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Entries in rosemary (4)

Tuesday
Nov232010

Jamie Oliver's "Spicy" lamb shanks

Updated on Monday, November 29, 2010 at 4:01PM by Registered CommenterVix

When I read ‘spicy’ I think hot and spicy, fiery, piquant. I am aware that spicy has several other meanings in relation to food (aromatic, fragrant, ‘seasoned with or containing spices’) but I think it is misleading to use the word 'spicy' in the name of the dish if it doesn’t pack any heat. This dish sits in the aromatic camp and, technicalities aside, it is a very nice recipe.

I have my friend Ray to thank for reintroducing me to Jamie Oliver; in admitting that I liked this recipe and the meatballs she made me, before I knew they were Jamie Oliver’s, I also had to admit that my dislike for him was mostly superficial.

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Monday
Oct112010

Amazing cake, how sweet and round...

Deborah Mele's Rustic apple cake with rosemary syrup

‘That cake was absolutely f**king …’

‘Amazing?’

‘Yeah’  

I made this cake a few nights ago and it was by all accounts ‘amazing’. Normally, when the boyfriend is around I am only allowed to take in enough cake to share with my team, but as he was away on business I was able to take the whole thing to work. I should do so more often; my colleagues are certainly more vocal in their gratitude and, hey, even if I am buying the attention, it is nice to bask in the glory of an amazing cake for a few hours. 

Luisa Weiss, of The Wednesday Chef put me onto the idea of using rosemary in baking, when she blogged about her new discovery in Kim Boyce’s cookbook:

I did not think I would ever be a fan of rosemary in cake. I like it on my potatoes just fine, but in my desserts? Nah, no thanks.

Silly me ... I don't know how she figured this out, but the fruity olive oil, the dark funk of the chocolate and the herbal, aggressive rosemary combine in the heat of the oven to produce the most astonishing thing: a simple tea cake that tastes complex and deep and delicious, with a flavor that is very, very difficult to put your figure on. It tastes so bewitchingly good, you will find yourself thinking about the cake the day after you make it, and the day after that as well, trying to find excuses to bake another round of it.

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Monday
Oct042010

From Angela Hartnett's Rabbit pappardelle to duck pie

 

A couple of people have requested the recipe for the rabbit ragù that I made when I was in France. The recipe is another of my favourites from Angela Hartnett’s Cucina. In Hartnett’s recipe she uses the ragù as a sauce for pappardelle, as is traditional in the Emilia Romagna region:

This is a very rustic creation from Emilia-Romagna, and in my view there’s no tastier pasta dish in Italy. The rabbit is slowly roasted, then stewed to make the most fantastic, rich meat sauce, and it’s served with wide ribbon noodles called pappardelle.

I agree that the rich meat sauce is delicious with pasta, but I have also taken to using it as a pie filling in the colder months.

I have made this ragù many times, but until my recent visit to France I had always used duck as a substitute for rabbit. Would you respect me more if I said I did this because I think the taste and texture of duck meat to be far superior? Probably, but in reality it was simply a matter of convenience. I could have gone to the butcher, but my local Sainsbury’s sells whole Gressingham ducks at half price on a regular basis, so I almost always have one in the freezer.

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Sunday
Aug082010

Ray's meatballs, inspired by Jamie Oliver

Updated on Sunday, August 8, 2010 at 6:04PM by Registered CommenterVix

Updated on Tuesday, November 9, 2010 at 9:05PM by Registered CommenterVix


 

Let's get a few things straight before I start this recipe.

I am in the camp of people who find Jamie Oliver a rather annoying personality (the pseudo-geezer thing), but who appreciate what he has done for food in Britain (example). I like his early books (I only got as far as the first two), but I sit firmly with the Italians when it comes to 'Jamie's Italy'. Basically, if Italy is, as he says, his biggest inspiration ("I should have been Italian"), then why can’t he respect the time-honoured recipes developed over generations instead of coming in and throwing all manner of herbs and spices into dishes that traditionally would have been made up of a few ingredients, cooked simply and allowed to shine. In the words of Angela Hartnett,

Nonna taught me to understand what great Italian cooking is all about: start with the very best raw ingredients and do very little to them; just let them speak for themselves, and make the best of their natural flavours and textures.

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