on my plate: but not for long

I have a slight problem. As outlined at the onset of the ‘on my plate’ posts, I am slowly working my way through the copious amount of recipes that I’m addicted to finding and filing in my ‘some day I want to make you’ folder. However, (as I have found to also be the case when eating out) I get so excited by the prospect of devouring the food before me that the meal is generally already cosied up in my stomach before I realise that I have missed my opportunity for taking a suitably mouth watering snapshot.

Unfortunately this has been happening to me a lot lately; so much so, that I haven’t a single shred of evidence to show for any of my most recent kitchen exploits. And so, instead I am going to give you a quick verbal run down of my culinary discoveries over the past few weeks…
to start: Roasted Tofu with Spicy Relish courtesy of the Waitrose website. Following my previous success with tofu I thought why not experiment further, especially as roasting sounded so much easier than frying. But. What I saved myself in effort, I inadvertantly lost in taste and texture. I have no qualms in saying that roasting tofu is NOT a good idea. Don’t bother. Stick to recipes along the lines of Ottolenghi’s black pepper tofu instead.
the main attraction: Angela Hartnett’s Cauliflower and Chickpea Curry. This was delicious. Lack of garam masala meant I added more of the other spices as well as fennel seeds, curry powder and tumeric. I also used green lentils instead of chick peas as I had these to hand in a brilliant ready to eat carton pack. (I promise that these are nowhere near as horrid as they sound.)

Ever the fan of a one-pot dish this was a wonderful comfort supper that I am bound to make again. The taste was rich and spicy, with the cauliflower absorbing the flavours well. I’m currently having a cauliflower moment: raw, roasted or in sauce, just never overcooked into a stinky school dinner mush.

on the side: French Beans with Blackened Sage and Hazelnuts, found on my Epicurious phone app. I would recommend this as way of sprucing up your side dishes – especially for those who aren’t a fan of the green ones – though do make sure you use plenty of sage for full impact. And lightly toast your hazelnuts.
for dessert: Nigel Slater’s Damson Spelt Cake. This was a revelation. Spelt flour is the way forward in baking. I was worried it’s texture may lead to a slightly heavier cake but in fact (and I would like to think that this was also in part due to my enthusiastic creaming together of the butter and sugar) this was a delightlfully spongy baking success. The nutty taste of the flour, alongside the sweetness of the ground almonds complimented the tart plums perfectly, with the sprinkling of sugar creating a moreish crunch on top.

if you’re feeling greedy: Sweet and Salty Candy Bar Brownies. This was my not-so-grown up contribution to a friend’s grown-up choice of birthday celebration: hosting a dinner party for 22 guests. But I think the small ripple of applause received in appreciation of these childishly jam-packed squares may just say enough. Be warned though – these gooey, fudgy brownies are irresistable when warm from the oven (especially if you throw a few packets of Cadburys Carmel Nibbles into the mix).

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  • and all that’s in between

    loves and hates, hints and tips, observations, musings and reviews; on food, fashion, travel and art; and all that's in between...
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