Monday, 2 April 2012

Spinach roulade

We've had spinach roulade twice now while we've been staying at my parents' - it's very nice. Quite a Seventies throwback, I'd guess (without having done any research). But it's not nearly as troublesome as it looks.

My mother leapt on this as a dinner solution when she and Dad were in their manic Atkins diet phase. My father is obsessed with his weight because he has been tremendously thin for most of his life. Really, one of those very tall, very skinny, bony giraffe people. Then he hit middle age and his love of dinner and sweeties was no longer a thing to be celebrated. He was no longer a furnace of a young man who merely converted millions of calories into dinner party conversation, spying on the Soviet Union and long legs: he was getting fat.

So when the Atkins diet came along (second time around) he fell on it literally like a starving man and we all ate nothing but bacon and eggs and ran screaming from potatoes for about two years.

And for anyone doing Atkins, this is a great thing to have. You can stuff it with all manner of things - I have had it once with smoked salmon and creme fraiche and once with mushrooms (just diced and fried with butter, thyme and cream).

I will just go through how to do the roulade thing here as the filling is really up to your imagination.

Two eggs per person
A large handful (cooked amount) of spinach
salt and pepper

Set your oven to 180C

1 Cook down very low some spinach until you have a handful of very surrendered leaves. This is going to be mixed in with beaten egg whites so it needs to be finely shredded. Take a pair of scissors to it if you fancy.

2 Separate your eggs, keeping the yolks somewhere safe. Beat the eggwhites until large, light and fluffy but not stiff (we're not making meringue).

3 Mix the shredded spinach with the yolks and season. Add this to the eggwhites and stir to combine but try not to overmix, (I hate this phrase - of course I'd never knowingly overmix something you stupid cow/bastard, why tell me not to? - but you know what I mean).

4 Spread this mixture onto a sheet of greaseproof paper - you're aiming for a thickness of about an inch. Bake for 8-10 minutes until soft and springy.

5 Spread with your filling and roll up as above. Easier than it looks if you're careful. Although my mother does have a degree in fine art.

As it happens I'm having a simply ghastly time. I'm rowing with everyone (what's new?), suspicious that my operation hasn't actually worked, ratty from post-operative pain, discomfort and inconvenience, neauseous from the post-op antibiotics, furious at hobbling myself by pulling at a bit of loose skin on my heel and carving a deep trough in my foot, which is sending shooting pains up my leg, maddened by my camera's shitty attitude, demented with anxiety about having to go on three separate family holidays - two of them foreign - apprehensive about the amount of time between now and September that my husband is going to be abroad for work, wretchedly poking at a huge under-the-skin chin zit I thought had gone away and despairing over the fact that our builder cut through our central heating pipes (by accident) this morning, sending a fountain of water gushing into the living room.

I would say that I want my mummy except that she's downstairs and it doesn't make a blind bit of difference. AND she absent-mindedly ate the rest of my lunch, which I had briefly abandoned to take a phonecall (about central heating pipes).

If things don't improve I'm going to have to start casting around for someone to fire. That always cheers me up.

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