September 2011 COTM, Slater/Kitchen Diaries: Winter
Please use this thread to discuss and review recipes from the chapters for December, January and February.
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2.11 [Ode to a Scavenged Supper Or Another No Name Recipe], Pg. 46, USA Ed.
Embedded within this five paragraph essay on what Nigel Slater eats or doesn't eat (sometimes he doesn't eat) when there's no time for cooking are the ingredients of a pretty darn good Sausage Sandwich. Hot spicy sausage, good soft bread cut thickly, either wasabi mayonnaise or mustard, and bottles of good cold beer. (Note the plural there...) Saturday night supper/dinner for us was just that. Plus corn on the cob, and a simple tossed salad of romaine hearts, chopped ripe heirloom tomato, and chopped fresh new season purple onion dressed with his Classic Dressing, Tender page 518.
We used in-house made hot & spicy chicken sausages from our local salumeria, fresh rolls with a semi-crisp crust and soft interior, and Gulden's Spicy Brown mustard. G grilled the sausages till they were seared "hot and sticky" just as NS likes them. We debated between the wasabi mayo and Gulden's but finally decided on the mustard.
Now, it's not that we've never grilled sausages nor used fresh rolls before it's just that for some reason this really homely meal was just perfect for us last night. No time at all to put together and having all the right fresh ingredients made it grand..
I do love me a sausage sandwich, but being from the North of England, my condiment of choice is always brown sauce out of a bottle. Not sure if there's an American equivalent. But I'm going to have to try the wasabi mayo at some point. I always have great sausages in the fridge or freezer from the farmer's market.
Sounds like you're having fun with these books, Gio, and embracing the Nigel approach to dinner.
I Am having fun with his recipes GG. It seems as if Nigel and I have some of the same ideas regarding growing vegetables and cooking them. I don't mind the vague so called recipes a bit. It gives me a chance to use my imagination and experience to produce nearly the result he has in mind. A mental cooking exercise, if you will.
A Really Good Spaghetti Bolognese – Winter/January (UK Edition) - p. 21
Guess what? Nigel was right, this truly was a really good spaghetti Bolognese . . . and the best part was how quickly it came together yet still managed to deliver big, complex flavours.
Oh I know, I know, it’s not winter but there was a chill in the air on a rainy Sunday last week and this recipe just called to us . . . even though Nigel made it in January!
Butter is melted in a heavy pan (I followed Nigel’s lead and opted for my cast iron pan) before adding in some cubed pancetta which is cooked without adding too much colour. Chopped onion and garlic is then stirred in along w some finely chopped carrot and celery (which I whizzed in the Cuisinart). Lastly, Nigel has you add some finely chopped mushrooms however I cubed mine as we prefer the meaty texture of the mushrooms in our pasta sauces. In this case, I used shitakes. Bay leaves are then tucked into the pan and the mixture cooks for about 10 mins.
Heat is then turned up and ground beef is added, broken apart then left to cook without stirring for a few minutes until the bottom starts to brown. Once meat has cooked, tomatoes, red wine, stock and a grating of nutmeg are added then simmered partially covered for up to 90 mins. 20 mins before serving, milk or cream is stirred in. I served this with spaghetti which I tossed in the Bolognese prior to serving w some fresh parmesan grated atop.
I do believe that the stock plays a significant role in this dish and I happened to have some uber-rich veal stock on hand which I used. We thoroughly enjoyed Nigel’s Bolognese, it had well balanced flavours that were surprisingly deep given the short cooking time. I was a bit skeptical about the cubes of pancetta, we really enjoyed their texture in the finished dish.
This hit the spot on a cool, damp summer’s eve. Two forks up from casa bc!
Lime Tart (not sure of page no. as I found the recipe on the web)
Really liked this a lot. Served it after a rice noodle/lemon grass and shrimp salad and it was perfect. Mix eggs and sugar together and beat lightly. Stir in lime juice and heavy (double) cream. He asks that you pour the mixture through a sieve, i did not follow this advice. Stir in lime zest. Pour into baked tart tin, bake 40-45 minutes. Very refreshing and rich at the same time - something I love and lemon and lime desserts.
12.17 Roast Chicken Thighs, Pg. 378, USA Ed.
This recipe is tucked onto a page almost as an after thought it seems, but it's the perfect dish for the over worked and under inspired. It's written in all of five lines. Although NS calls for chicken thighs of unknown quantity and I had a 4 1/3 pound chicken I disjointed the bird, sliced each breast in half and used that. No mention of oven temp or roasting time so I used my old standby: 400F/45 - 60 minutes.
Nigel roasts his chicken thighs with a little butter, olive oil and chopped lemon. I did use the olive oil and chopped lemon but omitted the butter and added about 6 large garlic cloves finely chopped, S & P and sweet Hungarian paprika. Nigel's chicken "sang and sizzled". Mine simply whistled, "come and get it."
While the chicken roasted a covered baking dish of baby beets, baby onions, and cloves of garlic, all unskinned but seasoned with S & P and drizzled with olive oil, roasted on the rack below. Everything was finished at the same time. Along with G's mandatory corn on the cob week-end fix that was dinner.
There's enough for another whole meal save the corn. I'll see how I feel about it on Tuesday...
In the meantime I'll savor the memory of the juicy, lemony, garlicky, slightly salty crisp skined chicken
Double-Ginger Cake, p. 13 (US ed.)
First off, DON'T bake this in an 8-inch-square pan, as the recipe indicates. When I poured the batter, which has a ton of leavening from self-rising flour plus baking soda, into the pan and saw it reached nearly to the top, I transferred it to a 9-inch-square pan, which worked fine. Just wanted to put that at the top.
This is a nice gingerbread, made with golden syrup and stem ginger in syrup, as well as dried ginger. He has you heat the golden syrup with some of the syrup from the ginger, the butter, and the chopped stem ginger. The rest is pretty standard - flour, leavening and salt, cinnamon, eggs, milk. I upped both gingers a bit. I didn't weigh the stem ginger, but his lumps are clearly bigger than my bran's if 3 weigh 2 oz. Once in the larger pan, this baked without a hitch and stayed moist for days.