Tuesday, 9 August 2011

Kitchen garden days

Today has been a kitchen garden day - in that I have been mostly working on garden tasks and on cooking/preparing food.

The garlic I harvested last month has been drying nicely in the mini greenhouse and needed prepping for winter storage - well I say 'winter storage' but we use so much garlic in our cooking that even with this year's improved haul we'll be lucky if it lasts far into the autumn. We've 1.243kg of garlic or 19 bulbs - pretty good as this would cost about £6 from the supermarket!

Every time I turn around at the moment there seems to be something new ripening in the garden. We finished the last of the broadbeans at the weekend in a very nice pesto (spread on chicken breasts and baked in the oven). This afternoon I collected a bowl of raspberries and a handful of tomatoes, as well as digging up some of our beetroot for this evening's meal: chickpea patties with beetroot tzatziki (courtesy of Nigel Slater's Tender).

Served with cherry tomatoes from the greenhouse and some cucumber

I also spent some time preparing the main dish for tomorrow's dinner. I'm so pleased that I bought the Baby-led Weaning Cookbook, as it really is chock-full of useful ideas for catering to and for baby for three meals a day. However, we have found some of the recipes are a little bland for us, particularly at the moment when she isn't really eating a huge amount, so I've already started tinkering (as my lovely husband knows, I'm almost completely incapable of following a recipe all the way through anyway!) In case you're interested, here's my take on the Tuna Croquettes.

You will need:
1 large potato, peeled and chopped
1 tin of tuna in spring water, drained
1 large spring onion, finely chopped
1 tbsp lime juice
50g plain flour
50g polenta flour
1 egg, beaten
25g butter
1 tsp paprika
olive oil

1. Boil the potato for about 15 minutes, drain and then add the butter. Mash. Stir in the flaked tuna fish, spring onion and lime juice.

2. Mix the flours with the paprika in a shallow dish.
3. Shape handfuls of the potato mixture into croquettes. Dip them into the beaten egg, then coat with the flour mixture. I find it helpful to have a bowl of water on hand to wash my fingers between coating each croquette to stop the mixture sticking to me instead of the croquettes.

4. Leave to rest for five minutes, then dip and coat once more.
5. Fry the croquettes in some olive oil until golden brown on each side.

Either eat straight away or refridgerate for later and warm in the oven (c.15 minutes at 160 Fan).

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