Thursday, 29 April 2010

Courgette overload

My friend told me about a rather nice recipe she had found in The Guardian, savoury muffins with courgettes and mozzarella, so I said I'd also give them a try. And here's the result:These were really easy to make and actually made the amount they said they would. I can't tell you how happy that makes me! Often baking recipes leave you with way more mixture than they say but these were just right. I halved the quantities and swapped the mozzarella for feta cheese, and left out the bacon. I should have put less salt in the muffins as the feta was already quite salty - but as an anchovy lover I'm not afraid of a bit of salt!

These were great as a quick lunch or as a tasty snack. Will be trying these out again with the mozzarella. I'm a convert to savoury muffins! Try them out yourself :

Turns out I bought way too many courgettes for the muffins so had to find another nice sounding recipe. I fancied looking through my 400 appetizers and party recipes book to see what they could offer me. They came up trumps with courgette fritters.

These were heavenly shallow fried little fritters, all soft and squidgy in the middle and really simple to make. The only hardship was waiting for them to cook in batches before I could eat them. It's the first recipe I've made from this book, which I pretty much just bought because it was £4 but it was a £4 very well spent as there are so many things I want to try. I like books that you can just dip into and find something yummy every time. I served my fritters with a beetroot, tomato and mozzarella salad which was a perfect accompaniment.

There's still 1 courgette in the kitchen after my mum made a courgette and gruyere souffle. Think I'll have to go back to the muffins this bank holiday weekend.

And lastly - nothing to do with courgettes, just thought this was cute. All our cats getting along, enjoying some food. Sadly not my food but gourmets all the same!

Monday, 19 April 2010

Lazy Brunch cookbook review

Phew, I haven't updated for almost a month. Been on holiday to France, eating nice cheese and soups (it was cold - boo), and now I'm back and have a stinking cold. I can just about taste food so thought I'd get on with my first proper cookbook review, the whole purpose of this blog.

This week's review is Lazy Brunch by Simon Rimmer and Tim Lovejoy - recipes as seen on Something for the Weekend, which I try not to miss - not for Tim Lovejoy's gregarious presenting style but for Simon Rimmer's 4 recipes every week. I question whether Tim Lovejoy had much involvement in writing this cookbook, why oh why does he present a programme based on recipes when he clearly has no interest in cooking? I can't decide if Louise Redknapp is worse or not, my prefered line-up would be stand-in presenters Angelica Bell and Richard Bacon, at least they ask questions about the recipes and PAY ATTENTION!! Grrr, rant over, back to the review!

I like the layout of the book, I'm always happy when there is a photo next to each recipe, so you have an idea of how the dish should turn out. The photos are bright and inviting and make you want to start cooking. The recipes are all taken from the last section of the show, the lazy brunch (never would have guessed would you?!) so are quicker and hopefully easier to make than the other recipes in the show.

Without wanting to be sexist, I think this book is aimed at men. I can back this up as a couple of sections of the cookbook are called 'Beers with the boys' and 'Treating your girlfriend' so I think I'm justified!! Maybe this is where Tim Lovejoy comes in, to try and attract the football/food loving guy. Sexism aside this is an attractive looking book and there are plenty of recipes I want to try out, might have scrapped the title of the last section though. 'The olds round for brunch' - nice!

I tried two recipes this weekend, the first being king prawn pad thai. Looks a mess but tasted really nice. I thought I might leave the peanuts out as I'm not really keen but was persuaded otherwise. Good choice as they added a really nice crunch and weren't too strong. Rice noodles, bean sprouts and prawns are always a winner for me. Maybe it was just missing one extra fresh flavour to bring it to life, some mangetout or red pepper. I think I'd also use fresh red chili instead of dried flakes. Definitely one to make again. Good stuff so far.

Recipe two was tomato and anchovy tarte tatin. What can I say? The cooking timings were spot on and it was really delicious. I used baby plum tomatoes instead of full-sized ones but don't think this made any difference to the recipe, just perhaps ended up with a sweeter tarte. I adore anchovies, I'd quite happily eat them straight for a tin, added salt and all, and they worked perfectly with the tomatoes. I just served this with a simple green salad. Lovely.

So win for Lazy Brunch if you ignore the laddish qualities and Tim Lovejoy's face. A fair few other recipes I want to try eventually, such as tuna and ricotta fritters, chicken koftas and tartare of salmon and avocado. It makes a nice to change to see a book full of savoury dishes, I tend to go a bit mad on dessert books sometimes. Will now go make myself a spicy thai soup with the rest of the beansprouts to try and make myself feel better. Stupid colds...