I had a pizza with a friend last night so didn’t end up cooking. I woke up late and didn’t go shopping in the morning either, so ended up cheating slightly. Today’s offerings were slightly weak.

For lunch I had a pretty uninspired plate of pasta and pesto with a side of tomatoes, olives and garlic (lots, to mitigate the tomatoes). The jar of pesto is down to its last legs but will do one more thing that calls for basil and olive oil. It’s stretched quite well and has done four meals so far.

In the evening, there were three sad-looking tomatoes sitting in a bowl in the kitchen, so I decided to put them out of their misery by making a potato and couscous thing, a pared-down variation of the Moroccan Potato Stew recipe in Madhur Jaffrey’s World Vegetarian Cookbook. In (what remains of) the garden I found some parsley making a dash for it, so in the absence of fresh coriander was thrilled to be able to sprinkle.

  • 3-4 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • one large onion, sliced
  • 255g potatoes (three medium-sized), chopped into chunks
  • 180g must-be-eaten tomatoes, in quarters
  • 55g couscous
  • random amounts, about a teaspoon each I guess, of paprika, turmeric, and cumin (you can never have enough cumin, so there was probably more)
  • half a teaspoon of ground coriander
  • a teaspoon/dollop of harissa

Generously cover the bottom of a frying pan with olive oil and bring it to heat, then add the harissa and spices and cook it into the oil a bit before adding the onions and garlic. Cook and stir so the onions change colour. Add the potatoes and fry them briskly for a bit so they take the colour of the spices, then reduce the heat and cover the pan to let the potatoes cook. When they’re starting to be slightly less firm, chuck in the tomatoes and a dash of water, bring it to the boil, stir, then reduce the heat, cover, and prepare the couscous.

I cheat for couscous and put the amount I want in a bowl, stir in some olive oil and a bit of stock cube with salt and pepper, then cover it with boiling water from the kettle (you want a volume of about two-thirds couscous with one-third excess water). Stir, cover with the plate you’ll eat it off and tend to whatever else it is you’re doing. If you end up with watery couscous, fry it in butter.

Serve it all with a huge dollop of harissa and, in this case, salt (oops) and pepper.

I could’ve eaten all of it as it made enough for two helpings, but I have decided to keep what’s left for lunch tomorrow, though it might need some padding out. As I bought a baguette in the afternoon – I plan to have a boiled egg and soldiers for breakfast tomorrow – I took the opportunity of attacking the Papillon Roquefort that’s been sitting dejectedly in the fridge for a few days. Not perhaps the best thing to follow, admittedly, but it needs to be eaten.

Kiwi fruit for pudding.

I found an old Marks and Spencer Stilton jar on a shelf while I was doing some tidying, and put 150€ in it to help me better keep track of what’s being bought. Following today’s baguette purchase, the pot stands at 148,95€.

There is a market tomorrow, so I’m currently wondering what I shall have for tomorrow’s evening meal. As I’ll probably have bread left over in the evening, I might make a big vatosoup to go with it.

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