Miles: This looks amazing!
Kirstin: Thank you for all your help with making it, Miles. Especially when I got to the spice part.
Miles: Why was it so hard to make?
Tom: Curries are all about mixing lots of things up and leaving them to cook for a long time. And this recipe even says it would be better tomorrow.
Kirstin: Not that there will be any left for tomorrow. Mwa ha ha ha ha!
Ella: Yeah, maybe we should just curry on cooking it…
Miles: This is one of the best things I have ever tasted!
Kirstin: A Trinidadian at heart.
Tom: I And I love this salad too!
Kirstin: Yes well I couldn’t be bothered to do the cauliflower rice, but a good cabbage salad sounded just yum. And the dressing with the zest in it too, is amazing! So will I make this again? Yes, but I will start earlier on in the evening and probably put a bit more meat in there next time.
Anna: I can’t post a picture. There isn’t a way I can take it without it looking like a plate of prison food.
Peter: It doesn’t taste like prison food. As far as I know.
Anna: No, the chicken is really very delicious. I wasn’t sure about this recipe. It looked like there would be too much broth. Or ‘gravy’ as they call it. And there certainly is a lot of it but it tastes like a yummy chicken soup.
Peter: The broccoli rice is very novel. I could see how it might appeal to kids.
Anna: Do you think this is a nice way to eat broccoli?
Peter: It’s a different way to eat broccoli. It’s a bit worthy though.
Anna: Yes, I can see that. I actually quite like it. It’s incredibly simple and gets round the problem of ending up with soggy broccoli by accident. I will need to give it another go to work out if it’s genius or not.
Anna: When I was first flicking through this book I saw this recipe and thought,”that’s disgusting”. Then I thought about it. And felt it was a bit of a challenge. Why not try them? Just as an experiment. What was there to lose? Lots of money as it happens. These are far and away the most expensive brownies I have ever made. That’s what you get for embracing coconut oil and cacao. They may be shunned, but good old cocoa powder and butter are a lot cheaper. I have to say the flavour is fine. Good even. Over the course of the days I ate them I came to rather like their taste. But it’s the texture that’s not quite right. It screams, “these aren’t real brownies People!”. That’s down to the mystery ingredient. I gave them to several guinea pigs to try. All of them said they were nice. None of them successfully guessed the flour substitute. And no, it’s not hash. Brown beans. Brown. Beans. Give them a try if you dare. If you are gluten-intolerant or suchlike then they are a good substitute. I think I’ll stick to normal brownies though.
Anna: I’m making normal pasta for the kids. Would you like spaghetti or do you want to try the courgette spaghetti?
Peter: In for a penny and all that.
Anna Do you like this sauce Louis? It’s like sausage sauce. But a bit different.
Louis: I like it. Please can I have some more?
Peter: Isabella likes it too!
Anna: That’s good, because it’s got lots of grated carrots in it.
Peter: So how is it different from your normal bolognese?
Anna: It’s not really. Beef mince, onions, wine, tomatoes, cook for hours, add grated carrots… Normally the carrots are added at the beginning as a sofrito, so I guess that’s the only difference. It makes it a little more healthy, not that you can tell. I would definitely make this again. It was certainly very easy.
Peter: You can tell this isn’t spaghetti.
Anna: Yes, you can. I’m confused by this courgette spaghetti. They say to warm it up in butter but I wonder whether I should have blanched it in boiling water for a minute, just to soften it. Though that might have made it mushy and horrible. I need to give it another go. So far, unconvinced.
Anna: This salad is amazing. I think it is my dream salad. I cannot recommend it enough. I mean, anything with halloumi (or feta, or any other salty cheese) gets my attention. And I have to admit that I scaled up the amount of halloumi just a little bit. But I had been for a run this morning…. Combining it with papaya though, that was a revelation. Sweet and salty. Peppery watercress. Red onions, pine nuts…. It was so simple and quick to make but tasted really indulgent and totally delicious. I’m having it for lunch again tomorrow. And I think maybe the next day too!
Kirstin: So what do we all think of this then?
Ella: It needs more meat. Like, proper meat. By proper meat, I mean bacon. It needs to just be bacon.
Kirstin: Are you missing bacon by any chance, Ella?
Ella: I’ve been having four pieces of bacon every day for two weeks at Latin Camp. I am in withdrawal.
Kirstin: But we are eating healthily. So this is fish.
Ella: Bacon is healthy! Bacon is a vegetable!
Tom: I really like the sauce. What’s in it?
Kirstin: Flat leaf parsley, shallots, garlic and can you guess the secret ingredient?
Kirstin: Blimey, you are good! And yes. I would definitely make this again.
Tom: This is great. It’s like a fish with a salad inside it!
Kirstin: Your favourite salad, too — red onion and tomato!
Tom: And the fish is surprisingly substantial. There’s a lot to eat here.
Kirstin: It’s very easy to make. Super easy. One to remember next time we are entertaining vegetarians. Or anyway!
Tom: You just stuff the fish, bung everything in a pan and slam it in the oven, right?
Kirstin: Yes. But I realised there were no carbs. So I made some focaccia to go with it.
Tom: It would be good with rice. But your focaccia is yum.