Monday, May 29, 2017

Smoked Salmon and Scrambled Egg Toast - IHCC Potluck

I missed the "Bready Things" theme a few weeks ago at I Heart Cooking Clubs so I'm bringing this open-faced sandwich from Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall to this week's Potluck.
Comprising scrambled eggs and smoked salmon piled high on a slice of toasted sourdough - yes, it really is that simple - I don't know that I actually needed a recipe for this but I did need a reminder of how good it is. The recipe is in the breakfast chapter of Hugh's book River Cottage Every Day but with a side salad it makes a delicious light lunch or supper too.

Visit here to see what everyone else brought to the potluck.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Pistachio and Berry Gratins - Tuesdays with Dorie

This week for Tuesdays with Dorie, I made fruit gratins, raspberries and blueberries topped with nutty pistachio cream, baked until the fruit was bubbling and the topping golden and crisp. It looked delicious in the book photo and sounded even better.
But it didn't quite work out for me. First of all, there didn't seem to be enough fruit for 6 portions so I distributed it among only 4 ramekins and reduced the pistachio cream accordingly. Then during baking, most of the topping sank into the fruit (Dorie did say this might happen), sweetening it and thickening the juices. The result was similar to a thick berry jam topped with a thin, crunchy crust. 

I'm on the fence about this one. While I enjoyed the flavour, the texture wasn't my favourite. I think I prefer crisps and crumbles where the fruit retains more of its integrity and there's more of a distinction between fruit and topping.

Visit here to see what everyone else thought. 

Monday, May 22, 2017

Spiced Lamb Burgers - IHCC Escape to River Cottage!

With this week's I Heart Cooking Clubs' choice of any recipe from Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall's series of River Cottage books or TV shows, the possibilities were endless. I chose these tender and juicy lamb burgers that relied on freshly toasted and ground cumin, coriander, fennel and cinnamon (with a little paprika and garlic as well) for their flavour.
Wrapped in a warmed flatbread, a tangy minted yogurt sauce and some fresh lettuce and cucumber slices were the only finishing touches required.

The recipe is from the book River Cottage Every Day and can be found here.

Monday, May 15, 2017

Lentil and Squash Pasties - IHCC Pub Grub!

Hand pies...the quintessential portable food. Here I've done a vegetarian version that starts with Puy lentils simmered in stock with carrots, onions, celery, bay leaves and thyme with cubed butternut squash added in for good measure and mustard and vinegar for some zip.
Encased in crisp puff pastry - store-bought to make life easier - they are delicious hot from the oven or at room temperature.  

The recipe is from Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall's book River Cottage Every Day and since Hugh is the current featured chef at I Heart Cooking Clubs, I'm linking this post for this week's theme of "Pub Grub".

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Plain and Simple Almond Cake - Tuesdays with Dorie

This week's project from Dorie Greenspan's Baking Chez Moi is the type of versatile cake I like to bake: it uses just a few basic ingredients I always have on hand and it's quick to put together; it can be baked successfully in different shapes and sizes (I know from experience that this isn't always the case with some recipes); most importantly, it's light and moist with a lovely almond-vanilla flavour, delicious on its own or with innumerable accompaniments.
I've made it a few times and I did find it to be a little sweeter than I like the first time so now use 50g less sugar. I've enjoyed it with fresh berries and crème fraîche, as a layer cake filled with lemon curd, and, in my latest version, as mini cakes accompanied by toasted almonds and Greek yogurt.

To see what the other bakers thought, visit Tuesdays with Dorie.

Monday, May 1, 2017

Honey Whole Wheat Cake - IHCC Hit the Sweet Spot!

It's no secret that I love to bake and this week's IHCC theme gave me an excuse to try a new recipe, specifically this one from Hugh-Fearnley-Whittingstall's book River Cottage Every Day that I've had flagged to make for quite a while.
It called for whole wheat flour, ground almonds, brown sugar, butter, eggs, sliced almonds and honey, all basic ingredients from my baking pantry. Because that's what Hugh does - transforms the basics into something absolutely delicious.
This was such a lovely cake. Soft and moist, it tasted of caramel with the whole wheat flour and almonds adding nuttiness.....a perfect indulgence with a good cup of coffee.

Visit here to see what everyone else made this week.