Thursday, 27 November 2014

Cookery book challenge : weeks 37-40

I'm a bit late with this but it's time for another update on my cookery book challenge. It was a mixed bag with only a couple of recipes that I'd make again.

Week 37 : The French Kitchen - Joanne Harris & Fran Warde

Chickpea groaned when this was pulled out as 'not another boring French cookbook' - our experience of them hasn't been great so far. However, I've made several recipes from this before and I always use its recipe for tarte tatin.

Pork with Apples and Blackcurrant

The most difficult part of this recipe was sourcing blackcurrants as they weren't in season even though the description said 'a wonderfully intense concentration of autumn flavours'. I had to settle for tinned blackcurrants in a light syrup which was ok as you had to cook the blackcurrants in sugar and water anyway. Well, I thought it would be ok but we were distinctly underwhelmed with the whole dish. I won't be making this again.

Week 38 : Easy pasta - Delphine Lawrance (editor)

I could probably eat pasta every day of the week so I'm always looking for new recipes to try. This collection has a few twists on standard dishes and I've used it several times. It would be easier to say which recipes we didn't want to try than those which we did, and you can't ask for more than that of a cookery book.

Aubergine and sausage penne with red wine

Chickpea loves aubergines and I love sausages (actually, we both love sausages) so this was an easy choice. Full of flavour and one I'll definitely come back to. The original recipe by Fiona Beckett can be found here.

Week 39 : Tarts with Tops On - Tamasin Day-Lewis

Found in a discount shop and hardly used. That isn't a comment on the book but mostly on my aversion to making pastry.Having said that, I did make her sweet potato pie a couple of years ago (see here) and the pastry turned out beautifully. As well as her own recipes, there's a chapter of recipes from other people and it was one of those that we ended up choosing.

Claudia Roden's filo triangles with minced meat, onions and pine nuts

The mince filling was flavoured with allspice and cinnamon which worked really well and would be worth doing in another dish. However, the filo pastry was tasteless and didn't add anything. I served it with Roasted carrots with Middle Eastern spices from the Tesco magazine which was yummy and definitely one to make again.

Week 40 : Tony and Giorgio - Tony Allan and Giorgio Locatelli

Given to me by a neighbour and apparently accompanied a TV series. As the two chefs are British and Italian, the recipes are a combination of both. I enjoyed the writing at the start of each chapter as they shared their food memories but, otherwise, felt uninspired.

Spanish omelette

This recipe was chosen purely because I had some leftover veggies and goats cheese which needed using up. Although it provided the inspiration, I didn't actually follow the recipe as I've made Spanish omelettes so many times before. One I know I'll make again some time.

And that concludes this update. We've already finished the next 4 weeks and that will be the penultimate challenge post. Yes, we only have about 4 cookery books left to review! The time has gone by in a flash and I'm really proud to have stuck it out to the end.

One last photo. I had a day off yesterday and harvested the last of the carrots. There looks like a lot here but they're all really small - the worst harvest I've ever had with carrots. I don't know what went wrong given that we had such a lovely summer. None of them will go to waste though and I'll be using some of them at the weekend as we're having friends round to celebrate a very important date in this part of the world....

Happy Lancashire Day! Today commemorates the day in 1295 when Lancashire sent its first representatives to Parliament and there'll be celebrations all over the county. I have an evening of hotpot and merriment planned for Saturday.

Of course, not forgetting that today is also an important day on the other side of the Atlantic, so Happy Thanksgiving to all of my American friends too.

I'll be back on Sunday with the Scavenger Hunt. xx


  1. I'm ashamed to say, being born and raised in lancashire, I didn't know we had a 'lancashire day'. Sarah

  2. Your carrots might be small but I bet they taste wonderful.
    And I love sausages too, especially the ones in England! I am simple though, I just have with them chips! HA! :-)

  3. Those carrots look great! I hadn't heard of Lancashire Day either. I've still got half of my scavenger photos to take - I keep forgetting about it!

  4. Happy Lancashire Day indeed! Well done on sticking with the cookery book challenge too x

  5. All your food looks lovely... can you come round about 6.30 every night and cook for me, thanks :)
    Amanda xx

  6. It's a fab idea this challenge it really is. All your food looks delicious but especially the pasta dish, we adore pasta in this house too.
    Marianne x

  7. I've really, really enjoyed reading about your challenge throughout the year. It's funny how, despite trying all these new things, we still know what we like and we go back to it time and time again. I think the aubergine and sausage pasta would be the one I'd be most likely to choose. We love our pasta in this house too! x