Cooking with new ingredients

Red curry

One of my half-hearted New Year’s resolutions is to get a bit more adventurous and complex with my cooking. So to that end I’m trying to cook with a new ingredient every week that I’ve not used before. This year I’ve already made soup with a buttnernut squash (tip: not easy to cut into), and there was something else but I can’t remember what it was at this precise moment.

Last week, it was mussels and monkfish, which I made into a Thai curry (above). Finding both of those items in Belfast was not easy, as there doesn’t seem to be a fishmongers in the centre of town (Sawyer’s didn’t have either when I visited). So Jill and I headed down to St George’s Market on Saturday morning. I’d never shopped there before for food, but it was brilliant. The fishmongers had a brilliant selection, and were really helpful too, skinning and boning the monkfish for me. The curry tasted good too!

Pasties

Trying to be adventurous with lunch as well, I made my own Cornish pasties this week. From scratch! So that included making the pastry, which I’d never done before. That was honestly a piece of cake. Very easy and quick to do. The pasties turned out to be very tasty as well, however, they were tiny, so I’m going to have to double the ingredients next time. The recipe I used only had meat and peas as the main ingredients for the filling, so next time I think I’ll have to add some carrots and potatoes too to bulk it out a bit.