It’s November, which can only mean one thing – it’s Nablopomo time again. After having got off to a good start to the year here on the blog, life – or work if we’re being entirely honest – has rather got in the way of my food blogging and frankly cooking plans. I’m hoping that Nablopomo will inspire both a return to more regular food blogging and, in turn, more adventurous cooking.
I’ve been falling back on old favourites on the recipe front, as I’ve needed bulk cooks that were guaranteed to work and be enjoyed. Also, as I’ve been travelling a lot for work over the summer, I was reluctant to buy new things to cook with, when I might get sent away for work and have my shiny new ingredient expire while I was gone. Which all goes to show why, since July, I’ve barely tried enough new ingredients to count for one successful month.
I was quite excited when I spotted these in the supermarket, as I love mushrooms, and like looking out for new and interesting varieties to try in different recipes. I cooked these in stir-fries, curries and even made a mushroom sauce for pasta with them one evening, and to be honest, if I hadn’t known they were different mushrooms, I would have thought they were chestnut mushrooms. So in future I’ll be sticking to their cheaper cousins as they’re not worth the extra 50p per punnet.
Miso Soup Mix
In my quest for miso paste for my previous attempt at miso ramen soup, I ended up with a box of miso soup mix so I took that as a sign to try it out in it’s intended form. It comes with little packets of freeze-dried veggies – spring-onions and seaweed, which reconstitute in the hot water, but they’re pretty bland and tasteless. Mostly it made me want to experiment with using seaweed in my cooking – it doesn’t have to be this slimy!
I’ve come to the conclusion though, that I definitely prefer my miso soup either full of veg or make with soya milk instead of water. However it does make a decent emergency dinner with a wee nest of noodles and a not quite hard-boiled egg.
This was a fortuitous contribution to this challenge, as I spotted giant marrows for one shiny pound in the supermarket and couldn’t resist snaffling one. It turns out that marrows are essentially overgrown courgettes, which was something of a disappointment to me, as I was imagining something rather more squash-like and sturdy. That didn’t stop me making soup with it though. I’m not sure the marrow added that much flavour by itself, but my winter vegetable soup was no less tasty for it’s addition. Based on how much the marrow disintegrated when I made soup with it, I decided against making curry with it – other than cutting it in half and stuffing it with couscous, the most popular recipe suggestion for marrow appears to be putting it in thai green curry – I pictured squelchy soggy veg, and I don’t put courgettes in my curry to avoid exactly that scenario.