Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Wednesday Night Dinner

I stayed up till 3am last night watching The Producers on DVD, and had to get up at an ungodly hour (8am) to get to uni. Needless to say, when I came home at 4pm, I was absolutely buggered, and fell asleep instantly. I woke up at 6pm when my mum rang, asking me what we were having for dinner… I'd only planned dessert, nothing else... whoops. So, I quickly flicked through the Fast Food chapter, Mum came home five minutes later, we went to Safeway, came home at 6:30, and dinner was on the table by 7pm. Schweeet.

69. Chicken with Pesto (Fast Food)
70. Canned Pulses (Fast Food)
71. Rhubarb, Muscat and Mascarpone Trifle (Cooking in Advance)

The chicken and pulses are suggestions from the beginning of the Fast Food chapter. For the chicken breasts, you smear them in a mixture of butter and bought basil pesto, and grill them. The last time I did chicken breasts, I mishandled them terribly, and misjudged their cooking time. They were dry and tough on the outside, whilst still ferally pink and raw within. This time, I pounded them flat between sheets of glad wrap with a pestle, so that they’d cook in a reasonable time.

Chicken & Pesto - extremely tasty and moist. What a fab idea!

I’ve made these canned pulses once already, before I started this project, so I knew they were going to be delicious. It’s just a matter of blitzing up some onion, garlic, and parsley, (Nigella suggests pancetta and celery as well, but I don’t do pancetta, and had no celery…), cooking them until soft and turning some drained canned pulses in them. I chose chickpeas, because they were cheap at Safeway, and also I love them. By the way, this is the first time I’ve gone back to tinned chick peas since trying them soaked. Soaked is definitely better!

Canned Chickpeas

Dinner took a grand total of 45 minutes to plan, purchase and prepare, but the dessert itself was done in stages, over three days. Nigella's recipe serves 12-14, so I halved the quantities and used a very wide, shallow bowl with a 1.25 litre capacity.

Monday Afternoon

1. Bake trifle sponge

Trifle Sponges – a very simple, plain and shallow sponge. (I made this in its full quantity, and freezed half).

Sliced Trifle Sponges with excess rhubarb liquid (Nigella doesn't say to do this, but I didn't want to waste the lovely rhubarb liquid).

2. Make rhubarb jelly and rhubarb pulp

Like I said previously, the Vagina Jelly we had for dessert last night is also an element of this trifle. To make the jelly, you cook the rhubarb, and mix the liquid with gelatine. The leftover rhubarb pulp isn’t used in the jelly, but you do put it in the trifle.

Rhubarb layer

So, I spread half the rhubarb pulp on the trifle sponge, and put it in the fridge. (The remaining pulp is in the freezer now).

Tuesday Night

3. Pour jelly into trifle

We ate half the jelly as dessert last night, and late, late late on Tuesday night, I melted down the remainder for use in the trifle. It was such a gorgeous jelly, that I almost felt bad about melting it.

Jelly layer

Wednesday Morning

4. Make mascarpone cream

It’s a mixture of mascarpone, sugar, egg yolks and beaten egg whites. I made it this morning and spread it over the jelly layer as I was eating breakfast.

Mascarpone Layer

Wednesday Night

5. Remove from fridge and sprinkle with chopped pistachios

The Trifle - Spectacular

I just realised, that despite Nigella's passion for trifles and her numerous recipes for them, this is the first one I've ever actually made. And I have to say, I wasn't disappointed at all. It was absolutely gorgeous. I love the deep flavours, and it's wonderful how the textures and colours and flavours of the different layers complement each other perfectly.


But despite all my wordy descriptions of the trifle, I think my brother said it best...

Daniel: Fucking awesome!

Damn straight!


megan5286 said...

Incredible pictures!!!

domesticgoddess said...

yes- drooool!

Books and Tea For Two said...

Trifles never interested me, but honestly, I am inspired to make one. They just seem so messy, although yours looks anything but.