Thursday, 16 October 2014
Cookery book challenge : weeks 33-36
Another month and another update on my cookery book challenge. Overall, I think it was a pretty good month, so let's take a look at what we found and what we tried.
Week 33 : Delia's Winter Collection - Delia Smith
One of the downfalls of randomly picking books out of a hat is that there's always the chance you'll end up with a winter cookbook in the middle of summer! Luckily there was still plenty to tempt us and we ended up choosing one of the more summery dishes.
Seared spiced salmon with black bean salsa
I couldn't find black beans in the supermarket so substituted pinto beans. I don't know if it would have made much of a difference as we found it very tasty anyway. Simple and flavourful. The recipe is here if you fancy trying it yourself.
Week 34 : Chinese Food Made Easy - Ching-He Huan
Chickpea is a huge Ching fan so was thrilled when this finally made an appearance. Unsurprisingly she picked out a lot of recipes to try but, for some reason, I just wasn't as enthusiastic. Looking back now, the photos look tempting and the recipe I chose was delicious: I guess sometimes you just have to be in the mood.
I'd definitely be in the mood to eat this again. It took me a while to make but only because I'm slow at chopping. The dressing couldn't be easier as you just chuck everything in a blender and then warm it up. Fresh and tasty. You can find the recipe here.
Week 35 : Jamie's Dinners - Jamie Oliver
Another of my Jamie Oliver books: I own six and I think there are still a couple to go though it's hard to keep track after all these months! Lots to tempt us so I ended up choosing two recipes.
Tray-baked chicken Maryland
Chicken stuffed with banana! It was just so intriguing I had to make it.
I'm not sure the banana did add anything except sweetness. Odd but not unpleasant! However, chicken, bacon and sweetcorn are such a classic flavour combination that it couldn't really go wrong. Surprisingly, what made the dish for me was the fresh mint. I don't think I'd have thought to add mint myself but it worked so well and really lifted the flavour of the whole dish.
I'd make this again, with or without the banana, and especially because it was a one-pot meal and so saved on the washing up! If you're as intrigued as I was, you can find the recipe here.
Chicken Tikka Masala
I expected this to be full of flavour but was underwhelmed. It was good but just not memorable. You might think differently, in which case you can find the recipe here. I notice his latest cookery book has another version though which might be worth a go.
Week 36 : The River Cottage Family Cookbook - Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall & Fizz Carr
This was close to being the first cookery book from which we chose no recipes! Not that there aren't recipes but they're aimed at beginners so there was nothing to really grab our attention. Having said that it's an interesting read with lots of information about ingredients. It's just not something I'll be consulting on a regular basis for meal ideas. Having said that, I did manage to pick out a cracker.
Spicy bean stew with sausages
Oh my, this was so good! You can't really go wrong with beans and sausage but it was so full of flavour and I particularly liked the unusual addition of ground cloves which added a perfumed warmth. This would be lovely eaten around the fire on Bonfire Night. The recipe can be found here.
And so concludes this update. I'm surprised I'm still going strong after 10 months and reckon there's about 3 months worth of books to go - the finishing line is in sight!
I've had a day off today and spent it with my friend, Sue - oh the luxury of a mid-week day to myself! We had lunch and went to the cinema to see The Maze Runner. We both really enjoyed it and, if you like sci-fi or enjoyed films like The Hunger Games and Divergent, then I think you'll like this one too. Hope you've had a good day - the weekend is almost here :0) x