Now for something a little different…

March 23, 2011 at 8:19 pm | Posted in musings | Leave a comment

This blog is resolutely un-profound… It’s about cooking!

But despite my attempts to be shallow and superficial, I do occasionally have a thought more meaningful than what can I cook/eat today…

So when my wonderful, lovely and thoughtful friend Kath decided that in Lent she would be more thankful I thought I would join in. Hence on Kath’s brilliant blog The Long Walk Home she is noting things to give thanks… and I am trying to do the same through the comments each day.

So, if you want to be more thankful…. join us!

The jacket potato challenge

March 13, 2011 at 3:44 pm | Posted in musings, savoury | 1 Comment
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Sometimes I agree to do things that are probably foolish and only after I have agreed to help out do I realise the enormity of the challenge…. This week’s slightly ridiculous challenge was agreeing to produce 50 jacket potatoes for the church lunch!

Challenge 1: buying 50 jacket potatoes…. I don’t drive to the supermarket – it’s a 15 minute walk so it feels unnecessary to use the car. So I had to somehow buy 50 potatoes – which worked out as 5 bags, each weighing 2.5kg – and get them home. So to make this a little more manageable I bought them in 2 lots (and used the self-service tills at Sainsburys so that I didn’t feel the need to explain to a cashier why I was buying lots of potatoes and nothing else!)

Challenge 2: cooking potatoes…. I was slightly concerned whether they would all fit in the oven – but they did – over 2 shelves. I had to slightly guess the cooking time/temperature –  as more potatoes would obviously take longer than just a couple because the oven was so full. So I decided that it would be much better to have very cooked potatoes than undercooked – so I put them in for 2 and 1/2 hours at about 200c (with instructions to the housemate to check on them after 2 hours to check if they were cooked and change the temperature if it was all going wrong).

Challenge 3: how to get to them to church and keep them warm for a while. Happily the potatoes did cook perfectly well, so they just needed to be transported back to church.   This one actually was reasonably easy – I own two huge roasting tins – so I piled all the potatoes in them and covered them in foil and the residual heat kept them all warm until needed.

Once the crowds descended the potatoes quickly disappeared…. so all in all a job well done (And I am very grateful that I have a clever catalytic liner for the oven so hopefully that will deal with the mess at the bottom of the oven!)

Recipe 59: Pesto pancakes

March 7, 2011 at 9:23 pm | Posted in savoury | Leave a comment
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Just in time for Shrove Tuesday (or pancake day in common parlance)… I fancied savoury pancakes for dinner and a little bit of internet browsing suggested “green eggs and ham” from Nigella Express – which became a launching pad for a slightly more substantial supper of pesto pancakes with cheese, ham and tomatoes.

Making it: The base was a simple pancake batter to which a big dollop of pesto was added. I was excited to be trying out my new pancake pan (the old one had become redundant when I had the induction hob installed). The batter was a little too thick with the suggested 150ml of milk – so after making a couple I added some more milk. Once each pancake was made, I put some ham,  halved cherry tomatoes and a sprinkle of grated cheese on top and then rolled it up. Once made (I managed to get 6 out of the batter – which was perfect for me and Sarah) I warmed them through in the oven for 5 minutes to encourage the cheese to melt a little.

Eating it: the pesto in the pancake was a scrummy twist on the usual – and the pesto-y flavour came through in a lovely subtle, but discernible way. I love ham and cheese…. and eating it reminded me of the great meals out as a student at “Cripes Creperie” in Exeter…

Next time: This would be a great base for other savoury pancake moments… and now being in possession of a suitable pancake pan – I think there should be more pancake moments… and I think this will be very flexible for whatever is in the fridge!

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