31 August 2010

It's just one of those phases we go through ...

Do you find that you go through phases with the food you choose to eat? I do. For definite. I’d love to know what causes the swap from one phase to the next, because I really can’t put my finger on a reason – other than my singular lack of success at combining tomato and chilli, as per recent attempts.

This week seems to have been all about chicken and cheese. Not necessarily combined though, you understand. I see you looking somewhat relieved. *chuckle*

Well, we started off the week with a Smoked Cod Rarebit with baked cherry tomatoes. Now, apart from it winding up rather over-sauced, this was an all-round success that will be repeated at some point.

It’s also extremely easy to do, as you begin by melting butter, adding garlic, tossing the tomatoes in the garlic butter, before adding them to an oven-proof dish. Then you wilt some spinach in the remains of the butter, add a teensy bit of nutmeg and put on top of the tomatoes. Place some fillets of smoked fish (cod, in my case) on the top of the spinach and make up a thick, roux-based white sauce, to which you add some wholegrain mustard and some grated cheese. Pour this over to cover the fish and bake in a moderate oven for some 30-45 mins (depending on how thick your fish is) and serve.

I was even able to avoid the tomatoes for my son, who hates cooked tomato, buy only placing them into two-thirds of the dish.

From there, we progressed to Chilli Meatballs with Cheesy Nachos. Now I do understand that in no way can this be classed a dish that is remotely good for you. However, it does come into the category of “got to be done” and now we’ve done it, we’re satisfied. Until next time. *wink*

For Friday’s dinner, I had chosen “One-pot Chicken & Bacon Stew”, which looked to be far more difficult than it actually was. You can find the recipe for it here.

Considering everyone had clean plates at the end of the meal, I’d call that a success. Well, as it was involving chicken, bacon, white wine and cream, how on earth could it have failed to succeed? That combination Is almost guaranteed to impress.

However, all this was put into the shade by a muffin recipe. Well may you raise your eyebrows, but this is no ordinary muffin recipe but one for the lovely Brunch Muffins.

Now, again, how could anything involving bacon, cheese and spring onions not win anyone’s heart? Especially when the end result is fist-shaped and portable. Perfect Sunday morning food for boys, men and blog-writing mothers, alike.

Again – like most of the best recipes – it is dead easy.  You simply take 360g of self-raising flour, half a tablespoon of sugar, half a teaspoon of salt and combine them in a large bowl.

Take 100ml of vegetable oil, 2 large eggs, 300ml buttermilk or semi-skimmed milk and a grind or two of black pepper and combine them in a large jug.

Fry off 100g of diced streaky bacon until it’s starting to go brown, then 5-6 chopped spring onions until they’re softening.

Add the liquids to the flour mixture and whisk or beat until smooth, then add 70g grated mature cheddar cheese together with the bacon and onions and mix well.

Decant into six large muffin cases, sprinkle another 10g of cheese over them and bake in a moderate (190deg fan) oven until brown and a skewer comes out clean.

Then, fend off the hungry hordes until they are cool enough to eat (the muffins, that is, not the hordes) and arm yourself with tomato ketchup for the “can’t eat bacon without ketchup” members of the family.

My thanks go out to Lucinda Overington, for the Brunch Muffins’ recipe – without whom our Sunday mornings would have been markedly less enjoyable.

(First published 31.8.10 Bournemouth Echo "Taste" Pages)

1 comment:

  1. Lovely article again. I look forward to reading some of my Blogs, and this is one of them....Well! I love my food....Don't l...Don't l....?
    Phases in food, l think, comes down to 'moods'
    Even though, l live alone, and some of the time, l am alone, l like to eat well. We say the usual thing, "What shall l have to eat to-day" With me me it's "Wonder what's dead in the fridge to-day" But, I love ALL foods, and eat ALL foods, nothing l don't eat...!
    At the weekend, l had a little out the ordinary, l suppose, for most people, Duck, Pheasant, Pasta in Forno, and a small 2lb Pike. AND, a little 'Vino Calapso'.
    And, over the years, l've tried ALL sots of combinations,some really weird, but if don't try, you'll never know, will you.
    And, l cook from my head, never from a cookery book, then you can put your own ideas into practice, and perhaps experiment on family and friends. As it says in my Blog, if you eat at Willie's, DON'T ask him what your eating.
    The great thing is, people love my food, love my home, and love me....! what more can you ask for.
    Oh! and finding nice Blogs like this one.
    Lovely Jenny, Lovey....! :)
    Terrible is'nt it. What a life.....But then, l blame my Mother......! God rest her ladle.(The one she used to hit me with).:0)


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