Sunday, March 30, 2008

Ghetto Gourmet

Nigel Slater's Kitchen Diaries is one of my favorite cookbooks. I love the seasonality of it (I do a quick browse through before I go to Saturday's farmers market), I love the simplicity of the recipes and how some of them are more suggestions that a full on how to.

This week C made little Italianesque pork meatballs with lemon and parmesan and a spicy chicken and mushroom fish sauce concoction- all delicious and from Nigel's book.

So on Friday night when we came home hungry and tired from the Late Nights presentation at the V&A museum we turned to his always delicious book for suggestions and stopped by the corner store to pick up the necessary ingredients.

We ate baked beans, tarted up with a bit of brown sugar and tabasco sauce with chips/fries.

And it was awesome.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Pear Pudding

My Great Aunt Jessie, whom I never met, is something of a legend in my mind. She was a formidable woman. She yelled a lot. I think my mom and the other kids thought she was kind of mean. But the woman could cook. Oh, god could she cook! Many of my mom's standard recipes are from Auntie Jesse.

One of my favorite comfort desserts is her Hasty Apple Pudding. It's not pretty, but it's warm and luscious and homey. My mom used to make it. Then she taught me to make it. I made a version for two tonight using the lovely pears in the photo and flavouring the sauce with some star anise.

Here's the full recipe. The halved one needs some tweaking. But this one would be perfect for a cold night and a family of four. Ice cream isn't absolutely necessary, but certainly wouldn't be amiss.

Hasty Apple/Pear Pudding

4-6 apples or pears

Slice the fruit and place them in a pan with a dusting of cinnamon.


50 g butter
100 g white sugar (flavored with a vanilla bean if that's what you've got!)
1 egg
250 g plain flour
2 tsp baking powder
a pinch of salt

Cream the butter and sugar, then beat in the egg.

Alternate between the dry ingredients and the milk til blended. Spoon over the pears.


250g brown sugar
1 tablespoon butter (that's 15 grams if you're weighing things. I like to weigh things. Spoons, lemons, pinches...)
1 tablespoon flour
1-1/2c water
a star anise for the pears or a tiny splash of vanilla for apples

Mix all the ingredients in a pot and let boil for five minutes. Pour over battered fruit.

Toss in the oven for 30 minutes or until the cake is done.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Market Finds

Our local market on Saturday is Broadway Market and I love it. It's small enough that you can wander through a couple of times before making your picks and is local enough that people are starting to recognize us. These lovely little tomatoes came on the vine and were fantastically tomatoey tasting, especially for this time of year. And I'm starting to learn the different varieties- way beyond plum, beefsteak and on the vine!

Oh cabbage. How I love you. How I cook you up with bacon and make you into soup, salad, pasta... There was a post on Gluten-Free Girl about what to do with a Savoy cabbage and I had to have one so I could try out some of the suggestions. Incidentally, one cabbage can feed two people for a very, very long time...