. A large Sweet Potato or two small ones (the orangey ones). A quarter of a teasooon of chilli paste. And chicken stock powder. It is the only recipe I use stock powder for, I usually buy liquid, or make. But in this recipe, for some reason it works best with Maggi Chicken Stock Powder.
Saute the leeks (much better and sweeter than onion), garlic and chilli in a little olive oil and butter (about half and half). After a couple of minutes, add the chopped up pumpkin and sweet potato. Cover with water and a couple of tablespoons of stock powder.
Cook it until soft. Puree it.
Serve it into bowls, then with a teaspoon, add a small swirl of cream. Done. Served best with that pan bread (like the stuff Sizzler makes). It is one of our favourite easy meals.
But I was really honest with you. We can go quicker. Easier.
These. They aer $3.00 for a packet of 12. They take about 15 minutes in a hot oven (around 200ish). Pull them out when puffed and golden.
I eat the Vegetarian ones, they have a pumpkin-y puree in them. they boys and Joel like the Spinach and Ricotta or Feta cheese ones.
That, my friends is down - and - dirty - quick - fix - cheaters cooking.