I have restrained myself from making pudding lately, because, well, I thought it wouldn't hurt to lay off the sugar a little. And boy, do I miss making pudding...sometimes a quartered orange just doesn't cut it, but it is, as Nigella accurately notes in How To Eat, "something to stave off that moment of loneliness and despondency that always threatens to settle when you realise eating is over for the day." Though it pains me a little to quote Meatloaf, she took the words right outta my mouth. The words were no doubt covered in butter.
Last night I made another recipe from Nigella.com, Tomato, Red Lentil and Chorizo Soup. I realise that chorizo probably isn't the thing to eat if one is worrying about having too much pudding, but I figure the inclusion of red lentils and canned tomatoes instantly squashes any of that...At any rate, it was flavoursome and full of veges (and lentils!) and was very easy to make.
Above: Everything looks good in the bowls Ange left at our flat. Thanks, Ange.
Speaking of which, this soup would, I'm sure, be fine if you wanted to take it in a vegetarian direction and leave out the chorizo, or indeed you could replace the chorizo with bacon or somesuch to make it gluten-free. Now that I've talked it up, I feel I should provide the recipe, which is...here! Note - I halved it, used canned tomatoes, and didn't have any capsicums. Still great!
To go with, I used a recipe from Annabel Cooks, a book by a very pleasant NZ cook, which I haven't really used much because of the...expensive...nature of many of her recipes. I realise that someone so devoted to Nigella can't throw stones but it's different with her!! Anyway, Annabel Cooks is all "feta cheese" and "creme fraiche" this and "pine nuts" and "boneless skinless chicken breast" that. I did however find a recipe containing things I had in my cupboard, which was her variation on a dish that I consider to be a Kiwi ''classic'' - potato bake.
The main difference in this one is that the potatoes are grated (kindly done by Tim.) It bakes slowly in the oven, ensconced in a mixture of eggs, milk and cheese, and comes out almost like a giant baked rosti, with lots of delicious crunchy bits on top and creamy yielding potato below.
Above: Looks good, right? Also vegetarian and gluten-free...oh what a world we live in.
Tonight's dinner was a bit dull because I was pretty drained after all that Richard III and hadn't planned anything exciting (and obv there was no pudding.) More soup though - something from Alyson Gofton's Flavours cookbook, which is a million times superior to her schilling Watties products for Food in a Minute. Flavours has a good concept, too - each recipe is dedicated to a different flavouring, some familiar, like cocoa, vanilla pods, and ginger, some a little more interesting, like sherry, tumeric, and walnut oil, and some are those "I bought this on a whim and now what?" flavourings like saffron, verjuice and tamarind. I made the Garlic Soup, which although worryingly flatulent in title is nothing more taxing than onion soup with garlic in it. It is easy to make, with a lovely creamy texture - despite no cream - and is good for when you don't think you have anything in the cupboards.
Above: Someone else: "Why is that photo cut off...let me adjust it a..." Me: "It's supposed to be creative!" Just as some people can strew throw-pillows about their houses without looking messy, while others just look like they dumped cushions everywhere, well...you guess which category I fall into.
PS: Without wanting to sound like I'm asking for them...Don't be shy with comments!