Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Mum's Cooking!

The first prompt for the Oui Chef challenge is: Mum's Cooking!

I am not a mum, but have borrowed and adpated many of my mum's recipes. I enjoy cooking, have no problem trying anything once but do have a tendency to just chuck stuff in a pan and hope for the best. I have always helped my mum out in the kitchen, whether measuring & mixing or washing up, but I never paid much attention to the actual recipes until I left for university and realised I had no idea what the 'secret ingredients' were for bolognaise, chilli, stew etc.

One of the big things I learned from both my parents was to just try it out, to experiment. Once you have the basis of a curry or chilli - try adding other stuff and see what happens. Carrots maybe, a different type of bean, even a touch of cocoa powder. My dad was a big fan of getting out a pan and adding whatever was in the cupboard (hence my tendency above!) - baked beans, crisps, tuna - most of the time it was quite awful, but sometimes it worked. So mum having a night out was a little hit and miss. ;)

The first recipe I remember my mum teaching me was spag bol. A great classic. Just before I left university. And then the most wonderful cheat in the world - how to turn bolognaise into chilli!! Genius! All it took was a bit of chilli powder and some kidney beans and all of a sudden 2 meals for the price of one.

The second meal was beef stew & dumplings. When I left for uni I was in halls with 5 other people and for the first few weeks we would all eat together. Each of us taking it in turns or pairing up with someone else. So I decided to make stew. I called my mum and wrote down the recipe then went shopping. What I hadn't realised is that stew does actually take a lot of peeling and chopping veg and a lot of time to cook, and I spent all day making this stew. Luckily for me, it turned out great and tasted nearly as good as my mum's! Nearly!

The 3rd recipe I have taken from my mum was always a Friday evening meal at home and one I didn't really bother with until I left university as for some reason, I would never think about it - Stroganoff! Beef fillet and mushrooms in a creamy mustard sauce, with saute potatoes and asparagus. It is such a simple dish, but so effect. It's quick, ideal for a dinner party and can be made with whatever you like. I'll post the method below, because I couldn't tell you quantities. I do it all by sight & feel, but every time it works out ok.

Basically, heat some oil in a pan, add onions and cook until soft and slightly golden. Add garlic and cook until also slightly golden in colour. Remove from the pan (add a little oil if needed) and put in whatever meat (or mushrooms) you want to 'stroganoff' and cook until you're happy with them. While the meat is cooking mix (about a small tub of) soured cream (althoug creme fraiche can work too) and 1 large teaspon of mustard, plus about 1/2 teaspon of cornflour in a separate bowl*. Put the onions and garlic back in then add a splash of maderia/masarla/sherry to deglaze the pan.When this has reduced to practically nothing, add your soured cream mixture, mix and heat through. Then serve!

* In theory, think about how much sauce you want at the end and make up this quantity. It will reduce slightly. The mixture at this point should not be thick - the flour is there just to stiffen the mixture a touch not thichen it as it can go very globby. << Technical speak! ;)

My final cookery tip is how to cook rice. This is the only way I have been able to cook rice without it going sticky (unless it's meant to be!). Boil plenty of water (the more, the merrier), add salt, put in the rice and LEAVE IT ALONE! Give it one QUICK stir to make sure its not sticking to the sides, but then just leave it. Time it according to whatever it says on the packet and don't touch it until it beeps. Then drain it and serve.

Enjoy - and if you do try the Stroganoff and have measurements please feel free to add them below. ;)


4 comments:

BECKICKLES said...

Can you believe that I've never had Stroganoff?

I'll have to try your recipe out!

Thankyou so much for your contribution. It's chocolate this month, so I can't wait to read what you come up with!

Becca xx

Rhian said...

Thanks for commenting Becca - sorry only now replying. Can't believe you've never had stroganof, you should definitely try it, was a Saturday night favourite in ours with asparagus, saute potatoes and rice. x

R said...

Yummy Stroganoff ... I used to make this every week when I was newly married (a life-time-ago) ... don't know why it dropped off my list of regular feasting.

Anyway, the point is you have inspired me to put it back on the list ... so huge thank you Rhian.

Diolch yn fawr iawn!
Hwyl!

Rhian said...

Diolch R!
Thanks for stopping by.
Enjoy the stroganoff. :)