Wednesday, 19 February 2020

Midnight Chicken by Ella Risbridger

The subtitle of Midnight Chicken is "& Other Recipes Worth Living For".  This book is not a memoir but is also not at all a standard cookbook.

The author pulled herself out of depression by learning to cook.  She writes quirky recipes and there are no photos.  But there are charming illustrations.

On the cover there are Things to Remember

"This book has three main morals, and I urge you to remember them and apply them liberally

1 Salt your pasta water
2 If in doubt, butter
3 Keep going"

I've copied  5 recipes – which isn't too bad – for Pocket Potatoes, Trashy Ginger Beer Chicken, Marmite Spaghetti, Miso Ginger Aubergine and Lemon Possets.

A lot of the recipes include lashings of garlic, otherwise I would have tried many more.

Give this a go – I think you will be drawn in by this engaging book.

Tuesday, 18 February 2020

Funny but true

Rack of Lamb with Mustard Sauce

Carole's Chatter: Rack of Lamb with Mustard Sauce

The inspiration for this Rack of Lamb with Mustard Sauce came from a Martha Steward recipe I found online – but I'm 'channelling' her because, of course, I didn't do it as per her recipe.

What you'll need:

Rack of lamb – preferably spring lamb
Oil for searing
Salt and pepper

For the sauce:

White wine – I used a sauvignon blanc
Chicken stock – I used a concentrated pase
Dijon Mustard
Hot English Mustard
Maple Syrup
Pomegranate juice

Martha's recipe called for pomegranate molasses – which I didn't have but I substituted the pomegranate juice and the maple syrup.

The first step in cooking the lamb is what will make the most difference to the outcome – let it come to room temperature before cooking – if your fridge is really cold like mine this could take over an hour.

Heat your oven to a moderate to low temperature.

Then heat a pan up til it is smoking, add the oil and sear the lamb on both sides until it has a nice colour – about 1 minute on each side should do it.  Make sure you've got your extractor on or your smoke alarms will go off!

Pop the lamb into a roasting pan with a smidgen of the wine, cover loosely with foil and cook it in the oven for about 20 to 30 minutes depending how pink you like it. 

While this is cooking, pour any excess oil out of your pan and put it back on the heat (moderate this time) and add your white wine – about a quarter of a cup.  Stir with a wooden spoon so all the brown bits stuck on the bottom come off into the sauce.

Add in your chicken stock and mustard.  Whisk it while adding so that there are no lumps.  Add a couple of teaspoons of maple syrup and about ½ a small box of pomegranate juice (be careful to taste as you go because it is quite sour).  Then simmer it quite quickly so that the sauce reduces to a thick glossiness.  Take it off the heat, taste to see what salt and pepper is needed.  If it's too sour add more maple syrup.  If it's too sweet add more pomegranate juice.  Finish with a good splash of cream and stir through.

The resulting lamb was gloriously tender and the sauce was unctuous – tasting not of mustard or of pomegranates but as something in its own right.