Tonight’s culinary experiments

Why try one new recipe when you can try two at the same time?

The first was a red pepper pesto which was not bad at all, but I think I’d substitute most of the olive oil it used for liquid with a tomato. I think one would be sufficient to add to the blender to keep the pepper moving around. Also, more garlic.

At the same time I attempted to make corn bread. There are a metric shitload of corn bread recipes on the internet but I eventually opted for one from the Observer’s allotment blog. It’s not something I normally read but it won out in the recipe stakes by having a minimum of ingredients and adding chillis.

Unfortunately, my crappy oven struck again in its inability to maintain a uniform temperature and so a full forty minutes longer than the recipe stated I removed the cake tin from the oven to reveal (I forgot to take a picture) corn bread that was golden brown on the top, dark brown around the sides, cooked on the bottom half (possibly a little over-) and still recognisable as soggy cake mix on the upper half. I chucked it under a low grill for a while which helped with some of the upper layer but there’s only so much you can do before burning starts.

It wasn’t going to put me off trying some though and fucking hell is that stuff heavy on the stomach. After two pieces that can only be described as bite-sized, I felt like I’d swallowed a bowling ball. The hint of chilli in it was pleasing, but the bread itself was far richer than I had anticipated and that’s not something I generally look for in foodstuffs. I tried another small pinch of the cooked bottom half just there and it’s like I’ve swallowed one of those novelty towels that expand in water from a small cube.

I’ll chalk this one up to experience, and look for another recipe to use the polenta in.