I managed to cook four recipes from the Cottage Cooking Club list for July 2014:
Chocolate & Beetroot Ice Cream
Now, we love beetroot in this house in both savoury and sweet dishes (chocolate beetroot brownies are fab) but this ice cream wasn’t a winner for us. It wasn’t difficult to make but there were quite a few steps (and dishes) which made me really want it to be good, but unfortunately it wasn’t. My first problem was getting the beetroot puree smooth – this failed me completely. Mine was grainy which of course led to a grainy ice-cream, not a good texture for ice cream.
Stirring in the beetroot puree.
Great colour, shame about the texture.
The intensity of the dark chocolate and the earthiness of the beetroot were too predominant and many didn’t think it was sweet enough. I can’t give this ice cream away – definitely won’t make this one again.
We are going on vacation next week so I made a substitution here. The recipe calls for Mozzarella however I had some Halloumi in the fridge that I needed to use up so fried that to serve with the courgettes for supper – and I wasn’t sorry!
Local Courgettes, small but good!
I am really glad that Hugh gave the weight measurement for the courgettes as the local variety in the UAE are baby sized compared to the courgettes in Europe which makes adjusting based on quantity a lot of guesswork. I wasn’t sure if my family would like this. My husband isn’t a huge lemon with savoury fan but amazingly he loved it. I served it with the halloumi and some crusty bread but think it would be fantastic served with grilled chicken – a great BBQ side that can be made in advance.
Ready to serve with grilled Halloumi cheese.
Frying the courgettes was a little time consuming (and messy) and think it might work well grilled on the BBQ or in the oven in one go. Definitely a keeper!
Tomato, Thyme & Goat’s Cheese Tart
I managed to find all-butter puff pastry in the freezer section of my local supermarket (no mean feat here). I love that Hugh offers alternatives to the goat’s cheese and thyme – makes this a great pantry pull together dish. Blue cheese sounds lovely but I wanted to serve this to my family so stuck to the goat’s cheese. I couldn’t find fresh thyme so had to use basil instead but don’t think it made a huge difference. This was very easy to make and was a huge hit with my family.
Make this. You will not be sorry!
In the past I usually just mark an indent in the pastry around the edge, I have never actually cut and stuck a border on. The border puffed up and was quite fragile so next time I might just resort to my method. This tart tasted and looked like a lot more effort to put together than it was. I will be stocking up on puff pastry so that I can make this more often.
The tastes of summer, delicious.
This tart cries out for an al fresco lunch with a cold glass of Portuguese Vinho Verde!
Pasta with Raw Tomatoes
Not the most appetizing of names. I usually make a version of this from “The Silver Palate cookbook” which includes brie cheese. Interested to try this lighter version.
I have to admit to being a little bit lazy about peeling and de-seeding tomatoes – this was fiddly. I didn’t have the small pasta called for so used regular sized Penne. This was a mistake and I think a spaghetti or a smaller pasta shape would work better with such a light sauce.
Raw tomato sauce.
This dish requires the very best tomatoes and really good olive oil. We enjoyed this but will add some cheese next time as I did feel like it was missing something. And next time I will probably skip the de-seeding (and possibly even the peeling) to make it a quick supper dish.
To see what the other members of the Cottage Cooking Club made check out the CCC blog, by clicking here. Please note that we have been asked not to publish the recipes on our blogs as we encourage you to go out and purchase a copy of the book.