Sunday, 23 March 2008

Easter Food III (for a cold snowy Easter): Nigella's Steak & Kidney Pudding

Look at this gorgeous little baby. Recipe from How To Be A Domestic Goddess, by Nigella Lawson.

Saturday, 22 March 2008

Easter Food To Get You In The Mood II: Peach Melba Sundaes (I am a sundae bore..)

This is a slightly more modest sundae than usual, due to my being a) quite full really, and b) a bit pissed, when I made it. Anyway.
Get some madiera cake, and chuck some in the bottom of the sundae glass. Stick a knife in to cut it up a bit. Then some soft raspberries. Not traditional for spring I know, but I love them. Squash them into the cake, a little.
Then, some pieces of peach. Then, vanilla ice cream. Then, some really nice raspberry sauce, and on top of that, some thick cream.
And finally ... the obligatory flake.

Easter Food To Get You In The Mood ;-)

Fill a large roasting tin with 2 aubergines, 3 courgettes, 2 red onions, 2 red peppers, a bulb of whole garlic cloves, 3 tins of tomatoes, a tin of tomato puree, about a third of a bottle of red wine, and several generous glugs of olive oil. Season, stir it around and roast in a hot oven until the vegetables are soft, caramelised and most of the liquid has evaporated. Be prepared to wait about two hours for this.
When it is just about done, you can stick a few veggie sausages on top and cook them for a bit. When you know you have about 10 minutes to go, put slices of mozzarella on top too.
To prepare the garlic and chilli bread, mix garlic puree (two generous spoonfuls please) into a block of soft butter. Chop atleast 4 red chillies finely and mix them in. Daub the butter generously into the slits in the bread. Wrap it in foil and give it a good 20 minutes.
Serve with pasta and grate parmesan on top.

Sunday, 16 March 2008

Spaghetti Carbonara

This is one of those things which is always pretty revolting, tasteless and gloopy if you buy a ready made version from the supermarket, but is bloody fantastic if you make it yourself. Yummy.

I made this version, for two people. Begin by heating a blob of olive oil in a small pan. If you have the inclination, fry some chopped garlic in the oil first, and remove and chuck it away when it is brown. It makes the oil all garlicky. Then add some chopped bacon or pancetta, and fry it until done. A further optional step here is then to add a generous splash of white wine, and let it boil and bubble away. It leaves another nice flavour behind.

Meanwhile, cook your spaghetti as usual. While it is cooking, get a bowl and mix in it three egg yolks, about half a cup of cream, salt and pepper, and about a handful of grated parmesan cheese. When the spag is done, drain it quick and return to the hot pan, off the heat. Chuck in the bacon and the oil it was sizzling in. Waste no time in adding the egg yolk, cream and cheese mixture. Stir and mix it well, and the heat in the pan should be enough for the sauce to cook and smoothly coat each strand of spaghetti, without overcooking and turning into scrambled egg. Eat it with more cheese and perhaps some black pepper on top. Heaven.

Saturday, 15 March 2008

Potato Dauphinoise

Oh blimey. Where have you been all my life? This was genuinely my first casual attempt at this dish, and it was fab. I set the oven to start cooking it before I got in from work, so I was greeted by this potatoey, creamy, garlic-scented waft, as I walked in the door.

Everyone seems to cook this at a different temperature; I did it at 150c, or gas mark 2. I cut 4 medium potatoes into thin slices and put them into the dish, adding salt and pepper over each layer. I then poured about half a pint of a blend of milk and cream, with a teaspoon of garlic paste mixed in, over it all. It was cooked after an hour and 15 minutes.

Cheese is an obvious possibility and would be very nice, but I am absolutely convinced it is not necessary.

Wednesday, 12 March 2008

Roasted Trout with a Sundried Tomato & Rosemary Crust

Begin with a big fresh trout fillet, and pick out any bones. In a bowl, mix some fresh breadcrumbs, a couple of dollops of sundried tomato paste, and some finely chopped rosemary. Use this to top the fish, then roast it quickly in a hot oven.