Monday, February 22, 2010

Leftover week 10

 Cassoulet Ecosse (Valentine's dinner)....or posh sausage n'beans with a bit of lamb n' haggis!
The freezer is fit to bursting with leftover this and that so this week, the shopping has been severely cut and the leftovers shall be left over no more; we shall eat what is there and come up with some weird and wonderful ways to use up the bits and bobs of fresh food tying up the 'fridgerator shelves.

Saturday's Lemon Drizzle Cheering Up Cake for Susan

We shall purchase a chicken, some fresh vegetables and the basics of eggs, butter, milk and bread.   But that is all.   By the week end, the cupboards should be bare.   The following is a mix of dinners, lunches, breakfasts and snacks and may vary:-

Roast chicken with fresh veg and mashed/roast potatoes
Chicken and rice soup
Pasta with roasted tomatoes, pesto and Parmesan
Spaghetti with garlic, broccolli and chilli
Spicy chicken noodle soup
Tuna mayo salad with baked potato
Camembert cheese and pesto tart with pine nuts
Cassoulet with potato slices
Chicken and chorizo stew
Veg curry and naan
Carrot and lentil soup
Cannellini bean soup
Chicken with gravy and rice
Thai Stir fry
Lemon cake

Last week's one dish roast chicken dinner!
I have a dinner on Friday night with my friends and am looking forward to sharing one recipe with you in particular; butternut squash soup with griddled scallops and girolles.   This has got to be one of the best dishes I've tasted in a long time.  
Butternut Squash soup with girolles, griddled scallops and Parmesan;
the most divine dish on the planet....this week!

I had a trial run with it on our Valentine's meal and it was sooooo delicious.   I had the remainder of the soup without the scallops the next day and it was still divine.   I couldn't recommend a dish more but there is a story behind the scallops.....

Lovely, hand dived scallops were on my shopping list and although they cost a lot of money, I was only buying three (you half each scallop for this dish).   Scallops are indeed expensive but even the best should not cost any more than £1.60 per shell.   Since I'd heard there was a new fish shop in our local area, I headed there first, happy in the knowledge that I'd probably be getting some first rate scallops.   

The scallops on show didn't look particularly wonderful but were fresh enough.  They were, however sitting in water rather than ice; scallops soak up water and since you get charged per weight, it's a fishmonger's trick and of course, when it's time to fry your scallops, you have the water oozing out, toughening up the skin.   I decided to try them anyway, having run out of time.   Since they were rather small, I asked for four; the lovely chap behind the counter bagged them up for me and mumbled an incoherent amount as I handed over a £10 note, distracted by the other items on view.   As he asked me if I wanted a bag, the cost had made impact with my brain and I found myself asking him to repeat how much; £6.76 came the reply.   

£1.69 per wee, water soaked, scrappy scallop?!   I don't think so.   Of course, having been brought up to behave in a way that Miss Manners herself would approve of, I kept all of that to myself and said instead "no thank you, that is way too expensive, could I have my money back please?".   Oddly enough, he didn't look that surprised.

Off to Marks and Sparks to find a packet of cloned, identical offspring for the price of a small mortgage payment so headed off to Tesco instead; their offering was frozen and at £6 for five toti wee scraps, I reluctantly decided against it, at least until Friday, when I could get to the proper fishmongers in Glasgow.   As we were passing Asda however, I popped in as their scallops are usually pretty good; they looked about the same quality as the local fishmongers however the cost was vastly different; £1.20 for four!   Yup.

"Run that past me again...." came my reply.   He smiled: "they're half price just now"...but wait, that would still have only been £2.20 for four.   "Ok, give me eight".   They were delicious.   Looking forward to some hand dived, plump, super fresh ones in their shell from the fishmongers in Glasgow for Friday though.
 Mmmm, we LOVE these breakfast cupcakes, 
sprinkled with sugar before going in the oven to give a crispy, crunchy topping.

It continues to be the coldest winter but the sun has shone that past few days, casting a lovely light over the land.   I've never been even mildly tempted by a holiday in the sun but this year...oh, this year my friends, our holiday must be filled with warmth, sunshine and swimming pools.   I'm hoping upon hope that the cold winter means a warm and pleasant summer and the deckchair can be cobwebbed off and dragged out into the garden, kicking and screaming. 

 This bizarre looking concoction was actually really tasty and was a trial run for Friday's dinner; 
Chicken Pesto Roulade on a bed of mashed potato topped with crispy courgettes and leeks, roasted basil leaves and a white wine mustard sauce.

I promise, the flourless orange cake is to come, the original recipe was torn out of a magazine and I need to find it.   The chicken goujons too!

Thank you so much to those wonderful bloggy friends who have given me awards recently; I'll be posting them up this week.


Nanny Goats In Panties said...

MMMMmmm, butternut squash soup.

I wish I had the ability to use leftovers so wisely as you do.

Hope you are having a great week! (visiting from SITS)

- Margaret

JadeLD said...

I love leftover weeks, so much to choose from in that freezer. It looks like quite a feast. I love scallops but sometimes they are a bit much for what you get.

It's been a freezing February so far, apparently we had -18'C last night in Aberdeen, brrrrr.

~Melody @ 6 Feet Over~ said...

You are so inspiring! The roast chicken dinner looks amazing! And breakfast cupcakes? Wow!

I peek around on your blog on a regular basis...I need to say hi more often. hehe You are very inspiring. I only have 3 to cook for and need all the help I can get with saving on the grocery bills!


Helen McGinn said...

NGIP, hello hon! Thanks for stopping by, it's nice to see you again. x

Jade, isn't it? The price of a good steak...sheesh! ;O) I've heard it's really cold up north, I need to stop complaining...*L*

Melody, thanks for coming over today hon and for your lovely comments. x

A 2 Z said...

Oh! MY! That drizzled lemon cake had my mouth watering! Every thing just looks so fabulous! You are an inspiration! :)

Raymonde said...

Hello, what a delicious blog you have, your dishes are so yummy looking. Just popped over from SITS! although I do live closer to you than they do!!! Have a great week cooking and happy blogging!!! xxx

Anonymous said...

hey there!

thanks for stopping by :D the followers list is on the left column - just realized it wasn't there after re-formatting my blog recently, hahah.

that cake looks absolutely delish! nice blog you have here!

Melissa B. said...

It's only 5:30 in the morning here, and you're making me hungry for dinner. Thanks for sharing...

Spring Training

WhiteSockGirl aka The Fabulous Bitch said...

Those breakfast cupcakes,... yum yum!!! I can have those anytime of the day..

And the roast chicken,... oh the roast chicken.

I am no good with cooking, so leftovers usually go to the bin.

and that last dish, oh yeah,... I am hungry. Cheese sandwich anyone? Yeah, I can make those without killing anyone!

mise said...

I love the notion of a cheering up cake. I foresee a lot of them around here. And I've lately discovered Queenies, which are like very small Scallops, and delicious.

Helen McGinn said...

A 2 Z, thank you hon...the cake was gone in around 2 hours flat! Yum.

Raymonde, thank you! I'll need to visit right now to see where you live; I'm just that nosey! ;O)

robynxx, found it, thank you! Looking forward to coming back. xx

Melissa B, you're too lovely to me. :O)

WhiteSockGirl...*LOL* Those cupcakes are good anytime and sooo easy, I promise. The kids cut them open and apply Nutella; they'd bathe in the stuff if I let 'em.

Mise, I love queenies in salads or with cullen skink; delicious! xx

Laura said...

Helen! I made your aromatic thai chicken...but my pregnancy hormones took me off on a strange path in the midst of it all. It was a delicious...but perhaps slightly weird deviation. I hope you are not too disgusted with me! On the bright side...husband LOVED it!
I am writing a blog about it right now.

Helen McGinn said...

Laura, not at all, I'm delighted you deviated.... ;O) That's the whole point of cooking sometimes! xx

Janice said...

Well done on such a brilliant use of your leftovers. And that chicken looks just delicious.

Jenny said...

Hi, visiting you from SITS. What a charming blog. May I ask...what are girolles?

aladdinsane12 said...

where do they get off charging that much for 4 scallops??? they're nuts.

here are the things that made me drool this time:
-camembert cheese and pesto tart
-lemon bread

and that soup looks divine!

Unknown Mami said...

I love scallops. Love them. Whenever my mom wanted to spoil me as a child I would get to eat scallops. Just the thought of them makes me feel special.

Kellie Collis said...

Mmmmm cake!!!! xx

Helen McGinn said...

Janice, thank you hon.

Jenny, I emailed you but for those who are also wondering, it's chanterelle mushrooms. :O)

aladdinsane, I know! It's not like the came in their own, individual, wee gold plated Birkin bags....

Unknown Mami, I feel that way about scallops now; never had them as a kid though...we had whelks....*shiver*

Kellie, cake does that to me too. :O)

Anonymous said...

Ciao Helen,
your food looks delicious, I wish I could grab some with me :)