Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Cooking with Fire

So, the other night was my bookclub meeting and we all bring a dish inspired by the book of the month. As I mentioned in an earlier post, this month's pick was Tess of the D'Urbervilles, of which I read the first chapter. But man, that was a good first chapter. It's not that Tess isn't a page turner, it's just that um, I didn't get around to turning the pages. (Hello -- The Bachelor, The City, Criss Angel. There`s never enough time, is there...). So unfortunately, in the first 10 pages, they didn't eat anything, so I wasn't sure what to make.

At the same time, I discovered that my good friend Ryan, co-writer of Entertaining with Booze, which I contested-off at the holidays, had started a blog! And in the blog, he had an excellent post on how to pass off carton soup as your own! My kind of cooking! So I asked him if he had a quick cheat for my bookclub and he posted this recipe for Yorkshire Puddings, which couldn't have been more perfect since Tess is set in England. So I'm sure, somewhere between page 200 and 800 she probably ate a Yorkshire Pudding.

And Ryan swore this not-from-scratch recipe would take me less than 20 minutes. Though, to be honest, I was stil a bit intimidated by it, but I wanted to give it a go. Except, the Rabba did not have Yorkshire Puddings and that's the whole easy-way-out of this recipe, so I had two choices: venture to another grocery store, or not make the recipe. So because it was the day before my "fruit-and-flower"-themed anniversary with my husband and I wanted to also make him turnovers, one of his favourite snacks, as part of his present, but it was something that I'd never attempted before PLUS the dish for book club and I only had 1 hour, I had to sadly forgo the Yorkshire Puddings, but I'm planning to make them when I host because then I can serve them warm. So then the only task will be choosing a Brit-based book. Any suggestions?

So instead, I made this Potato Salad with Haricots Verts, Roquefort and Walnuts, which was SO easy, and really, surely Tess ate a potato during the book, even if she didn't have Roquefort with it.

The only real dilemma was the Mustard Vinaigrette, for which there was no recipe, I'm guessing because you're just supposed to know how to make Mustard Vinaigrette. Oops. And I had to ask the Hubs if haricots verts were really just a snooty way of saying green beans, to which he replied, "In your case, yes." Translation: "You're not going to find haricots verts at the Rabba, so buy some green beans."

Anyway, then I made these fruit turnovers, which were SO easy to make.

In addition to apple, I made cherry and blueberry too (which is TOTALLY cheating because instead of making them from scratch you just use canned pie filling!). But, they're totally gratifying to make because they seriously take 5 minutes of prep and then 20 minutes to bake and they're all golden and gorgeous. I made an icing for the top, too, which looked even prettier. And then I left for bookclub and the Hubs ate the turnovers for his dinner, which was a sign they were a success.

So, all in all, not Yorkshire Puddings, but they did just fine.


Christina C. said...

Did you say pie filling????

I'm totally stealing the yorkshire pudding idea (I serve those PC ones all the time) and bookmarking your friend's blog. :)

chantelsimmons said...

A little birdie let me in on the joys of PIE FILLING!!!

Ahhh - i guess you won't be surprised when i serve you the yorkshire puddings. ha ha.

Alicia said...

Hmmm... Brit-based book, you say? My vote is for White Teeth by Zadie Smith.

And now visions of turnovers are dancing in my head... delicious!