Monday, 25 November 2013

Thursday, 21 November 2013

poached egg and new potato salad with crispy bacon and mustard dressing

poached egg and new potato salad with crispy bacon and mustard dressing - Delicious One Month Healthy Eating Plan, February 2007, p10

Tuesday, 19 November 2013

rosie ramsden's kale, chestnut and mushroom pie

Truly the cold, Autumnal nights are the domain of the pie! What with their comforting smell and crisp scrunch of pastry, revealing the warming filling and unctuous gravy within, they’re the edible equivalent of fluffy slippers: Perfect to keep the chills at bay, and to make you feel toasty and at peace with the world.

They are however an absolute bugger to make, if you’re in any way in a hurry. Particularly if you’ve just run home (in record breaking time, mind) and then discover all the utensils you need are malingering near the sink. Personal bests are literally cold comfort when you’ve got to spend 15 shivering minutes washing up and putting away stuff before you’ve even begun. Once done though, everything proceeds quite happily along, although what with the run/washing up/shower, we’re well-behind schedule.

I do have one shortcut up my sleeve though, having learned my lesson from last week’s finger-shredding incident shelling chestnuts: pre-prepared chestnuts. In a box. It’s the future.

Once you’ve sweated off the onions, this turns into a pretty simple assembly job: Chuck in the mushrooms, chestnuts and sage, add flour, add milk, blanch kale before adding it to the mixture, bung it in a pie dish, cover with pastry, cook. 25 minutes later eat 2 to 3 portions of deliciously earthy, toe-warming pie.

Despite its ease of construction and the fact I forgot the dried porcini mushrooms, there a couple of things worth bearing in mind if you fancy giving this a whirl:
  1.  You need to use more milk than the recipe calls for, if you don’t want it to dry out
  2.  Pancetta would make a nice, salty addition to the filling
  3.  You’ll end up with loads of kale leftover, which you don’t really know what to do with
I suppose 3  is more of a general point whenever kale is involved.

kale, chestnut and mushroom pie - rosie ramsden, Delicious, October 2013, p65

Monday, 18 November 2013

seared steak on mediterranean vegetables

Having made the mistake of trying to assuage our fasting hunger with an experimental quick vegetable curry last Monday, and going to bed with our stomachs loudly gurgling, this week we’re back with the tried and trusted seared steak and griddled vegetables.

Somehow however, this faithful standby totally fails to fill our famished tummies, and once again we retire not only starving, but betrayed. Stabbed in the back by a less-than satisfactory beefy friend.

seared steak on Mediterranean vegetables - Delicious One Month Healthy Eating Plan, February 2007, p12

Sunday, 17 November 2013

simon hopkinson's tomato curry

Despite the success of last week’s forage-tastic chestnut and sage soup (and that’s in spite of the fact we effectively stole the chestnuts from Richmond Park, *and* the consequent shagging up of the quicks of my nails peeling the bastards), Ana seems mightily unimpressed with the idea of an experimental chestnut, mushroom and kale pie tonight.

This is a shame as I’ve got 400g of kale in the fridge, and I’ve circumvented a repeat of man-crying-with-shards-of -shell-embedded beneath-his-nails, but buying a box of prepared chestnuts. Incredibly this still doesn’t sway the crowd, and we settle for comforting bowls of Simon Hopkinson’s tomato curry.

 Well, comforting in the sense it revives Ana after a day’s worth of marking, but seems to have the opposite effect on Milo, who has spent most of the afternoon collapsing in tears at the slightest thing.

tomato curry - Simon Hopkinson, Delicious, November 2007, p86

Wednesday, 13 November 2013

hugh fearnley-whittingstall's chestnut and sage soup

Being unable to use my fingers due to the bleeding and discomfort caused by the chestnut shell splinters aside, this is one of the tastiest soups I've ever made. Nothing tastes better than the flavour of scrumped produce:

chestnut and sage soup - Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, River Cottage Veg Everyday, p158

Tuesday, 12 November 2013

hugh fearnley-whittingstall's roasted parsnip, lentil and watercress salad

And whilst that's cooking, I've got time to roast the pocketful of illegal chestnuts we liberated from Richmond Park during the weekend:

And by 'roast', I mean roast and then properly slash my fingers up, with shards of shell stuck under my nails, trying to get the fuckers out before resorting to the internet for advice and then boiling the shit out of them. I could easily be a country cook.

roasted parsnip, lentil and watercress salad - Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, River Cottage Veg Everyday, p90

Monday, 11 November 2013

some sort of curried cauliflower

I have no idea where I got this recipe, but I do remember it involved boiling half a head of cauliflower in turmeric. It's not helpful I know.

Sunday, 3 November 2013

rosie ramsden's pumpkin, feta and pine nut filo layer

One of the many fall outs from Milo’s party, other than the huge bag of recycling, the cupboard full of crisps and sweets and outbreaks of overtired tears, is the unexpected glut of pumpkins in the house.

Normally these would just end up as soup as everybody likes it and it’s easily freezable, however an Ana-fuelled trip to IKEA means we need to off-set rugs with as frugal a week as possible, so hold on to your hats for a full week of squash-based fun!

Tonight’s dinner was actually pre-planned as I was allowing for using up the carved pumpkins from Hallowe’en: An experimental pumpkin and feta pie. However despite this being on the weekly recipe list, we still don’t seem to have any eggs, garlic or enough lemon.

Even so, I’m mildly surprised how well it turns out, particularly as I went rogue and used up some crème fraiche in place of the eggs (I was thinking bulk), and I don’t think I used enough oil on the filo pastry:

Despite the claggy nature of the Feta, the lemon zest such as there was worked hard to cut through the stodge, and the pumpkin was sweeter and lighter. I can see where the garlic might’ve helped lift it, mind. All-in-all a great success although we’ll see how Milo fares with it after school tomorrow, and I think next time a green salad would be an excellent accompaniment rather than the beans.

pumpkin, feta and pine nut filo layer - Rosie Ramsden, Delicious, October 2013, p66

Saturday, 2 November 2013

rick stein's chicken chettinad

It’s a Saturday night so obviously once again we’re on Rick Stein’s Chicken Chettinad. However for the first time I think chettinad ennui is beginning to kick in.

Partly this is because we’ve had it four (or five) weeks on the bounce now, and whilst I love cooking it – particularly now I’ve finally got my hands on some beautiful curry leaves – I think I’m running the risk of getting bored with it.

The other more pertinent reason could be because I (Ana claims not to be) am full of teeny tiny ham and cheese sandwiches, mini cocktail sausages, ghost-shaped crisps and jazzie biscuits from Milo’s Hallowe’en-themed party. And premium strength Belgium beer from Mr Manwaring’s birthday boxes, but mainly party food. It’s amazing how filling small plates of small food can be even, if they’re disappointingly not made up of a variety of delicious tapas, but white bread, hula hoops and baby bels – party pintxos if you will.

Anyway,  a couple of hours of tidying later and I’ve created a small space for the chettinad, which despite my carping is still lovely, with a lovely pungent warmth from the ginger and black pepper spice rub, and underlying oiliness from the aforementioned curry leaves:

Do try it, although I promise to cook something different next week though, so we won’t be seeing this for a while.

chicken chettinad - Rick Stein's India, in Delicious August 2013, p47