Who has seen, The Little Shop of Horrors? Where a plant screams
“ Feed me! Feed me! Feed me!
Feed me, Seymour
Having been sort of incapacitated for over a month now, Himself has been in charge of the kitchen, which also means the refrigerator. Now that I am semi mobile I had a quick Look See inside of my refrigerator and found several items that were Saying Cook Me! Eat Me! Which reminded me of SEYMOUR! I think he would have eaten anything.
So what did I find , well cauliflower, potatoes, onions, celery ( outer branches distinctly yellow), mushrooms and the remnants of a bag of frozen peas. What to do? I hate throwing food away. So my immediate thought was a quick vegetable curry !
We have been watching JULIA on HBO / Sky, it tells the story of Julia Child, who was the American equivalent of Elizabeth David or Keith Floyd. She co-wrote the American best selling cookbook “ Mastering the Art of French Cooking” in 1961, whilst Elizabeth David’s book “French Provincial Cooking” dates from 1960. Julia Child was a larger than life person, and in reality she was 6’2” .
My very first foray into non English cooking was thanks to Elizabeth David, and I spent much time trying out her recipes and experimenting. Of course moving overseas for 30 years gave me ample opportunity to try out many different cuisines and I happened upon, Julia when we moved to Texas. Her cooking shows were a hoot. She was professional but also hilarious. However, somehow or other I never had a copy of her masterpiece back then, but did have an alternative from one of her co writers, Simone Beck, nicknamed Simca. During my Texas years, I acquired a Microwave, a huge heavy clonking thing ( almost unheard of in Europe at the time), I lugged it home from Sears Roebuck, dumped in my relatively small kitchen, where it took up a huge amount of space, and promptly started to experiment, of course with many disasters along the way.
However, every Sunday, I would produce a meal taken from Simcas Cuisine (1972), and what was different about her book was she had themes, a menu for Crayfish season, A family dinner on a Sunday, a Simple lunch etc, which I found invaluable, especially when I started my own cooking classes several years later in Brussels. And I taught exactly that, menus with themes, that were easy to follow.
But I digress, waste not want not was the motto growing up, and certainly for Himself , in a family of 8 it was a question of the quick or go hungry, his mother certainly did not waste. My usual go to for not wasting is my Refrigerator Soup but today was Refrigerator Curry. Obvious any vegetable may be used and I would recommend precooking those which are harder in substance, carrots, potatoes for example.
- For a curry sauce
- 2 onions
- 2 cloves of garlic
- 4 cm piece of ginger
- a good dollop of ghee or splash of olive oil
- 2 fresh red chillies , or a re spoon from a jar of chillis in oil
- 1 heaped tablespoon of curry powder
- 2 teaspoons of Garam masala, and of turmeric
- Salt to taste
- 1 x 400 g tin of quality plum tomatoes ( optional)
- Parboil, steam or microwave some of the firmer vegetables and set aside
- Chops the onions, then peel and finely grate the garlic and ginger, or use some that you might have frozen or easier still, use from a jar
- Put a large pan on a medium heat with the ghee or oil along with the onion, garlic and ginger, and chillies stirring regularly.
- After a few minutes,stir in the curry powder, turmeric and Garam masala .Cook for a couple minutes, stirring regularly.
- Add the tomatoes, if using them, breaking them up with a wooden spoon and scraping up any sticky bits from the base of the pan. Simmer for a few minutes.
- At this point add the softer vegetables, mushrooms etc followed by the precooked ones and then the frozen pease. Taste and adjust the seasoning.
- If you like, coconut milk, or cream of coconut maybe added, or some sour cream, or plain yoghurt.
- This basic sauce can be made in advance , frozen in portioned amounts and of course can be added to cooked chicken, and seafood. Experimentation is the key word!