Like most men, Darling-Chéri isn’t massively keen on doctors, dentists, and anyone who might have to do with health services. But eventually, after four years of gentle hints unremitting hassle, he agreed to make a dentist appointment. Well, it’s fair to say his had been a high-risk-high-reward strategy where he lost. As a result of not going for such a long time, he has to have 2 fillings re-done, 2 crowns put in and a tooth extracted. For appointment #3 (after the initial appointment and the one with the fillings), DC thought the dentist would start preparing for the crowns. So there was some serious bottom-lipping when he turned up in the office having had a tooth pulled out! This also meant we had to improvise a bit for our meals as he could only eat liquid or soft food. The small town where we work is quite limited for lunch options so he ended up having a tuna jacket potato, which was ok. For dinner I had planned some Sticky Sausage Kebabs from Delicious Magazine but with chewing not an option, I had to improvise a bit, bearing in mind I had already thawed the sausages! So we ended up with this Spiced Pork Mince Mess, Courgette Mash and Polenta:
For 2 people
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cooking: 30 minutes
4 pork sausages or 230g pork mince
2-3 tbsp fresh parsley
3 garlic cloves
1/2 red onion
1 tsp lemon or lime juice
1/2 tbsp. garam masala
1/2 tbsp. tumeric
1 red chili
500ml vegetable stock
2 tsp soft cheese
400ml water or 200ml water + 200ml milk (I prefer it that way)
A pinch of salt
– Bring the vegetable stock to the boil. Cut the courgette in large chunks and boil for 15 minutes, until tender.
– Meanwhile, finely chop the onion, 2 garlic cloves, half of the chili and the parsley.
– Mix in a bowl with the spices and pork mince.
– When the courgettes are cooked, blend them into a creamy mash with the soft cheese, the last garlic clove and the other half of the chili. Season to taste then put back on the hob (low) and stir every now and then.
– Put the mince mix in a frying pan and cook it for about 10 minutes, breaking it up with a wooden spoon.
– In the meantime, pour the water or milk and water in a pan, add a pinch of salt and bring to the boil. Timing is quite important here as polenta is very quick to cook! Follow the instructions on your pack but essentially, you’ll get soft polenta after 1 minute, and then the longer you leave it the more compact it gets. Remember to stir all the time to avoid lumps and ensure the polenta doesn’t jump in your face (it does have some remarkably volcanic properties!).
– Remove from the hob when you’re happy with the texture.
Plate up. I’ll admit it doesn’t look much. But it most definitely passed DC’s very strict flavour test. So don’t hesitate to try it in case of an emergency!