Wednesday, 8 September 2010

James Martin - My Kitchen Cookbook Review + afternoon tea take two

My grandparents were over from France during the summer so I decided that an afternoon tea would be a nice British thing to do and oh so fashionable! As with my previous attempt at a full afternoon tea I tried to make as many things as possible in advance so I didn't cry on the day! I think all were impressed with how it turned out. Ooooo .... pretty!

The scones were not made by me, made by my fair Mama from her Good Housekeeping 'Cooking is Fun' cookbook which can safely be called vintage! It may be older than me but it does make very nice scones, back when food was 'proper'.
For the other offerings I used a combination of Rachel Allen's Bake cookbook and James Martin's My Kitchen. I'll be focussing on James Martin's book today - the brownies and the ham terrine.

Look at how much effort I go to - flower shaped toast with smoked salmon!!

On the strength of the success of the ham terrine from my last afternoon tea I decided to buy the book - it deserved a place in my collection (plus it was a bargainous £6.99 - huzzah!). There are honestly only a handful of recipes I wouldn't try, and that's only because I don't eat things such as rabbit or lamb. Recipes are sorted by seasons and all look very unfussy and simple to make which makes me believe that Mr Martin really does make this food at home.

There is a nice short introduction to each chapter with a few examples of what is in season at that time of year. It makes it look easy to shop locally and seasonally when food looks this tasty.

Recipes include Sliced duck breast with winter stir-fry and Scallops with black pudding and apple puree, both of which I made from the taster booklet from Good Food magazine. The winter stir-fry made a very nice accompaniment to the juicy duck and manages to make sprouts tasty! The scallops and black pudding made a gorgeous dish with apple and has quickly become part of my repertoire. It is in fact making an appearance for La Mama's birthday meal next week if nice scallops can be found.
The pressed ham terrine was ultra successful once again, in fact I think it was even better this time. Still no ham hock found so used a gammon joint and boiled it till it fell apart beautifully. I tore the ham into smaller pieces this time so it looked a little bit prettier, but only vaguely! But who cares when it tastes this good?! I was glad that there was plenty left to eat more later on toast.

The other recipe I used was the Black cherry brownie recipe from the summer chapter. He admits that there is nothing particularly special about this recipe but it's the best one he's found in 20 years. Would I agree? Well, again they just didn't set very well. I'm not very lucky with brownies. They did taste absolutely yummy though and the fresh cherries cut through the chocolate nicely. It was quite a job trying to get nice petite squares onto my cake stand though! The rest of the pan of brownies were eaten with a spoon with cream on top. Double indulgence. Oh, and obligatory glitter.

So pretty darn successful, bar a soggy brownie- definitely one that everyone should add to their cookbook collection. Next I want to try Slow-roasted tomatoes with Worcestershire sauce, Potted salt beef with gherkins and Grilled halibut with champ and lemon caper butter. Tempted yet?

Next time, afternoon tea part two with Rachel Allen.

1 comment:

  1. I think you have done really well with your afternoon tea, everything looks delicious. I would eat your food anytime.