Guardian Girl

Fried halloumi with runner bean salad

Posted in Recipes by guardiangirl on July 23, 2009

Last night had to be the most successful evening of cooking so far. First of all the fried halloumi with runner bean salad turned out absolutely lovely. The ingredients were easy to find and not too expensive. I was able to follow each step faithfully rather than leaping up them two at a time, coat tails flying in the wind. There were no feelings of frustration or inadequacy. I love Rosie Sykes for this. I also defrosted and heated through my previous beetroot salad and raspberry tarts with great success, making a full-on Guardian meal of loveliness for my bezzer mate and I.

Fried halloumi with runner bean salad

Fried halloumi with runner bean salad

Fried halloumi with runner bean salad! Nailed it!

Fried halloumi with runner bean salad! Nailed it!

Conclusion:
  • I feel a bit like a school kid saying goodbye to a really lovely supply teacher. ‘Miss Sykes, why can’t you write recipes for the Guardian every week?’ (I know she used to. Maybe they could get her back if they offered her a payrise?)
  • The ingredients for this one managed to be tasty and unusual enough to warrant writing about, but not hard to find and not too pricey. Even though there was a fair amount of preparation involved, none of it was too fiddly or complicated
 
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Raspberry tarts

Posted in Recipes by guardiangirl on July 14, 2009

Last night was the grand finale for fruit tarts, perhaps luckily for my increasingly indistinct waistline, although sadly for my pastry-loving tastebuds. Hugh sure does put a lot of cholesterol in his recipes. I look upon this as a good thing but perhaps I should have undergone a series of Supersize Me-style tests before and after this project. Too late now ( I’ll tell myself). I’ve got a bit cocky by now about the success with which I’m not taking these recipes very seriously, and these raspberry tarts followed the same happy pattern. I keep finding that Hugh’s pastry recipes come out too dry (it’s hilarious to hear myself write that – WI here I come) so I always add extra eggs, water, cream or whatever is to hand, which I think is why I keep ending up with cakes more than pastry. I also realise that the dryness is more likely to be due to my lack of scales than his bad recipes, although I have been using an ace French measuring jug that has marks up the sides for each ingredient by weight, for example Farine 100g etc. You just pour in the flour, sugar or whatever, shake it around a bit and pour it in. I love this jug so much I use it despite it being full of cracks. I’m scared I won’t be able to find a replacement. Terrified. I suppose I should just look in the shops.

Anyway, I did channel my inner pâtissier(e?) at Hugh’s suggestion and glazed the tart/cake shell things with jam before filling them with the homemade pastry cream and berries. They were delicious.  Really, really great, and the pastry cream was simple to make as I ignored such words as ‘clean’, ‘gently’, ‘strain’ and ‘chill’, none of which I have in my vocabulary. My flat filled with acrid smoke when I preheated the oven because yesterday’s supplementary tart filling had bubbled on to the floor of the cooker and was burning, to which my shameful solution was to open the oven door and all the windows, and let the goo mostly burn away before putting the tarts in regardless. They only had a slight taste of industrial fires about them. I’ll sort the oven out mañana.

Raspberry tarts

Raspberry tarts

 

Raspberry barfs

Raspberry barfs

 

Mine could do with a bit more snow, hey? And those neat little turrets around the edge. And some distressed floorboards underneath.

Conclusions:

  • Learning a bit more about pastry has been really fun, very tasty and surprisingly successful
  • All those tubs of cream, packets of butter and cups of sugar don’t go well with the fashion. Hypocrites! I knew it! I’m writing in
  • I think there might be more pies next week but tomorrow I finally get a salad, thank you Yotam