Tuesday, 12 March 2013

Crisis reached and overcome: Ukrainian Hash Browns

I hit a really low point with my no meat life last Sunday. Tim and I sat down to plan our weekly menu and my mind went blank. Yes, totally blank. There was virtually nothing I wanted to eat which had no meat in it.

My exciting idea of experimenting with new flavours and eating more fish and veg had a brutal reality check with a cascade of rather uninspiring on plainly yuky dishes I cooked in the last few weeks (that tagine, and that fish... Brrrr!

It was so bad, I didn't plan a menu at all. I just replenished my store cupboard stuff - tinned toms, onions... I fancied NOTHING!

Luckily, a couple of good friends were coming for lunch that day and we made some home-made pizzas. Which was perfect, as the kids loved them, our friends who didn't give up meat for Lent could make their own with yummy salami and ham and we constructed out veggie ones.

So there were lots of cool jars of Italian delicatessen like roasted peppers, artichokes and aubergines left.

Yesterday I was polishing up those and had an uninspiring, but good pasta with shop bought pesto.

However, today I though I'd claw my enthusiasm back and I made two yummy -whatever-is-in-the-fridge dishes. Which given my total lack of inspiration last Sunday, was a true miracle!

Lunch - Bean Salad with Jarred things

A tin of white beans drained, mixed with some roasted peppers from a jar, capers, chalotes (you can use a bit of red onion), artichokes from a jar, capers, salt, pepper, olive oil and a bit of balsamic vinegar.

I wolved it with some flat bread and was delighted.

Dinner: Deruny -  Ukrainian Hash Browns

As my fridge was empty, I looked for something simple, which would give me a nice meal without having to go shopping. I thought of Deruny. I've never actually made those before, but ate my fair share back home.

(makes 10 large-ish Hash Browns)

3-4 large or 6-7 small potatoes - washed and grated with skins on.
1 large onion - grated
(I did both in a food processor)
1-2 eggs
1 tbsp plain flour
Salt (quite a bit - I made a mistake of underseasoning them)
Black pepper
Sunflower oil for frying
Sour cream or yoghurt to serve

The Method: 

Mix all ingredients together. The onion will keep the potato from colouring.

Heat the oil in a large frying pan. Take a heaped table spoon of the mixture and place on the frying pan, flattening it a bit, so it's relatively thin. Fry on a medium heat on both sides till ready.

My deruny were underseasoned, so I added some anchovies to the yoghurt, which added a delish salty and savoury flavour.

I know, it sounds weird, but anchovies taste not unlike salted herring which goes beautifully with any potato dish, so give it a try.

Vegetarians can add some fried crispy onions instead.

Hopefully I am back on track! Wish me luck.

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