Saturday, May 17, 2014

Cook your own nuts---much cheaper!

Every time you go to the corner shop and buy salted peanuts to have with your favourite drink or just to satisfy a craving, you are paying at least twice much as you would if you do what I do. This is a case of 'do what I say, as it is what I also do!' Make sense?  ---Go and try this!
Purchase some raw peanuts from a bulk bin at the supermarket or better still, try one of those Indian spice shops---they can be even cheaper. I got about a kilo.
Stick some oil in the wok or big pot and throw in the nuts. Keep stirring them and after a minute or so, put as much salt as you like, 'to taste' and in my case I added chilli flakes, a teaspoon of sugar and some paprika. Keep stirring until they become a gentle brown. Remove the wok or pot from the heat and set them aside to cool. Add more salt if they are not to your liking. When totally cool, stick them into an air tight jar and----bring them out impress, or hide them away for those 'special moments.' Yes, Perdy, my Jack Russell, somehow manages to eat them!
Just a little browner, maybe!

Danger lurks in a deepest dark forest, somehwere where you live---beware of more than the trolls!

Well maybe it will just be in the park down the road, but when you take your pooch for a walk (mine was at the park in Blockhouse Bay) just stay clear of the trolls under the bridge and other Middle Earth characters and when you enter the darkest regions of the forest, watchout for the enticingly coloured fungi, because the are capable of sending you to realms unimagined. Even the fairies avoid such 'trophies,' preferring the more mundane but still slightly exotic faire. It was the witches and sorcerers who claimed the golden prize that Perdy warned me of, using them for concoctions for the creation of pure evil. Thankyou Perdy, but I did know about those orange  'perils,' and I shall pick up some harmless little delights from the supermarket and make us a nice omelette for lunch. Your reward?----why another walk this afternoon of course.
Stay away from these!

Walking the dog chicken pasta bake------part 2

I am back from my walk with you know who (Perdy, of course). The chicken cooked previously is beautifully succulent and easy to shred. That done and the leftovers well and truly dealt to by Perdy, it is time to assemble the chicken pasta bake.
Firstly though I need to cook the pasta spirals. I used Quinoa gluten-free ones, but any pasta would suffice. I used the wonderful; stock from the first phase of the project (see previous blog). To that I added some NZ Spinach to add yet more vitamins. The quinoa pasta is superb in that it is high protein. Go and Google Quinoa and you will know what I mean.
Easy as process: Stick the chicken in a large baking dish, along with some capers, a cup of grated cheese, a tin of cherry tomatoes, a little salt and pepper and some rosemary or any other herb you have. I layered some sliced mushrooms on the top and added some more parmesan cheese. The mixture appeared to be quite 'wet' because I had added a cup of extra chicken stock from the pot. I assumed that the pasta would absorb most of this----it did, during the 30 minute baking time on about 170C.
While the meal was cooking I put some flat mushrooms with peanuts in the cup and a grating of parmesan cheese and a little olive oil, into the small bench-top oven. The result for the two dishes---bloody wonderful; and cheap. If you want to make it even cheaper, just use ordinary pasta and cheaper cheddar cheese.
Chicken doggie walk pasta bake with mushrooms stuffed with peanuts. Absolute Freedom baking.