Monday, 8 June 2009

What I've been cooking - a roundup.

As a budding food blogger, each time I cook something new, or that I feel is somehow interesting, I take a photo of it. Sometimes posting the photo and writing the dish up on this blog. Seeing as not everything makes it onto the blog in its own right, here's a selection of the food I've cooked (and eaten) in the past two weeks.

First up, served on my lovely hand painted plates I bartered badly for in Marrakesh, we have seared sirloin salad with barley, grapes and sumac. The recipe is from the Moro cookbook, the Sirloin steak is from Woodford Meats Farm Shop (As recommend to me by The Ample Cook). This was great, really enjoyed this, the sumac is a Middle Eastern spice, and has a sour flavour like lemon, and obviously the grapes are sweet which balances it nicely. I'd definitely cook this again.

Here we have a really simple meal, but it was great. Excellent Gloucester Old Spot sausages (again purchased at Woodford Meats Farm shop). With Jersey Royal New Potatoes with butter and mint. I actually spent the time to cook the sausages properly, frying on a really low heat for 40 Min's until they became dark, sticky and marmitey. Lovely.

This is an old favourite, I've cooked it countless times. Warm Bread Salad of Crispy Pancetta, Parmesan and Poached Egg. It's a Jamie Oliver recipe from Happy Days with the Naked Chef. It's Not exactly the healthiest salad you'll ever eat, but it's so good and quick to knock together as well.

Another recipe from Mr Oliver, this time from his 'Ministry of Food' cookbook - Chicken Korma. First time I've cooked this, and I've got to say it was actually really good. I started making this on a weeknight at 9-45pm, to be eaten the next evening, so giving time for the flavours to come together....I always find that Curry's and stews taste better the next day. I'd opted to make my own curry paste (no jars here).....and realised once I'd started cooking that I was missing one vital ingredient. I rushed down the corner shop and got there just before it closed at 10pm and was amazed to find that they actually did have some dessicated coconut. Phew.

Next we have Free Range Hampshire Pork chop, with Champ. The recipe is from Gordon Ramsay's latest book - Great British Pub Food, and this is easily the best thing I've eaten in the past fortnight. The Chop is cooked in Oil flavoured with Sage and Garlic, and is finished by adding butter and Lemon juice to the pan and basting the chops. (I felt very "Chefy" doing the basting). This and the champ (also liberally made with butter),tasted sublime.....but, not the healthiest meal I'll ever eat

Last but not least, we have a bit of an enigma. Spaghetti with cherry tomato sauce. I thought this was average at best, but the Girlfriend loved it scoring it a massive 9 (On my patented 'out of 10' taste scale). It's an Aldo Zilli recipe, and despite the sheer middling banality, it did make a very colourful picture cooking down the tomatoes, onion, garlic and basil. Oh, the Spaghetti is De Cecco, which is a bit more expensive than the other brands - but it is in a league of its own. If you don't believe there's much in it - buy some supermarket own brand pasta and some De Cecco and compare. You won't believe the difference. With dried pasta, you pay for what you get.

Oh - Finally - I've been eating Kelly's of Cornwall Ice Cream (It's on introductory special at the supermarket right now). Honeycomb, Caramel flavour, and made with Clotted Cream......It's really very good, almost toffee'ish.....and my dentist is going to love what I'm no doubt doing to my teeth. So it's win/win for all concerned.

Woodford Meats Farm Shop
Bolt Hall Farm
Larkhill Road


franmouse39 said...

Lovely pics, Dan. Especially the eggy salad, which looks divine. Oh, and I'm another de Cecco fan.

Unknown said...

Wow Dan you have been cooking up a storm!

The Ample Cook said...

Everything looks delicious - especially that salad. I just love warm salads.

The pork chop and champ looks really professional Dan.

Your girlfriend is very lucky!

Graphic Foodie said...

Lovely dishes there!

You are right about De Cecco. Yeah, it is a little more expensive but life really is too short for crap pasta. Their brown pasta is the only brand that doesn't taste like cardboard pulp either.

Anonymous said...

Wow you eat so well! I love the look of that pasta. I've got the Moro cookbook but am yet to actually make anything from it, you've inspired me to give that barley and sirloin salad a go. Where's a good place to get sumac from?

Dan said...

Fran Thanks, the poached egg salad is a favourite of mine. Dried Pasta, It's all about De Cecco ;)

Gourmet Chick - Thanks. Yes, lot of cooking going on at home - but not as much eating in restaurants as I'd like...but off to Paris in three weeks so I'll make up for it there.

Jan - thanks. The Pork chop does look quite professional doesn't it, I think I was inspired by the basting action. In fact - that dish was so nice, I cooked it again last night.
hahaha I'll have to show the GF that commment.

Foodie, Thanks.
De Cecco - yep - I actually did try the taste test, I make Tagliatelle Genovese pretty reguarly (love it) and one time I couldn't get the good pasta and ended up buying a supermarket own brand was bloody awful, claggy, dry, gluey. So as you say, worth paying the extra.

Dan said...

Gastrogeek, Thanks....perhaps a little too well judging by the scales (More Running needed).....I've also just noticed the portions I serve up are huge!

As for Sumac, it's a bit of a pain to get hold of....Seasoned Pioneers do it in their range, and loads of Delis stock that - But it's finding one that actually has the Sumac pouch....otherwise its a visit to a Middle Eastern shop - there's a list of them in London in the back of the Moro Cookbook I believe.
If not - you can order it here...

Another recipe I've cooked from the Moro book is Lamb Pilav with cabbage and carraway - that's really nice as well.

Ollie said...

Some great photos here, Dan. Uncle Gordon's pork chop with champ looks particularly stunning. Beautifully presented too!

Boo said...

Wow, what great looking dinners. I've not tried the Jamie's Dinners curries yet, must admit I was surprised to see him endorsing the use of a jar of curry paste, I like you would make it fresh. How brilliant that your local shop has dessicated coconut!

goodshoeday said...

Wow you eat well! Like you I photograph most things I make now and then there isn't time to do proper posts on all of them so this round up is a good idea that I think we'll all be stealing from you in some shape or form ;)
Off to look up the Moro barley recipe.

Dan said...

Oliver, Thanks, I was pleased with how that turned out.

Boo - yep, it was suprising to see him endorsing Pataks curry paste, but then the book is kind of aimed at people who don't really cook - so I guess its a case of walk before you can run. (Nevertheless - it has some great recipes in it). Yeah, I was really suprised the shop at the end of the road had dessicated coconut - its normally the case that any ingredient I'm missing involves some kind of epic trek and multiple shop visits.

Goodshoeday - Thanks, I try! hahahah - I'd be really interested to see what other bloggers eat over the course of a week or two. That's a good idea, for a post actually.

Su-Lin said...

That's one of the best ways to cook sausages! Love that sticky goo that accumulates.

franmouse39 said...

Dan - that's a great idea re photos of a week. Although when on hols, best mate J did mention that I was turning into a Japanese tourist, whipping my camera out at mealtimes.
I've just given you an award...pop by to pick it up!

Jamie said...

Wow! Fabulous cooking and great eating! I could eat like that for one week. And now I am looking up some of those cookbooks, too. Seeing what you made out of them is a great test for me!