Today, I find myself torn between writing about food and sharing yet another fence panel repair (yes, only my second of 2014 – and I really thought I was done with them the last time!). Having spent the previous evening at a Thai restaurant in the city centre, there’s only way my stomach is going to turn with this post! It’s not really until you start crafting and creating your own meals (following a recipe or from scratch) that you begin to appreciate the joys of dining out. Those anxieties about eating in public soon fade away as you’re waited on and served, with someone behind closed doors having done most of the hard work.
I think the last time I ate a salad was when I bought a plastic pack of ‘cold pasta’ from the supermarket, maybe last year. That S-word has always signified “a bowl of only greens and vegetables” in my mind, which is why I’d not considered preparing a salad until I came across a recipe involving red onion… And bacon!!
I’ve discovered a love for onions with my recent kitchen experiments and I was excited by the opportunity to now try red onions, as opposed to the run of the mill. They were even easy to find down the vegetable aisle.
A mistake came when I decided to first chop the root off before peeling the onion, in spite of the clear instruction within the text… Given my limited experience in cookery, I decided that I knew what was best but I quick learned that without a root, each segment began to crumble and fall apart. So, turning them over halfway through the bake was almost as tedious as attempting to reassemble my digital camera…
I also learned that tinfoil is okay to use as a baking sheet. Well, I decided to give it a go after a bit of Google research. Before heading to the supermarket last week (for my infamous £40-shop), I wasn’t even sure whether ‘baking sheet‘ was an individual item available to buy or simply an alternative name for a shiny sheet of aluminium.
While that was on-the-go, I began to boil my peas using my second, smaller saucepan which I had only bought days earlier. I bought a back of frozen peas as it seems more economical than to buy tin after tin. They can just about be squeezed in to my freezer compartment! But I added too much water before bringing it too the boil. Fortunately, I removed the lid moments before the eruption!
What would a salad be without lettuce?! I didn’t buy anything specific for this meal; choosing instead to use some of the iceberg I’d been adding to my daily sandwiches.
Taking in to account the workings of a halogen oven; the first roasting of the onions was completed in no more than 12 minutes – that’s 3 minutes less than the stated cooking time. With the cubes of bread and bacon rashers added to the tray, I think the final roasting session was only 8 or 9 minutes long. Being able to clearly see your food throughout is a huge advantage of these ovens. Burning did not present itself, on this occasion! 😎
This recipe also calls for the preparation of a salad dressing. I had all but the sherry vinegar, which I couldn’t find on the shelves. I guess they don’t keep it next to the malt! This was the one part of the meal I didn’t particularly like. I’m not about to dig a spoon in to my pot of dijon mustard purely to rule that out but I’m assuming that malt vinegar was a poor choice in substitution. Maybe I didn’t toss the salad well enough?
I’ll be cooking this one again in the coming week. If you have any suggestions for what I could try instead, please do share. Otherwise, I think I’ll just skip the dressing and go for added olive oil.
It didn’t take long to make and I was soon serving the hunger that had been growing over the previous half-hour. It was delicious until got down to the remnants of that dressing, as mentioned above. It sadly tainted the remaining few peas and leaves. I’ll also be looking to add more bacon to my next meal, as those two rashers almost shrivelled up under the heat of the oven.
My food anomaly of the week came in the form of the roll above which, to my eyes (and, apparently, my eyes only…) has a great, stonking nose poking out from one side of it!
For a very simple desert that tastes a bit like cheese cake, I dunked two Digestive biscuits in to scoops of vanilla ice cream… Before mashing and mixing it up for consumption.
Thanks for reading and eat up!