After harping on about the awful recipes contained in this book last time, it was only fair to showcase some of the better recipes. Three of them will be included here (I actually made 4 however this week is all about being positive so we won’t mention the Asparagus Italienne. Ever.)
I chose the Stuffed Celery Curls as my first course. This was jam-packed with flavours I love – celery, walnuts, chives, cream cheese and Tabasco so there was everything to like. I chose not to add the red food colouring. I’m hyperactive enough without it and I could see no earthly reason why it should be there. I think the “au naturel” version looks much prettier anyway!
Sadly, my celery did not curl as per the picture in the book. I read the recipe as saying you needed 15 pieces of celery 5 cm long. Which is what I did. In retrospect, I think it may mean an unnamed number of pieces of celery 15 cm long by 5 cm wide. Although that doesn’t seem quite right either – 5cm seems too wide. If you really want your celery to curl, here is a link:
It didn’t really matter though because whilst mine did not look as fun, they tasted amazing! We had these as our starter however they could just as easily be a lunch box snack or as finger food. Blue cheese would be an amazing variation.
Mine – with obligatory knife but no curls
Next up, for our main dish I made a Farmhouse Potato Bake. This dish contains potatoes, Hungarian sausage (I used salami), sour cream and paprika so I guess is Eastern European in tone. It was damn good wherever it came from. If you weren’t fond of salami you could make this with ham, bacon, or left over roast beef or chicken or for a spot of luxury some smoked salmon. As you will see from the picture, I subbed in basil for the oregano. I think it is one of those recipes that you could pretty much use whatever proteins and herbs as you wanted. You could layer in other vegetables as well. Asparagus, green beans, spinach would all be great!
Salami and Onion Sauteing, Potatoes Par-Boiling in the background
I made a Panama Radish Salad from the book to go with this. Well, I sort of did. There is no intended slur to the recipe for my changes, I think you could follow it absolutely and the result would be delicious. I just happened to have no red onions and a bucketload of chives and rocket that I needed to use. So I swapped these in. I also used my favourite Black Russian tomatoes so my salad is probably “greener” than it should be….it still looks pretty good though.
Panama Radish Salad
These worked really well together, the pepperiness of the rocket and the radish in the salad, the freshness of the mint and the lemon in the dressing cut through some of the creamy, potato, salami induced richness of the Farmhouse bake. Two big ticks here, will definitely be making both of these again.
The Meal – Delicious!