“Dijon-Dressed Green Beans” from “On the Side”

There’s not much you can say about green beans. On this particular night, I made them because we were trying out three new sausages from Dring’s Butchers, and I thought we really ought to have something green alongside the meat and the mash.

The opinion on this was divided along age lines: the adults liked them, the teenagers did not. They both said they prefer our usual green bean combination with butter and lemon. I don’t know why that is, but there we have it. I would make these again, but maybe only for adults.

“Dijon-Dressed Green Beans” from “On the Side”

“Garlic Green Beans” from “Food52 Genius Recipes”


Kirstin: I wasn’t sure whether we would like this as we like our french beans quite crunchy.

Tom: How did you cook them?

Kirstin: I basically cooked them at a low heat in butter for 20 minutes.

Tom: I love the garlic.

Kirstin: Me too. I’m on my third helping!

“Garlic Green Beans” from “Food52 Genius Recipes”

“Tortelloni Minestrone” from “Nigellissima”

Tim: I thought this was good. It could have had more flavour, but it was still good.

Maureen: Did you think it needed more herbs?

Tim: Maybe. It definitely needs more of something.

Maureen: I thought this was healthy and good with loads of vegetables. I feel more virtuous having eaten it.

Andrew (13): It smelled good. But it didn’t look very attractive and the taste wasn’t there. From my perspective, it looked like mush. I’m not being mean, but it just looked like mush.

Nicholas (9): I expected it to be a different colour and like miso soup, but when I tasted it, it just wasn’t that good.

Continue reading ““Tortelloni Minestrone” from “Nigellissima””

“Tortelloni Minestrone” from “Nigellissima”

“Yellow Fish Curry + Coconut Rice” from “Easy”

Peter: What is this that we’re eating?

Anna: Thai yellow curry. I made the paste from scratch.

Peter: Good curry paste. Is there any leftover?

Anna: Yes, it’s in the fridge.

Peter: We should freeze it.

Anna: Bill doesn’t say whether that’s possible in the recipe but we may as well try. It’s just going to go off in the fridge otherwise.

Peter: I like fish curry and this is nice. Not too soupy. Probably could have been hotter, but that’s just me. I’m sure you can change the paste for next time.

Anna: It was pretty easy to make but this recipe would have been super quick with shop-bought paste. I may just do that short-cut in future so I don’t have to fuss with washing up the food processor, or getting it out of the back of the cupboard for that matter. What did you think of the coconut rice?

Peter: I didn’t notice. I thought the sauce had the coconut milk in it.

Anna: They both did. Coconut cream is a little too indulgent for me. If you didn’t even notice it then there’s no reason not to do normal rice next time!

“Yellow Fish Curry + Coconut Rice” from “Easy”

Christmas with Nigella: A feast from “Feast”

We spend every Christmas with Nigella. We have done so every year since 2004 when this book was published. This year, like every year, I made so many recipes from “Feast” for our Christmas feast, there was no point in listing them all in the title.  This is what we enjoyed for Christmas dinner. The recipes for those dishes listed below without astericks were found elsewhere. But as you can see, the majority of our dishes were from “Feast.”

As luck would have it, all of the dishes I used from “Feast” are posted on the Interweb elsewhere, mostly on the the Food Network site, but also Epicurious and Nigella’s own website. Click through on the name of the dish to see the recipe for yourself.

Our Christmas Dinner:

It was delicious. Here is a picture. I would like to say that I paused for a moment during the Christmas hoopla to take a picture of what it all looked like, but in the spirit of Christmas honesty, I have to tell you that I recreated the plate with leftovers this morning. I couldn’t include any baby carrots and brioche because we ate it all, but this is some of what remained of the main event (minus the soup and the desserts).

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Christmas with Nigella: A feast from “Feast”

“Beef Salad with Red Onions and Balsamic Vinegar” from “Easy”

Julia: Visually, it’s… (pause for serious consideration for the right adjective) appealing. The flavours are really super.

Tom: I thought it was very tasty with a good mix of flavours.

Julia: What’s it called?

Maureen: Beef salad with red onions and balsamic vinegar.

Julia: It should have a fancier name than that!

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“Beef Salad with Red Onions and Balsamic Vinegar” from “Easy”

“Fagiolini e Compagni” and “Patate Arraganate” from “Two Greedy Italians”

For those of you without an Italian-English Dictionary to hand, we had “Green Beans and Company” (or Green Beans, Buttered Breadcrumbs and Pine Nuts) and Sliced Roasted Potatoes with Tomato, Oregano and Basil.

We ate these with Veal Chops with Lemon and Capers that was in Saturday’s Guardian. (As luck would have it, I bought the veal chops BEFORE I knew the newspaper had a recipe I could use.) The veal was delicious and everyone loved it, even the boys.

Nicholas (8), pointing to the green beans: What’s this yellow stuff?

Maureen: What? The breadcrumbs fried in obscene amounts of butter with pine nuts? That “yellow stuff”?

Nicholas: Yes. I think it’s a little bit like eating rocks.

Tim: You’re mental. It’s delicious!

Maureen: I totally agree. I think this is absolutely delicious.

Andrew (11): The green beans are nice.

Maureen: What do you like about them?

Andrew: Because they’re simple.

Tim: I think what you mean is because they’re coated in breadcrumbs and butter.

Continue reading ““Fagiolini e Compagni” and “Patate Arraganate” from “Two Greedy Italians””

“Fagiolini e Compagni” and “Patate Arraganate” from “Two Greedy Italians”