Sunday, June 18, 2006
Now that The Project is well and truly over, you may (or may not) have been wondering what I'm up to. I'm currently on holiday in England (aka the sunny land of Nigella), taking a much-needed break, and will be away from home until the end of July. As of yet, there are no plans for a new cooking project, but I am open to suggestions.
In the meantime, check out my Sarah Cooks blog for some overseas cooking and eating action, which has been updated, and which I will endeavour to keep updated while I am overseas. I also have links to other cooking blogs at Sarah Cooks, all of which are worth checking out, in my opinion.
For other cooking project blogs, there is the lovely Ilana, with her When Ilana met Pantry project, which is still going strong. There's also The Next Nigella, a Melbourne lady who is cooking a selection from all of Nigella's books. You should definitely check this one out if you've been missing reading about Nigella cooking!
Monday, June 12, 2006
Yes, my project is over, and I would like to take the opportunity to thank some people who helped me out along the way.
Firstly, of course, is Nigella - for writing a wonderful book, full of great recipes and engaging prose. It was definitely worth it for me to devote a year of my life to cooking out of this book.
I have to give a special mention to the good folks at Rendinas butchery - the best beef in Balwyn!
I would also like to thank all my friends who have sampled my cooking throughout the year - especially Markii, Uncle Mike & Aunty Helen, Frances, Georgina, Adriana, An, Bonnie and Liam.
And of course there is everyone who has been keeping up with my blog and leaving me messages of encouragement - including, but not limited to Ilana, Lisa, Annauk, Randi, Niki, Gemma, Lotta, Julie, Meg, Snowdrop, Spot, Kirstendk, Rachelak, Foodcrazee, and Ange.
I'd like to especially thank my good friend DG, for hours of culinary discussion, encouragement, advice and general late night chats and e-mails to help me throughout this project.
Most importantly, I have to say thank-you to my family - Mum, Dad and Daniel - who have always supported and encouraged me, and without whom there would be no reason to cook.
Thank-you and goodnight!
Wednesday, June 07, 2006
1. Duck with Orange Salsa (Fast Food)
2. Noodles with Spring Onions, Shitake Mushrooms and Mangetouts (Fast Food)
3. Icecream with stem ginger or figs (Fast Food)
4. Squid with Chilli and Clams (Fast Food)
5. Ricotta with Honey and Toasted Pine Nuts (Fast Food)
6. Tagliatelle with Chicken from the Venetian Ghetto (Dinner)
7. Ice-cream with Dark Chocolate (Fast Food)
8. Basic Roast Chicken (Basics Etc.)
9. Plain Salad Dressing (Basics Etc.)
10. Summer fruits and cream or ice-cream (Weekend Lunch)
11. Sunday Night Chicken Noodle (One & Two)
12. Pasta with butter and stock cube juices (One & Two)
13. Dijon Mustard Dressing (Low Fat)
14. Pea Risotto (One & Two)
15. Chicken with Spring Onion, Chilli and Greek Yoghurt (Fast Food)
16. Cherried and Chick Pea’d Couscous (Fast Food)
17. Steak Mirabeau (Fast Food)
18. Lacquered Quail (Low Fat)
19. Japanese Flavoured Sour-Sweet Cabbage (Low Fat)
20. One-Pan Chicken (Dinner)
21. Basic French Dressing (Basics etc.)
22. Pasta with Unpestoed Pesto (One & Two)
23. Spaghetti Carbonara (One & Two)
24. Breadcrumbs (Basics etc.)
25. Anglicised Involtini (Dinner)
26. Chambéry Trout (Fast Food)
27. Salsa Verde (Fast Food)
28. Spinach Soup (Fast Food)
29. Cinnamon-hot rack of lamb (Fast Food)
30. Beef and Beans with Pasta (Feeding Babies and Small Children)
31. Meatballs in Tomato Sauce (Feeding Babies and Small Children)
32. South Beach Black Bean Soup (Cooking in Advance)
33. Mushroom-Steak Sandwich (One & Two)
34. Steak and Kidney Pie (Weekend Lunch)
35. Banana Custard (Weekend Lunch)
36. Lemon Chicken (Weekend Lunch)
37. Sticky Chocolate Pudding (Weekend Lunch)
38. Basic Roast Chicken with roasted garlic and shallots (Basics etc.)
39. Clementine Cake (Basics, etc.)
40. Basic Vanilla Ice-cream (Basics etc.)
41. Fish and Porcini Pie (Weekend Lunch)
42. Chicken & Chick Pea Tagine (Cooking in Advance)
43. Pancakes (Basics etc.)
44. Salmon Fishcakes (Feeding Babies and Small Children)
45. Anna’s Chick Pea and Pasta Soup (Cooking in Advance)
46. Roast Cod with Upmarket Mushy Peas (Fast Food)
47. A Moorish Cake (Basics etc.)
48. Onion Tart (Dinner)
49. Rich Shortcrust (Basics etc.)
50. Pumpkin Purée (Dinner)
51. Mixed mushrooms (Dinner)
52. Pea and Garlic Crostini (Dinner)
53. Roast Pepper with Green Olive Paste Crostini (Dinner)
54. Roast Monkfish (Dinner)
55. Mackerel in Cider (Fast Food)
56. Cabbage with Caraway (Fast Food)
57. Buttered Apples (Fast Food)
58. Scallops with Bitter Oranges (Basics etc.)
59. Canard à l'Orange (Basics etc.)
60. Petits Pois à la Francaise (Cooking in Advance)
61. Seville Orange Curd Tart (Lunch)
62. Shortcrust Pastry (Basics etc.)
63. Victoria Sponge (Basics etc.)
64. Mayonnaise (Basics etc.)
65. Seville Orange Marmalade (Basics etc.)
66. Spaghetti Aglio Olio (One & Two)
67. Oxtail with Mackeson and Marjoram (Cooking in Advance)
68. Rhubarb and Muscat Jelly (Dinner)
69. Chicken with Pesto (Fast Food)
70. Canned Pulses (Fast Food)
71. Rhubarb, Muscat and Mascarpone Trifle (Cooking in Advance)
72. Pasta with Cream and Truffle Oil (Fast Food)
73. Aromatic Chilli Beef Noodle Soup (Low Fat)
74. Braised Dried Shiitake Mushrooms with Soba Noodles (Low-Fat)
75. Steak (Low Fat)
76. Mackerel Teriyaki (Low Fat)
77. Vegetable Curry in Vegetable Sauce (Low Fat)
78. Rhubarb Ice-Cream (Dinner)
79. Braised Pheasant with Mushroom and Bacon (Cooking in Advance)
80. Pig’s Bum (Weekend Lunch)
81. Real Custard (Basics etc.)
82. Salmon marinated in Den Miso (Low Fat)
83. Brown Rice Salad (Low Fat)
84. Seaweed and Noodle Salad (Low Fat)
85. Restrained Mushroom Risotto (Low Fat)
86. Roast Garlic and Lemon Dressing (Low Fat)
87. Mushroom Udon Soup (Low Fat)
88. Beef Braised in Beer (Low Fat)
89. Vegetable Miso Broth (Low Fat)
90. Red Wine, Cumin and Onion Gravy (Weekend Lunch)
91. Seville Orange Cream (Weekend Lunch)
92. Shortbread (Weekend Lunch)
93. Sugar-Spiced Salmon with Chinese Hot Mustard (Low Fat)
94. Vegetables with Ginger and Garlic (Low Fat)
95. Shredded Beetroot Salad with Yogurt (Low Fat)
96. Roast Poussin with Garlic and Shallots (Feeding Babies and Small Children)
97. Beet greens with buckwheat noodles (Low Fat)
98. Braised Fennel (Low Fat)
99. Poisson au Poivre (Low Fat)
100. Lemon Pie (Weekend Lunch)
101. Foolproof Rice (Weekend Lunch)
102. German Leeks and Wine (Weekend Lunch)
103. Cauliflower with Cumin (Low Fat)
104. Cambodian Hot and Sour Beef Salad (Low Fat)
105. Beetroot Soup (Low Fat)
106. Half Coq-au-vin (Low Fat)
107. Fine Pasta with Crab (Low Fat)
108. Venison in White Wine (Cooking in Advance)
109. Marsala Muscovado Custard (Dinner)
110. Muskily Spiced Prunes (Dinner)
111. Minestrone (Weekend Lunch)
112. Affogato (Fast Food)
113. Stem-Ginger Gingerbread (Cooking in Advance)
114. Mushroom Risotto (Feeding Babies and Small Children)
115. Chicken with Lemon/Oil/Garlic (Fast Food)
116. Thick Miso Dressing for Beans (Low Fat)
117. Warm Spinach with Lemon (Dinner)
118. Spanish Stew (Dinner)
119. The World's Best Chocolate Ice-cream (Basics etc.)
120. Lemon linguine (Weekend Lunch)
121. Irish Tarte Tatin (weekend Lunch)
122. Lentil and Chestnut Soup (Basics etc.)
123. Blakean Fish Pie (Dinner)
124. Rhubarb Crumble with custard, damn straight (Basics etc.)
125. Tarragon French Roast Chicken (Weekend Lunch)
126. Steak au Poivre (One & Two)
127. Tomato and Rice Soup (Fast Food)
128. Pea Soufflé (One & Two)
129. Marinated Chicken Drumsticks (Feeding Babies and Small Children)
130. Macaroni Cheese (Feeding Babies and Small Children)
131. Butternut and Pasta Soup (One & Two)
132. Children's Chocolate Mousse (Feeding Babies and Small Children)
133. Langues de Chat (Basics etc.)
134. Shepherd’s Pie (uncooked meat) (Feeding Babies and Small Children)
135. The Biscuits (Feeding Babies and Small Children)
136. Fairycakes (Feeding Babies and Small Children)
137. Pasta with Anchovy Sauce (One & Two)
138. Pea Orzotto (Weekend Lunch)
139. Roast Leeks (Weekend Lunch)
140. Poached Pistachio-sprinkled apricots stuffed with crème fraiche (Weekend Lunch)
141. Beef Stroganoff (Fast Food)
142. Corner Cut Topside of Beef (Weekend Lunch)
143. New Potatoes with Truffle Oil (Weekend Lunch)
144. Rice Pudding (Weekend Lunch)
145. Special Meatballs (Feeding Babies and Small Children)
146. Shepherd's Pie (Cooked Meat)
147. Moules Marinière (One & Two)
148. Exceptional Salmon (One & Two)
149. Clove-Hot Chilli Con Carne (Feeding Babies and Small Children)
150. Escalopes of salmon with warm balsamic vinaigrette (Fast Food)
151. Quickly-scaled mont blanc (Fast Food)
152. Lamb with Garlicky Tahina (Fast Food)
153. Passionfruit Fool (Fast Food)
154. Lidgate's Chestnut Stuffing (Basics etc.)
155. Chicken with Morels (One & Two)
156. Linguine alle Vongole (One & Two)
157. White Tiramisu (Cooking in Advance)
158. Peter Rabbit in Mr. McGregor’s Salad (One & Two)
159. Pea Soup (Fast Food)
160. Children's Couscous (Feeding Babies and Small Children)
161. Roast shoulder of lamb (Weekend Lunch)
162. Ratatouille (Cooking in Advance)
163. Green salad with green beans (Weekend Lunch)
164. Sweet Pastry (Basics etc.)
165. Translucent apple tart (Weekend Lunch)
166. Apple and Walnut Crumble (One & Two)
167. Scallops and Bacon (One & Two)
168. Roast-Sugar Sprinkled Peaches (Fast Food)
169. The Tenderest Chicken (Dinner)
170. Blini (One & Two)
171. Mascarpone, Rum and Lime Cream (Fast Food)
172. Butterscotch Sauce (Weekend Lunch)
173. Garlic Mushrooms (Feeding Babies and Small Children)
174. Bean and Pasta Soup (Feeding Babies and Small Children)
175. Gigot Boulangère (Weekend Lunch)
176. Frittata (Feeding Babies and Small Children)
177. Chicken with egg and lemon sauce (Dinner)
178. Chicken Pie (Feeding Babies and Small Children)
179. Spinach, Bacon and Raw Mushroom Salad (Weekend Lunch)
180. Baked Sea Bass with Rosemary (Weekend Lunch)
181. Strawberries in Dark Syrup (Dinner)
182. Proust's Madeleines (Dinner)
183. Linguine with Lardons (One & Two)
184. Chicken with Salsa Verde (Fast Food)
185. Miso Mustard Dressing (Low Fat)
186. Almond and Orange-Blossom Cake (Cooking in Advance)
187. Prawns with Garlic and Chilli (One & Two)
188. Onion Mush (Cooking in Advance)
189. Aubergine Moussaka (Cooking in Advance)
190. Cawl (Cooking in Advance)
191. Roast Pork (Weekend Lunch)
192. Swedish Rhubarb and Horseradish Sauce (Weekend Lunch)
193. Seven-Minute Steamed Chocolate Pudding (Fast Food)
194. Baked Aromatic Spiced Plums (Cooking in Advance)
195. Barbados Cream (Cooking in Advance)
196. Chicken Liver Crostini (Dinner)
197. Grilled Pepper Salad (Dinner)
198. Marinated, Butterflied Leg of Lamb (Dinner)
199. Garlic Potatoes (Dinner)
200. Watercress & Raw Mushroom Salad (Dinner)
201. Poached Peaches (Dinner)
202. Sauternes Custard (Dinner)
203. Tonno e fagioli (Feeding Babies and Small Children)
204. Italian Broth (Cooking in Advance)
205. Gnocchetti di Semolino (Cooking in Advance)
206. Veal, Liver and Bacon Mince Pie (Feeding Babies and Small Children)
207. Cream of Chicken Soup (One & Two)
208. Risotto-Inspired Rice Pudding (One & Two)
209. Consommé (Cooking in Advance)
210. Kafka-esque or Soft and Crispy Duck (Cooking in Advance)
211. Christmas Eve Goose (Basics etc.)
212. Red Cabbage Cooked in the Viennese Fashion (Weekend Lunch)
213. Mini star-topped mince pies (Basics etc.)
214. Frangipane Mince Pies (Basics etc.)
215. Lidgate’s Cranberry and Orange Stuffing (Basics etc.)
216. Turkey (Basics etc.)
217. Gravy (Basics etc.)
218. Roast Potatoes (Basics etc.)
219. Brussels Sprouts and Chestnuts (Basics etc.)
220. Bread Sauce (Basics etc.)
221. Cranberry Sauce (Basics etc.)
222. Brandy Butter (Basics etc.)
223. Iced Rum Sauce (Basics etc.)
224. Bubble & Squeak (Basics etc.)
225. Ed Victor's Turkey Hash (Basics etc.)
226. Basil Oil (Weekend Lunch)
227. Tabbouleh (Weekend Lunch)
228. Hummus with seared lamb and toasted pine nuts (Weekend Lunch)
229. Garlic chicken (Weekend Lunch)
230. Aubergine slices with pomegranate juice and mint (Weekend Lunch)
231. Rhubarb meringue pie (Weekend Lunch)
232. Beans wrapped in prosciutto (Dinner)
233. Meringues (Basics etc.)
234. Pasta Sauce with Sausage (Feeding Babies and Small Children)
235. Chicken Patties (Feeding Babies and Small Children)
236. Salmon baked in foil (Weekend Lunch)
237. Pea, avocado and mint salad (Weekend Lunch)
238. Duck Liver Sauce (Feeding Babies and Small Children)
239. Cod with Clams (One & Two)
240. Taramasalata (Weekend Lunch)
241. Crab & Saffron Tart (Weekend Lunch)
242. St. John’s Salad (Weekend Lunch)
243. Baked Caramel Apples (Weekend Lunch)
244. Home carpaccio of beef (One & Two)
245. Golden Root-Vegetable Couscous with Chorizo (Weekend Lunch)
246. Harissa (Weekend Lunch)
247. Great Aunt Myra's Moroccan Orange and Date Salad (Weekend Lunch)
248. Red Slump (Weekend Lunch)
249. Red Mullet with Garlic and Rosemary (Fast Food)
250. Little Gems with Green Goddess Dressing (Dinner)
251. Young Grouse with Mascarpone and Thyme (One & Two)
252. Sweet and Sour Cabbage (Dinner)
253. Pavlova (Dinner)
254. Ham in Coca Cola (Weekend Lunch)
255. Cherry Pie (Weekend Lunch)
256. Lemon Curd (Basics etc.)
257. Braise-roasted lamb with Caper Sauce (Weekend Lunch)
258. A Summer Lemon-Meringue Pie (Weekend Lunch)
259. Bread & Milk (One & Two)
260. Ham & Turkey Meatballs (Feeding Babies & Small Children)
261. Liver with Sweet Onions (One & Two)
262. Gooey Chocolate Puddings (Fast Food)
263. Baked Semolina (One & Two)
264. Baked Sauternes Custard (Weekend Lunch)
265. Chicken Stew with Couscous (Weekend Lunch)
266. Coconut Crème Caramel (Weekend Lunch)
267. Lamb & Bean Braise (One & Two)
268. Apple Crumble (Basics etc.)
269. Zabaione (One & Two)
270. Garlic Fried Potatoes (Feeding Babies and Small Children)
271. Fried Prawn Cakes (One & Two)
272. Christmas Queen of Puddings (Basics etc.)
273. Duck with Pomegranate (One & Two)
274. Greek Lamb Stew (Cooking in Advance)
275. Birthday Cake (Feeding Babies and Small Children)
276. Cheese Stars (Feeding Babies and Small Children)
277. Bakewell Tart with Fresh Raspberries (Weekend Lunch)
278. Periwinkles (Feeding Babies and Small Children)
279. Kale with Chorizo and Poached Egg (One & Two)
280. Chick Peas with Sorrel (One & Two)
281. Macaroons (Basics etc.)
282. Hollandaise (Basics etc.)
283. Hollandaise with Saffron (Basics etc.)
284. Flattened, Marinated Quail (One & Two)
285. American Breakfast Pancakes (Basic etc.)
286. Crepes Parmentier with Smoked Haddock (Weekend Lunch)
287. Poires belle Hélène (Weekend Lunch)
288. Beef Stew with Anchovies and Thyme (Cooking in Advance)
289. Fresh Horseradish Sauce (Weekend Lunch)
290. Treacle Tart (Weekend Lunch)
291. Pink Fish and Beans (Feeding Babies and Small Children)
292. Mashed potatoes, truffle oil and warm Santa Barbara shrimp (Basics etc.)
293. Baked figs (Fast Food)
294. Rosemary-Infused Oil (Weekend Lunch)
295. Cold Roast Fillet of Beef (Weekend Lunch)
296. Rosemary and Anchovy Mayonnaise (Weekend Lunch)
297. Warm Cannellini or Borlotti Beans with Garlic and Sage (Weekend Lunch)
298. Tomato Salad (Weekend Lunch)
299. Yorkshire Pudding with Syrup and Cream (Weekend Lunch)
300. Baked Veal and Ham Pasta (Cooking in Advance)
301. Fancy Cake (Basics etc.)
302. Steak Béarnaise (One & Two)
303. Béarnaise sauce (Basics etc.)
304. Ham cooked in cider with leeks, carrots and potatoes (Weekend Lunch)
305. Yoghurt, honey, passion fruit and cream (Weekend Lunch)
306. The Irish Club's Irish Stew (Dinner)
307. Birthday Cake (Basics etc.)
308. Fillet of Beef with Red Wine, Anchovies, Garlic and Thyme (Dinner)
309. Garlic roast potatoes (Feeding Babies and Small Children)
310. Thai-Flavoured Mussels (Low Fat)
311. Damson Fool (Basics etc.)
312. Béchamel (Basics etc.)
313. Cheese Sauce (Basics etc.)
314. Vegetable Soup (Basics etc.)
315. Parsley Sauce (Basics etc.)
316. Tagliata (Dinner)
317. Pea and Lettuce Soup (Basics etc.)
318. Lamb with Chick Peas (Dinner)
319. Couscous Salad (Dinner)
320. Turkish Delight Figs (Dinner)
321. Pistachio Crescents (Dinner)
322. Parsley and Ham Patties (Basics etc.)
323. Ragoût of wild mushrooms (Weekend Lunch)
324. Oven-cooked polenta (Weekend Lunch)
325. Cheeses with bitter salad (Weekend Lunch)
326. Stewed apples with cinnamon crème fraîche (Weekend Lunch)
327. Duck Meatballs (Feeding babies and small children)
328. Gypsy Toast (Feeding Babies and Small Children)
329. Stock (Basics etc.)
330. Elderflower Cream with Gooseberries (Basics etc.)
331. Guacamole with paprika-toasted potato skins (Dinner)
332. Cod wrapped in ham (Dinner)
333. Sage and onion lentils (Dinner)
334. Digestive biscuits (Feeding Babies and Small Children)
335. Lemon ice-cream (Weekend Lunch)
336. Lemon meringue ice-cream (Weekend Lunch)
337. Duck (Fast Food)
338. Gorgonzola, Marsala and Mascarpone Crostini (Dinner)
339. Choucroute Garnie (Weekend Lunch)
340. Quince Syllabub (Cooking in Advance)
341. Salade Niçoise (One & Two)
342. Thai Clam Pot (Low Fat)
343. Mostarda di Venezia (Basics etc.)
344. Chestnut and pancetta salad (Dinner)
345. Roast venison fillet with apple purée and rosemary sauce (Dinner)
346. Quinces poached in Muscat (Dinner)
347. Proper English Trifle (Cooking in Advance)
348. Hazelnut cake (Dinner)
349. English roast chicken with all the trimmings – plus some (Weekend Lunch)
350. Onion sauce (Weekend Lunch)
351. Chocolate raspberry pudding cake (Dinner)
352. Roast Loin of Pork (Weekend Lunch)
353. Roast Leeks (Weekend Lunch)
354. Clapshot with Burnt Onions (Weekend Lunch)
355. Custard Tart (Weekend Lunch)
356. Lettuce and Lovage Soup (Basics etc.)
357. Chicken strips marinated in yogurt and honey (Feeding Babies and Small Children)
358. Jam Tarts (Feeding Babies and Small Children)
359. Basic White Loaf (Basics etc.)
360. Sole with Chanterelles (Fast Food)
361. Apple Butterscotch Tart (Weekend Lunch)
362. Raspberries and Cream (Fast Food)
363. Pheasant with Gin and IT (Dinner)
364. Tataki of Tuna (Low Fat)
365. Quick Foolproof Custard (Basics etc)
366. Passionfruit Curd (Basics etc.)
367. Egg mayonnaise (Basics etc.)
368. Lentil and black olive crostini (Dinner)
369. Prawn and aubergine crostini (Dinner)
370. Hollandaise sauce with Seville orange juice (Basics etc.)
371. Panchporan Aloo (Basics etc.)
372. Sauternes and Lemon Balm Jelly (Dinner)
373. Good, thick winter pea soup (Weekend Lunch)
374. Char Siu 1 (Low Fat)
375. Char Siu 2 (Low Fat)
376. Latkes (Basics etc.)
377. Potatoes (Basics etc.)
378. Pecorino and Pears (Weekend Lunch)
379. Loin of pork with bay leaves (Dinner)
380. Rhubarb custard (Dinner)
381. Caesar salad (Dinner)
382. Roasted garlic and shallots (Dinner)
383. Mint, orange and redcurrant jelly (Weekend Lunch)
384. Ceviche with hot garlic potatoes (Dinner)
385. Sauce Verte (Basics etc.)
386. My mother's white sauce (Basics etc.)
387. Gingered Chicken Salad (Weekend Lunch)
388. Cod & Peas (Feeding Babies and Small Children)
389. Chicory and Mustard Salad (Dinner)
390. Mushroom crostini (Dinner)
391. Duck liver crostini (Dinner)
392. Marmite Sandwiches (Feeding Babies and Small Children)
393. The Roast Beef (Weekend Lunch)
394. The Gravy (Weekend Lunch)
395. The Yorkshire Pudding (Weekend Lunch)
Wednesday, May 31, 2006
THE SUNDAY LUNCH
Now, I'm sure that many people out there have negative memories associated with the ritual of "The Sunday Lunch". I've read Toast, I've seen Eat Drink Man Woman, and I've read lots of articles in culinary and trashy magazines on this subject. However, I think the negative connotations surrounding the Sunday Lunch are more about familial pressures and obligations, rather than the food itself. (Although having read Nigel Slater's wonderful descriptions of not-so-wonderful food in Toast, this is not always the case). And thankfully, I was not brought up with the idea that it was a Good Thing to have the family sitting around the table at a regular time every week, regardless of inclination or hunger. I admit that I am extremely lucky in that, more often than not, eating day-to-day meals together with my family was a natural, enjoyable, and desirable experience. It was especially great that we could have the entire family (Dad, Mum, Daniel and myself) home today to eat this special lunch.
393. The Roast Beef
394. The Gravy
395. The Yorkshire Pudding
I served it with roast potatoes (they don't count as a recipe, as I've made them heaps of times before), and baby beans (from a freezer packet).
In the book, Nigella writes out a Sunday Lunch timetable - for a meal like this, with so many elements that require precision timing, you really have to plan everything out like a "military operation". However, by this stage in the project, I've made over 350 recipes, dozens of dinner parties and lots of lunches. It may be immodest of me to say, but I was confident that I could just wing it, and everything would be fine.
This is our beef, check it out. It's an aged piece of rib-eye, about 2.45 kg. Mum bought it at Rendinas (where else!), and the butcher assured her it was a lovely, lovely piece of meat.
I cooked it at 210C for 90 minutes in total. Whilst it was in the oven, I boiled the potatoes, and made our dessert. I've actually already made all the desserts in How to Eat, so I decided to revisit one of my favourites, the rhubarb meringue pie. As I've made it before, I won't tell you how it was made. (Click on the above link if you're interested, as you should be - it's an amazing pie). One thing I do want to show you though, is Nigella's amazing pastry. Her freezer-processor method is a very valuable tip that I've learnt from this book, which almost always results in a fabulously easy to roll pastry.
This the the excess pastry - just look how elastic and pliable it is!
I cooked the rhubarb meringue pie in our microwave convection oven in the pantry, to leave the big oven free for all the hardcore meat and potatoes cooking.
Next was the gravy. You start off by cooking a thinly sliced onion until soft, then adding sugar and Marsala, and letting it cook slowly until caramelized and very, very soft. (Note: I'd recommend using a large onion, and doubling, or perhaps even tripling quantities. Gravy is good.) Then you add some flour, and then beef stock, stirring it well, and letting it simmer for about 20 minutes. At this point, you can push it through a sieve or put it in a processor, and then leave it on the stove until it's time to eat.
Once the beef was cooked, I took it out of the oven, and let it rest, covered in foil, on Mum's big carving board. Then, I put the potatoes in the oven, made the yorkshire pudding (same method as the sweet yorkshire pudding, but with added salt and pepper), and added it to the oven for the last 20 minutes of cooking time. Whilst they were cooking, I boiled my beans and added the pan juices to the gravy.
And then it was time to eat!!!
Check out that lunch! I'd describe all the dishes, but I think the photos speak for themselves. Mmm... everything was delicious. Nigella's gravy recipe is fantastic, as is her roast potato one.
We sat around the table talking, laughing and eating. We only got through about half of that food, but considering that I'm in study mode and not going to be cooking for a while, this is a good thing.
While Mum, Dad and Daniel were cleaning up the kitchen, I finished off the pie.
Here's what it looks like baked. I really, really wanted to decorate it with some words, so as it was cooling, I melted a bar of dark chocolate, scraped it into a zip-lock glad bag, snipped off the corner and piped out some free-form words onto parchment paper (not very neatly, I'm afraid). I let them set in the fridge, and then arranged them haphazardly on top of the cooled pie to form a kinda Louis Vuitton graffiti pie. (Yes, I'm sticking to the "Louis Vuitton graffiti" description, and not, for instance, "a hyperactive 2-year old's art project").
Again, I don't really need to describe the pie. Y'all know I love pie, and the rhubarb meringue pie is my favourite pie out of the whole book. I'm sure you can deduce that I loved eating it. I should just add that rhubarb and dark chocolate is a winning combination.
But even more exciting than pie (and it's not often you'll hear me saying that), I finally opened that big brown mysterious envelope I received last month! And guess what it was! A signed photo of Nigella!!!!!!!!! Omg omg omg Yay yay yay!!!!! It is totally like the most awesomest thing ever!!
And just in case you were wondering what I wrote on top of the pie...
If you have a look at the bottom my last post, you'll see that last night, I was hunkering down for an intense late night essay-writing session. And I didn't get to bed for another 3 and a half hours after writing that post. So naturally, I was tired. But not too tired to whip up some "welcome back to Australia" sandwiches as Daniel unpacked and showed us all the kick-ass Japanese stuff he bought. SUGOI!
392. Marmite Sandwiches (Feeding Babies and Small Children)
These appear in the Party Food section of the Kiddies' chapter, and are so easy to make. The point of the recipe is not the ingredients, (I mean, who needs a recipe for marmite sandwiches?), but Nigella's method. She instructs you to cream butter until soft, and mix it with some marmite (before you ask, I used vegemite, of course).
Mmm... mushy - I made the butter-vegemite mix dark and salty, as I usually don't even have butter with vegemite.
The soft, creamy mixture is then very very spreadable, which is useful when you have to make dozens of sandwiches, quickly and with plastic white bread. (I used Wonder White, in the delightfully comic-book-camp pink packet). You'll need to slice the crusts off and cut them into quarters.
These are GOOD. Even my mum ate one and liked it, despite not having acquired the taste for vegemite during her Malaysian childhood. I'm not exactly sure why, but they taste miles better than normal vegemite-on-toast. After the sandwiches were made (I only ate 1), and Daniel had finished showing us his awesome stuff, I went back to bed. When I woke up, everyone had polished off the remaining sandwiches, which made me very very happy. Ee... oishii sandoichi! SAIKOU!
Tuesday, May 30, 2006
Anyway, about an hour ago I took a study break and made some crostini.
391. Duck liver crostini (Dinner)
The method for these crostini is pretty much the same as the chicken liver crostini. The only difference is that Nigella says to omit the capers and anchovies, add some orange zest, and to use Grand Marnier in place of Marsala. It took about 30 minutes to make, whilst listening to Rod Stewart's Greatest Hits. (Yes, it's still in my CD player, and it still ROCKS).
crostini duck liver
Ok, back to the essay now. Duck liver crostini is totally a normal thing to be eating late at night during essay time.
They're pretty good actually, despite my aversion to liver and my stress-induced lack of appetite. And I guess I should mention here that the mushroom crostini and chicory and mustard salad were really, really good. My parents and I have been picking at them all day, and Dad declared the salad dressing "delicious".
Discuss Jean Rhys' treatment of personal cultural dislocation in a postcolonial context in Wide Sargasso Sea.
chips, coffee, sauce verte
Today, before I get properly stuck into my literature essay (hence the weird title of this post), I got through a couple more recipes.
389. Chicory and Mustard Salad (Dinner)
Chicory is out of season at the moment, so I used witlof. (I always used these 2 terms interchangeably; I didn't realise they were 2 different things, but according to the dude at Leo's, they are).
390. Mushroom crostini (Dinner)
This recipe looks a lot fancier than it really is. The topping for the little crunchy bread rounds simply consists of chopped thyme, garlic and mushrooms, cooked until soft, to which you add grated parmesan. A light sprinkling of chopped parsley completes them. Easy.
I'm a bit stressed at the moment with essays, finishing off the project and other not-quite-related antipodean dramas, so don't have much of an appetite (yes, I'm shocked too). However, the mushroom crostini smell really, really good, and I'd be happy to pull them out at a dinner party. The salad looks pretty good too - I'll get my mum to do a taste-test for me later on.
Now I'm back to immerse myself in the world of 1830's Jamaica. Yah man.
Monday, May 29, 2006
Kids chapter. Quick meal. You cook peas in butter and a bit of liquid (water & lemon juice, or white wine, or vermouth), then add bite-sized cubes of fish (Nigella says cod or trout; I chose trout) and let it cook for a couple more minutes. That's it.
Trout & Peas
It was really easy and quick to make, so if you expect that your kids will like this kind of stuff, then you should definitely give it a go. Personally, I was nonplussed - I thought it was pretty bland, but chacun à son goût, as the French say.
8. Basic Roast Chicken
38. Basic Roast Chicken with garlic and shallots
356. Lettuce and Lovage Soup
375. Sauce Verte
357. Egg Mayonnaise
283. Hollandaise with Saffron
360. Hollandaise sauce with Seville orange juice
303. Béarnaise Sauce
133. Langue de chat
313. Cheese sauce
315. Parsley sauce
322. Parsley and ham patties
376. My mother’s white sauce
314. Vegetable Soup
9. Plain Salad Dressing
21. Basic French Dressing
63. Victoria Sponge
307. Birthday Cake
301. Fancy Cake
47. Moorish Cake
359. Basic White Loaf
256. Lemon Curd
356. Passionfruit Curd
81. Real Custard
355. Quick Foolproof Custard
40. Basic Vanilla Ice-cream
119. The World’s Best Chocolate Ice-cream
285. American Breakfast Pancakes
62. Shortcrust Pastry
49. Rich Shortcrust Pastry
164. Sweet Pastry
268. Plain Apple Crumble
124. Rhubarb Crumble
59. Canard à l’orange
58. Scallops with Bitter Oranges
65. Seville Orange Marmalade
330. Elderflower Cream
311. Damson Fool
343. Mostarda di Venezia
211. Christmas Eve Goose
154. Lidgate’s Chestnut Stuffing
215. Lidgate’s Cranberry and Orange Stuffing
219. Brussels Sprouts and Chestnuts
220. Bread sauce
221. Cranberry Sauce
222. Brandy Butter
223. Iced Rum Sauce
213. Mini star-topped mince pies
214. Frangipane Mince Pies
224. Bubble and Squeak
225. Ed Victor’s Turkey Hash
372. Roasted Garlic and Shallots
361. Panchphoran Aloo (Potatoes in whole spices)
122. Lentil and Chestnut Soup
272. Christmas Queen of Puddings
39. Clementine Cake
292. Mashed Potatoes, Truffle Oil and Warm Santa Barbara Shrimp
According to Nigella, if you roast a chicken with ginger rubbed into the skin, the leftover meat will lend itself nicely to an Asian-style salad. I didn't want to go to the bother of roasting a whole chicken, so I just rubbed a breast with bottled minced ginger, cooked that in the oven, and let it cool overnight.
For lunch today, I shredded the meat, and tossed it through some mixed lettuce with water chestnuts and a dressing of soy sauce, sesame oil and rice vinegar. I notice now that I forgot to add toasted sesame seeds, and intentionally omitted raw sugar snaps, but it didn't seem to make a huge difference to the salad. It tasted quite lovely as it was. The only thing I noticed was that the breast meat was a bit tough, so I'd probably go for thigh next time. Theoretically, I prefer thigh. However, I acknowledge that circumstance and my ever-changing moods usually dictate what I actually end up eating.
Gingered Chicken Salad
Sunday, May 28, 2006
385. Sauce Verte
This is a mayonnaise, with dijon mustard added at the start, as well as some chopped herbs, and blanched spinach. Nigella says you can add capers, gherkins and anchovies, treating it like a salsa verde, but with mayonnaise instead of oil as the binding agent. I like anchovies, I took this option.
386. My mother's white sauce
This one is, unsurprisingly, a variation on the white sauce recipe. In it, Nigella says to crumble a bit of a chicken stock cube with the flour at the start, to add a rounded salty savouriness to the sauce. My one turned out a bit brown, which I think is a combination of the stock cube, and the fact that I overcooked the flour at the start. It smelled pretty good though.
Nigella's mother's white sauce
Here are the recipes.
98. Braised Fennel
103. Cauliflower and Cumin
94. Vegetables with Ginger and Garlic
Quick Stuff, or Suggestions for Almost-Thrown-Together Suppers
99. Poisson au Poivre
354. Tataki of Tuna
93. Sugar Spiced Salmon with Chinese Hot Mustard
83. Brown Rice Salad
73. Aromatic Chilli Beef Noodle Soup
87. Mushroom Udon Soup
74. Braised Dried Shitake Mushrooms with Soba Noodles
84. Seaweed and Noodle Salad
76. Mackerel Teriyaki
82. Salmon Marinated in Den Miso
104. Cambodian Hot and Sour Beef Salad
310. Thai-Flavoured Mussels
342. Thai Clam Pot
89. Vegetable Miso Broth
18. Lacquered Quail
19. Japanese Flavoured Sweet-Sour Cabbage
97. Beet Greens and Buckwheat Noodles
95. Shredded Beetroot Salad with Yogurt
105. Beetroot Soup
85. Restrained Mushroom Risotto
107. Fine Pasta with Crab
185. Miso Mustard Dressing
13. Dijon Mustard Dressing
116. Thick Miso Dressing for Beans
86. Thick Roast Garlic and Lemon Dressing
Cook and Freeze-Ahead
77. Vegetable Curry in Vegetable Sauce
88. Beef Braised in Beer
106. Half-Coq au Vin
364. Char Siu 1
365. Char Siu 2
I can’t find the link for the “roast garlic and lemon dressing”, but I know I’ve made it, as I’ve crossed it off my list. (It’s not in my index – I checked). Anyway, if anyone knows where it is, please let me know!
Saturday, May 27, 2006
384. Ceviche with hot garlic potatoes (Dinner)
Yes, it's potatoes again.
Ceviche is a South American (I think) way of preparing fish, in which very thin slices of super-fresh fish are steeped in an acidic marinade (citrus juice, vinegar etc), until cooked. "Cooked" here is a chemical term rather than a culinary one. You see, when you cook meat (a protein), you apply heat to it, which denatures the protein molecules (i.e. changing the meat from "raw" to "cooked"). When you make ceviche, the same protein denaturing occurs, but it is caused by a change in the pH levels rather than by heat. It takes longer and doesn't denature the proteins as much as heat would, but I suppose that's the point.
(By the way, please excuse any confusion in my explanation of protein denaturization - I did do chemistry at high school, but that was 5 years ago, and now that I'm an arts student, the mind does tend to get a bit fuzzy).
Nigella says to use a combination of salmon, scallops and turbot (huh?). I didn't know what turbot was, and certainly wasn't in the mood to Google it - I'm currently working on all my final essays for the semester, which means I'm getting a bit sick of our good friend Google - so I omitted it. I was quite keen to try scallops, but am suspicious of their freshness. I once saw super-fresh ones, the little muscles still quivering, on Nick Nairn's program, but that's Scotland. I'm sure I could find properly fresh scallops if I really tried, but at any fishmonger or supermarket close by, they're frozen and watery and quite feral. So we just used salmon.
Luckily, my friend Frances who was coming over for dinner offered to go buy me salmon at a market close to her house, and delivered it to my house in the early arvo. (As I was preparing lunch.)
I sliced it up, arranged it in a dish, and poured over the marinade - a mixture of lemon, lime and orange juices, and balsamic vinegar. It needs about 6 hours to marinate.
About an hour before Frances was due to arrive, I cooked the hot garlic potatoes. I'm not going to explain them. You've seen them (and I've eaten them!) enough in this past week. But goodness, they are delicious. I'd always recommend making a few extra for you to munch on as you finish preparing your meal.
When I took the salmon out of the fridge, I couldn't tell if it was sufficiently "cooked" to be ceviche, because it still looked quite rare.
However, upon closer inspection, I saw a small bit of fish that had not been covered by the marinade, and it still looked totally raw. Thus, I concluded that the rest of the fish was indeed, cooked enough. Take a look.
The fish is served tossed through watercress (I used rocket, my usual substitute), with the garlic roast potatoes, and some of the marinade as a dressing.
Ceviche with hot garlic potatoes
It was good! So light and refreshing. The salmon was rich and tender, the potatoes were crunchy, the rocket was peppery and light. A wonderful combination.
I made Nigella's caesar salad, roast lamb racks with mint, orange and redcurrant jelly, roasted garlic and shallots, and grilled asparagus.
381. Caesar salad (Dinner)
382. Roasted garlic and shallots (Dinner)
383. Mint, orange and redcurrant jelly (Weekend Lunch)
Nigella's Caesar salad is different from what I'm used to - there is no bacon or anchovies, the eggs are muushed up into the dressing instead of poached and separate, and she uses potato croutons.
The croutons are made in exactly the same was as the cubed potatoes I made on Thursday. You chop them up, and roast them for an hour in a dish with garlic and oil.
While they were cooking, I made the shallots and garlic. You peel the shallots and bake them for 45 minutes. Meanwhile, you boil some garlic cloves, then peel them, and add them to the oven with the shallots for the last 20 minutes of cooking. (This was done, again, in the microwave convection oven living in my pantry).
Next I made the mint, orange and redcurrant jelly, by stirring some freshly chopped mint and orange zest into some store-bought redcurrant jam.
By this stage the potato croutons were ready, so I pulled them out of the oven and let them cool while I put the lamb racks in (30 minutes at 220C). I put in a tray of asparagus towards the end of cooking time.
To finish off the salad, I had to tear up some cos lettuce leaves, and toss through olive oil, lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce, parmesan cheese and 2 eggs which have been boiled for exactly 1 minute. (This means they're just cooked, but still very liquid). This mixture of ingredients forms a thick, sharp and tasty dressing. All that remained was to add the potato croutons, and lunch was ready...
lamb racks, asparagus and mustard
roasted garlic and shallots
closeup of caesar salad
mint and redcurrant jelly
It was a fantastic lunch. The unmarinated lamb (bought from Rendinas, as usual), was tender and tasty, and the redcurrant jelly was a great accompaniment. We all loved the Caesar salad, especially my Dad who thought the croutons were deelicious. The only thing we didn't love were the shallots and garlic - even though they'd had their garlicky-oniony acridness cooked out of them, they were still a bit too hardcore for our palates.
Friday, May 26, 2006
380. Rhubarb custard
These two recipes are from the first menu in the Dinner chapter. There is supposed to be a Casesar salad as a starter, but I was tired and it was cold, and I couldn't be bothered going out to buy fresh free-range eggs for the dressing (they're supposed to be eaten almost raw, so really fresh eggs are necessary).
I cooked this all after I returned home from work.
The pork loin is rubbed with a mixture of olive oil, bay leaves, peppercorns and garlic. (Mum, thankfully, went out to buy the pork for me during the day - I am so grateful.)
Then you place thinly sliced onions around the pork, and bake it at 200C until done.
While it was baking, I made the rhubarb custard - the final of How to Eat's many rhubarb recipes. The recipe says to stew some fresh rhubarb, but I had a bag of frozen pulp in the freezer, which I defrosted for the recipe. To make it, you whisk up eggs, egg yolks and sugar, then add pour over warmed milk and the rhubarb pulp. Pour it into a dish, and it needs to be baked in a waterbath at 160C for 1 hour (or until set). I did this in our rickety old microwave convection oven (which lives in the pantry and is hardly ever used for the oven purpose).
So this is the cooked pork... mmm... golden and crunchy.
As it was resting, I made the side dish - tinned butter beans (Nigella says to soak and cook pulses from dried, but I was seriously not in the mood), warmed through with oil and garlic. Then I made the sauce by deglazing the pan with white wine and water.
You serve the pork slices with sauce drizzled over and surrounded by bay leaves.
Dessert time. This is what the rhubarb custard looks like when cooked.
Now, although it seemed quite set and not-liquid when I shook the dish, when we cut into it, most of the inside was still liquid.
The edges, however, were set, and the liquid centre was warm and tasted like ordinary pouring custard (i.e. DELICIOUS), with the soft fragrance of rhubarb permeating through. It was quite lovely indeed.
Thursday, May 25, 2006
This isn't really a recipe, which I discovered upon actually reading it, but I'd already bought the pecorino and the pears, so I'm counting it.
This combination is a suggested alternative to the sticky chocolate pudding in one of the menus in the Weekend Lunch chapter.
A sharp, crumbly wedge of pecorino cheese, and slices of sweet, crunchy pear. You might not think it, but it's a taste sensation.
I made this in the afternoon, not to eat, but simply to photograph and count in my recipes. Mum and I ended up eating all of that pear and about half that cheese. I wasn't even hungry. It's that good.
377. Potatoes (Basics etc.)
Mmm... delicious. I had these with that split pea soup I made on Tuesday night, which I indeed have thickened out with extra boiled split peas. The soup was pretty good, actually, and the addition of the extra split peas really balanced out the flavour and texture.
Wednesday, May 24, 2006
374. Char Siu 1
375. Char Siu 2
376. Latkes (Basics etc.)
Nigella has 2 recipes for char siu (AKA glazed roast pork loin, Chinese style) in the Low Fat chapter. She suggests making up char siu in advance, slicing it, and stashing it in the freezer to use when you want to add some meat to your low-fat supper. (e.g. soup noodles etc). I made both char siu marinades last night, and let the pork loins marinate overnight.
The first marinade contains:
- soy sauce
- tomato ketchup
- hoisin sauce
- sweet sherry
- dark muscovado sugar
I had all these ingredients in my pantry.
Marinade ingredients (1)
The 2nd marinade seems to just be made up of random shit that Nigella had lying around her fridge. It contains:
- soy sauce
- prune juice
- mushroom ketchup (huh??)
- sesame oil
- light muscovado sugar
I used regular ketchup instead of mushroom ketchup, and coca cola for prune juice (it was a long shot, but I just wanted something sweet. And hey, it worked for the ham).
char siu marinade (1 on the left, 2 on the right)
Today, I put the loins in the oven (200C for 15 minutes, then 160C for 30 minutes), and got on with the latkes. I do realize the total inappropriateness of having latkes (i.e. a hot Jewish potato pancake) with roast pork… but I just really, really need to get through these recipes right now. Besides, a latke is a “hot Jewish potato pancake” – there is nothing I don’t like about that description. How could I resist?
So to make latkes, you need to grate up a few potatoes (using a processor, natch)…
...then drain the potato pieces, and mix them with some chopped onion, flour (or matzah meal), egg and salt.
Then you just gotta fry the pancakes in hot oil for about 5 minutes a side. I love frying food, it is just so much fun.
I believe I can fry
Here’s the char siu. Both marinades were pretty decent, even the weird one with the coke in it. I wouldn’t ever use them as a substitute for the real, red-glazed, deliciously greasy char siu that you find in Hong Kong BBQ shops, but for the purpose they were intended (addition of protein to low-fat meals), they are fine.
Ooh, but those latkes! They’re fantastic! So crispy and oily and totally compulsive.
They’re good plain, but I also served the latkes with cream cheese and smoked salmon, which was brilliant. Cream cheese + fried potato and onion = the same flavour combo as in sour cream and onion flavoured chips. In other words, I was in flavour country. It’s a big country.
smoked salmon on latkes
Check it out, I folded the smoked salmon pieces just like I used to at my old job at the buffet restaurant. Man, I remember having to fold hundreds of pieces of salmon a night, and arranging them on huge expensive glass platters to feed the greedy greedy crowds. It was such a crap job.
But onto dessert - the lemon balm and Sauternes jelly which I made last night. After lunch, I unmoulded the jelly, and ate it with my mum. We drowned it in cream, and it was lovely. Very refreshing and light. However, it was unexpectedly alcoholic, which is why I think it didn’t set very hard. Maybe next time I’ll use more sugar syrup and less alcohol. Either way, it tasted good.
sauternes and lemon balm jelly