Showing posts from April, 2011

Squash and Sausage Couscous

I must start by apologising for the paucity of posts lately. I've no really good excuse, but I've been struggling to find the time to cook anything new. Anyway, there are some dishes that I just never get around to adding to this blog, despite making them frequently. In this case I think it’s because I hardly think of it as a recipe at all – just some things thrown together. But this is my ultimate comfort food and whenever I feel like an unexpected item in the bagging area of life, then this is the dish I reach for - even if it is slightly odd. According to my notebook I first made this a little over 2½ years ago, which was not long after I read the first Ottolenghi cookbook. It’s not an Ottolenghi dish – he wouldn’t sink so low – but it owes a lot to the combinations of flavours in that book. It’s not a pretty dish either, but it is very tasty and flexible. This recipe will serve to comfort 2 hungry people. ½ butternut squash or a whole small squash, peeled , deseeded a

Pear Clafouti

For this month’s Random Recipe challenge Dom of Belleau Kitchen has asked us to select something from our first ever cookbook. This is a big problem. I genuinely admire people who remember everything so well that they can tell you their life stories in great detail and in the right order. That doesn't really work for me. The further back in time, the less clear and distinctly odder it seems to become. Even more, I admire people who have managed to hold on to possessions such as cookbooks through all the changes in their lives. So I really don't know which cookbook I might have owned first. I can remember having a number of books in the seventies: books of cake recipes, French cooking and a traditional British cookbook. These were last seen in Tooting or Clapham around 1980. Unfortunately, I can't remember what any of those books were called or who they were by.   (For any reader unfamiliar with the suburbs of London I should point out that neither Tooting nor Clapham are

Gateau Nantais or Somewhere Near It

First of all I feel I should apologise to the people of Nantes (perhaps I should apologise to all the people of Brittany and even the entire population of France, just to be on the safe side). The reason being that Gateau Nantais is a traditional recipe which I have to admit that I've tweaked a bit. The traditional and authentic version tends to be quite heavily flavoured with rum – there's more rum in both the mixture and the syrup and an icing made purely with rum and no water. So, a lot of rum, then. My version is more lightly flavoured with rum, which means that the almond taste is more prominent. Anyway, this is the version I like, either as a dessert or with a cup of tea. For the gateau:     125 g butter, softened (the bakers of Nantes would, I feel sure, only use salted butter)     150 g caster sugar     100 g ground almonds     3 eggs, lightly beaten     40 g plain flour     2 tsp dark rum     a few drops of almond extract For the syrup:     4 tbsp water