One of the best things about 2014 was connecting with other cooks and bloggers and cooking from the same books. I love doing it in person at the Tasty Reads bookclub but it was also so much fun doing the Joan Crawford inspired dinner for Jenny’s book launch.
So, I was super excited to find this blog:
Which is pretty much all cook-a-longs. They choose a new book every two months and anyone can cook from the book and post on their own site. Then, Leah shares what everyone posts on The Cookbook Guru. What a great idea!!!
The book for January and February is Jane Grigson’s Vegetable Book. First published in 1978, this has become a classic. And very auspicious that I get to start with a book full of retro recipes.
I was even more excited that there were a whole heap of artichoke recipes because the local continental deli had been having a sale and I bought about a ton of artichokes because they were something insane like 50 cents a can.
Then I read Jane’s advice on
How to choose canned artichokes.
Huh….Jane apparently doesn’t mince words. I like her already. But anyway I hightailed it out of artichokes and landed at the very other end of the book at watercress and found this lovely recipe for a very fancy grilled cheese called Locket’s Savoury.
I did have a little giggle when I read the name of this dish. Back in the day, we used to have a footballer by the name of Lockett nicknamed Plugger because….I have no idea why and have sufficient lack of interest in football to be arsed to Google it. Anyway, some time before the Grand Final one year (the equiv of the Super Bowl or the FA Cup Final), Plugger hurt his groin. And I swear for an inordinately long amount of time, it seemed like if you picked up a newspaper, turned on the radio or the tv, all you heard about, all people seemed to care about was Plugger’s Groin. Strangers would approach you on the street and say “So, do you think it will be good for the Granny?”
Not since David Beckham made those underwear ads has an entire nation been so obsessed by the state of a football player’s nether regions. And yes, by the way…we do nickname our Super Bowl/FA Cup etc The Granny. As in a little old lady. That’s Australia for you.
So, all that was Lockett’s Unsavoury, let’s turn to the matter at hand – Locket’s Savoury
So simple. So delicious, and just 4 ingredients.
The original recipe called for white bread. I used this beautiful seeded ciabatta. Jane’s recipe called for the crusts to be cut off. I left mine on because I love the taste of the toasted seeds!
One of my favourite greens. I love the peppery taste of it!
Are probably my least favourite fruit. Will this recipe redeem them in my mind?
Mmmmmm…blue cheese. Happy days….
Stilton is apparently the king of cheeses. Who knew cheese had a royalty. Who’s the queen? And more importantly who is the red headed reprobate prince flashing it’s arse and donning a swastika for high jinks?
I’m betting it’s goats cheese.
This was awesome. It actually made me like pears. And that’s saying something!
There’s a few more totally awesome watercress recipes in this same book and I have a ton of it left so you may get a few more o’ these before the month is through. There is definitely one more I have to do.
Here is Jane Grigson’s recipe:
This was really good. Super tasty, super easy and I wouldn’t change a thing in Jane’s recipe.
Or would I?
The more I thought about it, the more it seemed very unfair that my gluten-free friends missed out on this delight.
So without further ado, meet the pimped up, gluten-free Locket’s Savoury
Basically, scrap the bread, use a slice of pear as the base. Add your watercress and Stilton. Throw in some chopped walnuts. Once done, sprinkle with some chives.
In some ways this was almost better. Those pears got all caramelised and…dare I say it, delicious!!!
I’m so looking forward to doing the Cookbook Guru Cook-a-longs. And you know what would be even better? If you all did it too…
If you did want to, you already know the book for the rest of Feb. March and April is The Food of Morocco by Paula Wolfert. My local library has a copy of this. Yours probably does too. I also got the Jane Grigson book from the library.
But PS..The Locket’s Savoury is the gift that keeps on giving. Those little bits of blue cheese that slide off as you grill the cheese and go kind of crunchy. So good to eat later!!!
Have a fabulous week!
And I would love to know your royal family of cheese!!!
- 1 pear
- 2 - 4 sprigs of watercress, depending on size
- 2-3 slices of Stilton
- 4 walnuts chopped
- 1 chive, chopped
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Slice the pears into six slices, discarding the core. You will have some rounder pieces as well as some more "pear" shaped pieces.
- Remove the leaves from the watercress sprigs and place over the pears.
- Cover with stilton
- Sprinkle with chopped walnuts
- Place under a hot grill until cheese is melted and walnuts are toasted.
- Sprinkle with chopped chive and black pepper.
- You can easily increase the quantities for this, I made mine for one because I only had one pear and minimal watercress left.