What I’ve been up to lately…

I have taken a lot of photos of things I have been cooking over the last week or so to build up a collection for this blog. In order to get up to speed, I thought I’d post a few below. Hopefully it doesn’t take too long for y’all to load the pictures…

Chicken Gougere: from the Supersavers book. I made this for dinner last Friday. It consists of a circle of choux pastry in which you put sauteed chicken and vegetables (the sauce of which is mysteriously addictive – I’m amazed there was enough left by the time I’d finished “tasting it to check the seasoning”) I guess choux pastry does seem a little deranged for Friday night dinner after work, but, well, I love what Nigella calls “putskying” round in the kitchen and if you are gonna make pastry, choux surely looks the most impressive for the limp stirring it requires to make. This was really delicious, and supposed to serve 6 – worryingly, Tim and I polished it all off while watching the Simpsons.

Above: Chicken Gougere, darl.

Gingerbread Muffins: from Nigella’s Feast. I had a bad head cold a couple of weeks ago (which I haven’t quiiiite managed to shake off) and as a result lost my sense of smell. I mean, I had my nose in the Rawleighs, in my bag of star anise that Mum and Dad got me, in the jar of crushed garlic (which I really don’t like actually) and I couldn’t smell anything. Nada. Not a sausage. Hence the fact that I cooked a lot of chilli and curry that week. I also made these wondrous muffins of Nigella’s, because I had a hankering to bake and thought that the heavily spiced ingredients might break through my nasal passages of steel. They didn’t but they had, er, a lovely texture. Tim and flatmate Kieran raved about them though, so when I got my sense of smell and thus my sense of taste back, I made another batch. Oh boy, was it worth the wait. Heady with cinnamon, cloves, and ginger (naturally) and made dense with golden syrup, these are fantastic. Will have to make some next time I’m up home. By the way the photo below isn’t so much to show you the muffins as to show our kitchen table in a very, very rare state of cleanliness.

Above – Gingerbread muffins…on a clean table!

Pasta with Asparagus, Lemon, Garlic and Parsely – Nigella’s Forever Summer. Made this because asparagus was going cheap at 4 Square down the road, and asparagus is one of those foods that seems to herald the arrival of warmer weather. It was hosing down the night that I made this, but whatever. I served it with some chorizo that I had bought ridiculously cheap at the Food Show earlier this year (well, we wouldn’t have chorizo otherwise) You may notice that it is made with macaroni, which I’m pretty sure isn’t exactly what Nigella had in mind…but we were out of penne. Either way it tasted lovely, but didn’t look as nice as it would have had it been made with something more upmarket…

Above: Note the flash salt! As Kieran would say, “What is this, France?”

Also, just thought that I should point out that I made a South African mince dish for dinner the other night, from the New Zealand Cookbook, called Bobotie. Now, this recipe was an adaptation, and I adapted it further, so I wouldn’t want to serve it to the ambassador of South Africa or anything but…it was delicious! Quite unusual, with the inclusion of curry powder, worcester sauce, sultanas, turmeric, vinegar, apricot jam (I used some quince jam I’d made earlier this year) and milk-soaked bread. You then put it in a loaf dish, cover with beaten eggs, and bake. The thing is…it looks kind of gross. It tastes good but…the camera doesn’t love it. Hence the description sans picture. I was very pleased with this on the whole though, as I am always on the lookout for ‘new’ interesting mince recipes.

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