This week I tried a few different dishes from the BBC Good Food site (it really does have so many good recipes…) . Sometimes I follow the recipes directly, but I do have a horrible habit of adding my own touches or simply just trying to work around a lack of a particular ingredient (or over-abundance of another). Take the first picture here – of sweet mustard salmon, with garlicky veg: I didn’t have many soft vegetables in the fridge (or, rather, I forgot I had peppers) and decided to go for a pile of the root veggies I had in the cupboard – not leaving enough cooking time for the tougher veg, we ended up with rather crunchy veggies with our salmon. Admittedly, the salmon itself was pretty nice and the dressing was ok – though nothing special.
I do like wholegrain mustard with salmon – in is case some Arran mustard we bought a while ago for gorgeous mustard mash.
The second dish, here, looks rather plain and not very special; it’s spiced chicken with rice and crisp red onions. It was absolutely wonderful! It was like a summer curry – spices, full of flavour but not stodgy and sauce laden. The other great thing is that it was really simple to make: the chicken was just coated in a mix of curry powders from the cupboard, thrown together with some finely sliced red onion and thrown in the oven. I made the rice lazily, too – none of this boiling, for me: I made it as usual in the rice cooker, adding the ingredients when I would have had to add them to a pot of boiling rice.
I didn’t have any basmati rice, so it was just plain American long-grain, I also lacked saffron but, since it was mainly for colour, I just substituted turmeric – another nice curry-ish flavor which I like anyway.
The last substitution I made, which was partially planned, was swapping raisins for cranberries. I’m not a huge fan of raisins and I didn’t want to buy a whole packet of them for one meal and figured cranberries would do – I’m glad I did! The cranberries – very sweet ones – tasted wonderful cooked in with the rice and alongside both the curry and red onions.
The ‘dip’ was really easy too – and tasted pretty good even though I used no-fat plain yoghurt.
Although the salmon was a lot prettier, I much preferred the taste of the chicken, and would cook it again.
Note the same salad – a bag of watercress and spinach leaves is a nice, easy and lazy salad for me to throw with just about every meal to get some extra greens. Looks nice, too. Both of these recipes are relatively low-fat, too – grilled chicken, fish, rice, and only small amounts of oil to roast the veggies.
Gardener’s World & DigIn
Due to looking for more reading material on gardening and growing my own veg, I came across the Gardener’s World site. It is your typical BBC site, but I noticed via the site that they had the episodes from this season up on BBC iPlayer – the BBC’s online episode streamer. Since we’re on cable, I can grab that via the T.V. – I hadn’t realised Gardener’s World was available as it had been filed under lifestyle when I usually only check factual (documentaries are win)!
This year, they have a heavy emphasis on the DigIn campaign – meaning lots of tips on growing veggies and what fares well with what and under what conditions. Super-handy considering that I want to do my own when we move!
On the other channel…
Well, ok, freeview doesn’t really have other channels in the same way, but still… If you have the ability to get freeview through the tv or have a decent internet connection, then I recommend:
A documentary on the human diaspora – whilst relatively basic and not really ground-breaking, it is very well presented and goes more into detail than some of the other documentaries from the BBC in the last few years. It’s a little formulaic in the information it presents (an ‘aboriginal people’, mitochondrial dna analysis, looking at a created item from the time, looking at their living conditions), but since the locations and time-line differs, it doesn’t feel dull.
A must-watch if you’re interested in the global journey of our species!
This was a magazine style documentary which I found breathtaking just for the imagery. It’s the one I’ve honestly wanted an HD TV for – our tv is a decent size, but it’s not widescreen and getting a bit old now. Even at that, I was still blown away by the beautiful filming done on this series.
The episodes are very varied, ranging from conservation, to geology, to anthropology and speciation – it sometimes feels a little oddly mixed, but that has the upshot of making each episode very self-contained. The music was also very pretty and evocative which was good as there was quite a lot of scenery-and-music moments.
The one, tiny, downside to the series was, although they had a lot of wonderful shots, they reused some of them a little too much. Still, definately a wonderful, chilled series to relax to of an evening or even stick on in the background whilst (in my case) drawing.
Now I need to go look up some recipes for next week!