Tuesday, October 23, 2018

617/1038 - Kitchen garden soup with tiny herb omelettes

Today has been a pretty ordinary day. 

Generally cooking and good food make me feel better, so I set about putting this beautiful soup together, all the while trying to convince myself that the culinary therapy was working. Sadly, it did not. 

There is a novel (and now also a movie) called 'Like Water for Chocolate'. The main character is a wonderful cook and loves to feed people. Somehow, perhaps magically, her moods are always transferred to her diners through her cooking. If she was feeling sad, the diners, after eating, would also feel sad. I do like to think my cooking is magical but given how incredibly wonderful this soup was, I am fairly sure I don't have the power to transfer my moods through food. 

The edible portion of my garden has recently been given a lot of love and so all of the herbs in the soup and the omelette were fresh and aromatic and imparted the most wonderful depth to the meal. I followed the recipe religiously, except for the part where I was supposed to strain the soup. Of course, anybody who follows my blog will know that this is largely due to the fact that I don't like waste but if I am honest is also because I am not always very good at doing what I am told. 

To ensure nobody got a mouthful of anything revolting, I removed the bay leaf and the strands of stripped thyme sprigs before I threw the soup in the blender. The result was an incredibly flavourful soup with plenty of tiny crunchy bits thanks to the pods from the sugar snap peas. 

The omelettes were also pretty fabulous, although the last couple were cooked on a heat that was a bit too high and so were a tiny bit raw in the middle. Nothing that a quick zap in the microwave couldn't fix! 

This was the second last recipe of the pea chapter and I am really not sure how it escaped my attention for so long. A lovely, lovely recipe and one I am very pleased I did not halve. 

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

616/1038 - Queen Mab's puddings

In amongst the madness that is our household I have implemented a range of systems and processes which ensure the place runs smoothly. By far one of my favourites is the fact that I make my youngest breakfast in bed every weekday. How on earth is that a system I hear you ask. Let me explain. 

Go back twelve months and you would see a teenager who sleeps so deeply that he doesn't even wake to the SONOS system blaring music into his contented little ears. Then add a mother who despises tardiness and so I would be up and down the stairs multiple times attempting to rouse my dreamy boy. To no avail. Enter the morning porridge routine. 

I realised that this boy loves his sleep but also that he loves food even more. So I tried making him porridge (which takes all of five minutes on the stove top) and waving it under his nose. Voila - a teenager who wakes on the first try. So now instead of going up and down the stairs multiple times I take up a steaming bowl of oats and my job is done. No raised voices, no wasted effort. Perfect.

In the spirit of keeping the peace, I made two of these little puddings fruit free, again for my youngest. He will eat a couple of fruits and almost every vegetable there is and so his dislike for dried fruit bothers me not.

To ensure his pudding was fruit free I simply added the fruit to the tins and then poured the custard on top. This is also the way I make mini savoury egg bites; filling first and then egg on top to make sure everybody gets their share of the good stuff!

And talking of puddings...how good are these? Wobbly like a panna cotta and with the most beautiful dusky flavour from the bay leaves. I don't know if I took my custard far enough and so about five minutes after this picture was taken this beautiful little pudding split in half and collapsed on the plate. Of course this would not have happened if I had eaten it straight away and not spent an age trying to find the best photographic angle.

Chapter number twenty three, bay leaves, is now complete! What a lovely way to finish.

My tips for this beautiful recipe:

  • A small serving is ample. I halved the recipe and still split the mixture between 8 small moulds
  • If you don't have almond oil, any nut oil would probably do (I used macadamia)
  • As Stephanie suggests, it is lovely served with poached fruit (I opted for pear) 
  • If you don't have an hour to poach your pear, cut it into slices and it will be done in less than half the time