Saturday, 6 February 2016

Recipe - Squash and Chickpea Stew, Mushrooms on Toast

The theme of this blog is BALANCE. I am currently balanced on the arm of a sofa in a very clean lounge but for the candle that we successfully melted all over the furniture - the only possible sign that anything other than homely domestic mindset exists in the room at present. I feel a rightness that I only feel when I've achieved balance like feng shui of the body or something. I can explain the feeling perfectly but only through referencing a memory that only I have which is obviously useless for everyone else but here we go. There's a Percy the Park Keeper book that I read in primary school where there's a big storm and then there's loads of wreckage and all the animals are sad and cry but then Percy goes and makes a fuckin treehouse and it folds out into a wonderful picture where all the different animals have a place for themselves and it looks really fun. This week has followed that narrative with the storm (illness and career woes and, if I'm being brutally honest about it, boredom) but then the building of the treehouse and frolicking. In this parallel, the treehouse bit is dancing and excess and three in a bed and non-ironic Greggs and a blustery walk and buying vegetables and assembling a vacuum cleaner and clean sheets and laundry and being cooked for. BALANCE. With balance comes cooking for yourself more consistently and slow cooker Sunday.

Mushrooms on toast - 'I can't let my new housemates keep seeing me eat fishcakes in bed'
Melt a tablespoon of butter and crush 3 garlic cloves into it over a medium heat, stirring to stop it catching. Add a large (man sized) handful of quartered mushrooms and fry for a couple of minutes. Scatter the fried stuff over two halves of baguette, add a liberal amount of parmesan, parsley and basil and bake until melty on top for five to ten minutes.

Squash and chickpea stew - 'I promise I can cook better than you've experienced but not when I'm hungover'
Fry two sliced onions, 4 chopped cloves of garlic and a thumb sized piece of ginger, grated, in vegetable oil for about 10 minutes until gently browned. Add a teaspoon of cumin, 2 teaspoons of coriander, a teaspoon of chilli powder, half a teaspoon of ras el hanout. Fry for a minute. Add half a small squash, chopped into bite sized cubes, and two large potatoes, chopped to a similar size, and coat in the spices. Add a tin of plum tomatoes, a tin of chickpeas, a tin of chicken or vegetable stock, a teaspoon of preserved lemon paste and a cinnamon stick. Cover and simmer for around 30 minutes. Uncover and simmer for a further ten minutes. Scatter with fresh coriander.

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