Filling Up The Oven

I don’t like putting the oven on for just one thing. So, as soon as I decide to make something that needs baking, the hunt is on for how to fill the oven up in the most interesting way. This Sunday, I’d already decided to have a go at Spanish Potato Tortilla as I had both eggs and potatoes to use up, and it seemed like a good way to use up other things too. Then reading the Observer Food magazine, I was drawn to Roast Tomatoes with Crumbs & Thyme – and the race to fill the oven was on.

I haven’t used that much of this week’s vegbox, so I shall need to do another cook-off later in the week. It’s my own fault; I kept seeing interesting ingredients during the week without a firm plan for what to do with them. For instance, the supermarket had the biggest sweet potatoes I’ve ever seen. So one of those got bought, chopped up into wedges and roasted. One oven shelf spoken for.

I’ve had a cauliflower knocking around for a while and knew I’d seen a roasted cauliflower recipe in the new book by Gwyneth Paltrow – although it’s dignifying it a bit by calling it a recipe. Seasoning a vegetable then putting it in the oven is more of a serving suggestion. Still, that was my third oven shelf filled.

Confessions to recipe-tampering time:

For me, I stuck pretty closely to the tortilla recipe; I added a lettuce-like vegetable from the fridge that must have been cabbage given it was fresh as a daisy even though it had been in there so long I’d forgotten it. I steamed it for five minutes then added it the eggs at the same time as the potatoes. And, of course, the sausage was replaced with Quorn bacon-style rashers, fried for a bit first, then chopped into small pieces.

The tomatoes stuck quite closely to the recipe. I replaced the anchovies with one red chilli, and tinkered with the amounts, as I only had 3 tomatoes. I make breadcrumbs in big batches then pop them in the freezer, so I only had to grab a couple of handfuls and toast them under the grill a bit. My last batch, I included pumpkin seeds and pistachio nuts in the mix for interest.

Not much you can do to change roasting cauliflower, but I sprinkled some paprika on the top first.

Confessions over. Here’s a picture, although I’m still breaking Resolution #1, which was particularly annoying in relation to the tortilla, as it was very pretty when it was bubbling straight from the grill.

tortilla may 2011

I also made a salad, to use up a leftover Little Gem lettuce on its last legs, and the dressing from last week (which was scrummy – if far saltier than I had expected). Other ingredients (which shows this week’s vegbox has already been of some use):

  • Spring onions
  • Radishes (from the vegbox)
  • Cucumber
  • Carrot (vegbox again)
  • Courgette medallions (vegbox!)

salad may 2011

I also made some vegetable stock yesterday, and boiled it down this morning to put in ice cube trays. I’ll do a separate post about stock some other time, as it’s one of my proud discoveries.

Book I’m reading at the moment The Rogue by Trudi Canavan, but I’ve also polished off My Boy Butch by Jenni Murray and Dead Reckoning by Charlaine Harris, in addition to finally finishing the Cookbook Collector (which was quite sweet, even if I wasn’t quite sure what to make of it).

Honourable Film Mention – I just watched Winter’s Bone on DVD rental, which I really enjoyed; lots of familiar faces unexpectedly.


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