Saturday, August 14, 2010

Catching up

It’s been a busy period, both at work and in the kitchen.

Up first on the 3rd of August was Nigel's chicken patties with rosemary and pancetta. YUM! Also super easy to make, but took longer than I expected. Mostly because I didn’t read the recipe properly and tried to make them after working back an hour or so, but the corners I cut worked out so alls well that ends well. Definitely on my make again list.

Then on 8-Aug was spiced roast potatoes. These were tasty, but I left off the ground chilli at the end which was a mistake as it could have used some extra kick. Lovely crust on the potatoes, though. This was followed by hot chocolate puddings which were delicious, but I need some more practice getting the cooking time right so that it’s not too stodgy, not too gooey. Of the four I made (two nights in a row), two were over, one was under, one was perfect (the one that was under done was bigger than the one that was perfect) so next time I’ll have to watch the oven more carefully.

10-Aug was spiced pumpkin soup with bacon... but I left off the bacon much to Sam’s disgust. This had a fantastic kick to it and was warming and filling and totally gorgeous. A fantastic flavour so I can see that this will go in as an alternate to my vege soup next winter. Yummy!

On 11-Aug was pork chops in mustard sauce which was delicious. A lovely, lovely meal. Also great for me to try making pan sauces which is something I don’t really do, but rather rely on packet mixes. So some good practice.

And last night was a three course menu with my parents across, but only one recipe was from Nigel. First course was a pumpkin, leek and brie tart from this month’s (August 2010) Delicious magazine and it was a HIT! used store bought shortcrust pastry (with three courses I felt that making my own pastry was a step further than necessary), but it worked a treat. Everyone loved it. As it was a starter there is still plenty left for lunch today. Would be great served cold with a green salad in summer for lunch.

That was followed by Nigel’s slow roast lamb with chickpea mash. I was very cautious with the spices for my parents so the flavour wasn’t quite what it should have been which didn’t matter too much with the lamb (meltingly tender, very nice indeed) but did make a big difference with the chickpeas which were bland and stodgy and not very nice at all. I also didn’t add enough liquid so they were quite dry...

All of this was finished up with pears poached in red wine, with a few cinnamon sticks, some nutmeg and sugar. Simmered away for a couple of hours until they were soft and delicious served with vanilla icecream. Totally yum. This was also inspired by a recipe in Delicious, but rather than served cold with blue cheese and crackers I served them hot with icecream. Good meal.

Tonight: roast duck breast with cranberry and orange sauce (should be redcurrant but couldn’t get redcurrant jelly for love nor money).

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