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Come into the kitchen; a time travelling, cultural, adaptable, adventure excursion

January 8, 2013

If this sounds vaguely familiar it is purely intentional. Think of your kitchen outside the blue box  (hint, a very popular long, long-standing UK TV series) and let your imagination roam. Stretching it a bit of course, but isn’t that what kitchens are about-places where any number can gather and manage to fit and like the fishes and loaves, always enough food to go round.

Kids would want to come in, eager to take control of the dials on the cooker, chop vegetables with the speed and agility they text messages and eat everything on their plates. They’d happily google recipes from around the world, resurrect the best from the past like an archeologist and load the dishwasher without being asked.

The kitchen table, a most versatile gathering ground.  A place to gather our thoughts, families and food.  Where we review, plan, dream, discuss, argue, cry and laugh, and of course eat. What was at your kitchen table this evening?

Here’s what was at mine…

My Kitchen Table Casserole (sounds better than kitchen sink!)

A meal in one and tasty use of leftover roasted chicken, excess chick peas and any root vegetables you have on hand. Sounds like a lot of ingredients but the cooking is very little work and makes up for it. You don’t need to use all of the vegetables listed, they just make it so nice!

serves 4

leftover meat from a roasted chicken, torn into large bite sized pieces

1 medium onion, coarsely chopped

1  medium carrot, sliced thickly on an angle

2 slices of butternut squash, coarsely chopped  (celeriac, swede, parsnip, sweet potato can also be used)

2 medium potatoes, skin left on and cut into 8 pieces

1 leek, sliced

peppers (red, yellow and or green ) a couple of thick slices of each, coarsely chopped

1 cup cooked or tinned chick peas

1 tin chopped tomatoes

1 TBS tomato paste

8 oz vegetable or chicken stock

1 medium clove garlic

1″ piece ginger

1 tsp ground cumin

1/2 tsp coriander

3 cardamom pods crushed

pinch of cayenne or  smoked paprika

a few sliced olives (optional)

olive oil

2 TBS fresh parsley and coriander, chopped

In a large saucepan add olive oil and begin sauteing onion. After a couple of minutes add carrot, potatoes, leek, root vegetables, peppers, ginger, garlic and all spices. Cook  2 minutes until all vegetables are coated with spices and begin to dry. Add tomatoes, stock,  tomato paste and olives, stir well, bring to a boil, turn heat down and cover. Continue cooking at a low simmer for 15 minutes, add chicken and chick peas and cook for a further 10 minutes (all root vegetables should be tender). Serve garnished with parsley and coriander.

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