I started the cookery book challenge a year ago. If I'd got my act/posts together I'd be finishing it now too, completing the cycle in a fitting way, new year new challenge etc etc. As it is, I still have a couple of posts to do. I also have a quandary as I was given another cookery book for Christmas - do I tack it on the end or consign it to the unused pile the other books used to be in?? Decisions, decisions!
I must also apologise: the worst part of the challenge now is having to photograph meals in electric light, so all the photos that follow are completely pants. The food was (mostly) good though.
Week 41: Jamie's 15-minute meals - Jamie Oliver
I picked this up in a charity shop for a couple of pounds, attracted by the delicious looking meals. In theory they can all be cooked in 15 minutes and Jamie makes it look easy on the TV show. In practice I found it really stressful trying to keep up the pace and took far longer. I'll be making them at Julie pace in the future! You can find 19 of the recipes from this book on his web site.
Chorizo and squid with Greek-style couscous salad
Squid is one of Chickpea's favourite foods so it wasn't surprising when she asked me to make this. I liked the idea of adding extra flavourings to the couscous as it cooks: whizz up spinach, mint and spring onions in a food processor and then stir in the couscous and hot water. Simple but effective. I couldn't find an official site for the recipe but there are several bloggers out there who've made it so you can probably find the recipe if you hunt around a bit.
Thai chicken laksa with a Mildly spiced noodle squash broth
Yummy yum yum! I think this might well be one of our favourite meals of the challenge and I've been craving it ever since! A lovely combination of flavours and highly recommended. You can find the recipe here.
Week 42 : Jamie at Home - Jamie Oliver
My favourite of his shows as I loved watching him (or at least his gardener) growing the produce for the recipes. He inspired me to try growing rainbow chard, which I did but which tasted horrible! Surprisingly we found the cookery book uninspiring, though we did give 2 recipes a try.
Lamb with salsa verde
This isn't strictly the recipe in the book as it should have been accompanied by cannellini beans and that rainbow chard. However, I had lots of bits of veg which needed using up so chose to make roasted veg instead.
The salsa verde seemed a little bitter so I added a teaspoon of sugar. It made a lovely combination of flavours with both the lamb and the veg - definitely something to try again but I'd probably use the salsa verde recipe I made here.
Roasted white fish and leeks
Another good combination of flavours. The worst part was the spinach which was my own addition! There was just far too much of it.
Week 43 : Barefoot contessa back to basics - Ina Garten
We love watching the Barefoot Contessa shows. Not necessarily for the food but the lifestyle: gorgeous house, immaculate table settings, brunch on the beach. My favourite parts are just watching her food shopping at the farm stands and delicatessen!
Baked blintzes with blueberry sauce
This was in the breakfast section but we chose to have it for dessert instead. Blintzes are usually made with pancakes which are filled and then fried or baked. However, Ina's version is much simpler and involves baking them in the oven to make what is essentially a kind of cheesecake. Well it would have been simple if I'd taken the time to convert all the American cup measurements and oven temperatures into English first instead of having to do it as I went. Still, it all turned out ok in the end and we would happily eat this again.
Week 44 : Kilkenny cookbook: recipes from the Kilkenny kitchen
Kilkenny is a restaurant and craft/design store in Dublin. The book was given to me by my friend who was living near Dublin at the time and reminds me of my own trip to the city several years ago. By coincidence, it was the same weekend as the Dublin marathon and we watched several triumphant but tired runners limp by after crossing the finishing line whilst we ate lazily coffee and cake in the Kilkenny cafe!
Flaked salmon over spaghetti with sun-dried tomato and rocket
Another great combination of flavours and so easy to pull together. I poached the salmon to keep it moist - something I do more often since doing this challenge. Definitely one to make again. I couldn't find the recipe online but the title tells you all the ingredients with the addition of toasted pine nuts and the oil from the sun-dried tomatoes.
Hope you've had a good weekend. we've had a fairly quiet one though we did go to my friends for tea yesterday evening. Otherwise, we've been taking down the decorations and having a good tidy up in preparation for me going back to work tomorrow. Darn but the holidays go fast :(
The photo was taken on Friday when we went out for a short walk in the fields - that's Chickpea disappearing into the distance. Lovely sunny, squelchy welly weather :)
Anyway, I'm off to make the latest meal in the cookery challenge. Before I go though, a very happy birthday to my penfriend Susan! xx