Instalment of 8 the Project from Nigella Express by Nigella Lawson. I wondered to myself if I must have been crazy giving myself this project, I know why I'm thinking this - because there are so many new cookbooks out or coming out just now, and they all need a bit of attention... Still I'm going to try and do 2 or 3 a week and hopefully fit in the time to blog about some of my other kitchen escapades, and it's coming up Birthday Season in our family, so a few cakes are in the offing too. I bought Southern Cakes - I can hardly wait to try some recipes from there. A couple of hours ago Bill Granger's new book Holiday arrived, fabulous pictures and good food, but more about sweet Bill in another post...
24 & 25 Holiday Hotcake with Eggnog Cream
This one is a spin on a miracle pudding, the one where you pour on boiling water at the end and it sinks down through the pudding to create a saucy base. This one was flavoured with the Christmas-sy spices of ginger and mixed spice. We adults liked it and the cream (a mix of whisked cream and Advocaat) was a great pairing for a December pudding.
It would be more in place in December, but I felt I had to give this one a go now, I think it was the name that lured me really! The spice-y toffee sauce and the more spice-y sponge was warming and comforting. If gingerbread is your thing (and it is mine) you’d probably like this one. I sweetened the eggnog cream with a big spoon of sugar before whipping, I even managed to use one of my Christmas time dishes to hold the cream in =)
26 Pea and Pesto Soup
Water, frozen peas, spring onions, lime juice and pesto with seasonings. A real express soup, it was good, everybody liked it, but I had to add in some chicken bullion liquid to boost the flavour little. I have a favourite pea soup that I make, and this one didn’t top it, but it was still a nice soup. Great colour too. I’d be interested to hear what anyone else who makes this thinks, without the jaded mental image of another favourite to mar the taste!
I served a mug of soup here with a kind of croque monsieur, which wasn't a nigella recipe (Rachel Allen), so I won't discuss it here, but it was good!
27 Mellow Meatballs
These are a real assembly job. The recipe has bought curry paste, meatballs and even included peeled and chopped butternut squash and sweet potatoes from the shops, but I chose to buy the vegetables and chop myself. When I read the recipe I wondered why nigella called them mellow meatballs, because there is 3 tablespoons of red thai curry paste in it, but all was soon revealed. It tastes (to me) like a speedy tagine recipe, although none of the ingredients point towards this, it is what it tastes like a mildly spiced tagine – but with no fruit. My friend Anna made this a little while ago, and said it was high in WW points, I’m trying to watch what I eat more and I found that with about a half cup of cooked white rice I could only just manage my sixth portion. It not so bad to have something hefty in the points / checks / calories department if it fills you up! – and we did like this, I made it for supper after a busy Sunday and it hit just the right spot. I was pleasantly surprised that it wasn’t too spicey or chilli hot, because I really thought three tablespoons of red paste was a fair amount, but it was fine, and I say this as someone who would never ever buy a hot hot hot fresh (or dried for that matter!) chilli.