Monday, July 11, 2005

Monday Dinner

45. Anna’s Chick Pea and Pasta Soup
46. Roast Cod with Upmarket Mushy Peas

The chick-pea soup (which serves 8, but I did it in half-quantities) is from the Cooking in Advance chapter, and the cod is from Fast Food. I was initially going to have them as dinner on separate nights, but looking at the soup in the pot, I thought it wasn’t going to be nearly enough, so I combined both dishes into the one meal.

Soup with tea strainer

Nigella says to cook the soaked chickpeas with some rosemary in a popsock, muslin, or tea strainer. I have neither (clean) popsock nor muslin, so tea strainer it was. And I’ve just, joyously, discovered that we have rosemary growing wild in our garden. Also, with the chickpeas, Nigella keeps saying that they take ages to cook, (1.5 – 4 hours), but on both occasions I’ve cooked them from scratch, they took less than an hour. But keep in mind that I usually soak them for ages, forgetting when I started soaking and losing track of when I’m supposed to be using them. These ones probably soaked for like 48 hours in total.

Then you add tomatoes and pasta. You’re supposed to use fresh tomatoes and skin them yourself, but I just used tinned whole ones and mashed them with a potato masher. Yeah, I’m lazy. And it was too cold to go to the shops in the morning.


The fish and peas are easy. Just boil some garlic cloves, remove their skins, add peas and peeled cloves to the boiling water. Once they’re cooked and drained, you whiz it all up in a processor with butter and double cream. On the advice of my friend DG, I added parmesan cheese – an inspired choice.


With the cod, you dredge the fillets in flour, sear them on both sides and then bake them for about 10 minutes. The fish was very tasty, but disappointingly pallid – I should probably have had the pan hotter to get them browned.

Roast Cod & Upmarket Mushy Peas

So I put the fish in the oven as we sat down to the soup, and then pulled it out when the oven dinged.

Ok, so the soup was amazing! So perfect for a freezing night like tonight. It was so good, in fact, that I had to keep reminding everyone, “Stop eating so damn much, there’s more food coming!”.
The peas were great. I don’t know if you think it’s strange that I get so excited over mushy peas – I think they’re exotic and cool. We don’t do mushy peas in Australia, and my mum certainly never cooked traditional English stuff as I was growing up. The fish was nice too. It’s really good even just to try other fish, because lots of the time if we don’t know what to have for dinner, we’ll get salmon. And I’m sooo over salmon!

Mushhhhhing up some peas in soup... well tasty

I just realised, I had peas for lunch and dinner. I eat a lot of peas.

Oh yes, one more thing. Nigella suggests having a "Quickly-Scaled Mont Blanc" after the cod and peas... but after three days straight of being on dessert trolley duty at work, I just couldn't face anything sweet. I'll make that another time.

1 comment:

domesticgoddess said...

what a gorgeous dinner! i love everything there... mmm! yeah, the mushy peas with parmesan is the way to go. :)
the only traditional english food i'd experienced before my nigella awakening was in school- utterly minging. she made me see that it can actually taste pretty good!