There is a quick introduction and then some kitchen essentials, most of the ingredients I already had which was good, ditto for the kitchen equipment. Then it's straight into the 1st chapter - Meals in Minutes. I like that there are no sprawling essays, just quick intros and then on with the recipes. Chapters include Party Food and Drinks, Comfort Food and Stretch Your Meals. I honestly don't think there's one recipe, lamb aside, that I wouldn't want to eat.
Wednesday, 29 June 2011
Wednesday, 22 June 2011
The book contains a lot of recipes and it's really well laid out. There are several chapters including Salads and Dressings, Emulsion Sauces, Custards and Souffles. Each chapter starts with a classic recipe such as a Fish Pie or Pasta with a Fresh Tomato Sauce. There are photos of each stage of the recipe and the instructions are very clear. There are then some tips and ideas and also some variations so the dish can be practiced a few times without making everyone eat the same dish again and again!
The other recipes vary from the easy to the more advanced so the book is suitable for all levels. One negative aspect of the book's design is the font for the recipe titles and ingredients lists are in red and can get a little lost in bright light which is a little annoying. The instructions are in black which are much easier to read.
The cherries tasted lovely after adding the alcohol! However the clafoutis was really solid! I'm a fan of really heavy yorkshire puddings so I didn't mind too much but it didn't compare to Grandmere's - but her's is a lot more like cake so the ingredients must be different and I'm well aware I made a recipe from a batter section. I'd probably give another recipe a go next time but if you're in the market for a bit of stodge then this is definitely one to try.
Wednesday, 15 June 2011
The recipes go from the traditional and expected flavours such as vanilla, chocolate and strawberry; to the highly unusual like goat's cheese ice cream, licorice all-sort ice cream and rosemary, carrot and orange granita. There is so much to choose from I don't think you could ever be bored with ice cream! The recipes are one or two pages long so there's no struggling with turning the page when you're elbow deep in cream and sugar (slight exaggeration!). The photos are really bold and usually full page - I'm impressed by the different ways they present the ice cream, quite jealous of some of the bowls!
There are six chapters, including Ice Cream Parlour, Gelateria and Soda Fountain. I especially like sound of the Soda Fountain section as it's full of sickening, fatty recipes you'd expect to find in a 1950s diner like bourbon and brown sugar ice cream and pink peppermint candy cane ice cream! Wow!
I started with the custard base first after pureeing and sieving my strawberries. This was another first - making my own custard and ruddy hell was it delicious! Much easier than I thought it would be and I had to restrain myself from just eating it like that straight from the pan! I had to keep stirring it as it cooled to make sure a skin didn't form on top, but mostly it was because I wanted to lick the spoon each time! Double-dipping times about 30 but it was only feeding immediate family so no worries!
Wednesday, 8 June 2011
As with many places in Amsterdam, they were extremely proud of their ingredients and where they were sourced. Their flour came from one particular windmill and a lot of items on the menu were organic. Our hotel also served a lot of organic food for breakfast - even the food court in the airport were proud to sell local apples.
We ate in a beautiful cafe in the Handbag museum. A gorgeous, privately-owned museum and an equally gorgeous cafe for a light lunch. They also do an afternoon tea, which I can definitely imagine. We had a salmon sandwich and a raw beef sandwich. The bread was one of the nicest sourdoughs breads I've had. La Mama wasn't so sure of her raw beef. We were expecting really thin slices like carpaccio as in all the supermarkets, but what arrived was really thick slices which tasted a lot like pastrami but which was really soft in texture. I thought it was tasty so I just ate more for lunch! It was also very important that I realised my pear and strawberry juice was 'biological', I was told both on ordering and when it was served! It was delicious.
One of the places I wanted to visit before we arrived in Amsterdam was Burgermeester. Our hotel suggested it too so I was very hopeful. It wasn't just an ordinary burger joint, oh no! Again, the ingredients were all the best possible. There were even photos on the walls of the cows that were used to make the first burgers. Best not to look into their eyes too much as you chow down on your beefburger! The beef only came from the Blonde D'Aquitaine breed, a French breed "but Dutch citizens"! The different burger varities are seasonal and I think we were there at the start of a new menu. The great thing is you can choose 3 mini burgers for 11 euros so you can try different flavours rather than struggle to decide which one you want.
I had a Meester burger with beef, grilled vegetables and tarragon mayonnaise; an Italian chicken burger with pesto and wild spinach and a Broad bean falafel burger. All very lovely and I really need to make broad bean falafels at home as they were very impressive.