I haven’t been doing so well at trying a new recipe every week; a whole month passed without me trying anything new, though I did make a couple of the dishes that I’d tried earlier in my challenge. I blame a recently rediscovered social life! There’s the somewhat raucous and off the wall weekly quiz, a couple of gigs, medieval fancy dress, family lunches and (when I’m not being sociable) I’ve been losing myself in some damn good books. None of which is good for my housework, my cookery challenge or finding time for crafty things but it is fun.
This week though I did find my way round a recipe book and made
I don’t think I’ve ever followed a recipe for soup before but I’ve noticed a few which sound interesting amongst my recipe collection. This week’s was a fairly safe option, carrot and tomato, from Just One Pot. It was also a very simple soup to make; chop and fry a couple of onions, chop the carrots while the onions fry, then add everything else to the pan and boil for around half an hour. My largest pan wasn’t quite big enough so I reduced the volume of stock by ½ pint, this wasn’t a problem as I like a good, hearty soup.
The day I cooked it I was a little disappointed in it; I was disappointed in the carrots anyway, they were pretty bland and something of a let down. Reheated the next day the flavourless carrots became less of an issue as the spices from the curry powder came through more noticeably. I took some to work to heat up and got approving comments on the aroma in the kitchen.
The only thing lacking in this soup as a meal is some protein. I accompanied it with cheese and crackers but if I made it again I’d probably tweak the recipe to add some lentils or split peas.
5 out of 5 for ease of cooking
3 out of 5 for flavour (blame those carrots)
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.
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.