Today I went to work. Shortly I shall be hotfooting it to The Nightjar, where husband's band is playing and soon after, I plan to drive to Suffolk for a second mini holiday... However, right now, rather than packing and preparing, I seem to be stuck on the sofa recovering from having eaten this beast (or some of him, at least).
We used to eat sardines all the time - at least once a week. I can't really remember why we stopped. I think maybe Abel & Cole stopped delivering when they went out of season and we just never remembered to reorder them again...
Anyway, today we cooked them my very favourite way - baked with garlic and parsley and then liberally doused in lemon juice.
We ate them with another favourite - beautiful buttery (though not actually), garlicky samphire.
Except that, tragically, by the time they were cooked, the purple (really dark purple - almost black) ones had turned as green as the greens... A bit sad. Still tasty though. I ate mine with a duck egg.
Having spent the best part on eight hours at work today (onna Sunday!) I didn't fancy cooking for hours.
What better, then, that tasty Fin and Flounder sea bass en papillote? Laziest cooking ever :-)
Served with samphire and garlic.
I love samphire. It's amazing how something fried in so very little far can taste so deliciously buttery.
I slightly resent actually paying for something which is clearly supposed to be free, but occasionally one has to grit one's teeth and get on with it!
When I got home yesterday, I found a pan full of leftover red cabbage - weird... So I laboriously podded and shelled about a million broad beans, stirfried them with a whole load of chilli and garlic and chucked a yummy duck egg on the top. Obviously.
Today was the first day in ages that husband and I were home together in the evening, so we had to have meats... In the interests of this and of using up ancient things from the freezer, tonight we feasted upon lambs' kidneys in tomato sauce and roasted vegetables.
I was recently fortunate enough (for some unspecified reason) to be invited along to a Sacla dinner, to promote their new range of fresh (i.e. fridge, not cupboard) products, hosted by lovely Lee and Fi of the Friday Food Club, so last Friday, I, and a splendid crowd of other miscellaneous hungry bloggers and Twitterers, pitched up at the beautiful AK Rowing Club near Hammersmith.
Now, at this point, you're going to have to forgive my extreme lack of photos (and possibly look at some of the otherblogs of the evening) and just believe me when I say that it was an absolutely gorgeous location.
We were greeted with glasses of something spumante and (also unphotographed) canapés of loveliness. I love nibble things - these might have been the food highlights of the evening.
There were yummy little sage bread puffs with pestoey dipping sauce, beautiful breaded quails eggs with an asparagus sauce, crumbed pestoed mussels (yum - I love mussels) and goats cheese and tomato pesto calzoncini, which were like wee savoury doughnuts. All absolutely delicious - apologies for not photographing - I promise to do better next time.
We then sat down to coriander pesto pea fritters with spiced green sauce - lovely curry spicing - not what I was expecting at all.
Accompanied by this 2010 Roero Arneis - I didn't necessarily expect to like this much - not totally my kind of thing, but in fact crispy and lovely, without being overpoweringly tropical fruity.
Then pasta - fresh trofie with cherry tomato and wild garlic sauce and parmesan - probably the most unadulterated example of what you might be able to do with the new Sacla range at home without a team of awesome chefs to assist you!
I was starting to feel a bit fooded out at this stage, but gallantly worked my way through the arancini and pork bitterballen with rocket and pecorino salad and red pepper sauce (or 'a plateful of balls') - delicious, but slightly overwhelming in their enormity.
Digestion was splendidly assisted by this Nebbiolo D'Alba from 2008 - my wine pick of the night (I'll be memorising and looking out for it again) - fruity and delicious and almost certainly chock-full of booze!
We finished the meal with bison grass vodka and mint panna cotta with candied pistachios and summer berries. The panna cotta was perfect - many of us did the jiggly jelly boobs panna cotta test to make sure - and beautifully subtly flavoured and the summer fruits and nuts (delicious, despite being a wee bit crystallised) were a splendid foil to the creaminess.
We were sent away at the close of the evening with exciting party bags, filled with Sacla pasta and literature and Fi's awesome muffins (which I only got a wee bite of as husband devoured mine as soon as I got home).
All in all, I had a really lovely night - the food, drink, surroundings and company were all absolutely delightful, and it was great to meet up with old and new friends.
As for Sacla, I was impressed with the taste of the new fresh pasta and pesto range and enjoyed the party bag pasta over the following week.
Would I buy them? I'm not really certain. I don't generally eat pasta (for health type reasons), other than occasionally when I make it myself (just for fun really) and pesto is super easy to knock up yourself - I do it quite often. I might buy the fresh pasta for husband occasionally.
Would I recommend them? Yes - I think I probably would. I have friends that cook way less than I do and are too busy to bother making pesto/pasta - something like this - quick and easy, but a bit nicer than the back of the cupboard stuff - would be perfect. Actually, I might send husband out to get it sometimes too - for the days when I'm not about and he's not feeling very capable!
Many thanks to Lee and Fi and the nice people at Sacla for inviting me along!
This was supposed to be a post about a passion fruit meringue pie, that I made to take to a BBQ (which, in fact, turned out very well), but has morphed somewhat, due to the need to use up the leftover meringue.
I had been planning to recycle the meringue that I didn't use into macarons or similar, but eavesdropping a few conversations on Twitter gave me another idea...
I knocked up some quick shortbread rounds (using the infallible 1-2-3 recipe)
Then I piped meringue circles round the edge (to avoid seepage) and spooned jam (almost the end of the final jar of wedding strawberry jam, in fact - it's lasted nearly a year) into the middles
I chopped the end off my meringue filled piping bag, to make a bigger hole, and piped meringue over the top.
Can you tell what they are yet?
Husband couldn't, and they're practically his national dish ;-)
I stuck them in the fridge to chill while I tempered some chocolate, then I smothered them and left them out to set while I went off to eat meat and Big Prawns at the BBQ.
And later, when we returned, hey presto - Not-Tunnocks Teacakes :-)