Friday, January 22, 2010

Am I Turning into a Foodie?

So where was I? Oh yes, rashly commiting myself to making something from my recipe binder at least once a week. Well, actually I did. In fact, I did it more than once. I'm going to have to make sure I don't get carried away here.

First came pasta with creamy crab. Dead easy as you'd imagine. Pasta of your choice, couple of cans of crab meat, some cream and Bob's yer whatsit. I threw in some peas as the veg and to give the dish some colo(u)r, which more than one child diligently picked out. Why they can't just scoop a few up with the rest of the food I don't know. You can barely taste them but apparently it's the texture that's offensive. Squashy.

Anyway, the food was gobbled up appreciatively although I personally thought it a touch bland. Having grown up on the north east coast of England, I'm spoilt seafood wise. My dad used to fish at Craster every so often and come back with the most delicious crab I know I will ever taste in my life. Every summer I have to make a pilgrimage to North Shields fish quay and even my kids are sea-foodies now. Such is my crab-snobbery that I rarely eat even fresh crab in the US because it just doesn't compare. (And because I live smack in the middle of the country so "fresh" crab isn't.) The tinned crab tasted about the same otherwise I would have hunted down the real thing. I imagine the recipe would be delicious with fresh North Sea crab. Yum.

A couple of nights later I browsed through my Delia Smith and came across potato and apple rosti, which I thought would pair nicely (ooh, get me) with the pork I'd bought. That too went down well, but bloody hell are they labo(u)r intensive. Grate the apples and stick them in lemon juice to stop them going brown while you par boil the potatoes and then grate them. (Warning - grating hot potatoes can cause second degree burns.) Stick them together, coat them with flour and bake. They shrink down quite a bit but they were tasty.

Are you impressed? I am.

The piece de resistance however, was the made from scratch Barefoot Contessa raspberry cheesecake - that the man-child made on Monday. Being Martin Luther King day, the kids were under my feet, I mean off school. Determined not to let him sit in front of his X Box all day I shouted for him to come downstairs and bake a cake. Not something you'd normally yell at a 14 year old boy but he loves to bake. Anyway, we trawled through about ten recipe books until we found something that didn't send me all over Chicago for the ingredients and that he fancied making. Unfortunately, it had to chill overnight but the wait was worth it. Actually, for me it wasn't as I discovered that my ageing stomach no longer appreciates being swamped with two buckets of cream cheese, eggs and cream. It gurlged and generally threatened to explode for most of the night.

The nice thing about the cheesecake is that it is so heavy and contains so many calories that you have to limit yourself to tiny slices - so it lasts forever. Well, in theory it does but someone's obviously been sneaking a bite here and there as it vanished in less than three days.



  1. Sounds delicious, although the Delia thing sounds too much like hard work. I have failed to cook anything new since Christmas, despite The Doctor giving me a book on baking 'to encourage your new interests'.....

  2. The crab pasta is something that I might copy. Sounds tasty and is quick. I expect it could be livened up with something as you thought it was bland.
    I had to laugh at the way your stomach reacts to an explosion of cream & cheese. This gets worse as you get older...... mores the pity!

    Nuts in May

  3. Okay. Enough of this superwoman malarky. Waaaaayyy too impressive for words. And I so wish I had popped over for a playdate this week for my slice of cheesecake. Sounds delish. xx

  4. The cheesecake sounds just wonderful - wouldn't last long in our house either.

  5. Oh this is a very bad post for me as I'm currently struggling with the dreaded D word (Diet, obv). I LOVE crab and actually some of the finest I've eaten has been way down South in Missisippi. De-li-cious.

  6. I have three packs of cream cheese, I have been thinking about making a cheesecake, so will have to look up that recipe, as I have raspberries in the freezer as well.

  7. Gill - if you can't find it I can send it. It's great but I wanr you, fattening. You could probably use "Lite" cream cheese. You need a lot.
    Liz - loved the crawfish down there but can't remember good crab. Must investigate.
    Lorna - I'm just glad it got eaten before I was tempted again.
    Nic - oh, a playdate with the boys is a good idea. With wine and goodies perhaps.
    Maggie - it is good although i was thinking perhaps a pepper or even curry would liven it up. Thanks for the warning about the stomach too!
    NVG - your husband gave you a cookery book. Were you insulted or did you ask for it?
    Mwa - I know! It won't last.

  8. Oh, I hear you, I love cheesecake but it's like a brick in my stomach.

    Being from Sardinia, I'm familiar with the deliciousness of fresh crab, and the canned variety just doesn't compare. I found shellfish from the US to be milder-tasting too, but I still enjoyed eating the buckets of kind grab, potatoes and sausage at Joe's Crab Shack when I went to Orlando... and then again in San Francisco :-)

    I have made roesti with apples, before - I felt like roesti but wanted something with a little more flavour and less fat, so I added onions, apples and carrots to it. The Swiss don't usually add flour to their roesti, they just flatten it with a spatula and cook it on the stove in a non-stick baking pan, then flip it half-way through. Potatoes and cheese are the two main food groups here it seems, so we make roesti fairly often as a side dish.

    Experimenting with new recipes is so fun! I'm very impressed by your choices.

  9. I am more than impressed. I don't think cheesecake would last that long in our house and Paul doesn't even like it!!
    Hell would freeze over before I could get teenager to eat crab. He won't touch anything fish like at the moment but we will get him in the end. He used to hate curry but now he can't get enough of it.
    All power to your mixing bowl

  10. Well done Madame Foodie. Can't recall ever eating crab Up North just good old fish and chips.
    Cheesacake a sure winner with teens but us Mam's need help with the digestion of all that dairy. Just stick to slithers!

  11. I thought you were going to give us the cheesecake recipe!! Not that I can cook, neither am I so lucky to have partner or son interested in ANYTHING that has to do with the kitchen :(

  12. Well, you really do need to go to someplace with actual crab: Seattle, Baltimore (, Portland, Maine , etc.. - the cold water in some places makes for some amazing crab. You can't really judge accurately from where you are situated in the US.

    Same way you can't get good Mexican food in the UK. Have to be closer to the source.

    And the kids are right - peas are gross:)

  13. Forgot to add - much of the crabmeat in restaurants and shops, unless specifically noted as local, is from Asia, due to market pricing. So it isn't even vaguely local/American.

    Nothing can compete with fresh caught seafood, no matter where you are.

  14. Ooh, get you! Where's the proof? Ye know, the photos? LOL Just kidding! Seriously, I must look up that potato and apple rosti -- sounds delish!


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