Archive for May 31st, 2009

May ‘Meanderings’ …

All images ©’Meanderings through my Cookbook’

Pictured (top to bottom)
Sweet Potato, Sweetcorn & Bacon Chowder
Pizza Florentine
Black Forest Trifle

100_3277 Swt Pot, Swtcorn & Bacon ChowderI (and as far as I am aware!) my family have been enjoying the pizza/pasta challenge that I set for myself during May.  I dusted off one of my favourite little books: Step-by-step Pizzas by Wendy Lee and made a batch of her Tomato Sauce, after which I was ready to cook.  Wendy suggests three types of base: Bread (yeast) is the most most time consuming, but worth it, as it is the most authentic and tastes the best; Scone (biscuit) base is a good quick 100_4059 Pizza Florentinesubstitute if you do not have time for the yeast to rise; Potato base is a totally different type of base which stays much softer and doesn’t form much of a crust.  I have a waffle recipe which uses potato, actually recommending the use of dried packet mashed potato and this base reminded me of these.  I decided to make one pizza on 100_3485 Black Forest Trifleeach base and as a result we ate Pizza Marinara on Scone (Biscuit) base, Chicken Satay Pizza on the traditional Bread (yeast) base and finally Pizza Florentine on Potato base – all were given the thumbs up and all appear on this blog.  Try them for yourself, choosing whichever base you fancy/time permits.

I thumbed through several books and a pile of papers to locate our favourite family Pasta recipes.  For a dinner party where I was entertaining a friend who eats fish but not meat, I made an adaptation of Pasta Amarilla (a rich pasta bake combining smoked haddock, white fish, prawns and cheese – link to follow) from Mary Berry at Home: Over 150 Recipes for Every Occasion.  I had been fortunate to get several fennel bulbs on the market a few weeks before, more than we wanted at one meal, so had a box of fennel chunks readily available in the freezer.  Baked Pasta with Fennel, Cream & Ham in the second of Diane Seed‘s two comprehensive Pasta books: The Top 100 Pasta Sauces and More Great Pasta Dishes was a great choice.   I used the Sainsbury’s free instore cards for two dishes: Jamie Oliver’s Creamy Pasta with Bacon & Courgettes (for the umpteenth time!) and Sausage & Courgette Pasta.  Both of these recipes would be good for cooking in a hurry – last year I cooked the first in our caravan in France finding it easy to get the ingredients or reasonable substitutes in the local supermarket.

I have started to post some Basic Recipes as I do not want to assume that readers know them.  If you have a basic recipe that you prefer, or even a variation, then use it instead – and feel free send me a comment to share it with others and so I can try it myself!  It would be lovely to know additional information to help other readers and I welcome comments.  I have included the method for making Batter as used in the British favourite Yorkshire Pudding, traditionally eaten with Roast Beef as well as the Pizza Bases mentioned above and the Simple Tomato Sauce.  

In early May we invited some good friends for Sunday lunch and had Australian Spiced Roast Pork with Roast Mixed Vegetables with Balsamic Vinegar and crispy Roast Potatoes. (I par boil my potatoes until almost cooked, give them a shake in a colander which starts to ‘rough up’ the edges for the lovely crispy bits and then put them in a very hot oven 200-220oC with a sprinkling of salt and olive oil.  I often sprinkle over herbs or spices as well, bearing in mind how the taste mixes with the other items being eaten – paprika is tasty and pretty.)  We followed with a dessert of Black Forest Trifle, very tasty and also very handy to come back from church to already made the previous evening, with just the cream and decoration to add.

On the television I am still catching up with Gary Rhodes‘ new series Rhodes Across the Caribbean exploring the varied cooking across the islands. Quite by chance I came across and recorded some programmes on UKTV Food by a food writer, Rachel Allen who is new to me. She was making making a delightful Cherry and Cream Meringue Roulade, laced with rosewater.  It didn’t look all that difficult and would be lovely for a dinner party.  If it is as good as it sounded I will certainly add a post here. (It was as good as it sounded and the recipe can be found on this site: Cherry & Rosewater Pavlova Meringue Roulade.)

For a full list of postings since the April Meanderings… see below. (Recipes already posted have been highlighted and the others will appear in coming weeks.) 

May Recipes …

Pizza Florentine
Chicken Satay Pizza
Pizza Marinara
Sweet Potato, Sweetcorn & Bacon Chowder
Roast Mixed Vegetables with Balsamic Vinegar
Baked Pasta with Fennel, Cream & Ham
Black Forest Trifle
Toad in the Hole with Fried Onion
Lemony Baked Pears & Peaches

Back to basics…

Basic Recipe: Simple Tomato Sauce
Basic Recipe: Pizza Bases
Basic Recipe: Batter Mixture – Yorkshire Puddings

Meanderings ‘à la carte’ – April 2009


‘For what we are about to receive…’ June 2009 and beyond

Food for the mind…

Non Fiction Food book
Going with the Grain: Travels for the love of Bread – Susan Seligson  A book about bread and its place in the diet of our world.  Mostly travelog but with a few interesting recipes to try.

… and for the June table – Salmon & Strawberries

Last month I researched and cooked pasta and pizza.  This month I have decided to try out a variety of Salmon recipes, most of which come from Jane Bamforth’s book (listed above) from our public library.  Alongside this, but not necessarily at the same meal, I am going to find some recipes for June (and Wimbledon favourite), the strawberry.  Summer cooking has arrived – at last!

Recipe books I’ll be looking through…
Cooking with Salmon, the King of Fish by Jane Bamforth
Claire MacDonald’s Quick & Easy Desserts & Puddings

Finally, I’d like to invite readers to post a favourite Salmon or Strawberry recipe on their own site, adding a link to this site in your post and send me details in a comment to this page.  What’s your favourite?  I’d love to know. 

Happy Eating!

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