Delia’s Egg, Chorizo and Pepper Gratin for the ill prepared.

I am not sure if this recipe means that I am well prepared or ill prepared. This was the final recipe from chapter 1 (other than the eggs benedict) and can be found here.

When I decided to make it I did not have fresh peppers, onions, tomatoes, Gruyere cheese or even gratin dishes however I did have most of the ingredients in the freezer plus a fairly elderly garlic clove.

So last night’s dinner was sort of an homage to Delia’s “How to Cook” and her “How to Cheat” as I used frozen onions and peppers which I defrosted first and then strained off a lot of the water. The tomatoes came from a jar labelled “sun dried tomatoes in oil with chili” and I added half a tin of chopped tomatoes towards the end of the frying bit of the cooking as I was a little concerned that it would be too small a dish for 2 people.

Once I’d completed the frying stage I divided the mixture into 2 and spread each part across the glass lid of a casserole dish which I was using as stand in gratin dishes, placed ready sliced emmental over the top and baked in the oven for 15 minutes before serving with some half baked French bread I found lurking in a cupboard.

Admittedly it’s probably not as good as the original as only the eggs were fresh, but I think it has potential as a “supper dish”, especially if I can do it from store cupboard standbys – mine was a little over cooked I think as at the last minute Husband nipped out to the shop in order to comply with the final instructions in the recipe “serve with a robust red”.

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I Cheated

 I have flicked a few pages ahead in Delia – to be honest I was getting a bit bored of boiling eggs – and I know I can boil an egg (I am after all the inventor of the egg sandwich diet)… what I can’t do successfully is fry an egg.

Not being able to fry an egg isn’t a big hardship in this house as apart from the occasional fried egg sandwich or a plate of egg and chips (best with champagne !) we don’t eat them – I could therefore I guess claim lack of practice for my ineptitude, but no, I am just useless at frying eggs.

 Anyway, for last night’s tea we had all the ingredients for corn beef hash, so I decided to try and beat the frying voodoo – second attempt I should add, as I’d made both this and the Chorizo hash at Christmas when I’d first thought of “doing Delia”.

 Well, to cut a long story short, last night was not to be the night the hex was removed. Things were going well at the onion frying stage, I missed out the potato cooking as we already had 300g of cold potatoes in the fridge (fully cooked though), deciding to be a tidy cook I was putting the top back down on our very cheap bottle of rapeseed oil, when pushing slightly too hard the flimsy plastic bottle collapsed, shot off the surface spilling oil all over the surface, all over the floor and all over me.

Top Tip – don’t wear dry clean only skirt when cooking, make an effort and iron something else so that it’s not your only spare piece of clean clothing…aprons can’t protect you from everything.

After cleaning up the mess, I finished the hash, followed Delia’s instructions to the letter and still managed to make a mess of the fried eggs!

Moral of this story: Don’t try to cheat, the gods will always find you out and punish you in one way or the other…the good news is that oil does wash out of fry clean skirts with the assistance of Johnson’s baby shampoo…now I just have to find a way of ironing the creases out of the skirt without burning the material…

Goodbye to our winter friends

  “Families are composed of  men, women children, the occasional animal and the common cold”  Ogden Nash

Spider announced this morning as he bounced onto our bed that he was “a Roman Soldier with a cold” – he never claims to have a cold until he’s almost better and is worried that we won’t be quite so concerned over him – he has obviously grasped the concept of man flu earlyin life.

I am hoping that this will be the last of the viral warfare we’ve suffered from this past 6 months and that I can finally get some things done and get some energy back – if so I may finally have a garden rather than a building site.

I have given up again on the allotment for another year now – the land agents have told us not to start without the formal letter and they can’t say when they will be in a position to release that.

So this weekend I will be once again planting up my containers and the strip of land along the fence I claim is a veg patch… oh and painting that wall I didn’t manage last week due to a severe bout of “I can’t get my bottom of this sofa- itis”.

The boiled eggs are coming along fine, thanks for asking !

Doing Delia

 Conjures up horrible pictures that title. Hopefully however most of you reading this won’t have such a smutty mind as me and interpret it in the way it was meant.

I am in a good place mentally and as a result don’t have the urge to bake quite so much at the moment – also since Spider’s birthday there has been a lack of occasions in my diary requiring cake. I’m not cooking either as Husband, realising quite how knackered I am after the commute has taken charge of putting food on the table in the evening.

In fact I am in danger of becoming a non-cook…

I thought I’d better challenge myself to something, just to keep my hand in. I am therefore “doing Delia”…which correctly interpreted means that I shall be working my way through her “How to Cook” books 1 & 2…

I am not however going to report my progress for the first 10 pages as I’m sure the world does not need to know how I got on with “learning to boil an egg”…anyone got any Lime Pickle though or can suggest a substitute as her first proper recipe is a curry which uses that as one of its main ingredients…

Delia’s instructions for boiling an egg can be found here