I knew it had to happen as I'm not always the world's most organised person, and I can be really forgetful too, but my plan to slow cook some beans, ended up going from the ridiculous to the sublime, and I pressure cooked them! So I went from beans that were going to take all day plus overnight (soaking) to cook, to beans that took 25 mins + 1 hr soaking to cook, from dried in both cases so still frugal!
Well the beans were yummy, tho I might use slightly less sugar next time, but the kids loved them too, altho Littl'un seemed to prefer sitting on her Godpapa's lap and eating his beans off his toast with her spoon, rather than eating her own beans with or without her toast!! Ah well, it's better for his waistline I guess...
Big'un vanished her plateful with great enthusiasm, so a hit there too. We had it with a very simple salad, and all felt pretty full and satisfied. Until I mentioned I was intending to use up the 2 stale croissants sitting in their tray in the kitchen by making Nigella Lawson's gorgeous but sinful recipe in Nigella Express. Suddenly everyone had room for pudding. Or found their "pudding tummy" as Big'un refers to it...
The beans recipe is really easy, its from my Prestige pressure cooker book, so can't be reproduced here, but it's a chuck it all in the pot and cook thing, and then I just thickened it by open boiling for a fwe minutes when reheating.
Today we had jacket potatoes with garlicky mushroom sauce and cheese. Godfather No 2 doesn't eat cooked mushrooms, but often used to refer to a mushroom sauce he used to enjoy with jacket spuds (or squds as his sis once texted me, and I love, so I'm keeping) and I'd never had any experience of mushroom sauce so I googled it, and then made one up from the rough idea. He loved it, hubby loved it, (also another mushroom phobic) so I made it again today. It was only after I made it the first time and asked if it was anything like the sauce he'd used to have, that he told me that he wasn't sure cos that one was from a packet!!!
Anyway, here's how I did it:
Roughly break up half a punnet of chestnut mushrooms into a small food processor bowl, pop in a couple of peeled garlic cloves and blitz to a paste, shaking down regularly to make all the bigger bits get whizzed up.
Heat a small saucepan with an ounce of butter and scrape mushroom/garlic mix in and start to fry. Add some freeze dried tarragon and black pepper. Stir and fry and when it smells cooked, no longer that punchy raw garlic smell, take off heat and rapidly stir in a tablespoon of flour.
Slowly add milk, probably about half a pint, a little at a time, beating well between addings, and then return to heat. Add salt and maybe more pepper, and my fave ingredient, green tabasco if liked. Stir well til it thickens. Add a dollop of cream at the end if you fancy.
OK, so it's a white sauce with a pureed mushroom base, but it's good!! And its pretty cheap, an quick and easy, and great with your jacket squd!