Monday, June 04, 2007

Lazy Sunday Lunch On A Not So Lazy Day

Lazy Sunday Lunch

Sunday afternoons in Sydney are meant to be spent lazily, it’s almost mandatory, especially when our newly started winter season is unusually clement. Not that I am complaining but where have our Sydney winters gone? It seems that every year the winters get milder and milder. Could Mr. Gore be right about this inconvenient truth? Well, wherever it is our winter has run away to, it has given Sydneysiders the rare opportunity to enjoy a June weekend outdoors unladen with the burden of a thousand layers of clothing.

So what do you do when you have become locked away indoors working on a Sunday afternoon while everyone you possibly know is either lounging at home, or enjoying the Primo Italiano Food Festival?

The obvious answer would be to throw yourself a pity party and wallow in that pool of despair that you have created for yourself. Perhaps sit in a dark corner crouched in the foetal position passing the hours pondering on how much more pitiful your weekend can get. I know that’s exactly what I wanted to do every time I looked out the window, I could feel mother nature shining the sun in my eyes as if to spite me for not being outside to enjoy her good bidding. Nonetheless I was trapped, so the only thing to do was to bring my lazy Sunday lunch to work with me.

Chick Pea and Potato Curry

I found the perfect lazy recipe from Simply Recipes, that endorsed the philosophy that food needn’t be fussy to be tasty, namely “low-supervision, high-flavour”. That was exactly what I was looking for, for my lazy lunch at work. I had enough busy-ness throughout the day to be bothered with cooking a special meal, so this was made the night before and then packed in an airtight container ready to heated up and plated the next day. But what is a lazy lunch without a lazy dessert?

This brings us to a Donna Hay creation- Caramel Self-Saucing Puddings. There’s nothing better than a pudding that sauces itself. It does half the work for you. All you need to do is combine the ingredients for the batter, whisk up the sauce and pour it on top then bake. You have yourself a decadent dessert without all the fuss. They great thing about his pudding that it stays moist the next day, so a quick zap in the microwave (covered) brings it back to life.

Although the dishes were made the night before, they held up pretty well after a short stint in the fridge and then in the microwave. Of course if you decide to make this for yourself you won't have to wait all that time before you can actually enjoy it. But if ever you need to pack yourself some good food then this is definitely a great pick.

Caramel Self-Saucing Pudding

So as soon as the clock struck 12, noontime last Sunday, I bolted for the kitchen, got a few pieces of crockery to take my modest fare a fine dining experience, pulled out my latest piece of eye candy and pored over a great lunch and a great book.

Here’s to great lunches and lazy Sunday afternoons!

Chick Pea and Potato Curry
adapted from the book Hands Off Cooking

2½ cups vegetable stock
2 x 400g cans chick peas, drained
2 x 400g canned tomatoes
6 small chat potatoes, quartered
1 small onion, finely diced
2 tsp ginger, finely grated
1-2 tsp fine sea salt
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
½ tsp dried chilli flakes
½ tsp whole cumin seeds
½ tsp while coriander seeds

In a large pot combine all of the ingredients, giving a quick stir to submerge potatoes into the stock.
Over medium heat, simmer the pot uncovered for about 35 minutes or until the potatoes are cooked all the way though and tender.
Add more salt if required.
Serve curry over some Jasmine or Basmati rice.

Caramel Self-Saucing Pudding

adapted from Donna Hay Magazine (issue 8)
serves 6-8

¾ cup brown sugar
80g unsalted butter, softened
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 egg
1½ cups plain all-purpose flour, sifted
1½ tsp baking powder
¾ cup full cream milk

1 cup boiling water
2/3 cup brown sugar
2 tbsp blackstrap molasses
2 tbsp pure maple syrup
1½ tsp plain all-purpose flour

Preheat oven to 180°C.
To make the pudding, beat the sugar, butter and vanilla in a bowl until light and fluffy.
Add the eggs and beat until combined.
Add the flour, baking powder and milk and beat until combined.
Spoon the mixture into a square ovenproof dish and place on a baking tray.
To make the sauce, whisk together the water, brown sugar, molasses, maple syrup and flour until combined.
Spoon the sauce over the pudding batter and bake for 35 minutes or until golden brown and set.
Serve with cream or ice cream.


wheresmymind said...

My wife would be all over that curry!

Julia said...

Mmm...that pudding sounds delicious, I love caramel.

Anonymous said...

Those sound like the perfect companions for any meal when you don't feel like a lot of fuss. Lovely!

Anonymous said...

I'm amazed that those simple recipes could turn out something look so professionally made and seem so tasty. Mmm...

Nora B. said...

Yes, winter has been mild so far, but Jen, i do feel the cold, esp. in the morning when I try to go for a run before work...Also, it is now dark when I leave work...seems that we have to make full use of the weekends to enjoy the sunshine.
Thanks for the chickpea curry recipe. I made chickpea curry often, so this will be a nice one to try for a change.

Anh said...

What a wonderful lunch you have! I normally do not cook much for lunch - too lazy I guess. :)

myriam said...

hi cookiegirl. i agree. neil perry's new book is so beautiful. i could lick the pages. so beautiful!

Cheryl said...

That is my kinda lazy lunch.

Mandy said...

what a great way to spend a lazy Sunday! A scoop of ice cream with your caramel self saucing pudding will be a nice finish for the hot summer here.

cupcaketastic said...

That curry is what I am making for dinner tonight. I have desires.

Mallow said...

I was just reading my Donna Hay books tonight and pondering the self-saucing puddings. I have never tried such a thing! Yours looked like it turned out delicious.

Helene said...

That dessert looks wonderful. I love the idea of a pudding that makes its own gooey sauce.

Victoria said...

Been an avid reader and still loving your blog!=)
The curry and pudding looks like a killer lazyday combination. I've been freezing heaps of curries to tide myself over the lazy winter. Oz weather is nuts!

Irvina said...

You are such a good photographer. Did you study somewhere or are you self taught?

daphne said...

that curry looks so good!! how many servings does the recipe yield?

Oh for the love of food! said...

Tantalising curry, Jenjen, and oh! the pudding!.. what a decadent finish for a cold winter's day!

Anonymous said...

Just occurred to me ,can't remember the last time I had curry!!Possibly many months ago. Very unsusual, must be a phase. Thanks for the reminder!! Managed to get inspired to baked a doz cup cakes for a dinner invitation couple of weeks ago after being accidentally directed to your site from "Rasa Malaysia". Utilised baking paper instead of baking cups. Looked preety cool with the edges sticking out. Cheers! Finally but not least, great photos and a baker's delight iof a web site. Stay warm

Jen said...

Wheresmymind- This curry is extremely moreish, so be quick before your wife polishes off the entire pot. I know it didn't last long for me!

Julia- I am going through a phase where I am craving everything caramel. I never liked it so much before, although now I am crazy about it.

Lynn- I know I will be making them again, they are almost a lazy lunch staple.

Windy- In the words of my food guru Donna Hay, it's about turning Simple into Special. : )

Nora B.- Oh yes, I have been getting up at 5am every morning for work. It is no doubt freezing at that time! Although when I leave work in the afternoon, it is back to summer weather?

Ahn- I am usually too lazy to cook on Sundays, but I needed something to get me through my Sunday at work. This was just the thing.

Myriam- Yes, I totally agree, the photos and recipes in his book are completely droolworthy.

Cheryl- It's perfect for any lazy day. The recipes are basically set and forget, well kind of. Let's just say there is minimal supervision.

Novice Baker- Yes I highly rcommend eating it with some ice cream, perhaps something not too sweet maybe even a tart sorbet to counteract the sweetness of the caramel. It was just too bad we didn't have any ice cream at work.

Cupcaketastic- I think you should listen to them and grant yourself your desires!

Mallow- Self Saucing puddings are great, they do half the work for you!!

Helen- I am usually dettered from making puddings that require too many steps, this is great because everything goes into the oven and it's done in one go.

Victoria- I agree the weather has been weird lately. Freezing curries is a great idea. I think they keep pretty well and great when you need a quick fix.

Irvina- Thanks, I am pretty much self-taught and you can tell sometimes. I'm learning as I go.

Daphne- The recipe can feed 4-6 people depending on how hungry they are.

Oh for the Love of Food- Yes, it is the perfect remedy for a cold winter's day.

c2- Hi and welcome, I'm glad you liked it!

Anonymous said...

Made this for tonight's supper, with the addition of a bit of chicken. Fantastic stuff!