“Spicy Andhra Chicken Curry” and “Tarka Dhal” from “I Love Curry”

Anna: It’s time we redressed the balance this month.  It’s all cakes, pies and loaves. Time for curry!

Ian: Did I miss the delivery man coming to the door? This looks very professional.

Anna: I do worry that whenever I cook an Indian meal from scratch, all the dishes are the same colour.

Aine: But there’s fresh coriander on top, that gives it a splash of green!

Anna: Anything to break up the orange/yellow theme…..

Ian: Well it tastes delicious, very fresh.

Anna: That’s the great thing about making a curry from scratch. I’ve got a couple of Anjum’s books and it’s always the same: the layering up of the flavours gives the dishes a really unique taste. The problem, I find, is that it takes so blimmin long to cook the curries that by the time they’re finished I can’t be bothered to eat them.

Peter: Tarka the Dhal? Wasn’t that a character in a Disney film?

Anna: I can’t believe you just said that.

Peter: I thought the chicken curry was very nice. It tasted very different to a takeaway curry. Much lighter. And it has a lovely heat that wasn’t too aggressive. It was a bit like a korahi, but with less tomato.

Anna: And the dhal? What did you think to it? I prefer Vic’s recipe I have to say.

Peter: I’d struggle to tell one dhal from another in all honesty. It went together well, and we didn’t need rice.

Anna: I have to make a special mention for the dessert, which was from “Kitchen”: “Lemon Meringue Fool”. Really delicious and incredibly quick and easy to make.

Peter: It had a nice spring/summer taste, though I’m not a big fan of cream as you know.

Anna: What do you think ice cream is made out of??

“Spicy Andhra Chicken Curry” and “Tarka Dhal” from “I Love Curry”

“Kitchen” – our verdict

Anna: You never made the spaghetti with Marmite, Kirstin.

Kirstin: No, Sue did though.

Anna: What did Sue think of it?

Kirstin: She wasn’t that impressed.

Anna: Well, I’ve been pleasantly surprised this month. I honestly didn’t think I was going to like Kitchen as much as I have.

Kirstin: It was about half way through we decided we weren’t that impressed. I’d had some successes, but you hadn’t.

Anna: No, but then I did the duck legs and those fantastic meringues, and it turned around.

Kirstin: What about the chicken and garlic?

Anna: Too dry. I will do it again, but with more wine next time.

Kirstin: She got it wrong. She has minions.

Anna: But, the salmon with Japanese dressing is fabulous and I’ve cooked it again. Likewise the squid pasta. And I’m doing the chocolate chip cookies again this week. Is there anything you’d do again?

Kirstin: The amazing chicken with chorizo!! I’d do it again in a heartbeat! But I’m going to stay away from chocolate cakes for now. I have learnt my lesson with chocolate cakes.

Anna: So how do you rate Kitchen versus all her other books then?

Kirstin: It’s not as good. Feast is best. And the real problem was the organisation was truly dreadful.

Anna: You’re right. It’s impossible to find anything. Luckily it has a good index. Kitchen has grown on me. But it’s not my favourite Nigella ‘read’.

“Kitchen” – our verdict

“Carbonnade a la flamande” and “Chocolate chip bread pudding” from “Kitchen”

Judy: I have the same recipe from Julia Child, boeuf a la flamande.

John: The doyenne of French cooking in America.

Anna: Who, Mom?

Judy: Did you put beer in this?

Anna: Yes, it was Leffe brune. Two bottles of the stuff.

Peter: It puts hairs on your chest. Continue reading ““Carbonnade a la flamande” and “Chocolate chip bread pudding” from “Kitchen””

“Carbonnade a la flamande” and “Chocolate chip bread pudding” from “Kitchen”

“Speedy scalopinne with rapid roastini” from “Kitchen”

Anna: I give in.  Work is so busy right now I’m getting sucked into Nigella’s promise of a speedy, tasty dinner on the table in seconds.  She’s offering me a solution, our lives are so similar after all!

Peter: Well, you both have dark hair.  And she also is worth a hundred million.

Anna: One and the same we are.  I wouldn’t normally go for a recipe like this as it’s not particularly healthy, but needs must.

Peter: It didn’t taste unhealthy.  We had vegetables with it.

Anna: I guess it wasn’t that bad.  It involved fried things and I try to avoid fried things.

Peter: Well I liked it anyway.  The sauce on the scalopinne was a bit sharp with the lemon.

Anna: That was probably my fault for not seasoning it properly.  I was in such a rush to finish my speedy meal that I didn’t have time to add salt.

Peter: I really liked the gnocchi.  They were like cheat’s chips.

Anna: I have to admit they were a revalation.  I like a good gnocchi and these were brilliant.  I could have eaten them on their own.  In fact, I think I might next time you’re out.  Just like Nigella.  Now, where’s my silk dressing gown?

“Speedy scalopinne with rapid roastini” from “Kitchen”

“Chicken with 40 cloves of garlic” (and “Slow roast pork belly) from “Kitchen”

Anna: I forgot to take any pictures of the roast pork belly last night.

Peter: Let me describe it to you.

Anna: Go on then.

Peter: It was porky.  Very well slow-cooked.  Fell apart beautifully.  Dark.  A touch sticky. Good crunchy crackling.

Anna: It was lovely and moist wasn’t it?  I was a bit intrigued by the marinade, having tahini and soy in it and all.  But it worked didn’t it?

Peter: You would never have known there was tahini in it.

Anna: And it was perfect for a dinner party, seeing as it didn’t need touching for 4 hours.  Lovely.  Nigel’s dauphinoise and some green beans complimented it perfectly.

Continue reading ““Chicken with 40 cloves of garlic” (and “Slow roast pork belly) from “Kitchen””

“Chicken with 40 cloves of garlic” (and “Slow roast pork belly) from “Kitchen”

“Blondies” from “Kitchen”

Anna: It’s so nice to get back to baking after a hard week working.  Really, baking is much more fun.  I’m going to forget Nigella’s brownie disappointment from the other week, and try these Blondies instead.  They’ve got oats in them, so they’re good for you.

Peter: They’re something of a hybrid, these Blondies.  They certainly pack the chocolate chips in, but they’re also like a flapjack.  But too soft to be a flapjack.  They have a very strange texture.

Continue reading ““Blondies” from “Kitchen””

“Blondies” from “Kitchen”

“Patara lamb shanks” from “Kitchen”

Anna: You’re very excited because we haven’t had lamb shanks in ages….

Peter:  Yes, I can’t remember the last time I had a good shank.

Anna: Here all week.

Peter: I notice this is a different recipe from the usual.  And it looks like it’s going to be quite curry-y.

Anna: Good spot.  Did the name give it away?

Peter: Well Patara isn’t near Sheffiield is it?

Anna: You went and got the shanks from Drings.  I see you could feed a family of four with each one, as usual.

Peter: Just the right size, I’m glad I took the car.

Continue reading ““Patara lamb shanks” from “Kitchen””

“Patara lamb shanks” from “Kitchen”