Tuesday, 11 February 2014

I am so Nigel Slater!

Sometimes I get so frustrated with my cooking.

It goes like this.... Open the fridge door... What is lurking?

Look in the cupboard to check the staples. Yes! Pasta,rice,noodles,lentils all in a row. They are flanked by Cous Cous,Bulghar,mung beans and enough tins of various beans to cover every base.

My spices, which excited me so much, may be past their best.

And,I have a lot of cookery books. I actually read cookery books. I take them to bed with me. I study the photos. I plan imaginary suppers,feasts,dinners with friends etc.etc.

So, why do I like Nigel Slater so much. I have worked it out. It's because he views his food plans in a special way. Not what do I need to buy to make this meal? But what have I got to make a meal?

Andy and I are not fussy,picky eaters. We love food shopping.we love going to the markets particularly here in Spain.most of all we hate wasting food.

When we had a family to feed I used to meal plan. I am sure my children could tell you that roast was on a Sunday. Cold meat and Chips on a Monday ... It got worse as the week went on. Often ending with Pizza on a Thursday and takeaway on a Friday.

Nowadays,since we retired, often we do not even know what day it is. We take it in turns to cook. He is a very good cook. Very precise,he has a very good palette and can get very cheffy and cross if I am not ready to "sit up" when his food touches the plates.

This morning I felt like cooking and I opened the fridge door and it went like this ... No recipe book. No buying special ingredients just using what we had.

Sauté slices of aubergines until brown in the least amount of Olive oil you can get away with.

Drain them well on paper towel.
Chop onion and garlic. We are really trying to up our intake of garlic,ginger and turmeric at the moment for their anti inflammatory properties.

Using the same sauté pan cook all the rest of the ingredients gently and until sweet and slightly coloured. The onions and garlic smelt so good.

Next,carrots,mushrooms,broccoli stalks and snippets of asparagus.it began to look so colourful. In a separate pan I had lightly boiled cauliflower and broccoli florets. I had kept the cooking liquor and instead of adding more oil to the sauté pan I added the cooking liquid.


I also cooked some pasta and arranged all these goodies in layers in the cooking pots. 1 for now. 1 for the freezer. 1 for a neighbour living on her own.


Back into the arena came the drained aubergines slices. And top it all off with a creamy white sauce with that turmeric sprinkled in and top with a mix of cheddar and Parmesan cheese.
Into the oven at 180 deg for 20 minutes.


Nigel Slater eat your heart out. Using what greets you when you open the fridge door is simply the best.






  1. This looks delicious. I'm like you, I enjoy cooking but it's hard to stay inspired day after day. I often make up my own hodge-podge recipes just to keep life interesting. I think I'd quite for good if I couldn't be creative sometimes. :)

  2. Looks delicious. I enjoy cooking, but my boys only like plain food. So during the week, they get a succession of pasta, mini roasts and the like, and I eat a lot of omlettes. I can go to town at the weeknd, when Marc is home. He can't cook, but is a very enthusiastic eater of food. I enjoy making food for the pair of us. I would like to be cooked for sometimes too.....

    Leanne xx

  3. That looks absolutely gorgeous, and has made me very hungry!

  4. You are indeed, so Nigel!!! Such a great idea Linda and what a lovely thing to give a meal to one of your neighbours - you are such a nice person!! It is funny isn't how sometimes the best meals are the ones that we just invent rather than spend ages preparing and worrying over. I can understand the cookbook thing though, I love to read them in bed as well!! xx

  5. You did great with what you had.. that is the mark of a true good cook. My mom could make a feast of what was in the fridge and in the cabinets. It looks delish!
    ((hugs)), Teresa :-)

  6. I upset my very precise friend terribly as I tend to be a bits and bobs cook tossing things in randomly but most of the time it works out. When I open the fridge the difference between edible and not edible seems to be whether you ask 'what is it' or 'what was it'? Sometimes sad veggies just need some warm company in a pot! How lovely of you sending a dish to your neighbour.

  7. Mmmmmm, I'm headed to the kitchen to see what lurks in the fridge :) How lovely and practically creative of you to make, bake, partake, share and save your feast! Thanks for the inspiration, Linda! xx

  8. That looks so delicious Linda, I love aubergines, how sweet you are making some for your neighbour too. I am in to making soups at the moment so quick and easy just the way I like it. :)

  9. That looks so good Linda, and how nice to share with your neighbour, you're such a sweetie! Hugs, Joy x

  10. Gosh that looks good! When there's "nothing" in the fridge, my husband will ask me to "MacGyver something together". I like creating something from nothing and it makes you more creative I think. I think it's so nice that you prepared a bowl for your neighbour ... I'll bet she was pleased to see this come across the threshold ;) Wendy x

  11. MMmm that looks lovely and extremely healthy too. I bet your neighbour was pleased to receive his or hers. xxx

  12. What a lovely neighbour you are. That looks absolutely delicious! I'm a bit the same on the cooking front - I love all the cooking shows and get inspired by flicking through the cookery books but in reality I just regurgitate the same old things every week..... I'm hoping to lift my game this year now 4 of the Kids are off to full-time school. Mel x


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