Sunday, 19 February 2017

Food, Glorious Food....

After a few days off from the running last week after a fall, I'm getting back into it and trying to get the miles up again. Considering the law of averages, running as often as I do, with a certain amount of the said running been off-road, then the odd fall is to be expected.  More often than not, it's just a wee scrape or two, but this time I managed to crack a rib!  Oh, and had a couple of spectacular bruises on my knees to boot!  The race was a cross-country and on very familiar territory, but, on crossing a wooden bridge, I didn't lift my foot quite high enough, tripped and fell my length, which knocked the wind out of my sails a bit.  I did finish the race - as always with these things, the pain hits later on. So, a bit of a rest from the running for a change.

Another change is that Stuart has moved office - out to the Forth Road Bridge - which has meant us both leaving for work a little earlier in the morning, but means I am home a little sharper as I'm no longer picking Stuart up from Leith and having to sit in a queue of traffic on Seafield Road and then Sir Harry Lauder Road. Stuart, on the other hand, is home later as he is now getting off the train in Dunbar and running back to the house. It does mean, other than when we go out on a Saturday for our fruit and veg, I'm doing the food shopping - the upside of that is I might get one or two different ingredients as Stuart won't be there to have us practically dashing round the supermarket, missing anything new! Hmmm, I can see an opportunity here.

The way my cooking has gone over the last few weeks makes me think I have a crush on Chetna - I can't get enough of her book The Cardamom Trail - I've loved what I've made out of it so far. I wasn't sure how the Auberine and Onion Tart would work out - not a great number of ingredients to put together, plus I had made a big block of flaky pastry which was languishing, portioned up, in the freezer, so seemed one to try on a Sunday when I didn't have a lot of time to spare. It was simple to make and tasty. The Chickpea Curry, from the recipe for a Chickpea Curry Pie, was a good one to serve with the remaining Tomato and Paneer Loaf, which had frozen successfully. The Onion and Fennel Bread was a revelation with Stuarts pasta one Saturday night - he suggested what was left of that would work toasted with some spiced beans or chickpeas - a sort of Indian inspired beans on toast as a quick mid-week tea. I did alter the shape of the loaf from the recipe, making it in a loaf tin rather than the couronne shape in the recipe. The Dal Kachori were good, as was the Paneer Pie, which I served with a sort of lightly spiced ratatouille and salad one Friday evening. I did finally get round to actually baking a cake from the book - the reason I bought it in the first place! The Almond and Coffee Cake didn't disappoint.  No small wonder that I'm following Chetna on Facebook (or is it called stalking?)
Chickpea curry

Onion and fennel bread

Beans on toast - nothing like Heinz!
Dal Kachori
Paneer pie
A lovely cake (and a new toy - a light box)
Stuart spent some of the money he was given at Christmas on a light box, which he though would be good for some of the photos - I tried it for the picture of the cake, but it's not practical to set it up when trying to serve something hot.  Stuart has taken a few more photos, experimenting with a different background. It does seem quite good for food pictures though.
I have being trying out some different breads, in between a couple of the old favourites, such as Ruby Tandoh's Tiger Bread and her Swedish Rye and Caraway Bread - both from "Crumb".  The tiger bread has a batter made with yeast, salt, rice flour, sesame oil brushed over it when it's rising, which gives a nice crust on it.  The rye bread was a good one - more robust flavours from the rye flour.

Stuart has a book "Bread" by Eric Treuille and Ursula Ferrigno, bought when we first moved to Woodhall, when Stuart was rather more enthusiastic about getting into baking.  It's a while since Stuart has made any bread, but I've got some firm favourites out of the book, such as the Cheese Hearth Bread - flat breads which are great for freezing just after the final proving, so they're on hand when time is short - and Mantovana, an olive oil bread, with a slightly more delicate crumb. When I picked up the book last weekend, I thought I would give the Broa (Portuguese corn bread) a go as well as the Prune and Chocolate Bread.  I was out of prunes so swapped them for dates - a great bread toasted, but should only be eaten in small quantities as it's a pretty packed loaf - certainly not a low-calorie option.


I do wonder, if I made something different every day, out of all the books I have, how long it would take to get through them all.  I did hear of someone whose mother never repeated a recipe in over 45 years! I understand she wrote down everything that she had made, but how did the rest of the family know they hadn't eaten a particular something before?  To be honest, I like to have some of the same things again - it would seem crazy to really enjoy a dish and then say "well, I'm never going to eat that again".  I really enjoy pizzas and risotto - I think Stuart would never forgive me if I never made those again.  The last pizza I made was inspired by one Stuart had in Tutto Matto on Nicholson Street before Christmas - the base was made with a couple of different flours for extra crunch and the topping was pesto and pine nuts.  Funnily enough, a recent risotto was finished off with a rocket and walnut pesto - something else I would make again.

I have tried some other new recipes recently -Indian-style falafels from Kaushy Patel's "Prashad at Home", also an Aloo Gobi from "Prashad".  Denis Cotter's Squash with Cannellini Beans, Sage and Lemon and his Gingered Kale, Walnut and Pumpkin Gratin, both from Café Paradiso. This was the book that I bought as I really liked the fact so many of the recipes looked a little different, then thought I would never make any of them as there seem to be so many components to them.  True to form, appearances can be deceptive as most of the recipes are easier, and quicker, than they first appear. 

Falafels with a difference!

Aloo Gobi

Pumpkin gratin with aubergine rolls
Of course, I couldn't let Burns Night pass without haggis..........

(Veggie) haggis in filo with salsa

No comments:

Post a Comment