“Cheese and Aubergine Oven Bake” from “Food”

If you would like to make this yourself, the recipe is posted on Food24 here. Enjoy.

Andrew (12): So this is from the new cookbook?

Maureen (enthusiastically): Yes! A month of vegetarianism. This should be interesting.

Andrew: Hmmm. Is all I can say. Then I want you to write, “Andrew pulls an unamused face.” [Andrew pulls an unamused face.]

Nicholas (9): I think it’s false advertising to call the cookbook “Food” but for it to be only vegetarian recipes.

Maureen: I don’t think it’s a bad thing that we eat more vegetables. It’s probably not a bad thing to try. Now what do you think of this?

Tim: I think it’s great.

Maureen: I think it’s lovely.

Continue reading ““Cheese and Aubergine Oven Bake” from “Food””

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“Cheese and Aubergine Oven Bake” from “Food”

“Pasta with goat’s curd, caramelised red onion and fig” from “Fast, Fresh, Simple”

Anna: Oh dear. This didn’t work, on so many levels.

Peter: I sense you didn’t like this as much as I did. The portions were certainly… generous.

Anna: Is that why you liked it?

Peter: No! It’s a shame we are having a heatwave as it was quite autumnal.  Also, I think it’s probably a good store cupboard meal.

Anna: I don’t know. How often do we have goats curd in the cupboard?

Peter: We didn’t use goats curd, we used goat cheese. I accept we wouldn’t buy that every week, but everything else we’d have.

Anna: But didn’t you think it was dry?

Peter: I don’t know…..

Anna: It was a big lump of stuff in a bowl.

Peter: Wasn’t that to do with the pasta?

Anna: Partly. But also because the timings for caramalising the onions were totally off.  You can’t caramalise 4 onions in 10 minutes!  We gave them another 5-7 and they still weren’t caramalised but at least they were better than before. But what that meant was that the liquid had cooked off, and the pasta was cooked, so in the end everything was dry and lumpy.

Peter: Well maybe you need to treat the recipe a bit differently. But I’m not given the latitude to do that.

Anna: No, you’re right. And that’s why I don’t think this works. I don’t think I can be bothered to cook it again.

“Pasta with goat’s curd, caramelised red onion and fig” from “Fast, Fresh, Simple”

“Smoked mackarel and goat’s cheese souffle”, “Roast pork belly with a fennel and garlic rub”, “Butternut squash and chickpeas with cumin and coriander” and “Salted caramel chocolate tart” from “Entertaining at Home”

Anna: For the souffle, Peter had to go out on a ramekin hunt in five inches of snow.

Peter: They’re real buggers to shoot!

Zoe: With their little legs — ‘you’ll never take me alive!’

Anna: They must difficult to spot in the snow.

Continue reading ““Smoked mackarel and goat’s cheese souffle”, “Roast pork belly with a fennel and garlic rub”, “Butternut squash and chickpeas with cumin and coriander” and “Salted caramel chocolate tart” from “Entertaining at Home””

“Smoked mackarel and goat’s cheese souffle”, “Roast pork belly with a fennel and garlic rub”, “Butternut squash and chickpeas with cumin and coriander” and “Salted caramel chocolate tart” from “Entertaining at Home”

Plenty of Ottolenghi food: a Friday Feast

Anna: We decided that we wanted to do a proper blow-out feast, after the many abortive midweek Ottolenghi meals that we’ve cooked.

Kirstin: We wanted to give it a full crack of the whip!

Anna: Luckily neither of us was working this afternoon, because it was potentially going to be a massive faff.

Tom: But was it?

Anna: If either of us had been doing it on our own, yes. With the two of us it was still a faff.

Zoe: But was it an enjoyable faff?

Kirstin: Yes, we watched wartime documentaries in between, while things were in the oven.

Anna: And we sang along to the Brandenberg double-violin concerto as we peeled five heads of garlic, clove by clove. Between the two of us it took 40 minutes. The two most annoying things were the cloves of garlic and the bloody cardamom pods.

Kirstin: But you have such good wrist action, Anna! (Zoe guffaws)

Anna: How do you know about my wrist action? It’s all those years of violin playing! With the cardamom pods I had to get Kirstin to open the window. Two tablespoons of cardamom pods, and you had to bash them all up, and take all the seeds out of all the pods! It was about 40 pods! It was like, Christ, take me now. I bashed my head with the pestle. Or was it the mortar? Anyway, we cooked the “Watermelon and feta” to start. I’m going to compare it against the Nigella recipe. Her recipe is watermelon, feta and black olive. She has olives, lime juice, mint and flat-leaf parsley, rather than basil. But everything else is the same. So we cooked that, and then “Caramelized Garlic Tart”.

Kirstin: We called it Vampire Pie.

Anna: And then “Roasted Butternut Squash with Sweet Spices, Lime and Green Chilli”. Continue reading “Plenty of Ottolenghi food: a Friday Feast”

Plenty of Ottolenghi food: a Friday Feast