Tuesday, 8 May 2007


I've decided that Tuesdays shall be Recipe Day.

I'm going to start with a kitchen essential: base. Base isn't really a recipe, it's a time-saving cheat. 99% of my recipes start "Fry onions with garlic, add mushrooms" (if one of my recipes doesn't involve onions or garlic, it's a cake). So what I do when I have time is make up a batch of this starting base, use one portion and freeze the rest. Making base adds about 5 minutes to the time it takes to cook a meal.



2 extra large onions chopped (I use "Spanish" onions)
500g mushrooms sliced
4 large cloves of garlic, crushed
1 tablespoon olive oil

NB: I tend to clean and slice the mushrooms, peel the garlic, peel the onions, put the oil on to heat AND THEN chop the onions. This minimizes the time available for the onion fumes to make me cry.


1) In a large frying pan or pot suitable for tonight's dinner, heat the oil. Add the onions, cover if possible, and cook over a medium heat until softened.
2) Add the mushrooms. Fry until they make water and the water has evaporated.
3) Add the garlic. Fry for 3 minutes.
4) Divide the mixture evenly between 3 microwaveable freezer containers and a suitably sized bowl, until the pan is empty. (I ladle it out.)
5) Pour the contents of the bowl back into the pan and continue with the recipe for tonight's dinner.
6) Cover the freezer containers and allow to cool. Seal, label and freeze.

To use the frozen Base, either defrost it completely, defrost it for long enough that it'll turn out of the container (20 minutes or so in my kitchen) or zap for 30 seconds in the microwave and use from frozen.

- Pam (who amazingly only started doing this a year ago. It hadn't occured to me until then.)

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