After my amazing day with Joe Bloggers a month or so ago, my ears pricked up when an email came through from the lovely Rachel asking if I wanted to be involved with their latest blogger challenge!
With their last challenge having me tapping into unknown (and rightly undeveloped) sewing skills, I was interested to see what the latest one would push me to do.
"I want you to cook up the 'Taste of Newcastle," she said.
"No problem," I said.
My kitchen may be the one room where I get a little house proud about, but I certainly don't really cook there. I heat things up. I put the oven on. But if I have to assemble things? Oooh, step too far that!
No. I'll do this I thought, might bring something out of me. Or, you know, be a funny blog post to write!
Rachel arranged for the ingredients to be sent over, and I was bowled over by the AMOUNT OF STUFF:
It sure was nice to have a full fridge of COLOUR for a day or two!
I was tasked to recreate a Buffalo mozzarella with Parma ham salad, with asparagus, pea purée, mint, and cherry tomatoes drizzled with lemon and lime olive oil! I KNOW! Very fancy!
So, I began! And straight away had to check Google to see what 'Blanch' meant, as I was sure it was a character in Coronation Street! Ahhh, so boiling and cooling the asparagus. In salt. Ah. I didn't have any salt, but that was okay, the asparagus turned out lovely in the end, so no salt required!
With that task tackled, I turned to finely dicing the onion. I drew blood, I cried (onions man, THE ONIONS), but the onions were diced, as fine as I could get them, and 'sweated' in a saucepan. My interpretation of sweated was closer to burnt, but I like the charred taste it added so we're good!
I added the peas, but forgot to defrost them first, so quickly through in the cream, in the hope that would help heat the peas up...
When I realised the cream was boiling, I had flashbacks to episodes of Master Chef and Bake Off and the word curdled echoed in my mind! QUICK! OFF THE HEAT!
Phew. Now what?
The next step involved the assembly of the newly borrowed food processor which the parents hadn't even taken out of it's box yet!! I was running out of space in my small kitchen and resorted to storing things by throwing them into the other room (in this case, the empty box) - Perhaps should have done this prior to starting this all off, but never mind!
The recipe had the onion, pea and cream mix being blitzed in the food processor to a puree. YES! Status engineer achieved as I had assembled correctly, and it all was mixed perfectly!
And that was the cooking bit finished. The rest of the recipe could basically say 'Put the rest of the ingredients on a plate'
I opted for the rustic look:
In comparison with Chef's:
However, it more than passed the taste test! I now know how to cook asparagus, I know how to make a delicious pea puree too!
I have one question:
Where was I meant to put the mint?!
Much love my lovelies,