At christmas I bought this book intending to give it to someone as a gift. I'm a bit of a sucker for Hugh with his unkempt hair and spoddish appearance but I suspect he would probably get on my nerves a bit in the flesh. Actually now that I've just written in the flesh and it has piqued my imagination I feel a bit queasy. Hugh, we were never meant to be. Sorry.
Anyway, I liked the look of the book so much that I kept it myself! (Don't worry, the person in question got something else just as lovely!).
It has some great recipes in it, many using cheap and unfashionable cuts of meat and leftovers, sustainable fish, great soups and lunch ideas, as well as very easy-to-make bready things to go with soups. My bread making has never really thrived so I pounced on these and tried one of them out yesterday to go with my leftovers soup (the remains of sausage and root veg casserole - we'd eaten the sausages so it was mostly root veg!).
Amazingly easy to make (although it does dirty quite a few dishes for the prep) and when it came out of the oven it actually looked like the picture in the book!!!
Cheese & chilli corn bread
125g cornmeal or fine polenta
125g plain flour
2 tsp baking powder
half tsp bicarb of soda (I've just realised I left this out of mine, but it doesn't seem any worse off for it!)
2 medium eggs
1 tbsp runny honey or soft brown sugar
150g buttermilk/plain yogurt
150ml whole milk
25g butter, melted
a few spring onions, sliced thinly
one chilli, deseeded and sliced thinly
50g strong cheddar, grated
1. Heat the oven to 220 degrees C/gas 7 and grease a 23cm-square baking tin about 4cm deep.
2. Sweat the spring onions and chilli in a little oil till soft but not coloured.
3. In a large bowl combine the cornmeal, flour, cheese, baking powder, salt and bicarb of soda. Make a well in the middle.
4. Whisk together the eggs, honey or sugar, buttermilk or yoghurt, milk and melted butter. Pour into the well in the dry ingredients, stir until everything is combined but don't overmix - a few lumps are ok, but you want to get it into the oven quickly.
5. Mix in the spring onions, chilli and sweetcorn, then pour into the baking tin and bake for about 20 mins till the cornbread is golden and has shrunk slightly from the sides of the tin.
6. Cool slightly then cut into squares and scoff.
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