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Monday, 27 August 2012

Family Feasting... sharing recipes with love...

As I think I mentioned in a tweet recently, food seems to pervade every little part of our lives.  In my business, it is the single subject that produces a massive response, that people want to talk about on Twitter and post pictures about on Facebook. I am either planning it, planting it, cooking it, writing about it, shopping for it, eating it but there are a few times in a day when it isn't at the forefront of my thoughts. Of courses there is a cake loving piggy in me too! 
On a more serious note, there is more debate then ever about how we eat food, how we buy it, waste it, afford it and how we should look at the bigger picture and consider food miles, sustainability, global shortage and destruction of our eco systems. That doesn't even begin to address our unhealthy attachment to junk.
As such I thought I would share with you my foody life....and hope you enjoy and join in to share yours too...top tips, ideas, inspiration, recipe sharing and foody gossip!

A wet weekend Bank Holiday style...

This years veg patch has been the most disappointing ever with a dismal potato crop mostly enjoyed by slugs, leeks that resemble limp spring onions, carrots that never grew after 2 sowings. However, I have got a glut of Cavalo Nero (Italian black cabbage) and runner beans. I harvested like mad this weekend before the snails had a beet feast than us. 
I sliced and blanched some runner beans, let them cool and froze them in portion size bags for some summer tastes in an Autumn meal. I picked enough runner beans and cabbage for our Sunday lunch but had masses of cabbage left over. I remembered the Two Greedy Italians making a Potato and Cabbage Bake so looked out the recipe...
Simply butter a baking dish, wash and blanch the cabbage (any combination of varieties) and allow to cool. Boil some potatoes for only 5 minutes, drain and slice them into thinnish slices. Choose some favourite cheese (Tallegio, parmesan, Mature cheddar all work well) and layer the ingredients in the dish. Start with a layer of potato and finish with potato and add salt and pepper to taste in the layers. Pop some small knobs of butter on the top and cover with foil. At this stage I have cooled, labelled and placed in the freezer for another day or you could put in a warm oven for 40 minutes until you have a golden topping and bubbling sides. Perfect as a vegetarian supper or a side dish with a Sunday roast. 

Sunday was a Chicken Dinner - free range chicken, roasted quickly on a bed of red onion, roast potatoes and vegetables (Carrots, Runner beans and Cavalo Nero, shredded). The soggy, browned onions are a great base to superb gravy. Not original and exciting as such, but delicious. Pudding was a Hot Lemon Bake...mainly because I had one sad lemon in the fruit bowl at risk of going off.
To make the pudding, butter a smallish oven proof dish (I used an old fashioned enamelled pie dish). Beat 50g butter with 200g castor sugar and the zest of your lemon until light and fluffy. Next beat in 3 eggs yolks, 250ml milk and 100 ml of the lemon juice. In another bowl whisk the egg whites until firm but not very stiff. Gently fold the 2 mixtures together until you have no more egg white lumps. Pour into your dish and bake at 180C for 45 minutes, until golden brown on top. This is ideally served hot with cold cream poured on it!

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