Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Lamb Salad with Pesto Dressing - Red Tractor February

I thought I should squeeze in the Red Tractor February recipe in February.  This month's recipe was Lamb Salad with Pesto Dressing.

The calendar quote for this month is about collecting: 

I thought it was quite cute, but I really have to stop collecting - I have too much stuff.

The lamb salad was quite tasty, and the pesto was surprisingly good.  I used almonds instead of pine nuts because I couldn't find my pine nuts.

Without further ado, here is the recipe:

500g lamb (they said backstrap, I cut the meat off some chops)
250g green beans, topped
3 large tomatoes, coarsely chopped
2 lebanese cucumbers, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced (I used qukes)
1/2 bunch watercress (I left this out)

1 cup firmly packed basil leaves
75g toasted pine nuts
1/3 cup shredded parmesan
1 clove of garlic, crushed
1/2 cup olive oil
1/3 cup lemon juice

Heat a frying pan, add the lamb and cook for 4-5 minutes each side before transferring to a plate and slicing thinly.

Cook the beans in boiling water then rinse under cold water - they should remain bright green and crisp.

Put the basil, pine nuts, parmesan and garlic in a food processor and process until coarsely chopped. With the motor running, add the oil in a steady stream until well combined, then add the lemon juice and process until smooth.

Put the beans, tomatoes, cucumber and watercress into a bowl. Divide among 4-6 plates, top with lamb and drizzle over pesto.  Season with pepper.

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

TWD - Chocolate Creme Caramel

For Tuesday with Dorie this week, our recipe is a twist on a classic - Chocolate Crème Caramel.

This dessert was surprising in a number of ways.  First, I assumed it contained cream, which it doesn't.  I was also surprised at how little sugar or chocolate was in it - in fact, for a dessert, it is almost healthy.  Another surprise was how easy it was to make - I had the idea that making crème caramel would be difficult, but this was not the case at all.

 I would have liked to have used smaller ramekins for taller puddings, but otherwise, I really enjoyed this crème caramel.  Definitely a recipe to bear in mind to impress dinner party guests.

To see what the others made this week and what they thought of it, visit the LYL section of the TWD website

Friday, February 23, 2018

Lemon and Raspberry Loaf Cake

I have way too many cookbooks, as I found out when I moved recently.  They weigh a ton, and they have squeezed me a little for space, especially as I decided to get rid of one of my bookshelves prior to the move (which was a good decision - it would not have fitted!).  That doesn't stop me from combing the newspapers for new recipes.

One of my latest finds in the newspaper was Helen Goh's Lemon and Raspberry Loaf Cake.  (I own Sweet, the book she co-wrote with Yotam Ottolenghi, but the newspaper was such an accessible medium).  You can find the recipe online here

What is not to love above this cake - it is fruity, both sweet and sour, is light and fluffy inside and has a lovely crunchy glaze outside.  My glaze looks different to the one in the newspaper photo because I took Helen's tip to pour the glaze on while the cake was fresh out of the oven to give a really crackly top.

If you like lemons or raspberries, or light fluffy cake - oh heck, if you like cake! - then give this cake a try.  You'll love it.

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

TWD - Sebastian's Remarkably Wonderful Brownies

This week's Tuesdays with Dorie recipe ought to be a hit for chocolate lovers - Sebastian's Remarkably Wonderful Brownies. 

These brownies get their chocolate hit entirely from cocoa.  Dorie described them as creamy, but that is not quite how I'd describe them.  They are crispy on the outside and soft in the middle, but they are not gooey, fudgy style brownies.  

I liked these well enough, but it is not my favourite brownie recipe.  I like mine a little more on the fudgy side and I am partial to walnuts in my brownies. But that's just me - everyone at work, my boyfriend and my Pilates instructor loved them. "Not too sweet" and "I like the crackly top" were just some of the comments.

To see what the other Dorie bakers made this week and what they thought of it, visit the LYL section of the TWD website

Sunday, February 18, 2018

Tomato Salad with Basil and Capers - Red Tractor January

I have been a little busy lately, so I haven't been able to visit this blog other than to keep up with Tuesdays with Dorie.  However, I have decided that today I am going to take time out to blog about Red Tractor's January recipe.  Yep, I liked the Red Tractor calendar so much last year that I bought another one this year.

The words of wisdom for January were: 

I am not someone who gets lost in gardening, but I know lots of people who do, so I understand the sentiment.  And who wouldn't love fresh produce that they grew themselves?  My harvest is limited to a few herbs from the balcony, but that is all I need.

Now to the recipe.  It is for a tomato salad with basil and capers.  It is simple, but very tasty, and perfect when you have ripe fresh tomatoes around.  It is also bright and colourful, which is always pleasant when you are hungry and need cheering up at the end of a long day.

To make the Red Tractor tomato salad, you will need:

450g cherry tomatoes
2 tomatoes, thickly sliced
1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
2 tbs olive oil
2 tbs balsamic vinegar
1 tsp sugar
100g buffalo mozzarella, drained
1/2 cup basil leaves
2 tsp capers, rinsed

Halve the cherry tomatoes and place in a large bowl.  Add the tomato slices, onion, oil, vinegar and sugar.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Set aside for 10 minutes.

Arrange the tomato slices on a serving platter then top with the remaining tomato mixture, reserving the bowl juices.

Tear the mozzarella into pieces and arrange on top of the salad.  Drizzle over the reserved juices, and scatter with basil leaves and capers.

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

TWD - Cheesecake Alsace Style

This week's Tuesday with Dorie recipe is Cheesecake Alsace Style.  The fascinating thing about this cheesecake is that it does not contain any cheese - the filling is made with yoghurt and cream.

This cheesecake is featherlight in both the filling and base.  You could eat a number of slices and not even notice.  And better still, it is delicious.  The dark top is normally something that would turn me off a cheesecake, but it is not a negative here at all. 

There are sultanas soaked in booze in this cheesecake, although you could leave them out if you have an aversion to such things.  I soaked my sultanas in Cointreau, somehow being wilfully blind to the fact that the recipe actually said Cognac or rum.

This cheesecake was absolutely perfect and I would happily make it again.

To see what the other Dorie bakers made this week, visit the LYL section of the TWD website

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

TWD - Bees Sneeze Nuggets

I have just moved house, so baking for Tuesday with Dorie (and posting this blog post) have posed some serious issues for me this week.  However, where there's a will, there's a way, and I have managed to bake and blog about these Bees Sneeze Nuggets.

Bees Sneeze Nuggets are named after a cocktail that Dorie had in New York, and the flavours of that cocktail (gin, lemon, honey, ginger, pepper) are incorporated into these little savoury cookies.  They look like scones, but they really are biscuits (or cookies, depending on where you come from).  These nuggets have the honour of christening my (new to me) oven.

I was rather sceptical, but these are very tasty.  They are only tiny (an inch wide), but as Dorie says, the flavours pack a punch.  I liked them - they tasted kind of like a throat lozenge in cookie form, which doesn't sound good, but it is.

To see what the other Dorie bakers made this week and what they thought of it, visit the LYL section of the TWD website