Sunday, 6 December 2009

Gooseberry Cream Crumble (sort of...)

(How to Be A Domestic Goddess)

'Sort of' might be stretching it, given that neither gooseberries nor cream featured anywhere in the dish. I did nick the crumble bit from this recipe though, so surely it vaguely counts?

Of course I have made crumble for decades and decades, sometimes straight, sometimes with a handful of oats or a sprinkle of cinnamon thrown in and other variations on the theme.

But the crumbles of the past pale into insignificance in the face of this beauteous beast.

It's the simplest of tricks. Not the use of half light muscovado, half vanilla sugar. Not the forking through of the sugar (though admittedly, I haven't done it this way before and it's rather good)

The success is all down to one straightforward switch, swapping plain flour for self-raising.

I could spend the next three weeks writing "wow, wow, wow..." but even that would surely be inadequate to pay homage to this lightest of toppings that positively melted in the mouth.

Thank you Nigella. A triumph that will be repeated over and over.

Meatballs With Pasta

(Nigella Bites)

It was a meatball kind of day. Cold, wet and in need of comfort food. And with family to feed ranging from one to seventy plus it seemed like a winner for all concerned.

It may have been an error on my part to double the quantities. I had a kilo of meat in the fridge and it seemed silly not to use it all. On the plus side our freezer will be well-stocked which is always a bonus. On the minus...soooo many meatballs. I lost count at 97 when the phone rang but by then every point of my horizon was studded with herby, meaty little orbs.

If you're making in that quantity I would recommend you take everything out of the fridge a while before mixing - my hands were so submerged in frosty gloop that I lost the sensation in two of my fingers.

I used 100% beef rather than the 50/50 beef and pork mix. I can't imagine that's an issue. I also skipped the parmesan for a number of reasons, not least because I can't stand the stuff. And while we're in the confessional, I omitted the milk from the sauce on several of the same counts. I'm sure that does make a difference to the final dish - but what the heck - it tasted great in any case.

Admit to going for the easy option of packaged spaghetti on the grounds of less time, less mess. But all in all a great success

Thursday, 3 December 2009

Stay Strong...

No, noooooo. I must not be distracted by Jamie's tray bake salmon, even if I have made it so many times that I can do it with my eyes shut and my hands behind my back - which frankly would be useful right now.

I must refocus, remain loyal and brave the freezing rain for ingredients