Wednesday, 21 October 2009

More Blasts from the Past

I'm sorry for all of these random photos, I am just really enjoying my wander down memory lane and have to share.

These photos are far more recent than my last post, they were taken in the months leading up to my decision to start this blog.

I'm pretty sure that this was an apple pie-ish experiment with a sponge cake-like topping. It was meant to be adapted from a Jamie Oliver recipe called Sheila's Pudding. If I knew then what I knew now I would have googled the recipe first to see what it was supposed to look like, but I didn't and ended up with this less than attractive dessert. I can't even remember how it tasted. I do know to google these things first now (I had to find the link to the recipe), and I'm inspired by the wonderful photos of other food bloggers. I think I may have to try this again.

Way back when this photo was taken, Channel 7 had a show called Saturday Kitchen. It was two hours or so of food shows and it was a godsend to those who couldn't afford Foxtel (that's us, and we still can't afford Foxtel). One of the shows was the BBC2 show The Best. I loved this show. I loved the food they cooked and I was very sad when they stopped showing it. I tracked down a copy of the cookbook from my local library and spent three glorious weeks cooking from it. Somehow, this was the only recipe that I took a picture of. My inner food blogger hadn't fully awakened. This is Ben's Crunchy Tomato Panzanella, which he made for The Best Cool Salad.

I have always been curious about panzanella, because it looks awesome but I have a morbid fear of soggy bread. I was careful with this one and made sure to only add the bread just before the photo and eating. Next time, I might just keep it separate altogether because by the time I ate it there was some sogginess. It was very tasty though. All of the recipes I've tried from that show have been awesome.

Ben’s Crunchy Tomato Panzanella
from The Best by Paul Merrett, Silvana Franco and Ben O’Donoghue

1 small, stale ciabatta loaf
4 tablespoons olive oil
salt and freshly ground pepper

For the tomato salad:
500g ripe vine tomatoes
a small bunch of fresh basil
2 garlic gloves
2 tablespoons white-wine vinegar
200ml extra-virgin olive oil
salt and freshly ground black pepper
about 100g wide leaf French rocket, washed.

Preheat oven to 200°C. Cut the crusts from the bread and pull of long strips. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Toast in the hot oven for 4-5 minutes until golden brown and crunchy on the outside but still soft in the middle.

Plunge the tomatoes into hot water, pour off the water, remove their skins and cut in half. Squeeze the seeds and juice from the tomato flesh over a sieve. Discard the seeds and retain the juice along with the flesh.

Rip the basil into pieces and put in pestle and mortar, with the cloves of garlic and a good pinch of salt. Pound to a pulp. Add the white-wine vinegar. Gradually add the olive oil and adjust the seasoning to taste.

Take the bread from the oven, put in a large bowl and add the tomato flesh and prepared dressing and toss around. Add the rocket and serve.

The last old photo is a recipe which either came from Jamie Oliver or Ian Hewitson and it is a variation on a classic jam drop biscuit. They were made in a cupcake tray with a puff pastry-type lining and a drop of jam placed in the centre and cream added afterwards. They were really tasty, I wish I could remember the recipe.

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