Tag Archives: cheese

The Shepherd’s Nuts


Anxious Dad created an absolute masterpiece of a nut roast for Christmas Eve dinner (chestnuts! cheese! artistic cabbage leaf wrapping!).  I returned to Anxious Towers with a decent hunk of the remains, plus a handful of roast chestnuts.  My vegetarian turkey roll and mince-pie lust* having been satiated over the Xmas period, I was in the mood for something comforting and hot, and this shepherd’s pie hit the spot whilst handily using up the leftovers.  I bought the parsnip and carrot fresh, but those with leftover veg, or leftover cheese from a festive cheeseboard, might find a home for them in the recipe as well…..


*A mince-pie and a double vodka with coke is a perfectly acceptable Xmas breakfast, I’ll have you know.  As is another mince-pie.

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Broad bean fritters


Awoke this morning to a sand-papered throat and clamping headache. Application of breakfast and black tea made with honey didn’t shift the issue noticeably, so I made a call to work, refilled my hot water bottle and went back to bed and to bizarre dreams of being a beauty products auditor*, interspersed with snatches of Radio 4.

Eventually I resurfaced in the early afternoon, to field a couple of calls about my mother. We agreed that if I’m potentially infectious I won’t visit tonight or tomorrow, barring serious deterioration on her part (at which point it won’t matter anyway).

My original plan for Monday night dinner had been Bibimbap, but I didn’t really feel up to something that complex. There are however some frozen broad-beans that need using up, so I had a shot at a version of Deena Kakaya’s Broad Bean & Paneer fritters – comfort food with minimal prep but a good dose of healthy green veg, spices and protein – ideal for the unwell….



*no resemblance whatsoever to my actual job in a technical field(!)

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I say “aubergine”, you say “eggplant”


Right, let’s get the aubergine cliche dish out the way.

Moussaka (what a lovely name for a girl!), seems to exist in various forms across the Mediterranean, Turkey, the Balkans, and the Arabic countries. Presumably because a combination of aubergine, olive oil, tomatoes, spices/herbs and mince is a winner in the tasty-yet-economic stakes, particularly when you have the climate to easily grow the first four items and a handy goat or sheep for the fifth.*

The existence of vegetarian mince makes up for the lack of livestock, and if you’ve got the cooking skills for, say, a standard lasagne, what could possibly stand in the way of a successful moussaka recipe….?

*more difficult in the UK, which is probably why it’s an imported recipe. The original British version of turnips, lard, nettles, Worcestershire sauce and roadkill never really caught on, more’s the pity.


Minor cooking disaster below the cut