Monday, 25 August 2014

Stuff of Life...and More Assemblage

I know that it's meant to be a blog about renovation but I can't resist the occasional guest appearance of a cooking blog.  I do, after all, aspire to be Nigel Slater.  So, as I was saying in an earlier post, I am an assembler.  Yes, I admit it.  My cookery is OK but I am best at salads.  Of course, I took these pictures a while back and can no longer remember the recipes that I used but will endeavour to describe them as best I can.

For this first one, I sort of borrowed from two Waitrose salad recipes and added halloumi.  Roasted tomatoes, then a dressing made by softening celery in a frying pan with olive oil then adding lemon juice.  Then mange tout, asparagus, lots of parsley, black olives and spring onions.  Probably other stuff too.

Of course, I must also mention the bread in the picture above.  It is S's world renowned walnut and honey.  Delicious.  Here it is in all it's glory.

Note the beautiful concentric patterns of this loaf.  Now that S has moved beyond Baking 101, he has started to think about his presentation as well as content.  It's a bit like maturing as a teacher really.  Note the beauty of these examples below.

I should mention that, on the rare occasions that bread is leftover (i.e. when H and D aren't here), then the squirrels enjoy it too.  It must be the walnuts.

Back to assemblage, this was a table arrangement that took my fancy for a photo.  Olives, tomato, cheese and bread from the local Deli (S's day off), asparagus from the man with the stall in the alcove by the butcher's (which I should have taken out of the plastic bag for the purposes of art!) and some lemon drizzle, also from the Deli.

And this was some roasted veg that I thought looked pretty and rustic.  A sort of ratatouille with courgettes, peppers, onions, aubergines and herbs from the garden.  Perhaps next year it will all be from the garden.  We live in hope. 

This was a torta di pistacchio, again courtesy of Waitrose magazine and Giorgio Locatelli.  I had three goes at the pastry.  The first time I used shop bought.  You had to bake it blind.  I dropped it when I was checking to see if it was cooked.  Very Great British Bake-Off.  The second time, I used shop bought and decided that the instructions didn't really mean bake blind by putting beans (or pasta in this instance) into the case while it cooked initially.  Not that I'm saying Giorgio's recipes aren't clear, of course.  It collapsed.  The third time, I had to use my own pastry.  And go back to the blind baking plan.  It worked. 

Stuffed peppers.  Prepping in the garden again.  What a great summer we've had.  Even though the temperature has plunged to single figures now - late August - and I even thought of putting the heating on last night.

And a yummy cheese board to finish.  Coffee anyone?

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