“Pork Chops with Cider, Horseradish and Dill” from “The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook”

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAIf you would like to give this recipe a go, you can find the recipe reproduced here by clicking through on this sentence.

Andrew (13): Yeah! Mashed potatoes!

Maureen: Autumn must be here if we’re back to having mashed potatoes.

Nicholas (10): So what are we having?

Maureen: Pork chops with cider… and some other stuff.

Tim: Maybe a more specific description is in order.

Maureen: Well, I didn’t mention the dill, since you don’t like it, but it’s pretty obvious since it’s sitting on top of the pork chop.

Tim: Anything else?

Maureen: Oh. And horseradish. I didn’t think I’d be able to find one, but sure enough, Creaky Shed came to my rescue. This is certainly a root vegetable I wouldn’t find at any of the local supermarkets. The only problem is I only needed two tablespoons of grated horseradish, but the horseradish I got would last us into the next decade at that rate. Do you like it?

Tim: Yes, it’s nice.

Andrew and Nicholas: Yes, it’s good.

Maureen: Would you like me to make it again?

Tim: Why not? It’s pretty good, and it seems like a good thing to eat as we move into autumn.

Maureen: I’ll be happy to do that, given that I’ve got plenty of horseradish to make it with.



“Pork Chops with Cider, Horseradish and Dill” from “The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook”

“Green Slaw” from “The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook”

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAMy making this green slaw is directly related to the new addition in our kitchen. During our stop in Reims on the way back home from our French holiday, we stumbled upon a Galeries Lafayette– an utterly fantastic French department store. As we always do when we are in a foreign country, we stopped in the housewares department to see what treasures we could find.

Tim spent a good amount of time admiring the pressure cookers. I don’t have to tell you that the French take both their food and the equipment to make it seriously. He was very keen to take one home with us. In what may be a first for our relationship, I found myself resisting his pitch to get another kitchen gadget.

As I explained to him, I think my lack of enthusiasm to acquire a pressure cooker had to do with the fact that I grew up with one — my mother used hers several times a week– and it was drilled into me how dangerous they could be if they exploded. But in the end, I abandoned my resistance to the acquire the pressure cooker. (I’m so glad I did but that’s a story for another day).

So I made this green slaw for our inaugural cooking in the pressure cooker. As we were making pulled pork, we thought the green slaw would be perfect with it. And it was. It’s delicious. It’s a perfect side dish for a barbeque, or if you need a sprightly salad. The fact that it wasn’t laden with mayonnaise was a bonus. We loved it, and enjoyed seconds the next day very much.

A note about preparation: your food processor is your friend. There’s a lot of chopping in this, but if you just use the slicer in your food processor, it will only take you minutes to get it all prepared.

Both the green slaw, and the acquisition of a pressure cooker, are highly recommended.

“Green Slaw” from “The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook”

“Pasta with Mackerel, Marsala and Pine nuts” from “Nigellissima”

Peter: This is very sweet for a pasta.

Anna: Did you not think that the saltiness of the capers and the mackerel off-set the sweetness?

Peter: I guess so. It was nice because mackerel can be quite a strong flavour and this combination of ingredients tempered it.

Anna: Well you know how much I love salty and sweet combos, so I have to say that I’m a fan of this recipe. And it was very quick and easy, just as Nigella said it would be.

Peter: I like a good bit of mackerel too, so I’m happy to have it again.

Anna: That’s good then, as I’m already planning when we’re next going to have it!

If you would like to try this recipe for yourself click here.

“Pasta with Mackerel, Marsala and Pine nuts” from “Nigellissima”

“Lentil Salad Three Ways” from “Virgin to Veteran”

Anna: Mr Stern offers 3 options for this recipe. I chose the one with smoked salmon and bacon as it sounded delicious.

Peter: Cold lentils could taste a lot worse than this.

Anna: Lentils are served cold all the time!

Peter: I haven’t had them before. But these are good.

Anna: Puy lentils. You’ve got to love them.

Peter: I wouldn’t have thought about having bacon and smoked salmon together.

Anna: Did it make it too salty for you?

Peter: No, I like it salty. I could have eaten a bit more… being a salad it’s virtually calorie free surely?

Anna: Well I did up the quantities of salmon and bacon slightly otherwise you may have thought we were just having a starter for dinner.  Unfortunately both bacon and smoked salmon aren’t well-known for their low-calorie properties. But it is a carb-free salad.  And pretty filling I have to say.  I think you would like the version with chipolatas.

Peter: Clearly this is a flexible salad. I like the sound of chipolatas.

Anna: So you would like me to do this again?

Peter: I wouldn’t say no.

“Lentil Salad Three Ways” from “Virgin to Veteran”

“Arctic Char Parcels” from “Jamie does…”

Having done lots of Greek recipes, we wanted to cook something else from this book that was appropriate for a weeknight, preferably with fish. But we couldn’t get arctic char, so we had to use salmon instead.

Kirstin: This one looked relatively easy, and I’m always tired after work on Wednesdays, so it has to be something straightforward. And it’s all in a bag, like old-style Jamie. Everything is in the bag: the carbs, the veggies and the protein.

Anna: The Scandiwegian thing was not why we chose it, but it has a secondary benefit for Kirstin.

Kirstin: I’m curious, I’m interested in Scandiwegian food. It’s the new thing. Mediterranean was in, then the Atkins diet, now this. There’s lots of weird breads, which I’m not particularly interested in. But Moomins would eat it. Continue reading ““Arctic Char Parcels” from “Jamie does…””

“Arctic Char Parcels” from “Jamie does…”