Braising it in Coca-Cola gave the gammon a moistness and an extra sweetness, I think, although I couldn't taste a huge amount of difference really from it being cooked in stock with a bay leaf, as usual. I think the texture was key, though, soft and moist, as I said and it was definitely yummy. I can't remember who mentioned it, but someone in the blogosphere has tried this with Lilt (pineapple/grapefruit carbonated drink) so I might do that next time, as we do like pineapple with our gammon!
Technically, Brinner isn't a dish per se, but so many people have been serving Breakfast for Dinner on their blogs that I decided to try it. First can I said it felt VERY weird! Although I guess it is basically a traditional English 'high tea'...but I served sausages, egg, beans, tomatoes and toast with hash browns, which gave it an American breakfast feel. So very yummy...but it freaked the kids out slightly to be having this sort of meal in the evening. Also, 3rdSister (my fussy eater) was unhappy as she's not keen on many of these foods - she requested a 'dippy' (soft boiled) or fried egg with hers next time, though, and we may try it again.
Slow Cooked Lamb Shoulder
Again, not technically a new recipe as I'm sure I've done this in the slow cooker before. But I added a glass of wine, lamb stock, garlic, red onion and rosemary to the crockpot, and just stuck the lamb in on low for 8 hours, which I've never previously done without browning it. The result was fantastic - beautiful lamb that just fell succulently apart and tasted fantastic, and made a beautiful Sunday dinner. The only problem was that the rogan josh saag I made with the leftovers and was so overjoyed about consisted of beautifully disintegrated and soft pieces of lamb, which didn't curry in the traditional way, and tasted of a lamb dinner more than an Indian dish to my discerning husband. Next time, I'll use these types of leftovers in a shepherds pie (topped with leeks and cheese a la Delia, of course, and served with redcurrant jelly) as that texture would suit beautifully. I've often wanted to do cottage or shepherds pie like we used to do in the 20th century after a roast dinner, but don't have a mincer. Cooking slow cooked lamb in a sauce would work beautifully, I think (I'll keep you posted!)
Not Meat Meatballs
These weren't really a success, although I loved the idea. Again, it wasn't taste but texture that was key here. The taste was fine, although I really overdid the lemon juice - I could just eat plain grilled aubergine for days mind you and not complain. I think as well as it being much too lemony, the juice made the balls too wet, as I had to add extra breadcrumbs, and three of them still completely disintegrated.
My other problem was this recipe was its healthfulness - yes, made up of aubergine and onions but I fried these to begin with, in quite a lot of olive oil, and then the balls required shallow frying in oil until they were golden, and again, I could see a LOT of oil being soaked up. Mediterranean, yes, but I need to keep my fat content down due to gallstones and this isn't normally a way I would cook things. In the future I might grill the aubergine to lessen the amount of oil used, perhaps, although I am not planning to make these again...
....mainly because of the amount of faff involved in preparation & cooking. We didn't have them on the day I planned, as the day went mad and I didn't get any dinner cooking time. But I managed to make them for lunch one day last week to serve with leftover pesto pasta. And they were okay. Brown by the time I reheated them in the oven. I did miss them steeping in a tomato and basil sauce, like beef or pork meatballs - I would have loved to have lightly fried them and then finish them off in the slow cooker, but I know they would have fallen apart completely and not necessarily have cooked through properly. So, not a total disaster, but not something that will become part of our family repertoire. I will stick to aubergine parmigiana as a favourite from now on!
My cakes have been much more successful - I'll post about them soon!