Saving dinner

by missmaudy

We had a bit of a situation involving a slight case of miscommunication and a protracted phone call which lead to nearly a kilo of cooked potatoes. Option one was to chuck them out (which seemed a bit wasteful), option two involved feeding them to The Hound. But she’s not *that* keen on boiled potato. So, that lead me to option three… what on earth could I cook with nearly a kilo of slightly more boiled than par-boiled but not completely cooked potatoes? It also had to constitute dinner and be reasonably nutritious.

So, scruffled around amongst my many cookbooks and thought “O. I should look in my new Jamie.” And whadderyou know… There was a recipe for Sag Aloo which needed a tiny bit more than a kilo of uncooked potatoes, but as it involved a chunk of simmering, I figured I could shorten that bit and it would probably work. The main beefs I have with Mr Oliver’s recipes are the number of pots that are required, the need for one or two weird ingredients (well, they’re not normally weird – I just have to translate them into Strayan) and the level of mess that I create.

This one needed two pots – a big one to cook the sag aloo in, and a little one to cook the chilli and cumin seeds – while this is low on the “normal people don’t have dish-pigs*” scale of dish use, it still required use of the food processor for like twelve seconds. I have a honkin’ big one – I love it with many hearts, I use it fairly regularly and it makes big grating and chopping jobs an absolute breeze. And it *is* easier to clean than my old cheap and nasty one. But for the effort involved in getting it out, the time of use and the effort involved to clean it compared to doing it by hand?

Weird/odd/untranslatable ingredients? Actually none. Mr Oliver is a fan of Mr Patak. So am I! I have a couple of jars of Mr Patak’s finest in my cupboard. Tomatoes, onion, garlic, aforementioned potatoes. Some spinach, chilli and cumin seeds and some natural yoghurt. Aside from cumin seeds (I normally have cumin, not necessarily seeds though), I had everything at hand. (Oh, it’s supposed to have coriander in it as well, but ah doan like it! And it asked for ground nut oil. I just used olive oil)

And it was good.

Really good, actually. The depth of flavour probably would have been better had the spuds boiled in the sauce and there’s no doubt in my mind that I could reduce the dishes – cook off the chilli and cumin in the big pan before I do the rest of the cooking; and I’m down to one pan. And the question of whether I could actually have chopped onions and tomato and mixed the rogan josh paste together in less time using a v-slicer and a bowl and spoon?  I think so.

That would definitely reduce the dishes and make it more likely that I would cook it again.

My next cooking challenge is to make something from the Great Australian Bake Off cookbook.

*”dish-pig” is the official title of every dishwasher in every restaurant I have ever worked in. Which is a few over time.