I’m old enough to remember the traditional British menu plan. Roast on Sunday, cold meat and fried potatoes on Monday, cottage pie on Tuesday…etc, etc… fish on Friday.

Try as I might to avoid this myself, I find, from time to time, my menu plan centrifuges down to a woefully small number of dishes. When I find we’re getting round to spaghetti Bolognese every five days I try to take action and spread my wings a bit. This week I decided it was time to try some new flavours.

I have special difficulty thinking about British recipes. I get stuck with a traditional Sunday roast, which really isn’t one of my favourite meals. I was impressed with the Hairy Bikers’ Scotch broth, and decided to try it out. It was delicious. The thyme and bay leaf gave it a really rich scent which permeated the whole house, and the lamby soaked pearl barley was sticky and gorgeous.

The lamb was soft and moist, and there was plenty left over to make some minty rissoles which I tried to give a real Mediterranean kick by serving with Couscous and my own version of hummus.

Then I blasted the tastebuds with a completely different set of flavours from Japan, with my Lottie Sushi, followed by the Hairy Bikers’ Poppy Seed Tempura with Soba noodles and dipping sauce. It was lovely – really different flavours! I particularly enjoyed making some ‘shichimi’ (ground chilli, schechuan peppercorns, sesame seeds and orange peel) for sprinkling on the noodles. Wow! The Japanese like their heat in a truly original way – in hot pockets in amongst lots of bland rice! It’s a digital approach to spicing – either on or off!

Tonight we’re having Tuscan bean and squash soup with Cornbread. I’ve never made Cornbread before, so that should be interesting.

I thought I would get this lot blogged for the next time I get stuck in a three recipe rotation. Life’s too short to be bored.


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