Sunday, January 01, 2006

Happy New Year!

Happy new year, everybody! We had some quiet new year's eve celebrations, with Daniel & I going to our friend Symone's house for drinks and nibbles. For my contribution to the nibbles side of things, I decided to wade deep into the land of dinkiness, with canapés (from How to Eat) and cupcakes (from The Magnolia Bakery Cookbook). Additionally, seeing as it was quite close to Christmas, I thought I'd make her a pie as well, just as a gift. What can I say, sometimes your inner domestic goddess just needs to be let loose.

231. Rhubarb meringue pie (Weekend Lunch)
232. Beans wrapped in prosciutto (Dinner)

I made the cupcakes the day before, and iced them in the afternoon. Then I got started on the pie. It's not really that hard, it's just very time consuming, and involves a lot of steps.

1. Make the pastry and blind-bake it - It's just Nigella's simple shortcrust pastry, with orange juice in place of the water.

blind baked

2. Fill with poached rhubarb - rhubarb's not exactly in season now, but I had a pulpy bag of cooked rhubarb in the freezer, probably from the rhubarb ice-cream, which I happily used.

rhubarb filling

3. Top with a mixture of egg yolks, sugar, and orange juice

egg filling

4. Bake for 20 minutes or until set

cooked filling

5. Make a meringue - Spread it over the hot filling, before baking again for 15 minutes until brown

Raw Meringue

Cooked Pie

I know that Symone loves rhubarb, so I typed out the recipe for her... it took a whole page of single-spaced size 10 font. Don't you just love Nigella's eloquent verbosity?

And then the beans. Nigella writes that this is her "most-relied-upon-starter-stand-in". This dish is quite easy too - just top and tail some green beans (Nigella stipulates "French" beans but I honestly don't know what that means), cook them in boiling water, then dip them in balsamic vinegar and wrap in prosciutto. As I said, it's nothing complicated, but watch out, as you will most likely end up with balsamic vinegar splashed all over the kitchen. Which is bad at anytime of year, but spectacularly gross on a 43 degree day (that's 113 Farenheit). Bloody hell.

beans wrapped in prosciuto

So then it was a simple matter of getting myself ready, packing things carefully on plates and in tins and boxes, and going to Symone's.

ready for transport


Symone with beans

The beans were lovely, and I give all the credit for that to the lovely prosciutto which we purchased (or should I say, "sourced") from Cardamone's supermarket for lunch on Friday. And I must admit, they do look rather nice all piled up on a big white plate. We didn't eat the pie last night, but I will update you on the verdict as soon as I hear about it.

Wishing everyone all the best for a wonderful year ahead!

1 comment:

Randi said...

Im assuming Nigella means Haricot Verte which are small thin french green beans. In the US, they are much more expensive than regular ol' green beans. I have a little doohicky thing that I can run each bean thru and it french's them. Kinda like the ones in the can( dont know if you have those in australia)