Above: What a genius idea – crepes, flavoured with pesto, wrapped around slices of ham. Nigella, you magnificent woman. Having said that, I wouldn’t be making this if I hadn’t found some heavily reduced pesto at the supermarket – these days companies will quite coolly charge you $9 for a small tub of flavourless green sludge.
Green Eggs and Ham (from Nigella Express)
– 1 egg
– 75g flour
– 150mls skimmed milk (I used half full fat and half buttermilk because that’s what we had)
Mix all this together, heat up a pan with a tiny bit of oil (or use non stick) and fry this mixture, in dollops of a quarter of a cup or so. When the top looks dry and the edges are cooked, flip and cook for a little more. This makes about 5 or 6, perfect for two. Delicious, and all the more charming for it’s name being Seussical. I could eat these in a house, I could (“could” meaning I have the ability, not that I want to) eat these with a mouse – our flat is currently plagued by the wee blighters.
This was tonight’s dinner, by the way. I know I normally waffle on before getting to the food part, but I’m tired, and being tired makes me type recklessly, heedless of syntax or flow. Apologies.
Above: This was the rest of tonight’s dinner. In the background on the left you can glimpse the Green Eggs and Ham, and to the right is – surprise – roasted beetroot with avocado. I didn’t make a big deal of it, surely you don’t need to see another photo of this! In front however, is what Marjorie Dawes from Little Britain would call “Summin Else!” Oeuf En Cocotte, also from Nigella Express, could not be simpler or more elegant. I actually used some white truffle oil, that I had bought myself, as Nigella recommends – it was quite exhilarating. The basic premise of this recipe is that into ramekins go plain, but quality ingredients: A free range egg, a spoonful of cream, Maldon sea salt, truffle oil. This is then baked quickly in a bain-marie till softly set. I’m sure this would have been perfectly pleasant on its own, but with the white truffle oil it truly tasted magical. It is difficult to describe the flavour of this stuff (mercifully, it tastes good) but it is sort of rich and savoury and earthy…and gratifyingly, it tastes of expense. We finished off the last of the homemade bread with this, its grainy texture went nicely with the unctuous eggs.
Above: This is the Dense Chocolate Loaf Cake from How To Be A Domestic Goddess, which has the wondrous virtue of being super easy, but also wonderfully intense. I had passed this by for a while, as it only had two eggs and 100g dark chocolate in it – How dense could it be? I scoffed (worryingly…) But yesterday I felt like doing some baking and gosh darn it, we had all the ingredients. The batter is faint-makingly liquidy (250mls boiling water goes into the mix) but all comes right in the end. The texture is incredible – fudgy, warm, somehow almost mocha flavoured (I think it’s the muscovado sugar that does that,) and yet resolutely cakelike – comforting and sliceable, not rich and moussy. If you have this book, it is definitely worth the $3 or so to buy the muscovado sugar, not to mention the fact that the batter tastes out of this world delicious.
Now for something completely different. I mentioned in previous posts that I got a Jill Dupleix book from Nana for Christmas, New Food. For the last couple of days I have been making myself her overnight muesli, or “Summer Porridge” as I like to think of it (I forget what the recipe is actually called.) It is very good – not exactly delicious, but it couldn’t be more virtuous than if it was made of lentils, and you know I’m a sucker for that sort of thing. Basically, you get your bowl, put in half a cup of rolled oats and quarter of a cup of water. Leave in the fridge overnight. The next morning, grate in an apple (if you like the misery) or slice in a banana, (much easier) and away you go! I usually dispense with the fruit (because my alloted time for “figuring out what the heck to wear today” almost always runs over into my “dealing with fruit” time.) I stir in some LSA (linseed, sunflower seed and almond meal) and have it with soymilk, which I genuinely enjoy the taste of. You leave the house not only filled with Low-GI goodness but with the absolute smugness that can only come from having a stupidly healthy breakfast.
Above: This is not something I have cooked, but is worth looking at all the same – the sunrise this morning. This photo was taken at Victoria University, where Tim and I expand our minds…While you marvel at the beauty of the photo, spare a thought for Tim, who took the photo at 5.30am while on his way to make Orange Mocha Frappuccinos for about a million people.
In other news, Ange came round last night and we, with Emma, watched my feature length documentary on Jonothan Larson, the late author of Rent (did you know that Rent won a Pulitzer Prize? Tim still doesn’t like it even though I told him that.) Then, as these things happen, we ended up watching the whole movie AGAIN. And Tim sat through the whole thing, completely mocking it. This made me think of when boys in school throw mashed potato at you and trip you up because they secretly like you. (Although I have to agree with him – the “Bon Jovi” moment in Santa Fe is completely overwrought.) Anyway, we ate the chocolate loaf cake throughout (except for Emma, as it wasn’t gluten free) and everyone agreed that it was amazing. If I had the energy I’d type out the recipe for you, but if you really want it let me know and I can do it another day. “Another dayyyyyyyy…”
In OTHER, non-Rent-related news, there is apparently a new Nigella book (I know, already!) coming out in October called “Nigella’s Christmas.” I wonder if we grass-hut dwelling New Zealanders (I kid, we have had electicity since like, 1982) will actually see this book before Christmas arrives. Anyway, excitement!