First off, a bit of a digression:
So I wanted to share with you. I did a bit of ‘good parenting’ yesterday. This is kind of a big deal. It doesn’t happen often (and may not happen again). But I decided to do some baking with the girls. “You crazy person!” I hear you exclaim. Yeah, kind of. But my kids watch a fair bit of tv, so I figured anything that wasn’t telly would be good. Even if it killed me.
So this is them:
Let’s try that again:
Okay, one last time, just in case:
That crazy one in the middle is Alice. And yes, we do actually refer to her as the ‘crazy one’. Or ‘quirky’ if we’re being nice. Mostly crazy. And Hannah on the left, Lucy on the right. The odds of getting three 3 year olds to stand in a line and smile nicely? I think the phrase is ‘…like herding cats’.
So I approached this like a military operation. It was a 6oz cake mix, thus easily divisible by 3, so each got to add 2oz of ingredient, plus crack an egg each (Hannah – fairly good, delicate even; Lucy – a bit more cracked, bit more messy; Alice – totally squished within her tiny paw). They then got to fill the cake cases:
Admittedly, a fair amount of mixture didn’t make it to the cases. But they were baked. And iced. And then decorated (by the girls, obviously). And this was the result:
And I can sleep easier feeling like a good parent. Result!
So, down to the actual recipe (apologies for the detour). This is a great midweek meal. I try to cook at least one veggie meal a week – it’s better for the purse if nothing else – and this has become a firm favourite. It comes from BBC Good Food (such a reliable recipe source), and it’s extremely quick and easy. Which I like.
1 tbsp oil
1 onion, finely chopped
1 heaped tsp smoked paprika
2 garlic cloves, crushed / 2 heaped tsp frozen garlic/garlic paste
about 300g mushrooms, chopped
150ml beef or vegetable stock
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce, or vegetarian alternative
1 large tbsp soured cream / creme fraiche
As usual, I used frozen chopped onion and frozen chopped garlic. I tend to buy closed cup and chestnut mushrooms in the weekly shop, but I also bought some shiitake mushrooms to add, and made up the 300g with a mixture of the three (the amount of mushrooms is flexible, don’t feel you have to stick rigidly to the 300g). I also tend to have some creme fraiche in the fridge as it’s great for adding to ‘stuff’, so I used that instead of soured cream. The original recipe calls for 1 tbsp paprika. I like to use smoked as it has such a lovely flavour, and you don’t need as much – but you can obviously use paprika if you’d prefer.
1. Heat the oil in a pan and soften the onion over a medium heat. Add the garlic and the paprika, mix well and cook for a minute or two.
2. Add the mushrooms and let cook for about 5 minutes, until they’ve softened.
3. Pour in the stock and Worcestershire sauce, bring to the boil then let simmer for about 5 minutes – or as long as it takes to cook your rice/veg, whatever you need to do.
4. Once ready, take the pan off the heat and add the soured cream/creme fraiche.
I served this with rice and some green veg (I’m a bit of a broccoli fan).
If you’re not a big veggie recipe fan, or you cook for someone who isn’t, do give this a go. It’s really good, and you honestly don’t miss the meat. Unless you don’t like mushrooms. Then, as they say north of the border, “nae luck”.