I tried Greg’s Rufus Guide Hasselback potatoes. It’s a really easy recipe to follow, and the tip for cutting the potatoes without slicing straight through is very clever, too. Next time I make these I’ll make the slices thinner in the hope that they’ll fan out more during baking. I had some leftover shredded Emmental cheese I bought in France, so I used that instead of my lovely, local Sussex cheddar.
I also tried Nigel Slater’s Ham and Parsley Sauce that was in The Saturday Telegraph a few weekends ago. I love trying new recipes printed in the newspaper because they’re usually fool-proof. The ham was perfection, slowly simmered for about 2 hours, and the parsley sauce is finished using a hand-blender with cooked Jerusalem artichokes. I’m not impressed with the Jerusalem artichokes. It’s the first time I’ve tried them – they’re off my “bucket list”. We weren’t convinced by the parsley sauce either, preferring our traditional recipe to Nigel’s updated one. The ham was very moist and tender, and the 3rd night’s leftovers went directly into a pot of ham and lentil soup.
I also had a craving for strawberry shortcake, so I made up half a recipe of cream biscuits, sliced up some strawberries, and whipped up a bit of cream. I’ll post the cream biscuit recipe later in the week. It’s easy and quick because everything is popped into a food processor and pulsed 2-3 times. I froze the remaining biscuits for use later. A quick zap in the microwave makes them fresh as the day I baked them.
And then I discovered the perfect method of roasting beef. Crank up the oven to full blast (as high as the temperature will go!) about a half hour before you want to put the roast in. While the oven is warming up, rub flour all over the surface of the roast, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and then set it on a shallow baking sheet with a lip so the juices don’t spill out. Cooking time is 5-minutes per pound, so a 5-pound roast is cooked in a super-hot oven for 25-minutes. At the end of the cooking time, turn off the oven (don’t open the door!) and walk away. Go to the cinema and see a movie; take a walk along the seaside. The roast needs 2-3 hours to complete cooking for medium-rarish. It will stay plenty warm in the oven for up to 4 hours — as long as you DON’T open the oven door. Residual heat does all the work for you. I insert a meat thermometer before the roast goes in the oven, just so I can be certain of this method, but so far, it’s never let me down. I’ve tried it three times now, and success every single time.
And there’s no doubt that autumn is here. We woke this morning to find that the trees behind the house had shed most of their leaves into our garden. If it would just stop raining, I could rake them up!
And finally, I think I’ve perfected my Danish-style rye bread. Mr Misky says there’s no need to buy that dry stuff imported from Germany any longer. Now to me, that indicates that I’ve cracked this recipe. If you’d like the recipe, shout. Danish-style rye bread isn’t to everyone’s liking.