Monthly Archives: April 2014

Nearly rice pudding…


I was going to bring you a blog about the lemon and rosemary cake I made the other day but then I ate most of it before I took a photo and the two slices which remained looked a bit too forlorn to have their moment in front of the flashbulb.  Really my insatiable morning hunger is to blame, if I hadn’t have shoved that slice in my mouth first thing this morning whilst I was daydreaming and waiting for the kettle to boil, it might nearly have been photo worthy.

And then I was going to bring you a blog about rice pudding, which is in my top ten favourite dishes and I have been attempting to post a blog about for well over two years now.  However, I was struck down in my prime by a geek induced injury.  I was merrily sipping on my tea this morning, laying in bed, satiated by two slices of lemon cake, reading the news and surrounded by cookbooks when… I leant over to retrieve my favourite new science baking book (which weighs about the same as my torso) and something threw a tantrum in my shoulder.


The upshot of my stroppy shoulder is that I have been relatively debilitated all day; buying 2 litres of milk at the corner shop was a rookie mistake which I suffered for all the way home.  So, I have spent the day quietly berating myself for having a thirst for knowledge, I’m pretty sure reaching for a remote would not have incurred such an injury and trying to get emergency physio appointments.  I was supposed to spend the day making rice pudding, taking photos of said rice pudding and doing my laundry, not that you need to know that.

In summation, today is not the day in which I will woo you all and convert you to the endless delights of rice pudding but it is the day I will vent inanely about shoulder injuries and cake scoffing.  Oh, and I’ll throw in a couple of photos because I’m feeling generous, there is a wee glimpse of the lemon cake in one of the pictures.  Currently, I have a large glass of wine in my working hand and ice on my shoulder, the rice pudding will have to wait.



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Cauliflower…my sweet inflorescence


If you don’t like cauliflower, look away now.  If, for you it is more akin to smelly socks than culinary delights then we simply have nothing in common and you should probably stop reading my blog.

My love affair is reaching dizzying heights.  Remember that stage we all go through in relationships when you can’t stop talking about the other person or…cauliflower?  That is where I am now, only I have actually been at this stage for quite a while.  Now I come to think of it, the force has been strong for at least 17 years, if not longer.

When I sat down to think about the humble cauliflower (as I often do), I realised how many lovely caulifluous memories I have.  For instance, I still remember my 21st birthday celebrations with my university buddies; parts of it anyway.  We all saved up to go to the solitary good restaurant in the slightly lugubrious setting of Newcastle-under-Lyme and the one thing I remember clearly about that night was the cauliflower cheese; homely, comforting and just a whisper of nutmeg.  It was sublime.

More recently it was the cauliflower pakoras I made last week.  How can you not like a pakora?  Deep fried, spiced and just laden with joy.  I fried my cauliflower before adding it to my pakora batter, I like my cauliflower deeply caramelised .  The very helpful man at the shop where I got my spice blend from was even giving me tips on how to check when my batter was ready.  My man was a happy beast when he got home late from work and I whipped up a batch of hot, salty pakoras.

Last night I used up the last of my cauliflower by making a little cauliflower risotto with kale.  I made a basic risotto and then at the end folded through a cauliflower puree which I had made whilst cathartically stirring the rice and topped it all off with roasted cauliflower.  It was a cauliflower orgy, cauliflower in all its guises.  I only took one lonely little photo because it was late and I was hungry.

I am not going to give you a proper recipe today but I am going to give you a gift.  The gift of knowledge.  Are you ready for me to impart my pearl of wisdom?  I only have one pearl.

Roasted cauliflower is gosh darn sexy.  Do yourselves a favour, go and chop up a cauliflower, cut it in cross sections so you have more surface area to caramelise, put it on a baking tray, whack a wee dram of oil on it, salt and pepper it up and pop it in the oven.  My oven is pretty mediocre so I crank it to about 220 degrees and it takes about 20-25 mins to get deeply caramelised.  Now sit back and enjoy.  Have it with your next roast, or make a warm salad with some blue cheese, hazelnuts, slices of pear.  Just take my word for it.  Go and roast a cauliflower.





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