Gastronomically Terrific

July 3, 2015

Sweetcorn soup

Filed under: lunch, Uncategorized, vegetarian — Tags: , , , , , — lawsonanna @ 6:10 pm

Another lunch that I made when my mum was visiting for the week (hence the continuing lack of photos), this would have been easy… if the baby hadn’t woken up, deciding she wanted a really long feed… resulting in me leaving the vegetables cooking for too long and burning them slightly.

The vegetables that burnt slightly were leek, carrot and potato, which boiled slightly dry. Luckily my mum saved it just in time. I then added sweetcorn, and whizzed together all the vegetables in a blender. I then added a stock cube and some milk before serving up the soup.

Had I not nearly burnt the soup, it would have tasted pretty good. It was also a little too thick because a little too much of the water had boiled off. But if I didn’t have a crying, hungry baby, I’d attempt this easy soup again!

Who made it: Anna

Recipe: Hallelujah! Easter! By Wendy Dyer, Honor Harris and Judith Merrell, pg. 10-11


February 27, 2015


Filed under: lunch, meat — Tags: , , , , , , , — lawsonanna @ 11:06 am

Another easy-to-make recipe from my Hallelujah! Easter cookbook, this is basically scrambled egg with added ingredients. I made it for lunch when just my hubby and I were home one day. Whilst it was simple to make, I wouldn’t have necessarily thought of adding the ingredients suggested, so it was a good recipe to try out. It would also make a good future lunch if you were feeling a bit peckish!

The longest, and hardest, part of this recipe is boiling a potato before you start (just one small one between two of you). Frying bacon and potato for frittataOf course, if you have one left over from a previous meal this step is much easier! You then fry up the (cut up) potato and some bacon before adding beaten egg, mixed herbs and milk. I actually made two frittatas because Dan doesn’t eat meat and I don’t like tomatoes, so we probably had more food (2 eggs each) than was really intended.

Once the egg is half cooked (which happens quite fast), I added some sweetcorn, tomatoes to Dan’s frittata, and some grated cheese. By the time that was all added and stirred in the eggs were cooked and the meal was ready. Other than boiling the potato, the whole thing took about 10 minutes to put together.

Frittata cookingDefinitely a lunch-time meal I’d make again, and I wouldn’t need to use the recipe to do it. I wouldn’t have thought of adding potatoes and sweetcorn to this, but both were pretty tasty additions. Although if you’re pressed for time I would suggest only adding potato if you already have some cooked. Otherwise just pop it all on a slice of toast!

Who made it: Anna

Recipe: Hallelujah! Easter, Wendy Dyer, Honor Harris and Judith Merrell, pg. 24-25

August 13, 2014

Potato and cheese savoury scones

Filed under: lunch, vegetarian — Tags: , , — lawsonanna @ 5:59 pm

This was the July recipe from my Home Baking 2014 calendar. Totally having failed to make these scones in July, my family visiting for the weekend in August seemed like a good excuse to correct this – especially as we were considering a picnic and these seemed to make good picnic fare. As it transpired we didn’t end up going on a picnic (the weather was somewhat against us), but they made a good ‘take what you like’ tea on the Saturday evening.

The scones actually call for Stilton cheese, but we didn’t have any so I went with cheddar instead. It worked fine (ignoring the fact that I nearly forgot to add it and had to fold it into the mixture at the last minute). These scones are a bit of a faff to make because you have to cook and mash potatoes first, but as long as you’re prepared for this and do it advance, the rest is just a standard scone mixture. They don’t rise in the oven though, so you do have to make sure you roll out the dough to the size you want it to be (personally I think that I made it a little too flat and the rounds a little too big). But all the scones did get eaten within 12 hours, so they must have tasted OK.

No photos of these though; the weekend was a bit too much of a whirlwind of baking, train rides, washing and washing up. Photos didn’t get a huge look-in…

Who made it: Anna

Recipe: Home Baking Calendar 2014 (July)

August 10, 2014

Jacket potato with salmon and cottage cheese

Filed under: lunch, main — Tags: , , , — lawsonanna @ 1:08 pm

Jacket potato with cottage cheese and salmonWell, this was disappointing. I was looking for something quick and easy to make, and had both left-over salmon and left-over cottage cheese. So this quick and easy salmon jacket potato seemed like a great choice.

The problem with it was that it’s so, well, boring. Now, I admit that I probably didn’t help matters by microwaving the salmon. But I was tired, and really hungry, and just not willing to wait 15 minutes whilst the oven heated up and cooked the salmon. But, you know, there’s only so much you can do with salmon, cottage cheese, pepper, chives and potato.

Individually I like all those ingredients (perhaps with the exception of the cottage cheese, which, I admit, I’ve always found a little dull – and with rather an odd texture), but I’d have been much happier with boiled potatoes, grilled salmon and a cheese sauce. But that would have taken far, far too long. Not something I’m planning on trying again in the near future.

Who made it: Anna

Recipe: Save with Jamie, pg.

February 6, 2014

Parsleyed fish gratin

Filed under: fish, main — Tags: , , — lawsonanna @ 9:10 pm

So, here was my next excuse to make tasty food. Dan was going away for the night, so I invited a couple of friends over for dinner. I decided to go with Nigella’s ‘Grown Up Nursery Supper for 6’, because I’ve been looking at the photo of that Prosecco jelly in this cookbook for years now, and every time I see it I really, really want to make (and eat) it. And the main course looked pretty good too.

The main course is a fish gratin – basically a white parsley sauce mixed in with fish, and covered with potato. It’s relatively easy to make – especially if (unlike you me) you either know how to skin and bone fish, or buy ready skinned and boned smoked fish.

The one thing I will say about a gratin is that you’re not meant to cook the potato. You slice it very thinly, put it on top of the dish and cook it in the oven for an hour or so. We’ve made this mistake before, and ended up with uncooked potato. So, this time around, I sliced the potato but then parboiled them, just for 5-10 minutes, before putting the dish in the oven.

I’m pleased to say it all worked really well. My only slight complaint is that it didn’t seem like that much food. This was meant to be a meal for 6, so I halved the amounts as there were 3 of us. I could have done with just taking a third off. A bit of a shame, because the amounts in Nigella’s recipes are usually pretty good estimates.

Who made it: Anna

Recipe: Nigella Christmas, pg. 79

July 17, 2011

Potato, Fontina and rosemary tart

Filed under: main — Tags: , , , — thinkingdan @ 3:41 pm

This looks pretty tasty.  It’s a shame that it wasn’t very good.

Its not what you can see, but what you can't that matters here.

Alarm bells should have started ringing with the title: potato tart.  Pastry doesn’t really need more starch added to it… still, pasties have potato in and are tasty so it’s not a hopeless idea.

Where this goes very, very wrong is that the potato is not cooked at all before going in the pie: it is just sliced very thinly.  Anyone who cooks knows that this is going to be dangerous, and with an oven like ours is downright silly.  You par boil potatoes.  They need par boiling.

So although the tart above looks really rather tasty, it was basically uncooked.  We then had to microwave it to death to get the potato to cook.  The end result was still OK, but the pastry was a little tough and just not the fresh yumminess it should have been.  I like the idea of a rosemary cheese pie, but I think more varied veg would be better.

Who made it: Anna and Dan jointly.

Recipe: The daily cook book, by Love Food, November 11th.

February 23, 2011

Italian Cod/Halloumi

Filed under: main — Tags: , , , , , — thinkingdan @ 9:36 pm

This slightly surprising way of eating cod was well adapted to Halloumi, although Anna assures me the cod was better. Still, it was a very pleasant dinner for not a huge amount of effort.

"Italian" Cod with breadcrumbs, with tasty potato cakes.

As you can see from the picture, the basic idea is to bake some cod with a breadcrumb topping that goes all crisp, and stops the fish from charring.  Onto this is placed a “dressing”, which is basically herbs and lemon – as usual I went overboard with the parsley 🙂

Halloumi baked with breadcrumbs and mixed yumminess.

The halloumi replacement works very well, although the flavours don’t compliment the subtle flavourings in the drizzle and breadcrumbs in the way cod probably does.  It also sticks if you forget to grease the pan (which is why all the breadcrumbs fell off mine, and then were piled up on top…)  What makes it Italian is up for discussion – perhaps the herbs?  I’m pretty sure that the Halloumi is not served “Italian style” at any rate!

We had these with a favourite way of cooking potatoes – “leek and potato cakes with Gruyère”.

The Cod/Halloumi recipe (about 3 servings…)

To make the breadcrumbs: Melt a knob of butter and then mix well with a crumbled slice of bread, the rind and juice of half a lemon, 15g chopped walnuts, a sprig of rosemary and a tbsp chopped parsley.

To bake the cod/halloumi: grease and line a baking tray with tinfoil; cut 75g of halloumi into strips and lay our, or 150g cod fillet (per person). Sprinkle the breadcrumbs over and bake at 200 degrees celcius for 20-25 minutes.

To make the dressing: chop 1 tbsp parsley, 1 crushed garlic clove, the remaining lemon juice and rind, 1 sprig rosemary and mix in 2 tbsp oil; sprinkle over the cooked food when serving.

The potato cake recipe:

Boil 250g peeled potatoes, add milk or butter as needed and mash.  Meanwhile, Fry 1 well chopped leek  with 2 garlic cloves in butter.  Mix the potato and leek mixtures together when both are cooked, and remove from the heat.

Mix well with 1 beaten egg, 50g grated Gruyère cheese, 60g creme fraiche, 1 1/2 tbsp parsley and salt and pepper to taste.

Place the mixture on a greased tin and bake for 20-25 minutes at 200 degrees celcius until well browned (whether as cakes, or in muffin/yorkshire pudding tins).

From experience, it does seem that cheddar isn’t as good for this, although it doesn’t matter hugely.  Gruyère seems to make for a more solid cake.

The vegetables:

Remember to eat some greens!  Saute in melted butter if you are feeling naughty*.

Who made it: We both did different things as a combined effort.

Recipe: Leek and potato cakes with Gruyère: “The complete vegetarian Cookbook” by Sarah Brown, page 177. Italian cod: “The daily cook book” by Love Food, February 20th.

* The vegetables, obviously.  What were you thinking of?

January 30, 2011

Fisherman’s Pie

Filed under: main — Tags: , , , , — thinkingdan @ 9:26 pm

Anna made this fishy pie when friends were coming over – I had a different pie (details with recipe in the next post) based on the same idea.


Despite our very poor presentation, this went down very well.  As usual with fish pie, it has a mash potato topping – in my mind a real waste of the opportunity to have pastry!

Basically, you start by baking some white fish in white wine with a good scattering of tarragon on top.  Whilst this cooks, sauté some mushrooms in butter (and boil the potatoes for mashing).  Then make a white sauce by making a reux from flour and butter, adding the liquid from the fish and some cream.  Then mix up everything with some prawns, add the potato on top and bake.

The pie seemed to have a delicate flavour, and whilst in the dish looked very pleasant! A shame about the presentation, but flavour is what counts I suppose!

Who made it: Dan and Anna jointly.

Recipe: “The daily cook book” by Love Food, February 6th.

January 22, 2010

Let us bow our head for the pies.

Filed under: main — Tags: , , , , , — thinkingdan @ 10:39 pm

Dear reader,

It is with great regret that I inform you of the tragic passing of one of the most interesting and yet mistreated members of this gastronomic experiment: the pie.

Chestnut and cep pie

Sadly, no records have remained of this valiant stalwart of the oven.  It shall be remembered for its chestnuts, naturally; but also its mushrooms; and pastry was here aplenty.  But there is no photograph to recall the salivation that passed my lips as I bit into its tender and delicate body.

This pie is an interesting vegetarian recipe, cleverly designed to hide its vegetarian-ness without resorting to fake meat wanna-bes.  A very mincelike texture was achieved in the chestnuts, being chopped roughly and baked to create something meaty, yet still unique.  Dried cep mushrooms provided a strong flavour, being re-hydrated and the intense liquid forming the base of a red wine gravy.  We even made our own pastry, and felt all the morally superior for doing so.  (It doesn’t change the taste, but it is easy and cheap!)

Served with cheesy potato cakes it was a rather pleasing, though subtle main meal.  Next time I would probably increase the amount of herbs, yet I would certainly hope there was a next time.

Who made it: Dan did most of the pie making, with Anna doing the potatoes and helping with many of the flaky pastry details.

Recipe: “The complete Vegetarian Cookbook”, page 257.

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