Needless to say I have been on full time cooking duties ever since; cooking is a task I almost reluctantly admit is not my routine job in our house. I love cooking, but our usual division of labour results in the man of the house making most of the weekday meals while I deal with homework, housework and other exciting domestic dues.
Here are my 'week in a day' efforts: a few dishes where all the hard work is done on Sunday so they can be quickly finished during the week.
Slow Cooked Pork Belly - Yes this is as delicious as it looks!
Preheat the oven to 160degrees C. Start with a couple of 400g pieces of raw, boneless pork belly and a tightly fitting, high sided oven dish. Mix 5 tablespoons of soy sauce, 2 tablespoons brown sugar, 2 tablespoons cider vinegar, 2 teaspoons ground allspice and 3 star anise. Place in the oven dish, add the pork belly pieces and turn them over to evenly coat. Add half a cup of boiling water to the dish and cover in cooking foil. Bake for 4 hours, checking every hour or so to see it has not dried out. Add more water if required.
Once cooked set aside to cool before placing in a covered container and refrigerating until required. Reheat for 20 minutes in an oven set to 180deg. C.
We had two meals from this: Pork belly with roast yams, and Shredded Pork belly Tortillas (pictured below).
Next I made a multi purpose mince recipe. From this we had two pasta dishes (pictured below)
For this one I sauteed sliced carrots and celery before adding and reheating the mince in the pan and serving it with home made spaghetti.
Since all the other dishes were quite meaty, I made a quick and easy Pumpkin curry.
1 small or half a large pumpkin - I used a butternut 'cos it's my favourite!
1 large onion
2 tablespoons oil
2 teaspoons each ground coriander and cumin
1 clove garlic
a 420g can of coconut cream
salt and pepper to taste
a handful of chopped fresh coriander to serve.
Finely slice the onion and saute it in the oil. Add the chopped garlic and cook with out letting the vegetables colour.
Add the spices and briefly fry before adding the skinned and diced pumpkin.
Toss around the pan to coat with oil and begin to cook.
Add the can of coconut cream to the pan with an additional half can of water.
Bring up to a simmer and cook for about 20 minutes until the pumpkin is only just cooked. Check the seasoning and add salt and pepper as required.
Transfer to a clean bowl and allow to cool before covering and storing in the fridge until required.
Gently reheat in a pot being careful not to break the pumpkin pieces up to much. Sprinkle with fresh chopped coriander to serve.
Lastly I quickly blended up some hummus to put into the lunch boxes during the last week of school term.
Blend one small, drained and rinsed can of chick peas with a clove of garlic, the juice of a lemon, salt and pepper and about half a cup of good olive oil. We don't use tahini in our hummus as we have a sesame allergy sufferer. It tastes fine without it.
Yes, all this cooking did take up a large part of my Sunday, but getting it all done made the last week of school term so much easier. Nothing worse than getting home late with a small, ravenous child in tow and staring into the fridge wondering what to cook.