Week 2 of cooking the books – and so far so good!
I was so excited to read that I’ve inspired fellow Pisces, food lover, disliker of malls and cookbook obsessive, Jo Tracey, to also undertake her own cooking the books challenge – you can read about Jo’s adventures here.
But back to ME!
In week two I made five new-to-me recipes plus a fave, and used six books.
6 January – Cooking Passions – Delicious Journeys by Nico Moretti
Butter Chicken, p 79
I met Nico at a Thermomix cooking class last year, and loved everything he cooked from this book. Especially his butter chicken. What I most like about this cookbook is that it includes specific instructions for making each of the recipes using a Thermomix, but equally clear instructions if you don’t have one. Clever. I’ve cooked this before and it’s easy and full of flavour. I made this for #CurryCabinet, a curry-off hosted by Fiona from Tiffin Bite-Sized. It was hard to pick a winner, however Justin’s beef curry was it. Still waiting for the recipe Justin…
Verdict: Probably won’t cook again, at least not for a while. Many other recipes to try in this book next time!
8 January – Spirit House by Helen Brierty and Annette Fear
Satay beef with pumpkin and kaffir lime leaf, p 105
The Spirit House is a restaurant with a cooking school on the Sunshine Coast, and is well worth a visit if you are in the area. The cooking school is possibly the best I’ve ever been to (I’ve done three classes there). I love this cookbook and have used it often, but I didn’t really love this dish. I cooked it because it popped up on Eat Your Books when I plugged in “pumpkin” and it sounded a bit different.
Verdict: It’s unlikely I’ll cook it again, but that’s OK because there are so many others to choose from in this gorgeous book.
11 January – Ratio by Michael Ruhlman
Spicy corn fritters, p 75
I often try and go to a bit of effort for lunch on Saturdays, as it’s one of the few times of the week that hubby and I get to sit down and relax together. And always on the back deck when the weather cooperates. He plays golf every Saturday morning, timing it to get home in time for lunch. This weekend I really had no desire to cook, but also didn’t want to go out for a late lunch (which we also tend to do a bit on a Saturday). This meal was totally inspired by Lizzy from Strayed from the Table when she posted a pic of her zucchini fritters on Instagram. Instantly I knew what to make. Thanks again to Eat Your Books, I found a recipe with a bit of a different take to my usual corn fritters. I didn’t have enough corn, so used half red pepper. I also used spelt flour. The chipotle really lifted the flavour, and I could have probably used a bit more.
Verdict: Will definitely make these again.
12 January – Australian Women’s Weekly Great Vegetarian Food
Baked ricotta and char-grilled veg, p64
This recipe combines two of my favourite foods – cheese and roasted veg. It was incredibly simple, although I was MOST UNHAPPY that the baked ricotta dribbled all over my newly cleaned oven! I served this a couple of days after making it, when I had a friend I rarely see pop in for lunch with her kids. I assume everyone liked it as there was very little left for my lunch the next day!
Verdict: Yes, would make this again. Really simple and the baked ricotta would be great served as part of an anti-pasta platter, as well as in part of a salad.
12 January – The OzHarvest Cookbook, various
Chilli cheese steak sandwiches with cabbage salad by Justine Schofield, p259
Sunday night dinners can be a bit hit and miss. I either go all out and cook all day, or I chuck something together at the last minute. This was a chuck together jobby, as I busy was making a few other dishes to eat during the week. However it was easily one of the best things I’ve eaten in a while.
The flavours in this dish were perfect together. I had some porterhouse steak to cook, so grilled and sliced it, then added the marinade. I used less than half of the called-for-amount of Sriracha and thank goodness I did!! Mr13’s first words were “oooh, spicy” as he rushed to the kitchen for a glass of water. The cabbage salad with cucumber and mint was a surprising accompaniment but worked perfectly.
I should also add that I love the OzHarvest cookbook – the people involved, the recipes and the concept behind the organisation. Check it out if you haven’t.
Verdict: yes, will definitely make again, and the marinade has loads of potential uses. Note to self – don’t eat the leftovers (with raw garlic) an hour before a meeting with a prospective client. Phewww garlic breath!
12 January – The Australian Women’s Weekly Great Casual Food
Braised beef curry with dhal, p 164
I had some gravy beef that needed to be used, so did a quick flick through a few of my many, many Women’s Weekly cookbooks to find a suitable recipe. I quite liked the sound of the flavours in this, and it didn’t disappoint. I cooked it on Sunday for a few hours, and we ate it for dinner on Monday. Easy to reheat. I served it with rice, despite cooking a few million lentils. Long story. Don’t ask.
Verdict: This gets better with a couple of days in the fridge so will definitely make again. I also have a couple of portions heading for the freezer, which will be thoroughly enjoyed on a future night when cooking is all too hard.
You can expect a few lentil dishes next week. Unless they get fed to the chickens.
So that’s week two!
Summary: 2 weeks, 11 cookbooks, 9 new-to-me recipes
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