25 August 2008

The best scotch egg?

There's a small shop between Heal's and Habitat on Tottenham Court Road, called Peyton and Byrne. It sold us a scotch egg for £1.50 (surely cheaper than the Ginger Pig, if not than anywhere else) which was nigh on perfect. Not too much meat, but of top quality and seasoning, and very cripsly fried. A man walking down the street approached, and asked us if it was hot, its star quality apparent from several feet away. He was later seen clutching one himself.

24 August 2008

10th Wedding Anniversary Dinner - the menu

Ceri & Thomas, Ben & Kathryn, Annabel and Allyn, this is what we ate, and drank, on Saturday night
Gruyere choux puffs (adapted from Gougere in Delia's Cookery Course 3)
Champagne Pannier brut

Parsley soup (Skye Gyngell), granary rolls
Soave Monte Fiorentino Ca'Rugate 2007

Peppers Piedmontese (Skye Gyngell)

Rotolo Ripieno (Truly Madly Pasta - Ursula Ferrigno) - This is the thing I had to make the fresh pasta for.
Dolcetto d'Alba Ca'Viola Vilot 2005

Red Mullet Salad with Lime and Ginger (Nigel Slater's Kitchen Diaries)
Bernkasteler Badstube Riesling Kabinett Dr R Thanisch 2004

Indian Carrot Salad with crispy lamb (Jamie at Home)

Summer berry sorbet (Nigel Slater's Real Food) and Tuiles Amandines (Sainbury's Biscuits and Bakes)
Silverlake late harvest Sauvignon Blanc, Washington State 2005

20 August 2008

A first attempt at making fresh egg pasta

New silicone rolling pin in hand, I have been trying to make my own fresh pasta. Following Ursula Ferrigno's recipe in Truly Madly Pasta, I had first to find somewhere to sell me some semolina flour. This appeared to be only available in a 5kg sack, the shopkeeper assuring me it was completely unnecessary to use it and that his mother never bothered with it.
Then, my brain didn't kick into warning mode at the instruction to make a well in the centre of the flour and put 7 eggs in it. By the time the 7th egg went in the structure was leaking all over, and the mixing became a made dash to stop raw egg from escaping over the edge of the board. Proper mud pies, and nothing like the delicate one-handed operation shown in the pictures!

I then tried to follow Marcella Hazan's instructions on how to roll and stretch your own pasta. This is tremendously complex, requiring a different sort of rolling pin and a large table, neither of which I had. It goes through 3 different stages of rolling and stretching. I thought I'd done quite well, until we tried cooking it. Everything became much thicker, and only the paper-thin-about-to-tear parts came out seeming normal. It took much longer to cook than I expected, and didn't show any signs of over-cooking after 8 minutes in the water.

It was quite pleasant eating, but still definitely in the "experimental" category, rather than the successful one.