Friday, September 01, 2006

Stand Bys

As previously noted I didn't really do anything interesting cooking-wise over the bank holiday, but kept to some of the old stand bys. Some of you may be interested in my stand bys - the recipies I use when short of time or inspiration. Here's a couple of starters:

Crab and Avocado thingies

Serves 4

2 Ripe Avocados
1 Dressed Crab
Some Grated Cheese (last time it was Gruyere and Parmesan)

Cut the avocados in half and remove the stones. Fill the stone hole with crab meat. Give everyone some brown and some white. You can probably make one crab do six avocado halves if you want. Cover with grated cheese. Put under the grill until the cheese has melted and, depending on the cheese, starting to go brown. Serve quickly (not immediately or someone will burn their mouth on melted cheese).

Note that almost-ripe avocados will do as well - they cook a little under the grill which softens them. If they are rock-hard and you can't wait for your avocado goodness, throw them in the microwave for 30 seconds (this tip from Anne's sister via Anne).


Hot Bacon Salad

Serves 3 to 6

A bowl of salad leaves
3 to 8 rashers of bacon

Cook the bacon until crisp. Cut up into small bits. Throw onto the leaves.

Dressing

You can just dress it in the bacon fat if you want; this is great with french dressing, but a nice simple squeeze of lemon juice and glug of olive oil followed by tossing the salad works fine.

More! More!

Croutons are hardly ever out of place on a salad. If you've always got stale bread about, you can make your own by pouring a touch of olive oil on cubes of bread and put them in the oven until they go brown. Just toss a handful or two onto the salad.

Nuts - someone is always allergic to nuts, so if you get the chance use them. Walnuts are best.

Shaved Parmesan is good on most salads.

Tomatoes make it a kind of BLT salad, and there's no way that can be a bad thing.

Black Pudding - once you've started down this route, eventually you're going to try this. It's actually very nice on a salad, but black pudding leaks fat, so you need another dressing ingredient.