Recipe 27: easy mascarpone tart

August 14, 2010 at 7:24 pm | Posted in puddings | Leave a comment
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One the of the great benefits to me of this recipe challenge is that it is encouraging me to read through all my cookery books for inspiration. This has led to the re-discovery of old gems – and one writer that I had been overlooking recently is Jamie Oliver as his newer books haven’t really inspired me. But re-reading the Naked Chef wasn’t just a reminder of cookery programmes past but also reminded me how brilliant Jamie’s recipes are for being simple and full of delicious things described so enthusiastically that you want to cook them even if you don’t like any of the ingredients! The pudding section in the Naked Chef has lots of tarts in it – and while I’ve not yet gathered sufficient courage to tackle pastry… I was inspired to a simple fruit mascarpone tart – as a light ending to my very lazy, but hopefully delicious Friday night dinner party. Continue Reading Recipe 27: easy mascarpone tart…


recipe 26: lamb with garlicky tahina sauce

August 14, 2010 at 7:01 pm | Posted in savoury | Leave a comment
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Another dinner to celebrate my new kitchen, and another hot sunny day, which meant my guests admired the kitchen on their way to the garden! Dinner was a Friday night, so the main thought was to have food that was simple and quick to cook. But what to cook??? I had a half a jar of tahina in the fridge and somewhere in the dim recesses of my mind I recalled reading a recipe which was lamb with a tahina sauce – and a little look on the very useful recipe index on the Nigella website led me to it! It’s in How to Eat… and is a simple recipe in the after-work dinner section.

Making it: there are two parts to the recipe. One was a quick marinade for the lamb chops – mainly some lemon zest and cumin. Once the lamb had marinated for about an hour, I cooked it in the oven. I think it was meant to be done on a griddle – but I don’t have a griddle pan at the moment as my old one was cheap and doesn’t work on the induction hob – but probably even if it had been possible to do it on the hob –  I would have used the oven as that method is hands-off!

The main business is the sauce – which is the tahina with lemon juice, water and a sprinkle of cumin. It’s a slightly disconcerting process as the mixture becomes very odd as it combines – but keep stirring and it turns unto an unctuous sauce. (sorry – there is no photo… I forgot!)

Eating it: The sauce was fantastic – worked brilliantly well with the lamb.  The lamb cutlets were great pieces of meat – utterly delicious – but I couldn’t detect any hint of the marinade – so perhaps it wasn’t worth the effort! I had lots of the sauce left over, and watered down a little more, it made a great dressing for salad too.

Next time: probably wouldn’t bother with putting the lamb in a marinade – and then it is something that could be on the table within 45 minutes of getting home (or 20 minutes if I had a griddle!) Definitely a winner! Tahina will be taking up residence in the store cupboard!

Recipe 25: Gateau Breton

August 11, 2010 at 8:17 pm | Posted in baking | 1 Comment
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More celebrations of the kitchen… this time it was afternoon tea – an occasion for people to drop in for cake before church. I wasn’t entirely sure how many people would pop in (there was also some form of important football match that afternoon) but I follow Nigella’s motto – “never knowingly undercatered”. I wanted to give people choice… and as I had leftover egg yolks from the pavlova I was prompted to try Nigella’s Gateau Breton – which is a rich version of shortbread – to be part of the feast.

Making it: Excitingly I got to use the dough hook for my mixer – I don’t think I had used it before now! But it was basically simple – flour, sugar, egg and egg yolks all mixed, and mixed some more until it becomes a sticky dough. This was then put into a spring-form tin and baked for about 40 minutes.

Eating it: The first challenge came in getting it out of the tin. Nigella said to grease the tin well – but I clearly had not done it well enough… so the middle of the cake stuck horribly. So instead of presenting it as a disk, it was  a homely pile of pieces, as that was the only way it was coming out of the tin! The upside was that I did some serious taste testing! After eating more than is probably healthy – I can report that it is rich and very more-ish. It did make me think of being in France and eating very rich baked delights. We didn’t eat all of it on Sunday afternoon – and it kept well through the week.

Next time: It’s a good recipe for using up spare egg yolks… so there will be a next time… although i will probably line the tin with baking parchment as well as greasing it to reduce the risk of it all sticking!

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