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The one omelette curse

Friday, February 2nd, 2007

In all my forty mumble years I have never, ever been able to cook two omelettes at the same time. Well, I can cook two omelettes but the first is always scrumptious, the second an abomination of rubbery disgustingness. I’ve tried:

  • cooking them in two separate pans at the same time;
  • cooking and serving one, then the next
  • making one large omelette in a bigger pan.

But to no avail. The omelette gods mock me from above.

There are so many good cooks amongst you, do you have any suggestions?

Unusual sandwich fillings

Wednesday, September 27th, 2006

I rummaged around the fridge earlier, looking for something to put in a sandwich. Tuna, cheese, tomatoes, beetroot, pastrami, nothing appealed. Then I spotted a tupperware of leftover cooked cauliflower from last night’s supper. I’d planned to reheat it tonight with sausages but the man will be late home this evening and probably won’t want a meal so waste not, want not, I heated it up in the microwave, spread it on a couple of slices of wholemeal bread and had cauliflower sandwiches. Delicious! Come to think of it, a rasher of grilled bacon or tomatoes on top would’ve been good too.

It’s always puzzled me that so many people strip away all of the green part of cauliflower and just use the florets. So much of the flavour and colour is in those leaves. In fact, it’s sometimes hard to find cauliflowers with a generous helping of leaves, too many of the supermarkets strip them before putting them on sale but when you do find them, here’s the bestest way to cook it.

Mashed cauliflower

  1. Buy a nice, fresh cauliflower with plenty of green leaves.
  2. Pull the leaves off from the base, peel the soft leafy part and keep in a bowl of water. Discard the thick stalks.
  3. Chop the white florets, rinse and put into a saucepan. Add the leaves.
  4. Add water and salt, bring to the boil then keep on a rolling boil for about 15-20 minutes, depending on the size of the cauliflower.
  5. Drain the cooked cauliflower, add a generous knob of butter (and optionally some ground pepper) and mash lightly
  6. Serve as an accompaniment to just about any meal.

I’d like to tell you that this is a really good alternative to mashed potatoes and it is… but the truth is if I’m cooking a roast dinner I cook both. And roasties too. So there.

Where was I? Oh yes, I could really get into the idea of unusual sandwich feelings. I think it runs in the family – my grandfather loved condensed milk sandwiches and a cousin’s daily breakfast as a child was sugar sandwiches dunked in tea (bleugh) but for when I’m short of inspiration, do you guys have any ideas?

Tarte à l’oignon, tomate et fromage de chèvre

Sunday, May 21st, 2006

Delicious golden onion, tomato and goats cheese tart

I was going to cook this recipe yesterday but it rained non-stop and I had a yen for a bit of comfort food so decided to turn it into a quiche of sorts. And boy oh boy, is this one a repeater.

Red onion, tomato and goats cheese quiche

3 large (or 4 medium) red onions
3-4 medium tomatoes, sliced (or a good handful of cherry tomatoes, halved)
1 fresh Welsh goats cheese (100-200g, 3-6 oz)
1 tablespoon sugar
Olive oil
250ml semi-skimmed milk
4 tablespoons double cream (heavy cream in the U.S.)
4 lightly beaten eggs
Salt and black pepper
Half packet shortcrust pastry (or of course you can make your own)

  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F, gas mark 6).
  2. Heat the olive oil in a large pan or wok, slice the onions and add them to the oil.
  3. Cook on a low heat until tender (about 40-50 minutes).
  4. Add salt and pepper and a tablespoon of sugar.
  5. Grease and lightly flour a deep 10 inch (25cm) diameter pie dish, roll out the pastry and line the dish, trimming off any excess.
  6. Put the cooked onions on the bottom layer, follow with sliced tomatoes (or halved if you’re using cherry tomatoes) and then the crumbled goats cheese.
  7. In a separate bowl combine the milk, eggs and cream, season, then pour over the onions, tomatoes and cheese.
  8. Cook for about 30-40 minutes or when the filling is golden and the smell is driving you mad with hunger.
  9. Serve warm from the oven with a side salad and (this is compulsory!) a generous helping of mango chutney. Really. Mango chutney was invented to go with this dish.

Variations

I’ll try it with a mature cheddar next weekend and maybe add some basil in there. Oh and mushrooms. And I might try switching the red onions for sauted leeks and spring onions (scallions). Mmm….

Leek and onion tart

Saturday, March 25th, 2006

Delicious looking leek and onion tart fresh from the oven.

In the middle of making a leek and potato soup earlier today I realised that we had too many leeks and a spare bag of onions that needed using up so I did what any sensible chef would do, I checked the internet for some ideas.

Bill Hughes’ recipe for leek and onion tart hit the spot and I didn’t let the fact that I was temporarily mushroom challenged deter me. The daisy mantra: if in doubt, double the leeks!

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Yummy leek and potato soup

Thursday, February 16th, 2006

Wooden tray containing bowl of steaming hot leek and potato soup and a plate of fresh brown bread

For Birdy, Mary and Em, here’s the easiest and yummiest recipe for leek and potato soup you’ll ever find. It’s based on Nick Nairn’s recipe but it’s cheaper and has seasoning (I can’t understand why the original doesn’t). I’ve not bothered making the croutons because I’m lazy it’s so filling but do have a look at that page because you might like them. Anyway, on with the recipe. It serves four hungry people.

Ingredients

60g/2oz unsalted butter
2-3 large potatoes, peeled and diced
3-4 leeks, roughly chopped (use the whole leek)
2 vegetable stock cubes, each dissolved in 1 pint of water (ignoring the packet instructions)
100ml/4fl oz double cream (single cream also works well, as does long life cream from the store cupboard**)
About a teaspoon of salt (depends on how many potatoes you use) and pepper
A tablespoon or more of dried parsley (or 2 tbsp fresh flatleaf parsley, chopped)

Method

  • Peel and dice the potatoes, chop the leeks (see picture 1).
  • Gently melt the butter in a large non-stick saucepan and sauté the potato and leeks for 3-4 minutes.
  • Pour in the vegetable stock, add the salt and pepper, bring to the boil and then reduce the heat and simmer for 10-12 minutes or until the potatoes are soft.
  • Stir the cream and fresh parsley into the soup and then remove from the heat (see picture 2).
  • You can eat this immediately but it is hugely better if you let it cool, pop it in the fridge and reheat later.
  • Serve with fresh crusty bread or with the croutons as in the original recipe (see picture 3).

I’m off to see if I’m not too late to add this to BW’s Blogichef extravaganza.

** Thanks to our favourite peace chick Mary for guineau pigging and letting us know that half n’ half cream works well stateside.

Update, March 2006: I’ve started using more than 4oz of cream, probably more like 60z. It makes it much creamier soup but of course it’s still delicious with the lesser (and healthier amount). I’ve also added carrots a couple of times, also delicious.

Domestic goddess

Saturday, January 22nd, 2005

I made a rice pudding last night. It would have been a lovely winter warming pudding but alas, as I took it from the oven to the counter I tripped slightly on the hem of my trousers and the jolt was enough to cause the contents of the dish to gloop forward and out of the bowl. All over the floor. The dogs were delighted of course. While I had a flashback to the time I fainted on the school bus. We’d all made rice pudding in cookery class and stored them carefully in those baskets (ladies of a certain will remember these) and dashed for the bus. As always, it was jam packed full so we stood on the open platform at the bottom of the steps, dodging the paper pellets being thrown by the boys from upstairs.

Next thing I know I’m being gently moved to an upright position and a sea of faces is peering down, apparently trying to clock a glimpse down the front of my school shirt.

And there’s a river of rice pudding the length of the bus.

I never liked nutmeg anyway.

Is this is a(nother) sign of rapidly approaching old age, that I can remember things that happened 28 years ago more clearly than what I had for breakfast yesterday? Oh Lord…

Recipe exchange update

Wednesday, January 19th, 2005

Follow up to the recipe exchange, Huwge has come up trumps with a lovely receipe for roast vegetable with cous-cous.

As I was copying and pasting the recipes into a document to (hopefully, when I remember) put in my bag ready for the next supermarket trip, it suddenly occurred to me that you all might like a copy, so – would anyone like a PDF of the complete set of recipes?

Lentil lasagne

Monday, January 17th, 2005

alternatively titled: “Nag, nag, nag, that man’s got more bunny than Safeways”.

Here is… *roll on drums* Emrys‘ recipe for Lentil Lasagne:

Lentil Lasagne (makes 2 large portions)

Ingredients

1 tbsp olive oil
1 garlic clove, crushed
3oz green lentils
1 tbsp chopped parsley
sheets of lasagne (duh!)
seasoning
1 small onion, chopped
1 small carrot, diced
1 tbsp tomato puree
1/4pt vegetable stock
8oz grated cheese

Preparation

  • Boil the lentils for 25 minutes to soften.
  • Heat oil in frying pan – add onion and garlic and saute for 2-3 minutes.
  • Add carrot, cover and cook gently for 3-4 minutes.
  • Add lentils, tomato puree and parsley. Cook uncovered for 2-3 minutes.
  • Stir in the stock and seasoning to taste. Cook uncovered for 3-4 minutes to thicken sauce.
  • Preheat oven to 90 degrees C/Gas Mark 5.
  • Assemble the lasagne: pasta + 1/2 of the lentil sauce + 3/8ths of the grated cheese + pasta + the rest of the lentil sauce + 3/8ths of the grated cheese + pasta + the remaining grated cheese.
  • Bake for 20-25 minutes or until cooked.
  • Eat it and say “Mmmm. Thanks, Fat Man. That was scrummy.”
  • Give money to charity every time you enjoy it.

Recipe update

Friday, January 14th, 2005

Here we go, the delicious recipes in so far:

The men have made a rather poor showing this time, eh boys? Huwge will be along soon with one of his scrumptious creations [he's currently writing some excellent pieces following the appointment of the new US Attorney General]. But I’m disappointed that Richard hasn’t swooped in with one of his cake or scone recipes, Emrys with his famous lentil lasagne and Manly‘s sure to have some kind of spud recipe up his sleeve. Or elsewhere about his person…

So – the challenge is still on!
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More f(b)logging of a dead haddock

Friday, January 14th, 2005


I know, you’re all rolling your eyes heavenwards, muttering “not that bloody haddock chowder recipe again daisy” but trust me, you’ll like this one. Today’s Blogliner is:

Let’s have a recipe exchange.

Post your favorite recipe on your blog and as you visit your favorite reads throughout the day, leave your recipe in their comments and ask for them to return the favor.

So a repeat of the (in)famous haddock, leek and potato chowder recipe is in the extended post and I’ll be haunting your blogs on Friday asking for your favourite recipes. Jo, Huwge and Allan – look out!

Currently listening to: Jason Bradbury’s Tsunami ‘Gadget’ Song. Will Des ever forgive my fickle heart?

p.s. Did no-one spot the unintentional slip in the last post? Listing indeed.
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