I said freeze!

Now’s the time to pre­pare for the win­ter and cook for the freezer, says Rachel Allen, who prom­ises that you’ll be glad you did. Pho­tog­ra­phy by Tony Gavin

Sunday Independent (Ireland) - Life - - APPETITES -

As the evenings start to draw in at this time of the year, our sup­pers at home tend to be slightly less spon­ta­neous than those of sum­mer. Gone, but not for­got­ten, are the big sal­ads and im­promptu bar­be­cues — un­less an In­dian sum­mer kicks in sud­denly — and in comes food that is warm­ing and gen­er­ally com­fort­ing.

Soups, stews and cur­ries will all fea­ture this month, but see­ing as it’s still only Septem­ber, I’m not yet crav­ing the rib-stick­ing big dishes of win­ter, but slightly lighter ver­sions that are still warm­ing, none­the­less.

Now’s a great time of the year to clear out the freezer (I just found four half-eaten ice creams from the sum­mer in ours!) and free up a bit of space for soups and stews that will be very wel­come for those evenings when we are all try­ing to be in a few places at the one time.

The pizza squares, pic­tured above, are an ideal snack for hun­gry chil­dren just home from school. Us­ing a white soda bread base that’s a cinch to throw to­gether, they’re com­fort­ing and nicely fill­ing too, and they’ ll sit hap­pily in the freezer un­til needed.

Toma­toes are at their plen­ti­ful best right now (see In Sea­son, above right) and they are great to turn into a soup, such as the roasted tomato, co­conut and co­rian­der recipe fea­tured far right, which by the way, also hap­pens to be dairy free — and veg­e­tar­ian too, if you use veg­etable stock. I love the silky rich­ness that the co­conut milk brings, and if you want it to de­liver a kick, too, then just add a bit of chopped chilli to the toma­toes at the start.

Freeze it in lots of small pots or one large one — then, you can just re­move it from its con­tainer and de­frost the slab of frozen soup in a saucepan over a low heat.

The chicken vin­daloo, far right, is a win­ner, and a very wel­come meal to come home to af­ter a long day, with a big steam­ing-hot bowl of rice.

Feel free to re­place the chicken legs with pork leg or shoul­der, but make sure to in­crease the cook­ing time.

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