I went to upload the photo of my new coffee grinder and was surprised by just how many photos I had on my camera. But, then, it is almost the end of the month so I shouldn’t have been! Despite being the shortest month it has certainly felt like the longest. (Saying that, as I finish writing this entry, March is already feeling ve-r-r-r-r-r-r-ry long!)
Thanks to our new cookbook, ‘Three Good Things’ by Hugh Fearley-Whittingstone, I have really got into dessert making as well as breadmaking. In general, I am not a big dessert fan, and certainly not very adventurous when it comes to making them. However, this book has some very simple but interesting desserts that really appeal to me.
Ricotta, honeycomb and hazelnuts
So simple, so different and so yummy! And so totally contributing to my current honey-obsession (I am trying a different honey each time I buy – this one used was acacia, purchased because it included a piece of honeycomb that was required for this recipe – although I have so far resisted reviewing each of them!)
Cornbread and streaky bacon
I finally tried my hand at cornbread (recipe from my usual bread book) and was very pleased with the results. We served it with bacon, and the next day with ranchero-style eggs.
My best white loaf
So good that I have three photos of it for you! Harry ‘helped’ me and actually I attribute that to its success. He was playing with his piece of dough while I kneaded mine and was really happy doing it so both doughs were thoroughly kneaded!
I served this bread with homemade baked beans (recipe also from ‘Three Good Things’) which were seriously scrummy. Go me with my homemade beans on homemade toast :-).
Poppyseed white loaf and doughballs
Harry helped me again. This time he wanted to use his pastry cutters on his dough. It didn’t work as the dough was too sticky so we formed them into dough balls again (which we were going to have with garlic butter but I got lazy so we just had them with melted butter instead). Poppyseed bread was good, although not very well formed as the photo shows. I think I will stop making poppyseed bread once I have used up my poppyseeds (or use them in lemon and poppyseed muffins, mmm…) as it never seems to keep as well as other breads.
Root veg curry
Fantastic curry recipe taken from last year’s Abel and Cole calendar. I have made it several times and you can use whatever root veg takes your fancy. Mine is usually potato, carrot and parsnip. It is made from scratch (i.e. toasting and grinding spices, making a paste, etc etc) but is actually really simple and easy and delicious.
Cherries with chocolate mousse
Another dessert from ‘Three Good Things’, requested by my husband who I always thought didn’t like cherries… Proper chocolate mousse and I am pleased to say I whisked my egg whites and whipped my cream by hand. Usually I am lazy and use the food processor. Lovely dessert although too rich for me and I was a little heavy-handed with my whisking so it wasn’t as light as it could have been.
Keema, rice and hard-boiled eggs
I’d been looking for something different to do with mince for a while as I was getting bored of the usual chilli, bolognese and lasagne. Then, when I went to buy some spices at the market, the spice man had the keema mix on special (it is usually only an internet product) so I had to buy it. He recommended serving it with hard-boiled eggs and I’m glad he did because it made all the difference. Not a dish I will make again but I would like to buy the spice mix again and try it with coconut milk and chicken as I think it would work well (it was also much spicier than I expected!). Still, good to try something new!
It had been a while since I’d last made soda bread and I hadn’t tried the recipe in my River Cottage book. I was making soup for lunch one day and thought it was an ideal opportunity. It turned out well and we all enjoyed it. Something I should definately make more often, especially if I’m making a soup or stew.
The same soda bread and also breadsticks made from the dough I had freezed previously. Turned out much better than last time as I didn’t roll them too thin and they rose better. Still not very much like breadsticks though!
Breadsticks again (kind of)
Well, I found the ideal way of using my breadstick dough. I just formed it into a round and baked it off then had it fresh for lunch! The dough made seriously yummy rolls, kind of like ciabattas (ciabatti?) in texture and flavour, which is probably due to the addition of the olive oil. So good I made it again with the final batch (which was seriously well proved as I had taken it out of the freezer and forgotten about it… improved the texture though!).
And that brings me to the end of February. Sadly no breadmaking or exciting meals last weekend as I was working. Unless you count the garlic bread that I baked off for 1,000 people…