OK, so I'll admit it - I'm not much of a cook. My repertoire consists mainly of "everyday" Indian dishes - a lentil, curry and a vegetable. Nothing fancy. Hubby, on the other hand, rarely cooks, but when he does it's always fancy, fancy, fancy. Anyway, so yesterday I decided I had to "up" my cooking skills a little and what better way to start than with a brand new set of cookware, right? Ofcourse, right!
A girlfriend and I headed for the nearest "Bay" store and I bought a Jamie Oliver 7-piece "Stainless Steel"cookware set. Made in collaboration with Tefal the pans are just fabulous to look at - I couldn't stop caressing their shiny bright surfaces and giving my arms a good workout with their reassuring weight!
Why Jamie Oliver? Because, have you ever been able to resist a "Naked Chef"? I know I can't! ;) Seriously, I bought it because it was on "special" for that day with 50% off the regular store price! Woo hoo!
And oh, here's the real reason for my post - I also bought a cookbook to go with it! Bon Appetit, mes amies!
Here's a lovely summer recipe from the Jamie Oliver website. It gets the official "drool" award.
1 large handful of flaked almonds
10 fresh mint leaves, finely sliced
6 tablespoons caster sugar
4 tablespoons water
seeds from 1 vanilla pod
100g/31/2oz best-quality cooking chocolate (70% cocoa solids), shaved
I love the idea of having a refreshing salad for dessert. You can have some real fun with this sprinkling different nuts, herbs and chocolate over the top.
Peel the clementines, slice across thinly and remove the pips. Arrange on 4 plates and sprinkle over the almonds and mint. Bring the sugar and water to the boil, add the vanilla seeds and allow to simmer until the liquid becomes a light golden syrup. Try not to touch it too much at this stage. Drizzle the syrup over the clementines and top with the shaved chocolate before serving.
Removing seeds from vanilla pods
1. Score the pods.
2. Scrape the seeds out.
3. Put the unwanted pods in a jar of sugar for delicious flavoured vanilla sugar.
Speaking of recipes do check out Susan in Italy's blog - it's called"Porcini Chronicles: Living and Cooking in Italy"