A Mental Block and a Neglected Pan
After the success of Persian Egg Pie when I started my recipe challenge it I expected to overcome my fear of cooking omelettes and made good use of my omelette pan. Not so! The omelette pan I was so grateful to have been given has still been idling in the cupboard, appreciated but under-used. Several times I’ve considered making an omelette but each time I’ve decided at the last minute that it would be too difficult and heated something from the freezer instead. I assume my fear of the humble omelette must stem from never having been shown how to make one, not knowing about drawing the edges in to allow the uncooked egg to run underneath and, as a result, my one and only attempt at cooking an omelette before starting this challenge being half overcooked and half undercooked. I am determined to master omelette making though so this week it was time to try again.
Edible With Room for Improvement
On the basis of it being the first vegetarian omelette recipe I came across when I started thumbing through books this week, I decided to try the Pea and Mint Omelette found in The Best Ever 20 Minute Cookbook by Jenni Fleetwood. It was simple enough to halve the recipe so that it was a two egg omelette, plenty big enough when it would only be me eating it, and the instructions were clearly written so I felt fairly confident that I’d cook something edible. I was slightly distracted and managed to burn the butter a bit, trying to do too many things at once, but I can live with browned butter.
The omelette itself was a mixed success. None of the omelette was overdone and the texture was pretty good, I liked the contrast in texture between the egg and the lightly cooked peas. I wasn’t quite so enamoured of the overpowering mintiness of it; I like my mint subtle but this was full on, I could still taste mint a couple of hours later despite eating chocolate pudding after the omelette. I re-read the recipe after eating to check I hadn’t inadvertently used the full amount of mint in my half-size omelette but, no, I had halved the mint along with everything else. It’s just as well I had burnt the butter or all I would have tasted was mint.
My next omelette is a less scary prospect but it will definitely feature different herbs!
5 out of 5 for clear instructions and ease of cooking.
3 out of 5 for flavour.
Miss One, Cook Two
Less than two months into 2014 and last week I failed to keep to my recipe challenge. There didn’t seem much sense in beating myself up over it though, not when the failure was a result of accidentally beating myself up with a shelf. Instead I decided to make up for the missed week by attempting two new recipes this week. It seemed only right and proper that one of the recipes should be a dessert, so we enjoyed two new dishes in one night on Tuesday. I decided to go back to Just One Pot to choose my recipes, inspiration was not hard to find.
Garlic Mushroom Tagliatelle
Mushrooms have always been one of my favourite foods so a simple pasta supper featuring three varieties was safely destined to be a success. I was slightly uncertain about cooking the pasta ahead of the sauce and then reheating it in the sauce but doing so worked perfectly well, and reduced washing up. If it weren’t for the extravagance of simmering cream to reduce it for a sauce, goats’ cream is pricier than cows’ (almond or oat based alternatives are more expensive still), I’d be vowing never to make a roux based white sauce again. Perhaps not the most imaginative main course ever but we both enjoyed it.
Five out of five for clear instructions and ease of cooking, four out of five for tastiness.
Slow Roast Pears With Orange and Aniseed
Another very simple dish but combining flavours I wouldn’t necessarily have thought to myself. This was delectable! The pear and chocolate crumble I have been making for years is no longer my favourite method of cooking pears, roast with orange and aniseed is going to be hard to beat. I opted to use Conference pears because I like a pear to remain reasonable firm once cooked, Williams can turn out a little on the mushy side, and the oranges I’d got were beautifully sweet and juicy. I want to have a dinner party so I can feed this to lots of people.
Five out of five for ease of cooking and for flavour.
This should have been posted on Sunday but I lost track of the date. I’m blaming the concussion I suffered over the previous weekend, I feel like there have only been two weekends so far in February!
Anyway…. this month’s cats:
And an extra picture of my beautiful red girl.
Lancashire Layered Potatoes
I tried for years to make the perfect Potato Dauphinoise but eventually I gave up, nothing I created was ever as good as my Mum’s. In the same way that I’d rather go without marmalade than eat a shop bought one which is a pale shadow of my Grandmother’s (I have now found a marmalade good enough) I decided to live without Potato Dauphinoise, unless Mum could be persuaded to make one for me. Looking through Just One Pot I spotted a recipe for Lancashire Layered Potatoes which, while based on layered potatoes and cheese, was different enough that I hoped I could cook it without it seeming like the poor relation of that childhood favourite.
A Yorkist in The Kitchen
There was just one small problem with my planned potato supper, the choice of cheese. Lancashire Cheese is a cows’ milk cheese, cows’ milk doesn’t agree with me. The closest equivalent I could think of which I can get made from sheep’s milk is a Wensleydale. Fortunately I don’t think my cooking will re-ignite the Wars of The Roses!
The Simplest Supper
To be honest, you don’t get a much simpler supper than this one. Thinly sliced potatoes layered with chopped onions and grated cheese in a heavy frying pan, cooked over a low heat for half an hour or so before being browned under the grill. I did find I needed almost double the cheese that the recipe stated but that didn’t worry me unduly, my block of Wensleydale was large enough to allow for that. Given that my kitchen is temporarily rather dark and my arthritis is still playing me up a bit I took the lazy option of slicing the potatoes and grating the cheese using the appropriate discs for my food processor; I’ll probably do the same with the potatoes next time I make this as I doubt I could slice them so thinly and evenly.
Full Marks for Flavour
Layered Potatoes is an absolute winner. We both enjoyed it and would both happily see it become a regular meal. An added bonus is that it can more or less be left alone while cooking, though I wouldn’t leave it unattended with our feline family, freeing me up to catch up with other things.
Five out of five for flavour
Four out of five for ease. It lost that extra point for understating the required cheese and because it is a bit fiddly at the preparation stage.