It was the toffee apple cake (with sticky maple caramel) on the cover of the May issue of Delicious that caught the librarycook’s eye. With such a cover, what delights would lurk within?
And she was right – so many tempting recipes, it was hard to choose. Bitter chocolate and orange Viennese whirls? Roasted eggplant tart with chilli and basil? Salted butter, lemon and rosemary cake? Perhaps kingfish sashimi with caviar and crème fraîche?
A few pages further in and the librarycook had found what she was looking for – Roasts with the Most, screamed the headline, with a claim that “comforting family favourites could be whipped up Monday to Friday”. Tell me more, thought the librarycook, and read eagerly on. Again, an embarrassment of choice awaited the librarycook. Salmon. Lamb. Pork. Mushrooms. Chicken. Unable to decide, the librarycook made not one, but two – the Fennel-Crusted Salmon with Lemon Crème Fraîche, AND Roast Field Mushrooms, Parmesan and Green Polenta. Not on the same day. The librarycook knows the meaning of restraint.
So, did they live up to expectations? And was there adequate reading time? Read on.
First up, the mushrooms. Beautiful giant field mushrooms, with lemony, garlicky buttery juices. On a bed of polenta flavoured with kale. Mouth-watering, although the librarycook thought that perhaps Mr Ottolenghi’s green polenta recipe might work better. Time-wise, there was a short period of about 20 minutes which allowed the librarycook to peruse the SMH’s travel section and dream.
And then, the salmon. A little slicing of some lemon and sweet potatoes, and then into the oven, whilst the librarycook kept one eye on her chapter and the other on the spices dry-roasting in the pan. The salmon added for the last few minutes, and, when that was cooked, a little blender work, and voilà, dinner was served. And it was excellent – salmon cooked to perfection, the lemony crème fraîche and the raw fennel complementing the warmth of the fennel seeded salmon.
Did the librarycook stop there? No – the May issue just kept on giving – this time with a Lemon Poppyseed Cake that offered an hour and a half’s untrammelled reading time. The librarycook wasn’t born yesterday, though, and she knows not to trust timings implicitly. And just as well, because barely an hour into her very absorbing chapter of Hidden, volume 5 of the very gripping Alex Verus series by Benedict Jacka, the tell-tale scent of just about to burn cake wafted through the air.
And what a cake – retrieved just in time, it was lemony. Poppy seedy. Moist. So good.
Thank you, May Delicious.