Thursday, 17 November 2011
We don't eat a lot of complicated food in this house . . . simple people, simple meals, fresh and simple ingredients. That's us to a "T."
Quite, quite different than when I worked for the American family down south. She always had to have something complicated for dinner every night. There had to be a sauce or a salsa, etc. Each dish had to have a "recipe." There was no cooking from off the top of your head, or by instinct. (At least as far as she knew . . . shhh . . . ) Then again, that is what they were paying me for.
Dinner parties were a bit of a nightmare at times, because everything had to come from one of her hoity toity cheffin' books, with numerous steps and complications. It would take me days of preparation to get ready. Not only did I do all of the planning and shopping, but I also did all the chopping etc. Having to execute half a dozen Gordon Ramsay recipes on top of it all was quite a stretch at the best of times, especially if you are a perfectionist like myself.
Don't get me wrong. I enjoy cooking a complicated dish. It is challenging and interesting. It's a bit much though when you have to cook 5 or 6 complicated dishes . . . for 25 people, all in one go, and all by yourself . . . that is work, plain and simple . . . as challenging and as interesting as it may be! There are no sous chef's . . . or junior chef's to do all the legwork and chopping . . . or for that matter, the cleaning up afterwards.
That's not how I want to eat at home . . . it's ok for a special occasion, but most days I like simple things. Simple dishes like this delicious custard. Wholesome and nutritious . . . well, except for the marshmallows of course . . . but they do add a bit of interest.
The biscuit crumbs and marshmallows float to the top and make the most interestingly scrummy topping. Trust me. Whilst this is a dish that I would never have cooked for her . . . this is a winner. Totally unpretentious. Simple. Tasty. What more could you ask for?
*Digestive and Marshmallow Custard*
Wholesome and delicious, plus it uses simple ingredients that most of us have in our cupboards all the time.
375ml of whole milk (1 1/2 cups)
1.5 ounces digestive biscuit crumbs (crush fine)
(about 1/3 cup. You can use Graham Cracker crumbs if that is what you have.)
2 large free range eggs
2 TBS sugar
1/8 tsp salt
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
8 large marshmallows, cut into quarters
Have ready a shallow pan and a kettle of boiling water. Preheat the oven to 160*C/325*F/ gas mark 3.
Place the biscuit crumbs into a bowl. Pour the milk over top and set aside for 10 minutes or so. In the meantime beat together the eggs, sugar, salt and vanilla. Beat this into the milk mixture. Place 2 marshmallows, quartered (8 pieces) into each of 4 1/2 cup glass ramekins. Place them into the shallow pan. Pour an equal amount of the mixture over top of each. Place the pan into the oven and carefully add boiling water to come up halfway up the sides of the cups.
Bake for 40 minutes, or until a metal knife inserted into the centre comes out clean. Serve warm.
Cooking in The Cottage today, a delicious Italian Stir Fry.