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Purple Sprouts & Gaint Cous Cous

Ingredients
Purple sprouts, simmered in boiled water for 7 minutes only.
Giant Cous Cous, washed, simmered for guess what….7 minutes.
Grainy braising steak, fried in butter both sides for 5 minutes, braised for an hour at least in water with 2 goulash cubes, salt and coarse black pepper.

Use the braising steak stock as the jus (stupid French word for gravy).

Eat. couscous

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Haggis Cabbage

A haggis
A whole celtic cabbage (Savoy for you poncy gits)
A huge carrot
A leek
Sorted.

1. Catch the haggis
2. Chop it’s head, legs and tail off.
3. Microwave @ 750 for 6 minutes, it must be covered to stop explosions. Break open and rough it up then cook it for a further 5 minutes on 750.
Or simmer it for 25 minutes then let it stand 5 minutes.
4. Slice the leek, carrot and shred the cabbage. Chuck into a pan with a teaspoon of olive oil, add a cup of boiling water, season, not too much salt, add a stock cube.
5. Add the haggis.
Gravy is optional but the juices from the vegetables and the flavours from the haggis are well enough.

It smelled brilliant. Of course us cats have 84 times better olfactory senses than wot you humans have.

The haggis. Dirty little animals.

The haggis. Dirty little animals.

Haggis, celtic cabbage, carrot & leek.

Haggis, celtic cabbage, carrot & leek.

Close up of the internal workings of a haggis.

Close up of the internal workings of a haggis.

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Samphire Salmon

Nowt to shout home about.
Samphire is dune grass, well, sort of. It grows in salty estuaries in sand. Don’t bother looking for it near the Humber or Thames, the banks are too dirty. The easiest way is to buy it but at £1.50 for 100g it is a bit of a luxury. It’s just salty grass basically. You cook it by either simmering it for a few minutes, gently frying in unsalted butter or olive oil or added to a sauce. Beware though, it is salty so absolutely no salt is required in any sauce or oil. We used cumin & coriander oil.
He cooked two variations, wholemeal pasta & egg with skinny salmon and samphire for him and a carrot & swede mash, skinny salmon and samphire for her.
Salmon – cook on medium in lightly peppered oil equally on all four sides if possible.
Add some taste to the salmon, but not as much as he did, he smothered it in sambal extra heet (extra hot chillie paste) and probably didn’t taste much of the meal. It’s a new take on the chav like trait of caking tomato sauce all over everything from fish and chips, to burgers to meatballs then moaning that “Inglish foods crap, ivvery fink tastes de same”.

See, cats can cook!

Samphire

Samphire

Two skinny looking salmon fillets.

Two skinny looking salmon fillets.

Wholemeal pasta, salmon & samphire

Wholemeal pasta, salmon & samphire

Carrot & swede mash, salmon fillet & samphire

Carrot & swede mash, salmon fillet & samphire

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Erwtensoep & Astrid’s Sausage Stew

Erwtensoep or Peas Soup: well they cheated and brought if from Dirk van den Broek supermarkt in Deventer, Holland.

Erwtensoep

Erwtensoep

Astrid’s Sausage Stew
It’s not a stew really, just gently fry the sausages, chop, cut, slice, cube all the vegetables, stirfry them a minute in a spot of olive oil, then cover with boiling water, stir around a bit, add the sausage. Done.

2 Pikok Polish sausages from Lidl.
2 leeks
Some pancetta (chopped bacon)
1 kohirabi (It’s a round white thing with green leaves, looks like a swede but tastes like mild mooli.)
A chillie
salt
pepper

optional – garlic

Astrid's Sausage Stew

Astrid’s Sausage Stew

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Ragbag Noodles

You don’t need to pay a fortune for noodles. Why pay over a quid a packet in Tesco etc. The bottom line is, the expensive Batchelors or Maggi noodles are no better than the cheapo 16p noodles. It all depends what you use them with. If you are having a pile of bland, tasteless noodles on a pile on your plate, then good luck. It is the English way to have a pile of carbohydrates, a pile of vegetables and lump of meat all in their own little defined space on the plate. Someone I know, went to Portugal in the Algarve, an area famous for some fantasic seafood dishes. I asked how the food was and the reply was “I don’t know, I played safe and had pizza and fish & chips”. My idea of playing safe today was using basic vegetables, pork & noodles. The only spices were in the marinade.

Have a bash at this: RAGBAG NOODLES
You need 2 boneless pork shoulder chops, cubed, excessive fat removed, marinated in Moroccan spices, a teaspoon of ketjap manis, a load of garlic, some dried crushed chillies and salt & pepper.
A leek.
An onion.
3 carrots sliced thinly.
Half a chinese leaf, sliced.
A bunch of chopped parsley.
Handful of sweetcorn.
That’s about it really.
Oh and 2 bags of noodles, softened for one minute in boiling water. Not 2 minutes as it invariably says on the packet.
A lot of cooking is about timing, temperatures and compatability.

Add a spot of oil to a large wok or pan, chuck the chopped onions in on a medium flame.
A minute later add the meat, make sure it’s well stirred in.
A minute later add the carrots, chopped leek & sweetcorn and some boiling water.
Simmer for 5 minutes, add the chinese leaf and parsley.
The chinese leaf will soften in 2 minutes.
Soften the noodles in boiling water. After a minute sieve them and throw them in the pan with everything else.
Simmer again stirring in the noodles until it’s well mixed.
Finito. You can add cashews, peanuts, pine nuts or capers (not too many ‘cos they can easily influence the taste)

Of course, as a cat I think the whole thing is a pile of pooh, I’ll stick to Felix or Whiskas.

Photos:

Ragbag Noodles

Ragbag Noodles

Steaming meat & vegetables

Steaming meat & vegetables

Noodles added and it looks quite awesome.

Noodles added and it looks quite awesome.

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Hoi Sin Duck

duckricecuc

Duck in hoi sin sauce with coconut & lime rice

Hoi Sin duck with coconut & lime rice.

Ingredients:
2 duck breasts
200g Hoi Sin sauce
Enough Rice
50g Dessicated coconut
Half a lime
Half a cucumber
One massive cooking tip is to evaluate how long each component will take to cook.
It is essential that the rice is hot when you plate the duck.
Don’t overcook the duck and don’t serve cold rice.

Pan fry the duck breast both sides for 5 minutes, remove, slice and cook each side for a further 2 minutes & no more.
Chuck in the hoi sin sauce and stir for a minute. Serve immediately.
The duck slices should still be floppy when they are cooked. If they are stiff, you’ve overcooked it.
When the rice is cooked tip into a warmed bowl, stir in 50g of dessicated coconut, squeeze the lime in, stir again.
Slice the cucumber however you want to, I prefer long strips.
Garnish the rice with dry fried onions or shredded roasted fish. Or not.
Stick a blob of sambal gandaria (because it has lime in) on the plate, bobs yer uncle & fanny’s yer aunt. Sorted!

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Witlof salade

It’s a basic salad but with witlof or chicory as the Brits & Yanks call it as the centre piece.
Just take the leaves off the witlof and discard the hard centre as it can be very bitter.
Then off you go.
The ingredients are:
Witlof
Apple
Persimmon fruit
Pear
Celery stick
Avocado
Apetina feta cheese
Yoghurt
Mayonaise
Crispy Bacon pieces
Roughly chop all the fruit & vegetables.
Fry the bacon until crispy and dry. Let it cool and mix it in with all the chopped fruit 7 veg along with the yoghurt & mayo.
Slow dry fry a whole punnet of slightly salted chestnut mushrooms. Should take about 30 minutes.
Add them around the outside of the salad.
That’s it. Dead easy.
Even a cat can cook it.

salad