Tuesday, 20 March 2012

Using the Veg That Hadn't Grown Legs

The kitchen at Lovelygrey cottage is slowly turning into the hive of activity that I want it to be.  There's already plenty of evidence of past batch cooking in the freezer - fish pie, savoury mince and Spanish rice along with chicken stock from the carcass remaining after a roast and two tubs of homemade ice cream.  The breadmaker's lost its cherry and on most mornings the hob is fired up to prepare a batch of popcorn for Louis to take to school as his mid morning snack.    I am having to get to grips though with the quantities of food needed for a smaller household of me and a half time child.

As a consequence I overdid it on veg purchase so decided to use them up and make a slow  cooked stew that greeted me when I arrived home from work  yesterday.  It really involved quite limited effort whilst drinking my first cuppa of the day.

  • I sliced an onion, chopped one of those long red peppers and crushed a couple of cloves of garlic and let them sweat in olive oil in a covered saute pan whilst I ransacked the fridge for further goodies.
  • I threw away the half butternut squash that I'd planned to use because furry veg don't a nice meal make. Ditto a few remaining chestnut mushrooms that nearly walked themselves to the bin.
  • There was chorizo - over half a 200 gramme sausage of it from Lidl and it was as right as rain!  So, I took off the skin, cut it into squares and added it to the pan so its oil could diffuse into the veg and impart its rich smoky flavour.  Hark at her!
  • Next I peeled and diced a couple of carrots and a potato ready to add to the pot.
  • Oh I forgot!  It's a good job that I don't write recipe books. On Sunday I soaked 100g chickpeas and then cooked them on Sunday night so I'd be all prepared.  But I was on the phone to my bro' and they boiled dry and burned!  Nigella, I am not.  So I had to soak another batch and cook them whilst sweating the onions.
  • Finally the assemblage in the slow cooker.  In went the softened onion-y stuff and chorizo with all the pan juices, chickpeas and other veg along with a pint of chicken stock (alas made with a cube as I'd forgotten to get the stuff out of the freezer), a tin of tomatoes, salt, pepper, dried thyme and a couple of teaspoons of smoked paprika.  Oh yes and I squeezed in a lemon that was just on the cusp of being past its sell by date.
So voila!  An near empty fridge ready for the contents of the first veg box that I've ordered here and a pot of tasty loveliness waiting for me when I arrived home. I served it with homemade tortilla chips made out of wraps cut into triangles and lightly fried in a little sunflower oil.  It was delishush - the spelling of a dyslexic eight year old that beats the proper way hands down.  And you haven't just got my word for it.  My friend who came for supper had three portions!


  1. I really don't make use of my slow cooker, I know its easy and economical but it just sits looking at me.
    Your post has got me fired up and I think I might just go and make something in it.
    thanks for the much needed inspiration.

  2. I keep thinking that I should get a slow cooker but then I remember that I would have to cook if I did that!

  3. I loved the term "using veg that hadn't grown legs"! I remember being embarrassed when my son announced (as a teenager) that he had cleaned the fridge because there were things lurking at the back that "had eyes"!