Tuesday, January 31, 2012


Every recipe I've ever tried for Moules Mariniere (pg 126 of How to Eat) has been pretty much the same: mussels in a broth of wine, butter, garlic, shallots, parsley. Nigella's is just the same. Why mess with perfection? Every time I make this, I kick myself for not doing it more often.
Conclusion: Loved it.

Obviously, I needed bread to sop up all that lovely broth. Jennifer Reese's recipe for Everyday Bread (pg 8 of Make the Bread, Buy the Butter) met my last-minute needs. No kneading necessary, this dough just gets stirred together and then left to proof in 2 loaf pans for two hours. After two hours, my dough had not risen much, so I turned on the oven for a minute, then put the pans in, and after a half hour, it had leveled with the pan. Huzzah!
This is a heartier loaf than I expected. Guess that's the wheat flour. Very dense, with a nice crust.

Conclusion: Liked it, and it's Charlie Approved.

I tried one more stewish Nigella recipe: Lamb and Bean Braise (pg 139 of How to Eat). I conclude that I do prefer lamb stews to beef. Matt thinks stew is a waste of lamb, and he thought there were too many beans. And he wanted to know what Nigella has against potatoes. (Nothing. The answer is nothing.) Oh well. I thought it was really tasty, and the beans absorbed much delicious broth (red wine and balsamic vinegar, with herbs and orange peel).
Conclusion: Liked it.

I count three chocolate puddings in How to Eat, so I simply had to make one. I went with the Gooey Chocolate Puddings (pg 169) recipe from the Fast Food section, as I am lazy, and I love the word "gooey."

This easy recipe produces a layer of cake on top of liquid chocolate goodness. Holy mother. Joy of joys, the recipe makes four ramekins, so we have two for dessert tomorrow. WORD!

Conclusion: Loved it.


  1. I felt the same way about making a dish with mussels just last weekend. I don't know why I ever hesitated!

  2. Holy wow - you have been busy and knocked out some truly amazing dishes !! I am so behind (blamed on a massive "let's clean and organize the basement" project I started. duh.) commenting that I am only now getting to the broth potatoes posts. I think I did the same thing as you and that my taters were the wrong choice. I too used what was on hand. Next time I follow the letter of the law :) And I loved reading about your testing the buttermilk and ricotta options. Very cool and must try that soon. Thx for sharing !!

  3. Triple wow! Great dishes this week! The mussels look picture perfect, will have to remember to try them that way - usually I just putz with them until a sauce comes together. The bread recipe looks interesting too - great texture for no kneading.

  4. You know, I have not purchased this book yet because I already own pretty much EVERY OTHER Nigella book and really, how many do I need. But you just keep posting all these tasty recipes and I am getting more and more tempted. That lamb recipe looks delicious.

    And I agree, why DON'T I make mussels more often? They are so darn easy!