This year I'm taking part in the Cookery Calendar Challenge organised by Penny. The idea is simple: the first week of every month, choose a cookery book from your shelf and, over the course of a month, make two recipes from it that you've never made before. You can choose to take part each month or as the mood takes you!
My pick for May was Hemsley and Hemsley's Good and Simple. One of my work colleagues is a big fan of the Hemsleys and was always saying how good their recipes are. When I saw their latest book in the supermarket, I decided to take a look and was intrigued by the interesting sounding dishes and the colourful food on every page. They are part of the healthy eating brigade so there's lots of spiralised and riced veg, and ingredients which might be tricky to get hold of. However, I've already made a couple of the recipes and found them to be really simple and tasty so I had high hopes of finding more. As it turned out, I actually ended up making four during May!
First up was Spicy miso salmon with broccoli rice. We chose this one because it looked super healthy and low-calorie. The latter was particularly important as we had a mega-portion of cheesecake to follow! (bought at the restaurant we went to for Chickpea's birthday)
This one would be great for a workday evening meal as it only takes about 15 minutes to cook and couldn't be simpler. For two people, cook 2 salmon fillets in a frying pan and put to one side, covered to keep warm. Blitz a head of broccoli in a food processor and add to the frying pan with 2 tablespoons of water. Put a lid on and cook for about 3 minutes, stirring halfway through. Put both on a plate and pour over the miso sauce.
With only salmon and broccoli, I thought it might be a bit bland and boring but it was anything but. The sauce was delicious and added a lovely salty sweet flavour. I'd only quibble with the title of the recipe as it definitely wasn't spicy. Surprisingly, we also found that we liked broccoli served as a 'rice' and will serve it like that with other dishes in future. This is definitely a recipe I'll be making again.
Next was Marinated butterbean Greek salad. I used to think butterbeans were the work of the devil and would avoid them at all costs (it probably had something to do with school dinners). However, over the years my tastes have matured and I've grown to accept them. So, although the Hemsleys did say I could substitute another kind of bean, I stuck with the original recipe. Well...it was ok. Not something to rave about and, I don't know if I over-compensated for the blandness of the beans, but a bit too garlicky.
The third recipe was Sunshine eggs with turmeric and lime. Chickpea already says that I make the best scrambled eggs but, oh my, this recipe takes them to a whole other level. It's amazing what just some onion, garlic, turmeric and a pinch of chilli can do. Gently spicy, full of flavour and that touch of lime - whatever you do, don't miss out the lime - wow! Really delicious and one of my go-to egg recipes from now on.
Last up was Mum's Philippine beef sinigang which is flavoured with ginger, tamarind paste, fish sauce and chilli. I thought the paste and sauce might make it salty but it wasn't. If anything, I could have been more generous with the spices. Other than that, neither of us can remember much about it other than we both liked it and the beef was lovely and tender. Good then but not memorable.
Next up is Mary Berry's Foolproof Cooking which was a birthday present last year.
I'm just nearing the end of two weeks leave from work. The first was spent in beautiful Northumberland and I have lots to share. It was a week of mixed emotions, however, as the above photo was taken in Alnmouth on the day of the Manchester terrorist attack. We felt very far from home and full of concern for our friends and family. Thankfully, as far as I know, all are safe. My heart goes out to all those affected.
Enjoy the rest of your weekend and stay safe. x