Some People Can Cook
Serves: 4, Prepare in: , Cook in:
Another fine blog from our guest blogger Lee, with a tasty recipe to try with you Pork Pies this month...
Top 5 things I hear a lot.
Is that cake real?
If tomatoes are fruit, does that mean that ketchup is a smoothie?
Can you make a four-tiered decorated cake with hanging birds and floating butterflies for tomorrow?
I don’t like cake
Some people can cook, others can’t
Ok, so number two was made up, but the rest are real. I can’t do anything about the first four, but number 5 is worth a raspberry sound.
If you’ve read any previous Lee & The Sweet Life writings (Check out my YouTube Channel too), you’ll know that I’m a bit of a fan of Julia Child. She always seemed to have a food quote suitable for every occasion, and learning to cook is no exception.
“No one is born a great cook; one learns by doing” Julia Child
I don’t know anyone born with a recipe book in their chubby baby fingers. No midwife ever said
“Your baby weighs 7lb 4oz and your recipe book weighs 12oz, what would you like to call them?”
Cooking is about being brave, experimenting, making mistakes, trying again, making more mistakes and tasting.
It also helps to have a willing chief taster with a kind heart and lots of patience. (Yes, I’m speaking about the lovely Mr G)
It’s certainly the advice I give myself when I’m thinking of new recipes. I’m hoping you take that advice too
I’m sure this is how the pork pie fairies at Vale of Mowbray came up with their oh so yummy recipes back in 1928.
Many years of practice makes a good cook, that’s the truth, and for the Vale of Mowbray, practice came up with the perfect blend of spices for their pork pies.
Although it’s the practice that makes the perfect, it’s usually the disasters that make me smile, the most memorable of my disasters being the on going saga of the glorious Yorkshire pudding.
It’s a well laughed at joke in my family that the only thing I can’t get right are Yorkshire puddings, and as the Lovely Mr G is a big fan of the roast, I know he feels a little deflated when he is faced with a flat, limp, spongy piece of flabby batter that should be light and airy.
Hey I never said that I was perfect.
This months recipe, the warm potato salad recipe below, is one of those recipes that I’ve practiced many times, so it’s perfect for you to have with your Vale of Mowbray pork pie.
The added bonus for any leftovers can be seen in the Tip Box
If you’ve any cooking disasters that have made you smile, share them with me by emailing them to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Maybe we can share them here
If you’re interested in learning to cook, enhance your cooking skills or just want to have a little cooking fun, Click over, like and subscribe to my YouTube Channel “Lee & The Sweet Life”.
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Lee & The Sweet Life
Baker & Foodie Content Writer
- 2lb small or new potatoes
- 1 vegetable stock cube
- 6 slices streaky bacon – finely chopped
- 2 sticks celery – finely chopped
- 3 whole peeled garlic cloves
- 1 small red onion finely chopped
- 1 bunch of spring onions – finely chopped
- 1 medium sweet red pepper – finely chopped
- 4 fl oz water
- 4 fl oz cider vinegar
- 2 tsp castor sugar
- 1 tbsp mustard – whole grain or Dijon
- 1 bunch of parsley – finely chopped
- Salt & Pepper
- When the new potatoes are washed (chop to appropriate size if you need to – See Tip Section), add them to a large saucepan, cover with water. Add salt, pepper, the stock cube and the three garlic cloves. Once the water is boiling, reduce the heat and simmer until the potatoes are soft enough to insert a toothpick in. (Don’t overcook them)
- Once the potatoes are cooked, drain completely and remove. Do NOT discard the garlic cloves. Put the potatoes back into the hot saucepan with the heat turned off. (See Tip Section)
- While the potatoes are cooking, heat a heavy bottom frying pan. Once the pan is hot, reduce the heat, add the chopped bacon and fry until the fat has rendered out and the bacon is crispy. Once brown, remove from the pan onto some kitchen paper to drain. Set aside until later
- Discard about two thirds of the fat. In the remaining fat, on a low heat, add the celery, red onion and red pepper. Squeeze the cooked garlic from the garlic cloves into the mixture. Season to taste with salt and pepper (remember, the bacon fat may be salty so don’t over salt). Sauté slowly until they are all soft, stirring occasionally. Remember to stir occasionally so the mixture doesn’t burn.
- With the vegetables still in the pan, add the water, mustard, sugar and vinegar. Simmer gently for a few minutes or until the mixture is a little thicker.
- Pour the warm mixture over the potatoes. Add the bacon, spring onions and parsley. Mix to combine, and Serve warm with your Vale of Mowbray pork pie
- Taste, taste, and taste again – the only way to know if the seasoning is right for you is to taste as you go and also when the recipe is complete.
- Wash the potatoes but keep the skin on. Not only does is add flavour but a lot of nutrients lie just below the skin, peeling will loose some of these nutrients.
- You may have to cut some of the potatoes in half or quarters if the are a little too big. They should be a good bite size.
- Chop the red onion finely. If you’d like to see how its done, click over to my YouTube channel for a quick ‘How to cook for beginners ” set of videos coming soon.
- Returning the drained potatoes to the hot saucepan with the heat off, will help some of the excess water evaporate making it less likely that your left with a stodgy mess.
- Left overs – This is a perfect recipe to have as leftovers and transform. If you’ve leftovers, put everything (Including the vegetables) onto a heatproof tray, and spread out evenly. Heat your oven to 180C, place the tray into the hot oven and cook for 15-25 minutes (timings may vary depending on individual ovens) stirring once during cooking. Take the potatoes out of the oven when they are crispy and golden brown.