FROM BOWLS TO BIKKIES
We have been exploring, just lately, the idea of "main course soups". That is, a soup which is man enough to have as a main course, i.e. will deliver all that's required to satisfy you and leave you feeling as though you've eaten something.
Now soups like Tomato & Basil, are pretty darned gorgeous but even with the addition of crusty bread they still feel like an entree, as opposed to a main course. My Smoked Haddock & Sweetcorn Chowder - now that's a main course soup. I have to ration the crusty bread, in order that our son & heir will finish his soup! Too much dipping equipment and he's too full up to do justice to it.
|Scotch Broth : cannot be eaten in a hurry!|
So, the other Sunday when I was pondering over what to include on this week's menus, hubby suggested we try making Scotch Broth. Aha! It so happens that I have an olde-stylie recipe for just that in my “Farmhouse Cookery – recipes from the Country Kitchen” (Readers’ Digest) cookbook. I looked it out and apart from the fact that it recommends the use of an entire kilo of scrag end of neck that requires 2-3 hours of cooking, it certainly looked do-able. The scrag end of neck was a non-starter, basically because I have two fat-phobic people to cater for and lamb is one of those meats that starts their alarm bells ringing. They would countenance lamb mince however, as I could easily cook it off and remove almost all the fat. I’m okay with that, as low-fat meals are right up there on the desirable front.
I’ve detailed the recipe here should you fancy having a go at it. Do bear in mind that the list of vegetables aren’t carved in stone, any vegetables you’ve got handy will do.
We ate it for dinner with some crusty bread and it went down a treat. I was just glad that it was a drizzly miserable grey day, as it is definitely the kind of soup that demands you hunch over the bowl, soaking up the goodness of the soup both from the spoon and through your pores!
|Cinnamon & Raisin Bagel|
Now! I wrote last week about hubby’s adventures in Bagel baking. Since then, he has embarked upon the new challenge of flavoured bagels, with unparalleled success. Firstly came the cinnamon & raisin, which we considered to be suitably yummy but no, they weren’t yummy enough for the Bagel Baker – who shall henceforth be known as the Artisan Bagel Baker. Enter Mk.2 of the cinnamon & raisin bagel, produced in much the same way as a Chelsea bun and using some gorgeous flame raisins. Dear god, but they were good – just add butter and enjoy. You’ll notice the past tense, as they didn’t last long.
|Sundried Tomato & Olive|
However, all this pales into insignificance beside the glorious sundried tomato & olive, with a sprinkling of parmesan cheese. Toast it, butter it, add cream cheese and be transported to heaven. Truly, they are amazing. Son has welcomed them as an alternative to supermarket bread in his lunchbox, and considering they are low fat, that’s a thumbs up from me!
Whenever I’m planning the meals for the coming week, I always make sure to ask the family whether there’s anything they particularly want to be included on the menu list. Son’s answers are always a) pizza and b) high tea.
This week, we opted for the high tea, as it gave us an opportunity to enjoy the plum chutney I’d made and also an opportunity to make some biscuits. But tell me, are we the only people to enjoy a high tea at the weekend, or is it just something that’s so part of the fabric of life that nobody mentions it? It seems to go right back to my childhood as being, traditionally, something we’d have had on a Sunday evening – usually sandwiches, cheese with biscuits and pickle, followed by cake and biscuits. Hubby recalls enjoying Sunday high teas right back into his childhood, too. However, I rarely see them mentioned in food blogs, or in recipes aimed at producing goodies for tea time. Perhaps it’s another casualty of the fractured nature of family life these days.
We opted for the pork pie version and I was indeed correct in my thoughts that the plum chutney would match up well with the rich savoury flavour of the pork pie. So that now means that I’ve got to have a go at making my own pork pies, one day. LOL
The biscuits I decided upon were adapted from the recipe for Be-Ro’s Rich Biscuits. I was curious to know how gram flour would bake up in a sweet context, and didn’t have much ammunition in the store cupboard for any terribly exciting biscuits, nor – as it turned out – did I have a spare lemon for the recipe. What I did have, were a few leftover clementine oranges, one of which got pressed into service. The end result was crisp, light and very lovely. The recipe is here. So that just leaves the clearing up and then put the kettle on! Perfect!
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The original blog posting can be viewed on the Bournemouth Echo's "Taste" pages, along with my other blog posts for "Taste", at http://www.bournemouthecho.co.uk/news/blogs/taste/profile/35696/