I am never sure whether or not to apostrophise things like goats cheese and cows milk. Or girls night, as previously mentioned. Sometimes I abbreviate to goat cheese, though I don’t really like it. I think it should be goats’ cheese, but that implies that the cheese belongs to the goats. It does not. It belongs to me.
So leaving that aside, this is another recipe from LC, and one that I’ve had my eye on for months so I was excited to finally get round to making it – it’s really good, and here if you want to try it. I’d never tasted figs before, never mind cooked with them, but the recipe was easy to follow, and it turns out that you just eat the whole darned lot. The skins are lovely and soft, not like the skin of other fruit at all. This is probably old news to anyone reading, but it was a revelation to me. The fruit is full of seeds but they’re like kiwi seeds, really easy to eat and just a tiny bit crunchy. Not like pomegranate seeds. I ony recently found out that I am along in eating pomegranates by eating the flesh away from round the seeds then spitting out the pip in the middle. I thought this was normal. It is not. I also thought it was normal to put sugar on cornflakes, and apparently this is not, either. Huh. It won’t stop me doing either of these things, and at any rate it’s not like I eat pomegranates very often, certainly not enough for a lot of people to see me eating them weirdly and turning me into some kind of social leper, excluded from the world and left to sit in my house and eat pomegranates on my own. What an odd turn of events that would be.
So, figs are good, and for a couple of days after I made the chicken I had goats cheese and fig salad for lunch. What I learned from this is that once figs get over-ripe they don’t taste so good; they get cloyingly sweet, and start to get more mushy and basically unpleasant to eat. Day two salad wasn’t the best lunch I’ve ever eaten. While the figs are fresh though it’s a really great combination. Another good mix that I remember Miss J making one time is goats cheese, cucumber and watermelon – again, the watermelon has to be fresh, otherwise it goes both mushy and grainy. Watermelon is great, though I’ve never bought a whole one. I once saw Jamie Oliver use a funnel to saturate a watermelon with vodka for serving at a party. Kind of like punch in a handy slice format. I’ve never tried it but I’ve always thought it was a cool idea. I love my little flat, but I do miss being able to have any number of people round for a shindig, hootenanny or other such gathering. We did once have a full capacity girls night here, it was definitely cosy. I really want to have a pirate party for Hallowe’en but just don’t have the space. Not that I know hundreds of people or anything but I feel like it’s not really a party if you have to edge your way around the room if you want to switch seats or go to the loo.
To go back to the chicken, this was an easy recipe to put together and a bit fancy, too. I served it with black cabbage, another thing I’d never heard of, and that old favourite, broccoli. The cabbage was good with the addition of a little butter, but very bitter on its own. Still, nothing ventured, nothing gained, right? Cabbage adventures are one of the safest kind, too. The chicken was part of a three course menu, so I didn’t do any potatoes with it, and we were still plenty full afterwards. My favourite part of the recipe was the wine reduction that is poured over the chicken before serving. It is sweet, savoury and very slightly boozy, and takes the chicken to that famed ‘other level’. The goats cheese doesn’t melt away to nothing like other cheeses would, which means it adds a lovely texture as well as rich, salty and creamy flavour. Plus, anything wrapped in bacon is almost certainly better than the same thing *not* wrapped in bacon.
The first course of the meal was intended to be black pudding and quails egg (there’s that apostrophe problem again) ravioli. Unfortunately I let the pasta dry out once I’d made it, so this as a big fail, and wasted a few quails eggs. I was annoyed and sad about this, annoyed with myself mainly for still not being able to do pasta perfectly even though I’ve made it a number of times now. It’s usually been edible, but this time it was a dead loss. What I made instead of the ravioli was baked black pudding and quails eggs, with a pea puree. It looks really odd – this is the ‘what the hell is that??’ photo. Even I can’t look at it with any real appetite, and I know from experience that it tasted nice. Apart from the obvious presentation fail, I made a couple of other mistakes, too. Firstly, I cooked the black pudding, because I was going to put it in a ravioli and only cook for a few minutes, and I was concerned about it being under-done. However, this left it dry after it had been baked, so the texture wasn’t great. I made hollows for the eggs to go in, and was hoping that the yolk would still be a little soft when the whites were cooked, but that absolutely didn’t work out for me. Not sure if it’s just not possible to do this with such small eggs, my next experiment with them will probably be poaching, or having another go at the ravioli which amounts to almost the same thing. The pea puree was just frozen peas, cooked with a touch of lemon juice, and then pureed up. The sweetness was lovely with the rich black pudding, though they could have been doing with a bit of salt and pepper through them. Amazing colour, though it does add to the alien-ness of the picture. A lot of room for improvement here, but we ate it regardless, and enjoyed it, even.
The finishing touch to the meal was this wonderful and huge plate of Italian pastries and biscuits that the G man brought round. They were all delicious, and unfortunately I have no idea what any of them are. There were a lot of lemon flavours, and almond flavours, and generally flavours that made me want to eat half the plateful, which I did. Yum.
Since I have been really lax at coming up with tunes – mainly due to laziness but partly to do with it being more difficult than I thought. What I’m going to try to do is make a weekly playlist, instead. I will begin with one I made earlier, your basic rock tunes. A couple aren’t by original artists but I’ve done the best I can with the help of Spotify.