best vegetable dhal ever.
parsley soup. simply made from a slightly squidgy potato, parsley stalks, and a few parsley leaves that had seen better days, all cooked in chicken stock and then passed through a fine sieve and topped with a bit of Parmesan. it’s a beautiful soup with a fabulous texture, eaten with my latest loaf.
latest attempt at a Victoria sponge. I’ve filled it with a cherry jam & creme fraiche. last time I tried this recipe (it’s an all-in-one food processor Nigella one from Domestic Goddess), I don’t think I cooked it for long enough, and it went a bit stodgy. this time, I absolutely ensured that it was cooked through, but it still has a slightly funny texture. next time, I’m making it in the traditional manner, creaming the butter and sugar first, etc.
new potatoes cooked in chicken stock with some bacon, anchovies, onions, and garlic. I’ve mixed in some pepperoni, goat’s cheese, and herbs, and then topped it with Gran padano and served it on top of steamed pak choi
lemon sole fillets fried in butter, and then a white wine/cream/parsley sauce made in the same pan. served it with simple steamed asparagus, and a fennel salad dressed in lemon juice.
Ravioli stuffed with prosciutto, black olives, capers, and mozarella. They are dressed with butter, smoked sea salt, and black pepper (and a sprinkling of basil), and put atop a puree of peas, lemon juice, roasted garlic, toasted pine nuts, and a little bit of truffle oil.
Tonight, I roasted a pork belly joint very simply (220 degrees c for 30 minutes, then 180 degrees c for an hour - thanks Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall). The meat was tender and incredibly juicy, and the crackling was rock hard (possibly a little too hard for some). I deglazed the roasting pan with white wine, and added a few chopped anchovies, the juice of half a lemon, a few capers, a little bit of parsley, and a small spoon of Dijon mustard. Outstanding gravy, even though I do say so myself. I ate it with some gnocchi (left over from the other day and frozen - they defrost and eat quite nicely) with some of the tomato sauce (cooked for the pizza the other day… see a pattern emerging?), and with frozen peas on the side.
Quite simply, the best loaf of bread I have cooked. Focus on these photos is a bit wonky but I hope it’s possible to see the structure it has. I ended up slightly overbaking it, because the bottom wasn’t sounding hollow, which has left it very dark and crunchy on the top, but it tastes great, and I have to say that I prefer it to the loaf I bought last week from an actual baker. The ‘secret’ is just adding the dried yeast in without first activating it with warm water and sugar (which is what I used to do all the time), adding the water cold, and leaving it to prove for two hours, not just one. It got its second prove in the shower-room, and I put water in the drip tray at the bottom of the oven while it cooked too (guess who’s been watching Paul Hollywood’s Bread programme…).
Second helpings of the curry I featured the other day. This time I’ve accompanied it with rice (mixed with toasted caraway seeds and coriander leaf) and a plain naan (which, I’m afraid to say, I bought).
I know I make pizza a lot so I should just shut up & stop posting pictures of it, but this was a particularly good version, not least because I spent a long time on the tomato sauce, adding red wine & garlic, and reducing it down so it’s quite intense. when it was all blended up, I added truffle oil & basil to make it even more intense… really good. really really good.