Another weekend been and gone. This time it was filled with food, friends and far too much drink. One of my dinner guests was Rosina who won a love shoot competition through the blog with Amy Lewin. It turned in to a full blown engagement shoot when her boyfriend got down on one knee half way through. Tears all round!
Lemon and aspargus risotto – we add prawns as the thought of a voluntary meat free meal makes me panicked. From Nigel Slater’s Kitchen Diaries.
If you don’t want to use chicken stock, you can, of course, use a vegetable version. It will taste similar, but the risotto will lack the silky texture that can only be achieved with a fine, gelatinous chicken stock. Serves 2.
a small onion
200g arborio rice
a glass of white wine (I used Noilly Prat)
1 litre hot chicken stock
3 tbsp grated Parmesan
Melt the butter in a wide, high-sided pan over a very low heat. Peel the onion and chop it finely. If your onion is larger than a golf ball you will only need half of it. Let it soften in the butter, stirring it from time to time so that it does not colour.
Stir in the rice, folding the grains over in the butter with a wooden spoon. Then pour in the wine or vermouth. Let it bubble down until the liquid has pretty much disappeared, then chop the asparagus into short lengths as it does so. Add a hefty ladleful of hot stock, turn the heat up a bit, then let the liquid almost disappear, before adding the pieces of asparagus and a second ladle of stock. Continue adding the stock as it boils down to almost nothing, until it has all gone. Stir the rice often, grating and squeezing the lemons as you go.
Season with salt, pepper, the lemon zest and juice, and continue cooking till the rice is creamy but has a little bite left in it. Stir in the cheese and eat immediately.
Rose and pistachio cake with lemon frosting – so very easy to make and utterly delicious – another Nigel Slater gem.
50g caster sugar
100g shelled pistachios
100g ground almonds
1 tsp rosewater
60g plain flour
Preheat the oven to 160C. Line a non-stick 22cm cake pan with baking paper.
Cream the butter and sugar in a mixer until very light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating between additions. Blitz the pistachios in a processor, and add them and the almond meal to the butter and sugar mixture. Finely grate and squeeze an orange and add into the mixture along with the rosewater. Fold in the flour with a large metal spoon.
Scoop mixture into the lined baking tin and bake for 50 minutes and cover with foil for the last ten minutes. Note that the two I made actually took a lot longer than this to cook, but anyway, cook until a skewer in the centre comes out fairly clean. Cool in the tin.
Mix 100gm icing sugar and 2 Tbspns freshly squeezed lemon juice together until smooth and pour over the cake. Decorate with whatever you like – shelled pistachios, cystallised rose petals or whatever takes your fancy.
Ginger Von Tease (Vanessa Kimbell) – 1 part gin, 1 part elderflower cordial 4 parts ginger beer
Sloegasm – prosecco and sloe gin
I always go in to a dinner party with the intention to take lots of photos. But I always forget. So this will have to suffice.
I also enjoy it when guests come for supper because it means I can buy flowers and top up on scented candles. This time Orange Blossom. Delicious. Stocks in the guest bathroom and the ever so beautiful peonies at the dining table.
On Sunday I died a little. Fry up, formula 1, thai food and football. I felt slightly better around 10pm. Just in time to write this. Oh, and Atticus had a bath and brush…
Coming up on the blog this week; pretty flowers, real mood-board, maps, an upset bride and you can WIN some wedding shoes AND wedding jewellery!!
SO, how was your weekend?