I took my eye off the ball last night and this soup wasn't as good as it has been. That will teach me...
Spciy Lentil and Bacon Soup (not a recipe, more a thought, hopefully you'll get the idea.)
Packet of lardons or smoked bacon of any sort cut into pieces, garlic, onions, potatoes, packet of red lentils, big glug of concentrated chicken stock (I used Knorr touch of taste), ground cumin, ground coriander, harissa paste, water, salt and pepper and a glug of oil.
Peel and chop the veg. Gently fry all of it, then add spices, stock and water. Boil hard for 10 minutes then gently simmer for about 20-30 minutes. Blitz with a stick blender. Serve with a little cream if your arteries can take it. I forgot to add stock last night, and added garam masala instead of just cumin and coriander. It wasn't the best soup, but most people were too inebriated to care.
How to be a Domestic Goddess is a great book, full of tempting recipes. Why I haven't cooked from it more I can't tell you. Especially after trying these brownies. If you google Nigella brownie recipe there are plenty out there. On the plus side if this article from the Guardian back in 2004 is right and depending on your take on things, they're not actually that bad for you either. Click here at Channel 4 for a snowflecked version (it states less sugar in that one though).
Nigella's Brownies (from How to be a Domestic Goddess pg 193)
375g unsalted butter (soft)
375g dark chocolate (book states best quality, we had Bourneville in the house)
6 large eggs
tablespoon vanilla extract
500g caster sugar
225g plain flour
1 teaspoon salt
300g chopped walnuts (I put them in a bag and bashed them with a rolling pin as I don't like too many pieces of walnut in my brownies).
Preheat oven to 180C/gas mark 4. Line the pan you're using (you will need two or a big one as there's a lot of mixture). Melt the butter and chocolate. In a large bowl beat the sugar, eggs and vanilla extract. In a separate bowl weigh the flour and add the salt. When the melted chocolate and butter has cooled a little you need to beat it together with the egg and sugar mix. Then beat in the flour and chopped walnuts. Pour and scrape into your lined pan(s) and then bake for ?? I really don't know, the book suggested 25 minutes.
This makes a seriously good brownie and I'd make it again but I'd ignore the cooking time. I thought the brownie was ready, this was after a good 15 minutes more cooking time than suggested. Nigella does say in the book that you need to keep alert, keep checking: the difference between being gungy and dry is only a few minutes. I don't have the first clue how you're supposed to test this as they're supposed to be slightly gooey and therefore the normal testing of putting a skewer in to see if it comes out clean wouldn't work - any ideas?? It looked beautiful, even more so with the sparkling candles. However when I cut into it, the middle bit wasn't cooked, it was runny and although very tasty I decided to cut off the outside bits. Scraped the inside bits back into the pan and threw it back in the oven for about 10 minutes.
I also came across this adaptation on Jasmine's Confessions of a Cardamon Addict blog. They look more than worthy of a try.
What are these?
These little beauties are for Charlotte and family at the Great Big Vegetable Challenge.
Celebrate veggies and make vegetable faces, what a great idea. So, it only took us a few months Charlotte, but we finally got round to making some for you.
Squashy had collagen in her lips, especially for the occassion and Pumpy had lip surgery that went wrong. Least said soonest mended! Sorry to hear your Mr Pumpernickel was stolen!