Tuesday, 28 September 2010

Spring Chicken

Although I have no energy for cooking during the week, Monday evening seems to be an exception - no idea why. Thus it was that I turned again to Nigella Kitchen and her recipe entitled Spring Chicken. No, it's not spring but as I could purchase all the ingredients, with the exception of fresh tarragon to garnish, I thought I'd give it a go. Sadly I can't find the recipe online yet but if I tell you that it consisted of chicken thighs cooked in dry cider with lardons, petits pois, leek, celery and dried tarragon, finished off with Dijon mustard and shredded Little Gem lettuce you'll get the idea. I served it with rice, but flat noodles would be great too!

It was good and will be made again. I think it would make a fantastic lunch party contribution as well. I had enough for 4 very hungry eaters, plus leftovers.

I even made a pudding, almost unheard of during the week. We have had the best crop of Bramleys ever this summer on our tree. I am still picking them and there must be enough pie fillings in the freezer to see us through several severe winters. So I was pleased to see RTC blackberries in Waitrose. They were large, plump and gorgeous, unlike the awful ones we had in the garden this year. I made a crumble, which looks lousy but was absolutely fabulous. 5oz flour, 1oz porridge oats, 3oz butter, 3oz Demerera.

The diet is on hold.

Wednesday, 8 September 2010

Batman 2

I just thought I'd share this. No, they're not really friends but Batman absolutely idolises Panucci and won't leave him alone.

Just after my last post Batman managed to "do something" to his front left paw. No-one saw it happen or is owning up to squashing him. He couldn't put any pressure on it and it was very swollen. This necessitated a trip to the vet. No. Of course he wasn't insured.

The vet wanted £300 to perform an X-Ray!! No way José. This in turn could have led to several thousands of pounds to repair a broken leg. I am coming back as a vet in my next life.

We went for the cheaper option, although how they justify £90 for antibiotics, paracetamol and ibuprofen will still remain one of life's mysteries to me.

Thank goodness it worked. She thinks he'd fractured the metatarsals (hope I've got that right).

Anyway now he is fine and, as you can see, can jump up onto the ironing board.

Sunday, 5 September 2010

Marmalade Pudding Cake

Nigella has a new book out. Hoorah! Just exactly my style of cooking and much more in the mould of her earlier tomes.

When I saw this recipe for Marmalade Pudding Cake I knew that I would have to have a go just as soon as a pudding opportunity presented itself. That opportunity was Sunday lunch yesterday or, as my elder son called it, the last barbecue of the year.

The only deviations from the recipe were the tin shape and the fact that I couldn't find the light muscovado sugar that I knew was in the cupboard somewhere. So soft light brown sugar was substituted and, naturally enough, the muscovado turned up seconds later.

It was good, in fact it was very good. Definitely recommended as a cake. If anyone of us were custard-eaters I think we would have rated it a bit higher. It definitely seemed to need something warming with it. Cream was OK though but I couldn't help comparing it with the Three Chimneys Marmalade Pudding which ranks up there as one of my favourite puddings of all time. It lacked the depth of that but it was still pleasantly tangy and pretty filling.

Be warned if you try it though. The batter was very stiff and heavy and you need pretty strong wrists to scrape it out of the food processor.

I shall be making this again. After all I do have an awful lot of homemade marmalade to use up.