This was my menu planning before we went on holiday, I had hoped to continue cooking from Food after we came back from holiday but the incentive hasn’t been there (although after 5 days of camping the joy of being able to eat hot food from an oven is immense - first thing I did after I got off the train at Paddington was go into M&S Food and buy some filled jacket potatoes and onion rings to throw into the oven as soon as we got in through the door). Plus my copy of Bill Granger’s new book Easy arrived today and looks delish, so sorry Mary, your cheesy vegetarian food has lost its appeal, not that I will probably be cooking much over the next week, I’m having a wisdom tooth out later on today (and it’s apparently going to involve stitches this time, eek), so if it’s anything like last time I had a wisdom tooth out, I’m not going to be up to eating much, let along cooking it. Anyway, what did I make from Mary McCartney’s Food?
I used the white spaghetti sauce recipe to make a sort of carbonara (adding spanish panceta, nope that’s not a spelling mistake, it’s like italian pancetta, except without the extra t and in my opinion it doesn’t taste as nice). It was basically just a creme fraiche sauce, something I’ve made from various cookbooks quite a lot but for some reason this, although edible, just wasn’t that nice, it may have been the addition of the panceta though.
A quinoa salad, it was ok, I didn’t add the tomatoes as although I am teaching myself to like raw tomato I’m still not keen (I thought it was about time at the grand old age of 37 and I will now eat raw tomato if it’s heavily flavoured, like in a chunky salsa or a thai wrap, but without that much flavouring, nope not yet) and I forgot to add the spring onion, so it was a little bland. It was edible but I couldn’t help but think, eating it, that I’ve had nicer quinoa salads.
Oh my goodness this was absolutely gorgeous; buttered courgette and cheesy polenta, yep this was ‘unhealthy’ vegetarian food again but it was the sort of food that makes me want to curl up in a cosy spot somewhere with a big bowl of it. Although it’s a bit of a bizarre recipe, in that I cooked this on one of the hottest days of the year and all that carb and fat with the polenta and the cheese was like adding extra fuel to the furnace and I was literally sweating by the end of it, so it felt like more of a cold day dish but yet with the addition of the courgette, that makes it a summer dish if you’re going to eat seasonally (although if you were going to eat seasonally based on what I’ve successfully grown from my allotment this year you’d be starving, as even my courgettes have not done well this year, I had five plants, two died, one didn’t flower at all, one flowered but no fruit and the other flowered but produced tiny anaemic looking courgettes that even as far as eating baby courgettes go, looked totally inedible, the weather this year for growing has been appalling). But back to the seasonality of this dish, I guess you could swap the frozen courgette for frozen mixed Mediterranean veg (I don’t use that much frozen veg but I do always have a bag of mixed Med veg in the freezer) to extend it into the winter. Either way I will be making this again, just not too often, my poor waistline.
So, in summary, I don’t think I’ve sold anyone this book have I? If you want a good vegetarian cook book I’d thoroughly recommend Hugh FWs vegetarian book, now that’s brilliant, however there are some good recipes in Food and I’m sure that I probably will discover some more from the book in time but at the moment . . . I think this book was probably worth the cover price for the jalapeno tostados (which I have cooked so many times now) and the buttered courgette recipe alone, but only just.
- Food by Mary McCartney – week 1 (lacer.wordpress.com)