Monday, 20 October 2014

What's In My Fridge #4

So I'm sorry for the complete blog neglection. Is neglection a word? Spell checker doesn't seem to think so. Life kinda got in the way. You know, yadah yadah yadah.

Here's another What's In My Fridge post and a big fat promise to get back to my blogging best.

This edition is from fellow foodie Mairi!

Fridge Staples: 

Bottled Water – We buy bottled water in bulk because the tap water in a city centre flat is absolutely vile. It’s over chlorinated and has a spooky cloudiness to it so we avoid it all costs and relish in the wonders of delicious tasting tap water when out visiting parents in the suburbs.
Prosecco – Generally reserved for weekend indulgence. Bubbly makes everything better.
Goose Fat – My 1 true talent in life lies solely in my roast potatoes and there are 2 things which make them fab: Semolina & Goose Fat. I always have a jar in the fridge regardless of whether I’m intending to make roast totties or not. Frankly, if I didn’t have any goose fat lying around I would avoid the roast potatoes completely. Try it once & you’ll never go back.
Cr̬me Fraiche РUsed mostly as an alternative to double cream, sour cream and sometimes natural yogurt in cooking. I always have a tub in the fridge & use it for: sauces, pies, baked eggs, soups, baking, curries, nachos & dips.
Parsley & Basil – I like dried herbs & have a cupboard full of them. They’re useful in a pinch and sometimes better than the fresh version depending on what you’re cooking. Basil & Parsley however are the 2 herbs I always buy fresh. I use them for garnishing & adding colour to meals and when mixed together they make a cracking Pesto.
Cravendale – Cravendale is THE BEST milk to buy because it never goes off! It lasts for about a month unopened. Yeah that might seem spooky and have an UHT air about it but it is legit milk. It’s just been uber filtered to make it last longer.
Soda Water – I don’t drink juice (fizzy, diluting or fresh) but when I want something a little fancier than plain water I opt for a soda water with lime. It’s got MUCH less sugar than juice but having that little fizz makes it seem a little more indulgent for me.
Stork Margarine – Scoff all you want but Mary Berry herself has advocated the use of Stork Marg for baking. I buy the kilo tubs & keep it stashed in the fridge for when a spot of baking comes a calling.
Lemons & Limes – These are staples to me in the same way onions are & I go through these fellas at an inconceivable speed each week. Limes are useful for Thai & Malaysian cooking. Lemons are great for meat & fish. Both are essential for weekend cocktails.

What’s your signature dish? 

I guess any form of roast meat with all the trimmings. This is what I tend to serve when friends & family come over. I make life easier & just pile it all onto serving plates & let everyone serve themselves at the table though.
The usual suspects are Leg of lamb, Lamb Crown Roast or Rolled Pork but my favourite (and one I think do best) is Chicken.
I stuff the cavity between the skin & meat with a garlicky lemony butter, season generously & roast still the skin is burnished and crisp. Then when carving I sneakily eat all the skin myself when no one is looking. Cooks treat!

What do you cook when you really can’t be bothered? 

I have 2 levels of cba.
1 level is when I need something on the table in 10mins. In these instances it’s pasta made with dried spaghetti & whatever else I have lying around. Pesto, Carbonara or Smoked fish & broccoli are typically flung into the pot. Although in a pinch, when the fridge is bare, dried chilli flakes, smoked sea salt & Extra Virgin Olive Oil over spaghetti does the trick.
The 2nd level is when I can’t handle the thought of going near the cooker so I eat cheese, baguette & salted butter. I eat this in front of the TV the sofa making up each slice as I go.

Food heaven and food hell 

Food Hell is beans (particularly baked beans) *shudder*, Peas, Sweet corn (they remind me of rotten teeth)and Prawns, Scallops & Squid ( I can’t handle the texture)
Food Heaven: Baked Camembert. The stronger & smellier the better in my book. I bake it in the oven until melted & eat like a fondue with crispy potato skins. This is my solitary indulgence.

Favourite Supermarket 

I wouldn’t really class supermarkets as my favourite in terms of shopping experience but they do offer an undeniable convenience when you live in the city. I swap between Tesco and Morrison’s. Morrison’s has a better meat & veg selection and Tesco tend to have more variety.
However my favourite place for food shopping is Farm Shops. They win me over every time with their fresh bread, eggs & seasonal veg picked daily.

Favourite food treat 

Ahhhh Fillet Steak. Sadly, living on a grad student stipend, means this becomes a rare treat for me. So when I can afford to splash I buy the thickest most expensive cut I can afford.
I season the steak with lots of ground pepper and brush with oil before cooking over a really high heat for 1minute each side. Leave the steak to rest for 5-7mins on a warm plate & season with smoked sea salt.
I like my steak bloody & rare on the inside and seared black on the outside. Some steamed greens and a ½ baguette to mop up the juices is enough to make it a meal.  

Lovely Mairi is ' a peely wally Weegie who likes nothing more than faffing about in her kitchen'. You can hear more from Mairi on her blog The Weegie Kitchen or follow her on Twitter right here.

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