Monday, July 6, 2009

Will you look at the time?

That's one thing about the summer holidays; time starts to merge and before you know it, it's 10pm, rather than the usual, strict limits of school days. I'm not complaining; it's lovely in fact. I got up late today for the first time in ages. I mean, really late...for a mum. I got a cup of tea in bed and read a bit of a book before coming downstairs to the smell of pancakes, made by Brian to be greeted by happy children, instead of the usual wail of "what's for breakfast? I'm STARVIIIIIING!!!!"

For lunch, we had soup. I made watercress and spinach soup for Brian and I and tomato soup for the kids. I offered them each a £100 to try the green sludge soup but to no avail. In the photograph below is Fraser's response to being offered £100.

The answer was clearly no. Wouldn't touch it with a barge pole, I think Lucy said. "Not for a £1,000,000!" Kelly replied. Even I was dubious. I used two full packets of the leaves, thinking of all the goodness but it did begin to look like pond water. I adjusted it a bit and actually, despite the appearance, it was lovely.

The kids were still in their pjs come lunchtime, as you can clearly see from the photo; I know, I'm a terrible mother...not to them obviously, they think it's wonderful....and in holiday time, that's all that counts.

We had a really tasty meal of lamb chops cooked with sticky bbq sauce. I decided to use my own recipe and serve it with rice instead of mashed potatoes...a good choice. The bbq sauce was really delicious and I have loads left.

Lamb Chops with Sticky BBQ Sauce, Boiled Rice,Yoghurt Raita,Roasted Baby Plum Tomatoes, quick Caramelised Onions and warm Pitta Bread.

4-8 lamb chops (we had 6-3 each and a bit much)
For the BBQ Sauce:
olive oil, tablespoon
1 finely chopped shallot
1 finely chopped, fat garlic clove
Half red chilli, seeded and finely chopped (huge fat chilli so use more if preferred)
Approx. 2oz dark muscovado sugar (it's worth buying this, great for caramelising)
Approx. 2oz soy sauce
Approx. 10 fl.oz. tomato ketchup
For the raita:
Low fat yoghurt
chopped cucumber to taste
Squeeze lemon juice
salt and white pepper
Sprinkling parsley and coriander, fresh (don't buy 'specially though)
For the onions:
1 onion, thinly sliced
Olive oil
Teaspoon muscovado sugar
For the tomatoes:
Handful baby plum tomatoes, halved or quartered
Teaspoon olive oil
Half teaspoon balsamic vinegar
Salt & pepper
Sprinkling parsley

Basmati rice or rice of choice

Pitta Bread

Make the BBQ sauce first. Heat the olive oil in pan over a medium heat, add shallot, chilli and garlic, stir and leave for a few minutes. Add the sugar, soy and tomato ketchup...I admit to using different amounts of tomato ketchup each time but I usually put in about two huge squeezefuls. Stir and taste...add more tomato ketchup if you prefer. The sauce should still look quite dark and only a little red...that's how I like it but using the full amount of sauce will taste just as great if a little milder. Bring to the boil and simmer for a few minutes. Stir and then place in a bowl.

Put oven on medium/high for plum tomatoes. Put on rice and cook as per instructions. Place plum tomatoes in an ovenproof dish and pour over a mix of all the tomato ingredients. Place in oven for around ten minutes. Once ready, leave in oven so they stay hot but turn oven off.

Make raita by adding all the ingredients to the yoghurt and mix.

Onions: heat oil in small pan over a medium heat. Add onions and cook until brown. Add salt, stir and then add sugar. Stir, leave on low heat until required. Once soft though, turn off.

Chops: place oil in pan over a medium heat...add chops and fry for around 4 minutes until brown. Pour bbq sauce on to uncooked side of chops and turn over. Add some more bbq sauce to browned side and cook for another 3-5 minutes, depending on how you like them.

Place pitta bread in toaster until warmed and slice in two.

Plate up, sniff with pleasure and eat 'til stuffed!

The kids turned their noses up at my lamb chops, the they had leftover chicken cooked in a stock of chicken and tomato puree served with rice and cucumber slices, as requested. A bit bizarre, possibly but they were so happy with the are so easy sometimes...and ate it all up.

I was going to bake but ran out of steam. It happens.


Jo said...

I am going to make this tonight Helen. You put me to shame! I have been woefully neglecting the culinary needs of my family in particular my man! I am so fed up of cooking, the result being that I seem to have fed them nothing but pasta and stir fried vegetables and noodles for months now. Reading your blog has inspired me to be a better cook. After my yoga practice I am off to buy some lamb chops!!! I might make some peanut butter squares too, they will think I have been replaced by a stepford wife!

Jo x

Silver said...

ooooooh...this looks so good!

..and i thought if i had said the soup was really "pond water" to my boys, they will think i am really so cooool.

Helen McGinn said...

Jo, *LOL*! This really is very good and,despite all the elements, simple. Don't worry if anything gets cool, the only thing that really needs to be hot is the chops.

I'd say stir fries, noodles and pasta are pretty excellent fayre but i'm glad to have inspired you (as you have me). Hope you're enjoying the holidays and best of luck! Let me know how you got on. xx

Helen McGinn said...

Silver...*L*...actually, I should have put a lily pad and a pretend frog in it; I bet they'd have tried it then!

Helen McGinn said...

Oh and Jo, you got a blog award (see several posts below). xx

Single Mama NYC said...

I don't know whether to feel inspired by your culinary talents, or woefully shamed by them. A little bit of both, I suppose. :-)