Mum and I share a mutual loathing of the wet doughy pap that supermarkets dole up as Aitch Cee Bunz year after year. (Please don’t get even get us started on choc-orange and similar varieties – you are likely to encounter a level of vitriol which is normally reserved for shouting at Radio 4). Until now, she hasn’t had much success with getting the blighters to rise despite trying several types of yeast. This Easter though they came out superbly – judgement finally triumphing over luck. It’s important to not be impatient with proving times – a good couple of hours in all in a cosy airing cupboard but YMMV. No butter needed.
Filed under Breads, Recipe
Firstly, a salsa verde, a simple and fresh accompaniment to grilled meats. Put 2 anchovies, a tiny bit of garlic (no more than 1/4 of a clove) and 4 small gherkins in a food processor, and whiz until finely chopped (or of course, do it the old-fashioned way with a knife!). Then add in a small bunch of flat-leaf parsley, basil and mint, and pulse sparingly until just chopped. Doing the processing in two stages avoids the harder ingredients being under-chopped and the herbs dissolving into a nasty puree. Tip the mixture into a bowl, and bring together with a tablespoon of wine vinegar and some good glugs of olive oil. Season to taste. We ate last night with grilled lamb chops, a perfect spring evening meal.
Second, an idea picked up today from one of my favourite restaurants, Trattoria dei Cacciatori, just outside Milan. We ate a plate of culatello served with a pear poached it in water with white wine and just a little aniseed (no sugar, it wasn’t sweet). It would be delicious with prosciutto or speck too.
No, really! This easy combination of carrots, beetroot and herbs is the only way I’ve ever managed to get them down. I used pre-cooked beetroot from the supermarket, which I’m fairly sure falls on the “sensible shortcut” spectrum of prepared food use (as opposed to the “New Delia” lunatic side. Seriously, tinned minced lamb!?).
I’ve got a really atrocious reputation for making scones. The one time I presented my husband with a batch his description was something like “plutonium-filled depth charges”. So, not great then.
But today, I tried a new recipe and they came out brilliantly – my better half could only come up with “crumbly” as a criticism (I can live with that!), and he had to go back for seconds just to be sure. They were light, delicious and golden, and the secret, according to Nigella, is the Cream of Tartar. I’ve no idea what’s in this mysterious substance, but as soon as the scones go into a really hot oven they immediately start billowing up. The best thing about scones? Only 10 minutes in the oven and by the time you’ve split them open and covered them in jam they’re ready to eat.