Last night was a child free night as the boys went off to their dads for the night. It was a welcome reprieve as as much as I love my boys it's school holidays and they have been driving each other (and me) a little mad. It's amazing that even though there is such a huge age gap that they can really have each other on! Anyway a couple of weeks ago I bought my favourite cook and cookbook writer Annabel Langbein's new book called 'The Free Range Cook'. There is also a corresponding TV series with it which we watch avidly.
I thought it would be nice to do a dinner from this cookbook especially as there was no stress to get dinner on the table at 6pm and I could take my time cooking it...with a glass (or 2) of Pinot Gris on the go too. I chose to make her 5 Spice Squid Salad and the Coconut Pavlova's. I made the pavs earlier on in the day and they were just a standard pav recipe with some thread coconut added in. The squid was gluten free in that it was tossed in a mixture of 5 Spice, rice flour, salt and pepper and fried in grapeseed oil. I also made the roasted garlic mayo dressing to go with it. The squid was delicious and I managed to cook it perfectly (if I do say so myself). The mayonnaise was easy to make and I just added some warm water to it to make it more runny. I don't think I added enough though but it still tasted lovely. It was a rich dish and although it was served on watercress and rocket, I forgot the lemon which would have made a big difference in cutting through the richness. I also roasted some new season asparagus as I couldn't resist it when I saw it in the shops.
The pavs were pretty good but I think I prefer them plain. I made 4 pretty large individual one and put cut up tinned peaches and gold kiwifruit on top as that was the only fruit I had in the house which looked remotely tropical, (aside from apples and pears which wouldn't have worked at all). As well as lightly whipped cream I also had mine with the totally delectable Piako passionfruit yoghurt. This stuff is criminally delicious so if you value your waistline avoid it at all costs!