Thursday 18 April 2013

I can never tell

I'm in the kitchen by myself, but there's more than one cook here. I can never tell which one's going to have her way.

I walked in to cook a mustardy-coconuty-chicken; I found the mustard oil, made a mustard paste, grated the coconut; I took the bird out of the fridge. Suddenly, there was a bottle of sriracha hollering from the corner, and suddenly the other cook was elbowing her way in. So, now instead of a mustardy-coconuty-chicken cooking on the fire, there's a soy-shriracha chicken grilling in the oven.

Does that happen to you? Tell me I'm not the only one with Multiple Cook Personality Disorder. 

I made a hummus yesterday, from scratch, and not with tinned chickpeas either. But was hummus in the plans? No. The chickpeas, soaked through the day, were supposed to become a Chana Masala. But they didn't. One of the bossy cooks in my head took out the tahini.

The hummus was good. I used this recipe from the Guardian by Felicity Cloake. Her recipe comes with an interesting hummus-debate.

While the chickpeas were soaking, I also made this. Every piece that I make now seems to be soaked syrupy with springtime and posies and happy little birdies; I think the weather's finally starting to take the hint. (You can find the art in my Etsy Shop)

After the hummus had happened, we ate it with hunks of crusty bread. But some of it also sneaked into something that it wasn't supposed to sneak into. There was a stew cooking on the hob, and the bowl of hummus sitting on the kitchen counter. One thing led to another, and the stew turned a corner.

A hummus-y carrot & new potato stew

(You don't need this recipe really. You can make any old stew, throwing in your choice of bits and bobs - vegetables, chicken and what-you-will - and just follow the last leg of the recipe where I stir in the hummus.)


4 carrots, diced thick
5-6 new potatoes, halved or quartered
1 small white onion, sliced
8-10 slices of chorizo (skip this if you want, the vegetarian version is great too)
2 cloves garlic, minced
Olive oil
2 cups chicken stock (water or vegetable stock for the vegetarian version)
1 bayleaf
A few whole, black peppercorns
2 pinches of cumin powder
2 generous tbs hummus, freshly made or store-bought
One quarter of a lemon
A sprinkle of paprika

Into the heated olive goes the bayleaf and peppercorns, then the onion, potatoes, carrots and salt. Stir, lower the heat right down and cover. Cook till the carrots and potatoes are cooked halfway.
Pour in the chicken stock/water, add the chorizo and the cumin. Season if needed. Simmer till potatoes are cooked and carrots soft.
Take the pot off the heat. Now, stir in the hummus, the minced garlic and a squeeze of lemon.
Transfer to a serving dish and drizzle with extra virgin olive oil and sprinkle with paprika. Serve with couscous or a rustic bread.