What does the last of the housewives do?

Category: Dinner

Better Corn Fritters

I’ve made some Thermomix inspired improvements to the humble corn fritters that form about a monthly addition to the diet of my children. The original recipe that I seem to recall blogging about some time ago is basically a savoury pikelet with some corn added. See how far we’ve come.

I start off with buckwheat.

My source for this is The Source in Balmain, now that I’m getting less scared of parking in that fashionable suburb. You can buy buckwheat flour if you don’t have the means of grinding it, or The Source will actually grind it for you. I put a cup in the Thermomix and zap at high speed for about a minute. Add a four hundred and ten gram tin of corn (that’s an odd weight, doesn’t it sound converted from a pound? Close, but no cigar). And an egg.

I also put in a container of cheese that I’d Thermomixed for pizza, a mix of cheddar, mozzarella and Parmesan. I’m really going to have to do some kind of analysis on how much cheaper is it to do your own processing of things like pizza cheese, or making yoghurt. I’m getting the feeling I’m saving quite a few bucks. And those of you out there trying to justify buying one might appreciate it.

Also four teaspoons of baking powder. Then enough buttermilk to make a thick batter. You mix it in the Thermomix on reverse speed two and pour the buttermilk through the lid, peeking to see what consistency you’re up to. Leave it for a bit while you go and compose a riveting email to your husband about superannuation.

Heat some fat in a frying pan, I’m using some chicken fat I saved from our last chicken roast. Gosh I’m getting frugal. Put soup spoons of batter in the pan, turning when some bubbles start appearing
on the surface. You want them all golden.

They’ve got a richer, nuttier flavour than the pikelet version. It doesn’t taste wholemeal at all. The baking powder and buttermilk makes it fluffy. Don’t tell the Moose it has cheese in it, he thinks he doesn’t like melted cheese. Rubbish, of course, everyone likes melted cheese.


A New Green

When you see the nonnas shoving each other out of the way down at the IGA, you know something’s going on. They could be offering free slices of sorpresa, there could be only one cash register open. Today it was that Mr Lamonica had just got back from the markets with something they really really wanted.

Rapé. It’s an Italian green, possibly related to broccoli, but looks like something that you’d find growing by the railway tracks. The nonnas weren’t even waiting for it to be unpacked, they were grabbing armfuls of it out of the boxes as they came in. Buying it by the trolley full.

I don’t generally buy my vegetables from Mr Lamonica, he goes for cheap over quality. I go to Frank. I bumped into a few friends at Frank’s who emboldened me to ask what’s the big deal with rapé? “Oh, it’s delicious!” said Frank’s daughter at the cash register. “We cook it with a little oil and chilli, and lots of garlic”. Well, anything tastes good cooked that way, but my friends convinced me to buy a bunch, cook it and blog about it, so here we are.

I think you can cook it in a very similar way to whole bok choy, but I want mine in smaller pieces. So I stripped off the smaller stalks, leaves and flowers, only leaving the large stalks at the bottom, into the Thermomix jug.

A very quick zap got them into more manageable sized pieces.

I tipped them out of the jug and into a bowl. I put in the jug a couple of cloves of garlic, three chillies, a slug of olive oil and a couple of local tomatoes I’d also picked up. Zapped those into a purée and cooked them at 100 degrees for four minutes on reverse speed two. I put in the rapé and a sprinkle of salt and cooked it for four minutes on a hundred degrees, also reverse speed two. I could have even got away with three minutes I think. It’s not much to look at.

It cooks down quite a lot. I think I like it. The stalks are very reminiscent of asparagus. I think the description for the leaves is bitter. It has that aftertaste you get from an expensive beer. Lucky I do like it, it comes in enormous bunches. I might cook it all up and put it in a selection from my new jar collection. I wonder if you could lightly pickle it? I’m a bit scared to Google it. I can tell you this, it’s a whole lot better than kale, that stuff tasted like horse blankets.

Chicken Casserole

I’m very gradually trying to entice my children into eating meals which consist of foods that are a little removed from their natural state. Touching, perhaps. Maybe even cooked. Heavens forfend, covered in a sauce. The Horror is the most resistant to this trend, so as he invited himself to spend the weekend with his grandparents I asked him what was his least favourite meal. “Pie”, he replied without hesitation. He likes the pastry, he just strongly objects to it having any contents. I couldn’t be bothered with a pie, so I thought I’d have a crack at a chicken casserole.

What started me off was a Stephanie Alexander recipe for wild rabbit pie, which would have adapted perfectly to being a casserole just by leaving out the pastry shell bit. But the Muffet objects to eating animals that are cute, that are babies, or that she’s met socially, so no bunnies for us. I moved on to chicken casserole recipes and there’s an amazing variety of them out there that I just wouldn’t bother with. Many involve the use of a Le Creuset casserole dish. I think if you didn’t score one of these babies as a wedding present you’ve missed the boat, there’s no way I’m spending that much on a casserole dish. Another large number involved either a litre of cream or half a bottle of wine, or both. So not them either. I ended up making this up.

Place in any old medium saucepan that you happen to find lying around in your kitchen cupboard a chunk of your delicious homemade butter. Add to it a chopped carrot,a chopped stick of celery, and some slices of my current favourite vegetable, fennel. Take five or six chicken thigh fillets, chop them into thirds and toss them in the pot. Most normal people would also add an onion, but I’ve rather gone off them lately. I would have stuck in half a leek, but I didn’t happen to have any. I was going to put in sliced mushrooms, but I forgot. Add a spot of salt and pepper and a couple of bay leaves and cook uncovered over a medium high heat, stirring whenever you smell burning. When the lot is looking browned, sprinkle over a couple of tablespoons of corn flour and stir it it. Dump the lot into a casserole dish. Deglaze (ooh, fancy) the saucepan with half a cup of chicken stock and tip that into the casserole dish too. I happened to have some fresh thyme, so I arranged that over the top.

Stick it in a 180 degree oven with the lid on for about half an hour. Remove it and cover it with about half a cup of breadcrumbs, possibly made with a left over bread roll inserted into the Thermomix. Bake it uncovered for a further half an hour.

I told the kids that they could just pick out the chicken and eat that. Much to their surprise, they rather liked it. I even managed to cajole them into eating some of the cooked carrot. Progress! I think it will be some time before I can spring it on the Horror, though. I’ve yet to persuade him to try putting butter on his toast.

Thermomix Curry Vegetable Soup

I pay attention to my little blog project, you know, and I get a lot of quiet enjoyment reading the search terms that bring it to people’s attention. Today’s favourite search term was “thick housewife”, so someone’s profiling me. One that comes up surprisingly often is “Thermomix vegetable soup”. It is one of the things the Thermomix does effortlessly, but I find it hard to get excited about vegetable soup and am still working my way through many permutations of it. Here’s today’s one.

One of the first things I made in the Thermomix was a curry paste. It wasn’t anything fancy, just zapped together chillies, lemongrass, ginger and garlic with some fish sauce and cumin and coriander powder. From memory I don’t think I cooked it at all. I later made a much fancier paste for Adam Liaw’s laksa, but that’s nestling in the freezer, waiting for the next laksa to happen along. I chucked a tablespoon of that in the jug, along with three large button mushrooms, a wilted stick of celery, the white bit of a leek and a chunk of garlic butter that I’d whipped up earlier in the week because the Horror from Outer Space has decided that this weeks lunch shall be garlic bread. That makes it non vegan, but you could use a splash of oil instead. I also added some stalks of my new favourite vegetable, fennel. The smell of raw fennel makes me feel a bit nauseous, but I’m finding that it adds a complex, slightly earthy note to my usual mirepoix blend. Zapped it for a few seconds, scraped down the walls then cooked it on Varoma temperature and speed two for four minutes.

I then added in a chopped carrot and about two handfuls of chopped pumpkin, also a tin of chickpeas. I lifted out a teaspoon of the cooked mixture and decided to add a little more oomph with some salt and a tablespoon of black Chinese vinegar. I cooked it at one hundred degrees for eighteen minutes on reverse and speed one. I’m not going to show you a photo because it looks like sick, but I think I’m getting there. You can cook quite a thick mixture in the Thermomix, it doesn’t have to be soupy at all.

The thing with vegetable soup is it can taste pretty boring and a lot like diet food. I always think that it would be better with a ham hock in it. But I’m setting myself the test to make it vegetarian and make it flavoursome, and the curry paste helped a lot with that. Actually, fish sauce makes it non vegetarian, I might have to make a vegetarian curry paste. Not that I’m vegetarian, I just think that kind of limit presents an interesting challenge. You need that Thai thing of a balance of sweet, sour, salty and something else that escapes my mind. Bitter? Crunchy? Umami? Hot? You get the sweet from carrots and onions. A bit of salt, herbs and spices and chillies help. I like to keep some texture in the soup, so chickpeas are good for that, barley would also work well. Don’t suggest lentils! Those things are lethal. Maybe I should go searching for Thermomix vegetable soup.

Meat Pie

Now don’t go reading this as a recipe. I did make a meat pie. It was very good. But it wasn’t what I’d hoped and dreamed it would be.

I’ve been asked by a member of the audience about making pastry in the Thermomix. I haven’t had so much a rocky relationship with pastry as a uniformly rotten one. I suck at making pastry. So when my parents in law were coming for dinner yesterday I thought I’d make a meat pie to try out two different types of pastry in the Thermomix. I’m sorry, Christina, it was far and away the best best pastry I’ve ever made. My problem was with the insides.

First the pastry. I like a shortcrust on the bottom of a meat pie and a puff on top. To make the shortcrust you place in the Thermomix jug one hundred grams of cold butter cut into pieces with two hundred grams of plain flour and a pinch of salt. This is an ideal situation in which to use Pepe Saya butter. Zap it on speed six for ten seconds. Add fifty to sixty grams of cold water and knead on interval speed for ten to twenty seconds. Peek in through the lid, stop it when it has formed a dough mass. Haul it out and put it on your cold, floured Caesarstone bench top and gently squash it into a disk shape. I then put it in the pie dish and stuck it in the fridge for twenty minutes. And this is where my experience deviated significantly from every other time I’ve made pastry. I put the pastry back on the bench top and rolled it out and it looked like pastry! It usually cracks and breaks and is generally a pain in the neck. But this lot stayed in circle shape and even held together as I gingerly transferred it back into the by now greased and floured pie dish.

That got baked for twenty minutes, and even though I didn’t bother blind baking it held its shape.

Then I made the meat filling and wasn’t that learning experience. Normally I’d brown the meat in a saucepan and stew it in some chicken stock with two tablespoons of corn flour mixed into it. This is because my dear children don’t like their meat too flavoursome and they certainly don’t like bits of onion or carrot in it. The Horror goes so far as to say that he doesn’t like gravy either, and why can’t I just make an empty pie and stick some bits of roasted meat in there? We’ve got a long way to go with him. But now I can chop up the flavoursome vegetables into microscopic bits! So I put I the Thermomix jug a halved onion, a clove of garlic, a thick slice of fennel root, a roughly chopped stick of celery and a roughly chopped carrot. I zapped that lot, then cooked it at a hundred degrees for seven minutes with a slice of butter. I then put in five hundred grams of diced chuck beef, half a cup of chicken stock and two tablespoons of corn flour. What I should have done was brown the meat first. And possibly used red wine instead of stock. I cooked that at ninety degrees on speed slow with the blades in reverse for fifty minutes. The result was delicious but extremely visually unappealing. Also way too much gravy. I drained off most of the gravy and have it in the fridge until I can work out what to do with it. Just look at that colour.

No good at all. The specks on it aren’t mould, it’s leftover flour, really it is.

Emboldened by my success at the shortcrust pastry I made half a recipe of rough puff pastry. I put in 125 grams of plain flour and zapped it with the turbo button a couple of times to aerate it. I added in 90 grams of cold chopped Pepe Saya butter, a pinch of salt, fifty grams of cold water and a good squeeze of lemon juice. The recipe suggests using half lard, but I don’t happen to have any. I wonder if there are different grades of lard, like there are for butter? From the stuff scraped off the abattoir floor all the way up to the results of Kim Cowdashian’s latest liposuction? Something to investigate. Anyway, set the dial to the closed lid position and knead for ten to twenty seconds on Interval speed, once again peeking to see when it forms a dough.

Extract the dough and slap it onto the floured bench top. Pat it into a rectangle shape. Possibly refrigerate it for twenty minutes at this point, but I didn’t. Roll it out until it’s about 40 by 12 cm. That does seem a bit specific, doesn’t it, so maybe just long and thin. Fold the bottom third into the middle and the top third over that. Rotate it through ninety degrees and roll it out again. Repeat the folding and rolling three more times. Refrigerate it again before rolling it out into circle shape. I didn’t, as it was still fairly cold and I had a pie to get in the oven. I spooned the gravy less beef into the shortcrust base and lifted the rough puff circle onto the top where it settled nicely. I poked some holes in it and baked it for about twenty five minutes.

I forgot to photograph it in the excitement of grandparents, but here’s the last scraps of the Muffet’s bit if you’d like to see how great the pastry looked.

There was none left at the end of dinner, so it can’t have been too bad. Definitely needs work, but. That pastry needs an amazing filling to do it justice.

Neil Perry’s Prawn Wontons in the Thermomix

Just so you don’t roll your eyes, this one can also be done in a blender. No matter what you think of his ghastly hairdo, Neil Perry can certainly give you a fair indication of what should go into a wonton wrapper and he shared a tasty looking recipe in this week’s Good Living which I immediately sucked into my recipe app. I don’t really have my Asian palate going yet, so I’m still taking fairly careful direction on ingredients.

First you collect your ingredients. I put the following in the Thermomix, two cloves of garlic, a tablespoon of dark soy sauce, a teaspoon of sesame oil, a centimetre of sliced ginger root, an ice cube of coriander chopped, a green onion chopped, about ten centimetres off the end of a stale bread roll and a pinch of salt. I zapped it to form a paste. Then it was suggested I add a one hundred gram tin of water chestnuts. I had a two hundred and thirty gram tin (which I actually had to open with a can opener!), but when I weighed the chestnuts they came to about a hundred and twenty grams, so put all of that in. Also put in three hundred grams of frozen green prawns, I really must thank Daniela for making me buy a kilo bag of frozen prawns, it has been so handy. The Thermomix made short work of that, but unless you’d like your blender to take a short holiday back to the land of warranty you may wish to defrost the prawns first. I only put it on speed five for about twenty seconds, I didn’t want a mush.

I happened to have a packet of Double Merino wonton wrappers in the fridge. I wonder what they mean by double merino? Twice the sheep? Anyway, despite the packet saying contains forty wrappers, only thirty two transpired, meaning either I’m not very good at peeling them off, or they’re selling them by weight. Thirty two was the perfect amount for a heaped teaspoon of filling each.

Neil Perry suggests moistening the edges of the wrappers with egg whites before pressing them together. I think this means that he has a kitchen full of slaveys, so I just went with fingers dipped in water. I got a kind of technique going in the end.

It only took about twenty minutes to fill them all, maybe less, I had a phone call from my in laws in the middle of my production line. Now the question is how to cook them?
I’ve only got two options open to me at the moment, as I’ve run out of spray olive oil. I tried frying them first in peanut oil. I generally don’t do this because I never know what to do with the excess oil afterwards. I shall try pouring it on the annoying weeds that infest the side of the house.

They kept their shape and were cooked through and pleasingly crunchy. I thought that the filling was a little delicate for this kind of treatment, so I had a go at boiling them.

They’re not terribly visually appealing this way, but I like them better. I think the best way would be to spray them with oil and bake them, so I’m storing most of them in ziplock bags for another time. I feel like it could have done with a little more prawn, so next time I might increase it to five hundred grams (and make sure I have enough wrappers), or reduce everything else. The biggest surprise was that they didn’t fall apart with either method of cooking, they really make those wrappers tough and are clearly made for people who don’t have kitchens full of slaveys, but can only dream about it.

Roasted bits of Goat

I’m taking advantage of the absence of the Muffet to cook one of the many species she objects to us eating. Actually, I’m not sure how she’d feel about this one, having a bit of a hate hate relationship with the goat that resides at pony camp where she spends as much of her holidays as she can. He’s one of those narrow eyed goats that likes to sneak up on horse mad girls and butt them in the butt, then retires to snigger into his beard. Eating him may be taking revenge too far for her.

My favourite butcher stocks goat, and not only that, it’s all chopped up into manageable sized pieces and lavishly marinated. Actually, hacked up may be more accurate, in the kilo bag I bought today there were all varieties of rib, a chunk of thigh and what may have been a bit of rump. Perhaps they’re training their apprentices on the goat. I’ve been trying to pick what’s in the marinade, I could see dates and dried apricots and pine nuts and I’m guessing olive oil and a Moroccan spice paste. Half the price of the lamb, so I’m not complaining.

They suggested slow cooking the goat, and it’s getting to be that kind of weather. I packed the pieces into a frying pan and browned them first.

Then I put then in a roasting pan and covered it with foil. That went into the oven on 140 degrees for two hours, then I turned off the oven and let it sit for an hour.

You have to know your audience. This will be consumed by a man who has just come in from an hour and a half of coaching soccer to twelve little boys who haven’t seen each other for days in the dark and cold with the wind coming straight off the bay. He doesn’t want to muck around picking fragments of meat off bits of bone and sinew, he want to shovel it in while it’s hot, preferably accompanied by a large glass of red. So I picked the meat off the bones, and there was more than I expected.

It’s only by an iron exercise of will and a handful of cooking chocolate that I can stop myself from a fairly large scoff of this stuff, it’s delicious. Dark, tender, flavoursome. Not gamey, more like a beef shank or cheek than anything I can think of. I was planning to serve it with couscous, spinach and feta, as being culinarily related, but it’s too salty to put with feta, so I’ll leave that for another day. Not that I usually mess with presentation, but I think if I cook the couscous, then stir through some baby spinach and diced red capsicum at the last minute with the reheated goat on top it will look rather appetising.


Adam Liaw’s Laksa Lemak – From Scratch, In the Thermomix

I went on too many quests today and now I feel like my left leg has come loose. You know, the leg that is currently supporting my whole weight at the moment because I’m on crutches? Yes. But I think it’s all going to be worth it because my main quest was to gather the ingredients to make Adam Liaw’s laksa, and he doesn’t do bought pastes.

I have only myself to blame. I’ve been making Exciting Dinner on Wednesdays because the kids have sushi and soccer training and tennis and orchestra in various combinations. I asked my dear husband what he’d really like me to make. “Laksa.” he replied without any hesitation. I’ve been flicking through Adam Liaw’s Two Asian Kitchens but been too terrified to try anything except the stock, so this was a challenge.

The big problem was to gather the ingredients. I would imagine most of you would have no problem knocking up a European recipe, having the requisite pantry items, but when someone like me goes Asian we have to start from scratch. And that includes where you shop, because this laksa paste requires fresh ingredients.

The ingredients are dried 10 red chillies, 2 tablespoons dried shrimp, 4 fresh chillies (sorted, I have a plant), 1 tablespoon dried shrimp paste, 2 brown onions (no problem), 5 candle nuts (wouldn’t even know where to start, but fortunately macadamias can and will be substituted), 2 garlic cloves (run out), 2 thick slices ginger (ditto), 2 stalks lemon grass, 5 leaves Vietnamese mint, dried coriander (we’ll be using fresh, because I need some for a tomato salsa I’m making tomorrow), fresh turmeric (three teaspoons grated, but Thermomixers don’t grate) and 60 mls of peanut oil. The method is simple, soak the dried shrimp and dried chillies in boiling water, bung them and all the other ingredients in the Thermomix then zap. This makes about two cups, you need a quarter of a cup for two people.

See, I did get all the ingredients. I decided to venture into Ashfield Mall, it really isn’t that far. There is actually an Asian supermarket nestled conveniently in the car park, the Tong Li supermarket and gosh that was exciting. I had to go up and down the aisles three times to drink it all in. If it can be dried or pickled or cryovacked, they stock it. I am puzzled as to why you’d tin quail eggs, pickle lettuce, be bothered preserving turnips or eat Spam with real bacon. I was very fascinated by the snack foods, strips of dried fish, chicken flavoured peanuts (what’s wrong with peanut flavoured peanuts?), desiccated eel. I was awfully tempted by the frozen roast eel in the Japanese section. I’ll have to go back when I’m on two legs. I got dried chillies, dried shrimp and fried tofu puffs for the soup, but that’s all. Oh no, actually, also a bunch of fresh coriander (59 cents for a bunch!!!) I couldn’t find the shrimp paste and I certainly wasn’t going to ask, you know me. I didn’t get peanut oil because I didn’t really want five litres of it, and I couldn’t carry it anyway. I also managed to ignore the siren song of the jar of laksa paste, only two dollars.

I then went through the mall and out the other side to the Asian Greengrocer, where I was accosted by a tiny Asian woman who grabbed me by the arm and pointed at the mushrooms. “Mushroom!” she exclaimed, showing me both her teeth. I agreed, got her a bag and moved on. I found what I’m pretty sure was Vietnamese mint, garlic, some very fresh looking ginger, really cheap lemon grass and some bok choy to veggie it up.

I knew Norton Street Grocer stocked fresh turmeric, and I needed about a kilo of jelly for another quest, so Ho for Coles, curse them. They actually had shrimp paste, wonders will never cease. Also a small bottle of peanut oil that is currently sitting in my sink leaking from a spot I can’t locate. The grocer did have turmeric, so I had a full hand.

So I’ve made the paste and frozen most of it in convenient quarter cup portions. I have defrosted two cups of the basic stock made, blogged about and frozen some time ago. I have poached a sliced chicken thigh in it in the Thermomix. I heated the stock plus a couple of teaspoons of fish sauce to one hundred degrees, added the thickly sliced chicken and put it on reverse gentle stir at one hundred degrees for five minutes. Perfect. Removed the chicken. I then put 70 grams of bean sprouts (had to send the Muffet into the Stanmore IGA for those, completely forgot about them) in the steamer basket over the hot stock while I chopped six fried tofu puffs into quarters and chopped the bok choy up. Then transferred the stock to another bowl. Put a quarter of a cup of laksa paste in the Thermomix with a splash of peanut oil and set it to a hundred degrees and seven minutes. I tried five, but it wasn’t long enough. Added the stock back in, speed two, one hundred degrees for another two minutes, added a 270ml tin of coconut milk for a further two minutes. Tasted it, added the juice of half a lime and about two teaspoons of brown sugar because I can’t find my palm sugar. Maybe three.

Added in eight frozen prawns from the packet Daniela made me buy and the chopped tofu puffs and cooked (reverse, gentle, one hundred degrees), then shredded the chicken and chucked that and the bok choy in for another minute.

Meanwhile I’ve had an eighty gram lot of bean thread noodles soaking in boiling water and just added some random rice noodles I found at the bottom of the crisper. Now I’m going to put the noodles in bowls and pour the soup over then garnish with bean shoots and sprig of coriander.

Adam’s right, making the paste makes a huge difference. And now I’ve made it, laksa will be vurrah easy. Complex, full bodied, really really good. It doesn’t have that off putting red layer of oil on top. Husband thinks it could stand more chillies, but is as good as a bought one. I think this might be three servings, which means I get some for lunch tomorrow.

Or not.

Thermomix Vegetable Patties

I think I overdid it this time. Note to self, just because you have Thermomix doesn’t mean you have to pulverise everything. Here’s how it happened.

I was having coffee with a neighbour and some friends and we were solving all of the admittedly very first world problems of the high school our sons attend. Talk turned to the oversupply of the school cookbook, and my Thermophile friend made the excellent suggestion that she and I should start converting the really excellent and diverse recipes in it to The Thermomix Way. By the time we’d wrapped up I was starving, so after I’d dragged myself across the road home I was looking for a quick and hearty lunch. No bread. No leftovers. Not even frozen leftovers. So I opened the school cookbook and came across a recipe that was a cinch for the Thermomix and I even had all the ingredients, vegetable patties.

I put a medium sized onion into the machine and it made a rather startled sound when I tried to zap it, another note to self – cut them in half first. Added in a slice of butter and sautéed the onion at 100 degrees for three minutes on speed two. I then added in a chopped large carrot, a zucchini and a half and an extremely dried up bread roll I had left over from last weekend’

And zapped them too. Then I added a tin of rinsed chickpeas, a teaspoon of Moroccan spice mix and an egg and gave it a gentle mix on speed two for a couple of seconds. Then I cooked it at 100 degrees for five minutes on speed three, and that’s where I went wrong. I should have had it on speed two or one and put in in reverse (the blunt sides of blades then do the stirring) meaning the chickpeas wouldn’t have been mashed in too. It could do with some texture.

The idea then is that you refrigerate it and it solidifies quite a bit, then you form them into balls and pan fry them in butter. I was really hungry, so I just ate the stuff with a spoon. It was delicious and satisfying. I’ve just had some more for lunch today and it even improves with age. I am eating a lot of vegetables this way, but I’m worried I’m losing the ability to chew. This stuff is also not terribly visually appealing in this form, but would be better as patties.

I won’t tell you what the Moose said it looked like, but I’m sure you can guess. The photo in the school cookbook was worse because the patties had bits of corn through them which for those of us who have had offspring leads to a very unappetising train of thought. Maybe presentation is something to which I should give more consideration.

Vegetable Soup, yes in the Thermomix

I’m supposed to be doing recipes from the Thermomix book for the first week. This is a book that has recipes for apricot chicken and beef stroganoff. It’s a very patchy publication. So I’m not in the mood. But I’m picking stuff up, like how to start off a soup.

You chuck in a halved small onion. A smashed clove of garlic. Zap for ten seconds on speed seven. It won’t pulverise them, it will chop them up fairly severely. Put in a slice of butter. Mix for two minutes on hundred degrees on speed one. It just gets them to translucent. We need a verb for “put in Thermomix and add some settings”. I’ll ponder that for a bit.

Put in two tomatoes, cut in half. Cut in half four zucchinis that some kind person bought for you in the mistaken belief that they were cucumbers. Add them to the pot. Zap for ten seconds on speed seven. Add in a cup of frozen chicken stock and a tablespoon of that ultra salty Thermomix vegetable stock. I can’t bring myself to throw it out, so I may as well use tiny bits of it here and there. It can’t go in the compost, it would kill it. I was going to put in cauliflower, but I forgot. You could put in any vegetables really. Cook for twenty minutes at 100 degrees on speed one, which just moves it around. I put the steamer basket over the hole in the lid because I thought it could do with being reduced a bit.

It sounds cringingly healthy, but it was surprisingly tasty and satisfying. I didn’t even put cheese in it. It had a bit of body to it.

It made enough for two, so I’ll have it with toast for lunch tomorrow. I may have to follow it up with a chocolate bar, but at least I’m getting my lycopenes.