Maureen: Succienct, but true. It hits our sweet spot: delicious meals that don’t involve multiple bowls, an afternoon in the kitchen or a trip to the supermarket.
Kirstin: And it looks pretty.
Maureen: It almost was like a simpler Diana Henry. Now I understand why she’s written three books like this. This one was terrific, and now I’d like to give the other ones a try, too.
Kirstin: And the timings worked!
Maureen: They did. What else is there to say? We loved it.
Kirstin: Go buy this book if you don’t already have it. And our children should have a copy. It’s fantastic for university people.
Maureen: It’s true. It is great for students. All they have to do is bang the ingredients into a tin.
Kirstin: Even they can handle that.
Maureen: Yes, hopefully they can.
“The Quick Roasting Tin”
Overall Grade (A- F): A* (Kirstin) A* (Maureen) [Two rare A*s from us both.]
Grade for Photography (A-F): A. “It’s good. You can see what’s going on.” Favourite Recipes: The breakfast ones were good. And the desserts. And the mains. ALL OF THEM. (Kirstin) I can’t pick a favourite. I liked them all, for the most part. (Maureen) Any Disasters? No disasters per se, though I would change the brownie recipe a bit. (Maureen) No. (Kirstin)
Bookshelf or Charity Shop Donation? Kirstin: Bookshelf. Maureen: Bookshelf. Obviously.
Fish Friday! (Well, technically, not “fish” as previous reported here because it’s scallops, but it’s the right idea.)
I need to honestly report that this dish divided opinion at our house. I loved it. So did Nicholas. We thought it was utterly delicious. I would definitely eat this again and again.
Unfortunately, Tim did not agree. He thought all of the cream, and leeks and chorizo drowned out the taste of the scallops. I understand what he’s saying, but I have to say there’s no time when double cream is a bad idea. We had to agree to disagree.
I also need to mention that this recipe— and others in the book– include this genius hack when using leeks in a dish that you roast. Rather than having to fry them first, just soak them in boiling water for one minute, and they’re cooked enough that they can go in the bottom of the roasting pan and be finished off in the oven. Absolutely genius.
If you haven’t already figured it out, this book has been a massive hit. Of *course* will will wait until 31 January to make our final determination, but we’ve eaten very well for the last few weeks.
Kirstin: This picture really does NOT DO this recipe justice. Because everything about it was completely fabulous. Salmon, as you know, is always a hard sell with our children but Miles reluctantly admitted that this was actually quite good. And Tom and I devoured the sweet potatoes. And the fish.
The more I cook from this book, the more I realise how genius it is. This recipe is a triumph, like so many others from this book.
I believe I have written here, on many occasions, how much my husband loves chicken pot pie. He loves it so much he ordered it on the day of the hottest record temperatures in Chicago’s history. Maybe that’s been broken since, as this was in 1995, but the anecdote still holds: it was very, very, very hot that day and yet, he still ordered pie. It’s a telling detail, isn’t it?
I was quite happy to see this very simple pie that I could throw together pretty quickly, and on a weeknight. Look above! I even had time to cut out decorative stars in the puff pastry! If that’s not love, I don’t know what is.
The method for this is solid and results in something tasty, though perhaps not *quite* as good as a traditional chicken pot pie with a few more steps. However, I need to pass along one important caveat: be sure to use full-fat creme fraiche. This is very important. I used the only type that was available at our local shop– low fat– but that made the sauce very, very watery and a little bit grainy, which probably was the result of the creme fraiche roasting. So learn something from me: don’t do that.
Otherwise, this is another highly recommended recipe.
Kirstin: I treat breakfast recipes in much the same way as dessert recipes. Too much faffing. Breakfast is a time to chill, read the paper, talk about things. NOT cook, unless it’s something easy, well tried and yummy.
Which is again where this book is a game changer.
This recipe took 10 minutes, if that, to prepare. Bung everything in the tray (there’s chorizo, mushrooms, cherry tomatoes and red onions in the first go) and then add more things 15 minutes later (eggs, spinach) and cook it for a little longer.
The miracle of this recipe is the simplicity of preparation, but also the resulting flavours. Will I make this again? I would be a fool not to! But I might add some chilli next time…
Kirstin: OH MY GOD! What an incredible recipe. I don’t even know where to start. My “tried and tested” pancake-batter recipe comes from an old copy of Wallpaper* from the 90s. (It’s SO 90s.) Normally I make lots of small pancakes, which can be stacked up, and serve them with crispy bacon and strawberries. It’s been the standard brunch in our household for years.
But I think that might now change. This recipe combines the fruit with the pancake, so there’s no messing around with frying and flipping individual pancakes. I can serve with bacon for brunch, and the lemon-curd butter on the side is spectacular. This recipe would also work on its own as a dessert. And it looks so pretty, too!