Friday, September 21, 2007

For those who've just joined us...

My quest is to cook every recipe, in order, from Nigella Lawson's How to be a Domestic Goddess. So far I am 30.85% complete, in the pies chapter and thoroughly enjoying the challenge.

To date my successes and failures have been chronicled on my other (knitting) blog. But as the Domestic Goddess project progresses I realised I am spending less time knitting and more time baking. Over the next couple of posts I'll provide some recap to bring this blog up to speed.

But here's what's been happening lately...

Spinach Ricotta and Bulgar Wheat Pie

2.5 out of 5
Tasting Notes: Quite dry, needed extra salt or seasoning/stock for flavour. I would have prefered a lighter pastry e.g. filo. This was no
spanakopita, of which I am a huge fan.

Courgette and Chick Pea Filo Pie

2 out of 5
Tasting Notes: Very plain, the less said the better.

Steak and Kidney Pudding

4 out of 5 (if you like that sort of thing)
Tasting Notes: I do not do offal, so this one was coordinated with a visit from my Yorkshire father in law. He loved it, and that is all that matters. One thing I have learned so far is that food, and particularly baking, can be a very special gift. The trials of grating solid animal fat for the steamed pastry was completely worth it to see the looks of reminiscence on the faces of my father and mother in law. This is a dish they ate as children and rarely see in the "tropics" of Australia.

Cornish Pasties

3 out of 5
Tasting Notes: The pastry let this down, as it was beyond crumbly. Assembling one pasty was a matter of delicately placing small slivers of crumbly mess next to each other, just to cover the filling. Not sure if that was the cook or the author's error. Filling was surprisingly delicious though.

Cheese, Onion and Potato Pies

3.5 out of 5
These were a delicious weekday lunch, although the pastry was (again) a bit of a let down. I think I just don't love shortcrust. The filling was lip smackingly deeeeelicious, perfect vegetarian fare. Also perfect party finger food, but perhaps with store-bought puff pastry so they'd be a little more robust.

Small Tomato Tarts and Small Mushroom Tarts

#55 and #56
3 out of 5, and 5 out of 5 respectively
Tasting Notes: Finally a pastry I loved, made with polenta and Italian 00 flour, these were delicious. I also love little food, cute portions are so charming. I think I'll be using these small pie tins often. The mushroom filling was definitely heads above the tomato. They are also surprisingly easy and would be a fantastic entree for a dinner party as all prep can be done ahead of time.

Phew! Next time I'll update you on my latest sweet pies. I'm off to scout some blueberries...


Sarah said...

Hi there!

Fabulous project! :)

For that blueberry pie, I did beat the eggs before adding them to the mixture. Usually I find that if the mixture isn't straight-off-the-stove hot, and you beat the eggs in quickly, they don't turn into scrambled eggs.

Good luck!

xox Sarah

Fuji Mama said...

YUM! You always make me hungry with your yummy photography.

Paul said...

Hi Annie - I have cooked 50 recipes from Nigella's Domestic Goddess, so I'll be interested to compare my experience with yours. Of the recipes you've posted, I've tried the Spinach and Burghul Pie. That sweet pastry for that worked well with the pizza rustica, but not here. It needed the sweetness of the pork to match the sugar in the pastry. I also made the cornish pasty pastry which I also found too crumbly, and finally decided that I don't like lard in pastry. Keep up the blog - it's good to have a comrade in the kitchen with whom to share this private little hobby. Cheers, Paul.