After a week of minimal experimentation in the kitchen, I was really missing the whole 'trying new things' experience. On Monday I made gnocchi - I've made it many times before, true, but never that particular way, and never with sweet potato - and yesterday I decided I would make bread. The problem was that I would only be able to start the bread at around 9.30, and we didn't want to leave it for hours to rise or anything. I ended up using this recipe, which promised far more than it delivered. During cooking, the bread stank. Although it was edible, and some of the crusty bits were quite good, the bread was really heavy. Even picking up a slice made you think 'god, this bread's heavy.' This morning, I went to cut a slice, and no knife could penetrate its stone-like exterior. Tom christened it 'It's Bread, But Not As We Know It.' I'm not going to record the recipe as I followed the original instructions exactly.
Luckily the stew was good. Not mindblowingly brilliant, sadly, but still good. And also good reheated the next day.
Bacon and Bean Stew
8 rashers of bacon
1 tin red kidney beans
3 chicken stock icecubes
700ml boiling water
2 teaspoons tomato sauce
75g fusilli pasta
1 teaspoon each of rosemary and parsley
1 tablespoon each of soy sauce and gravy powder
1 teaspoon of baking powder
1 tablespoon of milk
Roughly chop the bacon and dry-fry over a medium heat. Cut each onion in half and each half into sixths, and add to the pan once most of the bacon fat has been released. When the onion is soft, add the kidney beans, chicken stock, water, tomato sauce and pasta. Cook over a low heat until the pasta is cooked. Add the rosemary and parsley. I felt my stew was too thin, so made a paste of soy sauce and gravy powder and added it to the pan. I also wanted it to be creamier, so put baking powder in a bowl and poured the milk over it, stirred them together, and added that to the pan as well. This will make it foam on top, but keep cooking it and the foam will disappear. After 20 minutes of simmering the pasta should be cooked. Serve with 'It's Bread, But Not As We Know It,' or just normal bread.