Cooking every day can become a chore – especially if you’re concerned about what you eat (i.e., you want good food) and have cut out certain foods from your diet. I try not to have too many carbs and so have reduced my intake of pasta. Where once-upon-a-time a pasta meal was a staple (so quick and easy with endless variations), these days it’s become a bit of a treat. Ditto rice. So what do I eat? Fish, vegetables, salads, curries, meat. The usual. But recently I have became really bored with the food I was eating. Just seemed to be the same all the time. I was tired of salmon, tuna, beef, chicken, smoked trout salad etc etc etc. And when there’s only two of you, choices are further limited (you can’t really do a roast just for 2 people).
It’s time to become inventive, or, as I have done, go back to some classics. So this week I have cooked:
seared pork loin with a pineapple, coriander, chilli and sweet potato salsa;
fennel risotto with a pear, parmesan and rocket salad;
chicken poached in ginger and lemongrass with harrisa roasted tomatoes;
duck breasts with fig, radicchio, witlof and burnt lavender honey;
morrocan inspired roast chicken with a sweet potato, dried cranberries and cashew couscous.
Tonight it’s pot au feu – an ever so easy one pot dish with chicken, pork sausages, leek, zucchini, carrots and potatoes. Actually this is one of those dishes where you can throw in anything at all. I first came across it in a tiny little bistro in Paris that was at the end of our street. A quirky little place place that seated a dozen people at most and served traditional French bistro food; it quickly became our favourite place for a glass of wine and a bite to eat. When I first made this dish I use to take great pains to ensure that all my vegetables were shaped to size (not knowing that restaurants either employ people for this task or else buy their produce already cleaned and shaped). I would meticulously peel away my potatoes and carrots and zucchini to make sure their ends were nice and round and they were all the same size – made for a lot of wastage but the dish did look very nice. These day, I just chop. Life’s too short.
And for tomorrow? I have a hankering for some good old fashioned corned beef, complete with baby carrots, cabbage and horseradish sauce. Not something I’ve cooked often (actually only once and then quite some time ago) so I’ll keep you posted as to its success (or otherwise).