Our Verdict: The Quick Roasting Tin

Maureen: This book has been unbelievably great.

Kirstin: It has been great.

Maureen: What did you like best about it?

Kirstin: Everything.

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.

Our Verdict: The Quick Roasting Tin

“Scallop, Leek & Chorizo Gratin” from “The Quick Roasting Tin”

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.

“Scallop, Leek & Chorizo Gratin” from “The Quick Roasting Tin”

“Tandoori-style salmon with spiced, roasted sweet potatoes, tomatoes and red onion” from “The Quick Roasting Tin”

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.

“Tandoori-style salmon with spiced, roasted sweet potatoes, tomatoes and red onion” from “The Quick Roasting Tin”

“Quick Chicken, Leek & Chorizo Pie” from “The Quick Roasting Tin”

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.

“Quick Chicken, Leek & Chorizo Pie” from “The Quick Roasting Tin”

“Weekend breakfast traybake” from “ The Quick Roasting Tin”

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…

“Weekend breakfast traybake” from “ The Quick Roasting Tin”

“Breakfast pancake with berries and lemon butter” from “The quick roasting tin”

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!

“Breakfast pancake with berries and lemon butter” from “The quick roasting tin”

“Apple Crumble Cake” from “The Quick Roasting Tin”

Kirstin: I am not normally a lover of baking. It all just seems like so much faffing with bowls and spoons and measuring. And my family are not huge cake eaters so there isn’t a huge incentive for me to make any. I do have a have a few recipes I make on repeat; they are well tried and tested and require minimal faffing. This book is about to change all of that. The dessert recipes are ACE (well to be honest ALL the recipes In the book are brilliant). Admittedly this recipe took longer than the expected 10 minutes to prep, but that was probably more my fault. I used my old scales so I knew all the measurements were kosher (I’ve been tidying my kitchen for the last few weeks so all the scales have a new place in the kitchen too). It took 20 minutes to cook rather than 30. And everyone LOVED it.

I wonder if a dessert book would be something Ms Iyer would consider. I already see she has a new book out in May which I may have pre-ordered…

“Apple Crumble Cake” from “The Quick Roasting Tin”

“Roasted Broccoli & Bacon Conchiglie Bake” from “The Quick Roasting Tin”

To give this recipe its full due, it’s actually, “Roasted Broccoli and Bacon Conchiglie Bake with Lemon Creme Fraiche” , or, as I described it to Nicholas when he arrived in the kitchen and asked what was for dinner, “A Broccoli, Bacon and Pasta Bake.”

I chose this recipe not only because this family loves roasted broccoli, but also because we still had some leftover holiday stilton and unused pancetta sitting in the refrigerator, and this was the perfect vehicle for them both. (An aside: The quandary of using leftover holiday stilton is not limited to just our family, since I was discussing this very recipe with a friend who had the same problem. Ah, January.)

The eagle-eyed among you may notice that I did not actually use conchiglie here. I decided to use this fun swirly shape instead (apologies for not noting the technical name) because this pasta is much better than Sainsbury’s own-brand, which has an overwhelming tang of nutmeg that none of us are fond of. Given the pasta was such a main component of the dish, we pushed the boat out and got the fancy kind.

Like many recipes in this book, this is very straightforward. Roast the broccoli and the pancetta while the pasta is cooking on the stovetop. Once the pasta is done, mix it in, along with a few handfuls of spinach and the lemon creme fraiche. Finish the whole thing off with some breadcrumbs and the aforementioned stilton on the top.

The recipe calls for parmesan but she says in the notes that stilton and cheddar would work equally well. But I’m here to argue that I think using stilton is actually a little better, because it makes the whole thing more interesting that bog-standard parmesan. (Sorry, parmesan, but it’s true. Ya Basic.)

We all loved this. It was the perfect cheery meal for a grey January night. The fact that it was so easy was a brilliant bonus.

“Roasted Broccoli & Bacon Conchiglie Bake” from “The Quick Roasting Tin”

“Sticky soy and honey roasted salmon with asparagus and sugar snap peas” from “The Quick Roasting Tin”

Kirstin: So this was another HUGE HIT! Both children ate the salmon; Tate ate ALL of hers which is a total win! She is however suffering with a bad cold so she claims to not have been able to taste it as normal. I will take it anyway. This is a lovely little recipe, full of green goodness and wonderful flavours. The dressing has ginger and lime amongst other things and tastes of happiness. I suspect I will be buying this book for Tate to take to Uni. Brilliant!

“Sticky soy and honey roasted salmon with asparagus and sugar snap peas” from “The Quick Roasting Tin”