Friday, December 11, 2009

Recipe Friday

I was going through some blogs today and I noticed a few blogs entitled Wordless Wednesday, where other mammies put on pictures or drawings. So I decided to create my own topical day. I hereby present you with Recipe Friday. I don't know if I'm being original at all, if it exists even but if somebody else already had the idea, I apologize.

Isn't it mad that when men leave their mam's to either move in by themselves or with someone else, the majority of them do not know how to cook (or, even though men love gadgets, use that box in which you put dirty clothes and a bit of magic powder also known as a washing machine). When my fiance moved in with me, I had dreams of romantic candlelit dinners, breakfasts in bed and other food- related niceties. So one evening, he offered to cook dinner for us. I was about to say 'oh yes please', when he warned me: the only thing I can cook is beans on toast. Hardly a 3 course romantic dinner. Indeed I had forgotten that he was straight out of Mammy's Bed and Breakfast / Restaurant / Launderette. Anyway, we enjoyed our beans on toast.

So I made it my mission to get him interested in food and most of all get him cooking. So I produced lovely dinners, one after the other, patiently developing his taste buds. After a few months, I bought him a children's cookbook. Yes you have read well, a children's cookbook. One with pictures and step by step explanations for a 28 year old man. Just a kick in the right direction. At first, he insisted that I be there whenever he was cooking but has since developed confidence and cooks (mostly) by himself (apart from chopping onions which he insists on cutting with his eyes closed, therefore often missing the onion and frequently nearly chopping his fingers off). He took to it like a fish to water. To the point that when we discovered that I was pregnant with Noelie, his reply was: I'd better go and stir my casserole ( I put that down to shock ). Now, I have to start introducing him to the magic box that cleans clothes, I wonder if there are any children's manuals on that subject.

But I digress, here is one of the quick and easy recipes I taught him, and which he has now perfected. A favourite of Marie's and myself and probably, in the not so distant future, one of Noelie's too .

Fishy Pasta Bake:

Feeds 4.


- 400 grs of penne pasta (approx 100 grs/ person).
- a vegetable stock cube
- a small tub of fresh cream
- a big tin or 2 of tuna or salmon
- grated cheese (Cheddar, Emmental, Parmesan or any other hard cheese you like)

1) Cook the pasta in the vegetable stock (refer to the cooking time on the pack)
2) Drain the pasta and return to the pot.
3) Add the fresh cream and let it thicken while stirring.
4) Put the drained fish at the bottom of a gratin dish (or a casserole dish or any dish that goes in the oven),
5) Cover with the pasta and cream
6) Sprinkle grated cheese on top.
6) Put dish in the oven until golden brown.

Alternatively, you can use 4 fillets of fish, fresh or frozen. In that case, just cook the fish (either grill or boil or in the oven) and crumble at the bottom of the oven dish . Breaded fish works well and adds a bit of crunch, smoked fish adds a bit more flavour. I also like to sprinkle breadcrumbs on the top with the cheese for more crunch and texture.

You can also add some cooked vegetables to the pasta, cauliflower, courgettes, or broccoli (works well with salmon). And most of all, have some fun with it. Add a bit of nutmeg or some basil or anything that takes your fancy. Experiment!
I hope you'll try it and like it!

On that note, I'd better go and put some magic powder in the magic twirly box and search the Internet for a children's book on how to use it.

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