We have been a little quiet on the mud cakes and wine postings but believe me its been very busy. I have lots of sen related blogs to come up. However I have been reading some wonderful blogs full of amazing food I look at them and read with wonder at how they do it. This blog is not too long but very true and I am sure you know exactly where I am coming from.
In the mud cakes and wine household I thought for a few days that I had totally lost the ability to cook, now let's be honest here my ability's are very basic but we do tend to get some tasty meals. So what have we had in the last few weeks that have made me question my cooking ability.
First was yet another stuck to the bottom burnt on the top yet soggy toad in the hole. I try, let's think about this, about once every couple of months to cook a successful toad in the hole and about once every two months I say never again, as we sit down to a meal covered in gravy as we have dry sausages and batter that's slightly burnt but also manages to be soggy on the bottom. I always prepare a lot of veggies and gravy for this meal as I know what I cook will need it.
The next food fail was a lentil ragu, I was making two meals out of the ragu, for the boys a tasty soup and for my husband and I a hearty ragu to serve with spaghetti. I wanted to pop the ragu in the slow cooker once done for the grown up ragu, last time I attempted lentils in the slow cooker they were hard and uncooked after several hours. Bubbling away on the hob was a lovely smelling pan of lentils, vegetable stock, garlic, red onion along with bay leaves I was a happy girl, the disaster then unfolded while I was building Lego with the boys and started to smell something not as lovely in fact something burning. Running out with the boys attached to my legs to find the lentils stuck and burnt to the pan. Thinking I was clever I ladled out what I could making soup for the boys and the rest in the slow cooker. Problem was, yes you have guessed it had that hint of burnt about it no matter how much cheese you put on top. As for my saucepan, it took me two days of soaking and scrubbing to get those burnt on lentils of the bottom.
The final food fail story is an attempt at a chicken and potato bake. This was meant to be a quick meal to pop in the slow cooker in fact it took me forever and then tasted awful. I decided to par boil my potatoes ensuring they are cooked later on. Made the chicken and mushrooms with a white sauce flavoured with some tarragon and layered it up in the slow cooker. It looked nice and smelt OK. Upon serving up there was no sauce left and in some ways that was not a bad thing. We ate all I can describe soggy yet dry potatoes with dry chicken in a sauce that tasted like I had put a can of cheap mushroom soup rather than go to the effort of a white homemade sauce. Good job the broccoli was tasty and we were hungry.
As you can see it goes wrong and I am learning from this, I will be re reading all the advice on toad in the hole, lentil ragu is lovely and I will investigate how best to cook in the slow cooker, as far as the chicken and potato bake is concerned I will go right back to the drawing board in maybe a month or so I need to erase that one from memory. We have had some great successes including spicy chicken burgers and a slow cooked topside roast that was melt in the mouth. I am sure I will have a food fail series being featured in the blog.....