A confession from the kitchen…
…I nearly failed a challenge I set myself in December.
Jenny came over last night and reminded me that it is now February and there has been no word of Battenburgbelle’s Book of the Month, whereby I ask a guest to select at random a cook book from my sagging shelves. I am then to cook from that for the month. I was under the impression I said I’d cook from the chosen book at least once a week, but apparently I just have to use the book that month, no rules as to how often. That was a relief, as Jenny, in her infinite wisdom chose this one:
I have very fond (if vague) memories of watching his programme back in the day. I think I had a slight crush, which is frankly a bit weird. Showed Missy B a clip on YouTube, which did raise a giggle or two, but it’s a bit of a pain in the backside as an actual cook book. It veers between teaching useful but very basic methods (how to boil a potato, for example – I’m pretty much on top of that already) and VERY 1970s meals. So my confession is that I had been putting it off and hoping it would go away, but Jenny was adamant that I couldn’t fail the challenge without even starting it.
And therefore this morning she frog marched me into the kitchen and insisted that we had: Graham Kerr’s poached eggs. I regularly poach an egg for breakfast, but henceforth instead of poaching them in a small pan and keeping my fingers crossed, I will be using this method.So here goes, a simple but rather awesome recipe for Poached Eggs:
Eggs, at room temperature – however many you need
- Place a frying pan on a low heat and brush with a little melted butter.
- Bring a (fairly large) pan of water to the boil and lower the eggs into the water in a basket/colander.
- Boil for exactly 10 seconds then remove them.
- Pour the boiling water into the buttered pan.
- Crack the eggs into the pan and keep them on a low heat (not quite simmering) until the whites are set.
- Lift out with a slotted spoon and dry gently with kitchen paper.
- Serve on toast, with marmite for me, butter for Jenny.
Special message for Davie McG: there is NO vinegar. I rest my case.
For our dinner Jenny and I had this delicious Quinoa and Lentil Salad, from Katie Quinn Davies’ lovely book What Katie Ate. We managed to stop Missy B stealing all the halloumi, but only by sending her to bed.
200g Puy lentils
1 tbsp red wine vinegar
1 tbsp olive oil
250g baby tomatoes, quartered
3 spring onions, finely sliced
1 green chilli, de-seeded and finely sliced
20 spears of asparagus
1 pack of halloumi, sliced
juice and finely grated zest of 2 limes
handful of mint leaves, roughly chopped
salt and pepper
- Cook the lentils, in simmering water for about 20 minutes. Drain and cool.
- Cook the quinoa in simmering water for about 15 minutes. Drain and cool.
- Mix the lentils and quinoa, add the oil and vinegar oil.
- Boil a pan of water and cook the asparagus for 2-3 minutes, then drain and place in a bowl of iced water. Drain again and add to the lentils and quinoa.
- Add the tomatoes, spring onions, chilli, mint and lime zest.
- Heat a chargrill or frying pan and add the halloumi. Drizzle lime juice over the halloumi and sear for a couple of minutes on each side.
- Add to the salad, with more lime juice and season to taste.
Serve with crusty bread – we shared one of these lovely fougasses. A bit misshapen, need to practice that Bertinet method again!
Jenny has chosen my next book by the use of a random number selection process. The 37th book on he shelves was The Great British Bake Off – so there will be cakes in February. Jenny suggested I do the coffee and walnut Battenburg, for obvious reasons, but she had forgotten that only last night we discussed the fact the if there is one cake I really don’t like, it’s coffee and walnut…