Tuesday, October 16, 2007

#7 - Cauliflower and Fennel Soup

Sorry, but it's another vegetarian one. FYI once I get a floor put in my dining room I can invite people round and eat actual meat - there doesn't seem much point if there's only me eating it! Anyway, (#7) Cauliflower and Fennel Soup. Very simple; very fattening! Just cauliflower, the same weight in fennel (I used three) and an onion sweated in butter, add water, simmer, blitz in blender, add double cream, salt and lemon juice, finally a loving sprinkle of chopped fennel leaves over the top once you've dished it out. The end product is a beautiful creamy-white velvety soup; and although it's full of wintry veg and heavy cream and butter, it was surprisingly light and zingy - obviously due to the addition of the lemon juice. However, the flavour of the fennel (an underused favourite of mine) did not shine through. This is not the fault of The Grigson - or, at least I don't think it is - it is the fault of the quite sad-looking specimens that I bought from the grocers in Levenshulme. Brilliant that shop is, I think in a dish that contains so few ingredients needs careful acquisition from an organic grocers shop.

So overall i reckon:
#7 Cauliflower and Fennel Soup - 3/5. I was a lovely soup but lacked the expected flavours. Will maybe re-do it with better ingredients and try and bump it up to a 4!

Sunday, October 14, 2007

My recipe for Yorkshire Puddings

In my humble opinion there's nothing better in the world than having your Sunday lunch in a giant Yorkshire pudding. Here's my recipe that makes two giant Yorkshires or 6 normal-sized ones. Fill them with your favorite roast meat and Sunday veg. Pour over loads of onion gravy. The gravy must be thick - this is not a time for watery gravies - proper Yorkshire food sticks to the ribs. These are easy-peasy and they always come out massive; you don't even need to weigh anything - you just need a ramekin to fill up. I reckon an average ramekin is about 1/2 an American cup in volume.

1 ramekin plain flour
1 ramekin half milk, half water mixture
2 eggs
pinch of salt
a flavourless oil or lard

  1. Whisk together the flour, milk, water eggs and salt until it is a smooth batter. Let it rest as long as possible - at least an hour. The longer the rest, the bigger the rise!
  2. Heat your oven to 200 degrees C. It must be at temperature when you want to cook the puddings.
  3. Add around 2 tablespoons of oil to 2 sandwich tins - enough to cover the bottom in a thin layer of oil. Put the tins in the oven for a good 10 minutes so that they are really hot.
  4. Quickly take out the tins and pour divide the mixture between them. There should be a satisfying sizzle.
  5. Put back in oven for 20-25 minutes until they are well-risen and golden brown.

I'd like say, I haven't been away...

I've been so busy with my new house and it's such a state that I've not been able to invite people round for Grigson treats. I've been eating the worst food since I was a student of late - it's terrible! I've gone from enthused cook to ping cuisine pig-dog in the space of two weeks! However, when I have cooked it's been stuff I already know how to do without even loking in a cookbook; and since it can't reproduce The Grigson's recipes I shall put MY recipes in instead! A genius idea methinks.