Monthly Archives: July 2009

Best. Cookies. Ever.

Ridiculously good cookies

Ridiculously good cookies

I realize this may be a bit of a controversial claim, but I’m fairly confident that these are the best chocolate chip cookies in the world.  They get slightly crispy at the edges but stay nice and chewy in the middle.  The sea salt means they aren’t overly sweet, particularly if you use high quality dark chocolate.

But don’t take my word for it: try them for yourself.  Recipe after the jump. Continue reading

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Everything is Better with (Streaky) Bacon

poached egg1I recently made a pizza with asparagus and goat’s cheese and fortunately had a decent amount of asparagus left over to enjoy for brunch the next day.  I decided that I would use streaky bacon in lieu of prosciutto in this classic dish in combination with roasted asparagus and a poached egg.  It is such a simple meal that it almost doesn’t require instructions, but just to be sure everybody is on the same page:

Cook the streaky bacon to your desired crispiness-level and drain on kitchen roll.

Drizzle olive oil over the asparagus, season and place into a fairly hot oven until it is cooked, but not burnt. This should only take about 7-10 minutes.

Before placing the asparagus in the oven, heat a saucepan with two or three inches of water to a boil and reduce the heat to barely a simmer. Crack two room temperature eggs into shallow dishes, being careful not to break the yolks. After the asparagus has been in the oven for 3 or 4 minutes, add 1/3 cup of vinegar to the simmering water (this helps the egg whites to stay with the yolk).  Very gently add the eggs to the simmering water and allow to softly simmer for 2-3 minutes. Carefully remove the eggs one at a time with a slotted spoon and allow to drain on kitchen roll.

Remove the asparagus from the oven, top with streaky bacon and a poached egg, finish with black pepper. Enjoy.
– Ryan
poached egg2

I’m never calling it “pizza” again

How serendipitous!  I just logged on to write a post about the homemade pizza I made last night, only to learn from Eve that it used to be called Italian rarebit.  Amazing.

Last night's homemade Italian rarebit

Last night's homemade Italian rarebit

Anyway, I had an inexplicable urge last night to make pizza, so I whipped up some dough using a Jaime Oliver recipe.  I halved the quantities, and used self-raising flour because that was all I had in the house.  I also used the food processor instead of my hands for the first time.  I don’t think it’s faster, but it avoids the sticky hands problem.  I also found the water quantity specified by the recipe far too high – I didn’t use all of it and still had to add much more flour.

After letting the dough rise and rolling a quarter of it out into something vaguely circular, I topped it with tomato sauce, spinach, mozzarella, carmelized onions, plum tomatoes, and goat’s cheese.  And I still have enough dough for three more pizzas ready in the freezer for an evening I need an easy dinner solution.

– Anna

This is a funny country

According to my favorite stupid food show these days, pizza was known as “Italian rarebit” when it made its first appearance in post-war Britain.

-Eve

Quick and easy: pasta with roasted tomatoes and mascarpone

by Flickr user missy & the universe (Creative Commons licence)

by Flickr user missy & the universe (Creative Commons licence)

This easy pasta dish is surprisingly tasty, it only requires 3 or 4 ingredients, and active time is a minimal 2-3 minutes.  My version was inspired by a recipe in Nigella Express that uses sundried tomatoes, but I’ve never liked sundried tomatoes (the texture is wrong), so I substitute roasted plum or cherry tomatoes instead.

Instructions as follows: preheat the oven to 200c, then halve a punnet or two of small tomatoes.  Spread over a baking tray, drizzle with olive oil, then season.  I sometimes add minced garlic at this point as well.  Stick the tomatoes in the oven for 20 minutes, and cook the pasta whilst they’re roasting.  When the pasta is ready, drain (reserve some cooking liquid, you may need it to thin the sauce).  Stir in the roasted tomatoes and mascarpone.  You can also use cream fraiche.

I’ve cooked this for two different people in the last couple weeks and it’s been very well received both times.  Not bad for something so effortless!

– Anna

Hosting a party when you’re sick

toilet paperActual food-related blogging to resume shortly.

In the meantime, photographic evidence that a little illness doesn’t have to compromise a classy party spread.

-Eve

Lemsip love

Nature's miracle

Nature's miracle

Lemsip and tea, I tell ya.

Sure it turns the tea a frightening shade of electric orange, but I’ve always found that a very healing color.

-Eve