ghoti_mhic_uait: (cookbook project)
This was actually a library book. I have no African books at the moment, rather some North African recipes in my Middle East cookbook (written by an Egyptian), so there were several of various regions/time periods in my Amazon wishlist when I transferred it to a library reserve list. This was the only one of those books the library had.

For my taste, it's a little Morocco heavy in terms of recipes. I'm not dissing Morocco or Moroccan food, just that that's the part of Africa I have covered already, and I'm looking to fill the holes from further south.

Anyway, last night, I made Fish with crab and aubergine sauce (Mauritius), with okra and tomato tagine (general North Africa, particularly Egypt according to the book), followed by spiced nutty bananas ('central Africa'). Well, I would have done had I remembered to buy aubergine.

The fish was absolutely delicious, and I should remember to keep crab meat in. Judith went from 'I don't like salmon' to 'this is yummy'. She only ate the bits untouched by vegetable sauce, though, so if and when I make this again I should keep her some separate. You make a smooth sauce from onion, pepper, aubergine and tomatoes, then layer salmon, crab meat and vegetables in a pan, put the lid on, and leave it to cook. I think this would be a good Wonderbag recipe actually. Anyway, while I would have preferred this with aubergine, it was still good without, and I think basically it's the sort of thing where almost any veg could be thrown in to good effect, particularly things like mushrooms and courgette.

The okra was a bit weedy. It starts with a spice paste, but even so, too much tomato, not enough anyhthing else. Judith declared that she prefers 'normal okra' by which she means bhindi bhaji, and I agree. We don't eat enough okra, and I should add a bhindi bhaji to our normal repertoire.

Pudding was a mixed success. You slice the bananas, cover them in juice and rum, and pour over crushed nuts, sugar and spices. It was alright, but never going to be a wild favourite, and I should maybe have chosen something a bit more exotic.


Mar. 26th, 2013 06:48 pm
ghoti_mhic_uait: (Default)
Benedict bought me a copy of the 1954 edition of the Olio cookbook for Mother's day. To quote the book: " "OLIO", viz a mixture, a medley, a collection, and this book is certainly a medley and collection of recipes, and recipes themselves are a mixture of ingredients".

For today's cookbook challenge, I made bacon roly poly with carrot souffle, followed by apple whisk. To give you an idea about the nature of the writing, here is the entry for bacon roly poly:

"Make a suet crust, roll out, lay on it slices of streaky raw bacon, season with chopped parsley, pepper, minced onion. Damp the edges, roll in greased paper. Tie in floured cloth. Boil 3 hours. Or it may be put in a basin and steamed."

That's actually one of the more verbose recipes, a lot don't have any method at all. Nowhere have I found the explanation for suet crust, one is expected to know.

The roly poly was flabby, stodgy and utterly delicious. I should make more rag-type puddings. (Judith made this one, though.)

The carrot souffle, I should have made in a different dish, but apart from it not coming out of the dish properly, was lovely, creamy and carroty, but I think maybe I'd use more eggs next time so as it would be lighter.

Apple whisk was roundly declared a success and will definitely be made again - make 1pt jelly, when it's almost set whisk in 1pt apple puree, then whisk in 1/2 pint whipped cream.

I love this book, and will be making a lot more from it, there's a lot of exciting stuff in there.
ghoti_mhic_uait: (Default)
New cookbook! Well, not that new, but I haven't used it a lot before. Barbecues by Hamlyn.

I made Spicy Asian pork chops, pumpkin wedges with coconut pesto and baked potatoes. For pudding, we had Summer fruits on toast.

The chops were delicious, but a bit of a mishmash. Spicy was right - lots of flavour, not much heat - but Asia is big, and it was difficult to see what they were going for. Having said that, the flavours were great so I probably would use this marinade again.

The pumpkin wedges were also great, and sprinkling with spices and baking may well become a standard cooking method for me, but the coconut pest was a bit blah. Together they made great soup next day, though.

The pudding.. .well, I didn't like it. Too sour and the textures were off. The toast is cinnamon toast, which I love, but with the soft fruits it didn't work for me. Colin and Judith, who both enjoy sour tastes, really liked this though and I have been requested to make it again.

In another sort of cookbook project, B's book of things he's made and liked is growing slowly. It currently features: tomato soup, bolognese sauce, ratatouille, steak and kidney stew, patatas bravas, Persian carrots with apricots, baked chocolate mousse, fruit crumble, plum tart, scones and our family speciality, Aunty Theressa's tea loaf. There's also a recipe of [ profile] karaspita which he's made with Jon but which I don't have, that's been meaning to go in the book for ages. Any other ideas welcome, but he is quite picky, so don't be offended if they don't make it.
ghoti_mhic_uait: (Default)
I recently bought the book from the Hairy Bikers' Mums Know Best series. A patronising title, but the recipes were great...I'd already made some from the website (like the haggis samosas). Anyway, you know what that means... cookbook project!

I made Mince with dumplings and buttermilk pie

Read more... )
ghoti_mhic_uait: (Default)
I know I said I was finished, but then I bought more cookbooks (and also I forgot I had another American Girl dinner to make.

This week was the Ikea cookbook.

We had salmon with a herb crust with veg followed by Scanian apple pie and custard.

The salmon was nice, and everyone ate it. Very easy too; just mix breadcrumbs with herbs (it said dill, but Benedict doesn't like dill so I used thyme) and press into the salmon, then fry, crust side down first. The recipe includes fried beetroot, which turned out to be the same texture as pickled beetroot, which I don't like. Beetroot's never going to be our favourite veg, but this is not the way to cook it for us. Also,it said serve with boiled potatoes, but I did carrots as well, in case we didn't like the beetroot. Oh, and there's a mustard sauce, which was v tasty and I will make again. Stock, mustard, chopped anchovies (which I didn't have so I used fish sauce) an cornflour to thicken. Would work with pork or chicken, too.

Apple pie wasn't pie, more like a brown betty, but was tasty. Custard likewise was a bit uncustard; beat egg yolks with sugar, add cream, then add whisked egg whites. I forgot to get cream, so used condensed milk instead of the cream and sugar.
ghoti_mhic_uait: (Default)
This is from the wonderful book, Cherry Cake and Ginger Beer by Jane Brocket, which recreates dishes from children's stories. Not really dinners, so much as elevenses, high tea, afterenoon tea, snacks, suppers... and breakfasts. So today I cooked a breakfast.

WE had 'wake up and smell the bacon' breakfast, inspired by Charlotte's Web, which is just bacon and hash browns. I've not made hash browns as such before, and need some practice to get them quite right. As recommended in the book, we had them with Mate Susan's scrambled eggs (just like any other scrambled egg, except no added anything except salt/pepper, and I left out the salt).

It's a gorgeous book, and I highly recommend it.


Jun. 28th, 2010 08:58 pm
ghoti_mhic_uait: (Default)
There's only one more book left on my shelves for Cookbook project, plus my random collections. I'm sure I have more boooks, they just haven't made it onto the shelves yet.

Yesterday's book was 'Las mejores 100 tapas' by Esperanza Luca de Tena, a book Colin bought me for my birthday last year, in Madrid airport. He wanted to buy the English version, but I said I'd prefer the Spanish, and I think that was the right choice, although it does lead to some interesting translation issues.

I made
Escalibada, Judith's choice, a sort of roast vegetable platter, in whch I think I mistranslated berenjenas. I used courgette, but a closer look indicates that it probably meant aubergine, which J would have liked better.

Patatas a la brava, one of my favourite Spanish dishes. This is a great recipe, you just deep fry the potatoes, then pour over a sauce made of a tin of tomatoes and some tabasco sauce. I just forgot that Colin likes Worcester sauce, not tabasco, in his tomato juice and therefore we didn't have tabasco. So they were slightly cowardly potatoes. Still good, and Benedict liked them better less hot, even if it's not authentic.

Gambas a la Gabardina, simple deep fried prawns but with the addition of bay to the water you cook the prawns in. As my bay tree is flourishing like evil, and the taste was great, I'll be doing that to prawns again.

Migas con jamon y chorizo. This is the specialty of Extremadura, the region we visited, it's fried breadcrumbs. I failed to notice I was meant to soak the breadcrumbs and then dry them out, so it looked a bit rubbish (would have looked nicer with red or yellow peppers as well, especially as I used green in the escalibada, but never mind). Both children really liked this (except B picked out the chorizo as too spicy) so I'll make it again, properly next time.
ghoti_mhic_uait: (cookbook project)

Whenever I get something interesting in my veg box, or just want to do something a bit different, I pull out Madhur Jaffrey's World Vegetarian Cookbook. So when I got sprouting chicpeas in my box, I knew that was the book for me. I decided to do it as a cookbook project and make the whole meal from there, but only one course.

So I made Chickpea & BVutternut squash stew with cous cous. The cous cous wasn't special, but that's what she put it with. The stew was delicious, and moreover both children liked it - Benedict not so much, but Judith was very enthusiastic. A nice mix of flavours and textures, and it has a pour-on sauce made of harissa and the broth from the veg, which is a good idea that I have borrowed since (and meant that it could be hotter for J than B. B ate his with raita instead).

I would highly recommend both the book and the recipe, will make again. Also, Judith now asks for 'ditdee'.


Emily gave me the book Marguerite Patten's Century of British Cookin for a birthday a long time ago. It's a beautiful book. Each decade gets a chapter on the social and economic factors regarding food, and then a chapter of recipes (except the twenties which gets pre war/post war recipes). I decided that it made most sense to pick a decade, so I chose the 1960s. I made chicken maryland, quite the maddest food ever, followed by lemon cheesecake (because I'd never previously made a baked cheesecake). Children loved the chicken maryland, especially the rather thick corn fritters (much more heavily corn than any I've made before, I more often make tuna and sweetcorn I guess) and bananas as a main. Benedict didn't like the cheesecake, which to me resembled a sort of less intense lemon meringue pie. Adults liked it, but Judith was kind of meh. So we'll definitely have the chicken again, but not often, and the cheesecake maybe occasionalle.

Honourable mention:

Tomorrow is Benedict's 11th birthday. I am eagerly awaiting his Hogwarts acceptance letter, and in anticipation I made food from the Harry Potter books to take to [ profile] xanna's house for tea on wednesday. In particular, I very much enjoyed this chicken and ham pie recipe so I'm posting it here that you might enjoy it also. I'm not normally overly keen on chicken pie, so that is high praise indeed :)

ghoti_mhic_uait: (Default)
This is a cheap hardback I bought in a service station in France, as part of my efforts to improve my French. Now my food French is, um, almost existent :)

We had (excuse my accent(s)):

Foie au vinaigre
Fenouil braise
Puree de pommes de terre

followed by

Pommes et poires a la cannelle

I was very pleased with how well the meal worked as a meal - I wasn't sure about liver and fennel, but the tartness of the vinegar and the slight bitterness of the fennel worked very well. The potatoes were an afterthought as I suddenly realised I'd forgotten any starch, but I'm glad I didn't attempt anything more adventurous. I didn't mash Judith's potatoes, though.

The liver was meant to be lamb, but we got pork - it was very tasty. I was worried the vinegar might be overpowering, but it wasn't, and both Colin and Judith were greatly appreciative. The special thing about the potatoes was the addition of muscavado sugar, which just added a touch of richness, very tasty.

Pommes et poires a la cannelle - very tasty. The fruit was roasted with a solution of sugar and cinnamon, and then a sauce of mixed yoghurt, sour cream and more sugar poured over. Not too heavy, but a bit special - the only problem was that Judith ignored the fruit and just ate sauce.

All in, a very nice meal, would eat again.
ghoti_mhic_uait: (Default)
This is the last of the third fifth of my cookbooks, but I'm not having a new book right now because my lovely husband bought me two new books while he was in America.

I also only made one course, because I knew I didn't want to eat a two course meal - I'll make the other at another time, maybe tomorrow for cake and games.

Anyway, the book is hte Dairy Cookbook, it's a milk marketing board cookbook. We had Lancashire foot with red cabbage and apple salad and endive, orange and walnut salad.

The salads were cactually perfectly complemented - the red cabbage was slightly sour and the endives slight sweet, thanks to their resppective dressings (yoghurt for the cabbage and sour cream/orange juice) for the endives. The cabbage salad was also notable in the the cabbage was blanched, and then everything else added while the cabbage is still warm, meaning it all mixed nicely.

'Lancashire foot' is a sort of cheese pastry - just puff pastry with a filling of lancashire cheese, mushrooms and fried onions, then baked, I really liked this, but it would be nice with extra veg (mushrooms and peppers maybe).

At some point I'll make 'Old English egg-nog pie' described as 'much more sophisticated than any egg-nog you'd dream of having for breakfast... strange dreams presumably broughgt about by too much cheese at bedtime.
ghoti_mhic_uait: (Default)
It's been a while since I did cookbook project, but here are two at once for you.

Molly's cookbook (category: rest of world) )

Wagamama cookbook by Hugo Arnold (category: Asia) )
ghoti_mhic_uait: (Default)
When I ordered the shopping I added a chicken, intending it for cookbook project later in the week. Well, it came with a use-by date of today so I cooked it today.

I used "A Book of Middle Eastern Food@ by Claudia Roden

I love this book, mostly for its anecdotes and snippets from mediaeval Arabic texts. I use it quite a lot, and there are recipes in there that we love (the cheese pies, for example, and her egg dishes).

Today I made Aubergine slices stuffed with cheese followed by Persian style roast chicken stuffed with fruits.

We didn't like the aubergine so much. The cheese just didn't work for us. The chicken, however, slathered with butter and filled with cinnamon flavoured prunes, apples and dried fruits, was delicious. She suggested serving it with rice - I used the juice from the prunes and some chicken stock to cook the rice, and it worked really well. Clean plates all round :)
ghoti_mhic_uait: (Default)
I haven't talked about cookbook project for a while, mostly because I didn't do it much in the summer holiday. However, Benedict made Eccles cakes from Winnie the Pooh's teatime cookbook which turned out delicious.(It might be cheating for him to do them, but I don't care :P After all, Colin did some before.)

Then last week I used our school cookbook to make Ecclesiastical dinner. (As a fund raiser, our school gathered recipes from staff and printed books; they also got recipes from the parish priest and our local bishop, which is what I made.) I made boiled gammon and pease pudding as suggested by Fr David, and 'Bishop Michael's Hot Bananas'. I could see how the gammon and lentils work very well, the sweetness of the lentils and the saltiness of the gammon, but I'm still not a big fan.The bananas didn't work because I'm out of foil and my bananas weren't ripe enough (they're baked bananas with ginger and whatever else you fancy - I used grated black cherry chocolate).

So I'm back on track there.

On saturday we're having a date dinner for the first time in ages. While pondering what to make, I asked a friend what she'd make. Her husband is one of the pickiest people I know, and she said garlic bread, lasagne and profiteroles. What would you make?

I'm making (cut in case Colin wants to avoid spoilers)Read more... )
ghoti_mhic_uait: (cookbook project)
So, I made two meals that I didn't document yet. One from 'How to Entertain': I made sausage hotpot (which was actually quite nice, but not really special) and individual pineapple trifles (which had no custard! Very odd)

Then I made Bean dumplings with spicy shrimp sauce (liked the sauce, didn't like the dumplings) followed by beef and maize stew (very extremely delicious... Judith in particular loved it) from my South American cookbook, which I cannot now find, either my copy or online.

Lastly, a different kind of cookbook: The ABC of Healthy Eating for Babies and Toddlers.

I made Liver casserole and real fruit jlly, which is one of the meals from the meal planner included. The liver casserole was unusual in that the liver was poached instead of fried, and it contained apple. Fruit jelly was as you'd expect.

That's Colin's on the right, and Judith's (which has been blended a little) on the left.

Apple juice jelly with raspberries and pieces of mango and apricot.

Actually, my jelly didn't set properly, so we had yoghurts last night and will eat the jelly today. It set now.
ghoti_mhic_uait: (Default)
Italy's 500 best ever recipes, by Jeni Wright
No photos, because my pasta failed miserably. I hadn't made past for about 15 years, and first I made it too wet and then overworked it. Still tasted OK, but not very pretty.

We had Florentine pan-fried chicken livers, which were very nice, on a bed of salad leaves with a sweet wine dressing. For our main course, we had cheese and prosciutto ravioli, which, as previously mentioned, I kind of messed up. Didn't help that it was my first try with the pasta machine, and the instructions for the ravioli attachment were a bit obscure.

Will cook both again, although I'm not sure I'd make the ravioli a third time.

Tune in again next week for the delightfully seventies 'How to Entertain'
ghoti_mhic_uait: (cookbook project)
I'm actually a lot further through this than I have photos, or than I've written up. I think I wrote up 3; I've done 11.

Here are the ones with photos:> <a href= )

Here are the ones without photos: )
ghoti_mhic_uait: (Restaurant)
Those of you who follow will be astonished to learn that I have completed the first fifth of my cookbook project. The reward for this is that I get to buy a cookbook, and I had planned to buy a Columbian cookbook. However, the book I had in mind has sold out. This is where you come in....

FWIW, I have a reasonable representation from European countries, and also from Asian. I have only one American book, and the whole of Africa is conspic by its a, which seems an error. (Actually, there are some African recipes in my Middle Eastern book, which was written by an Egyptian, and also in the Madhur Jaffrey world book of vegetarian cook, which is a fabulous book and I heartily recommend it. but Africa is big. Also, there's a Desmond Tutu pan-African book which seems like a good thing, to be encouraged.)

[Poll #1369429]

Comments, of course, entirely welcome.

ghoti_mhic_uait: (Default)
I've restarted the cook book project.

This week I chose 'Vegetarian Recipes for your slo-cooker' by Annette Yates.

Read more... )
The book also has several interesting looking soup recipes which I should remember to try.
ghoti_mhic_uait: (Default)
So, on wednesday I resumed cook book project. I used Nicola Graimes' Vegan Cooking.

Here's what happened when Kake did this book.

I, however, made Pilaff of Saffron and Pickled Walnuts with Warm Vegetable Salad and Peanut Sauce, followed by Pears with Star Anise and Ginger.

The Pilaff was *wonderful* and I shall certainly be making it again. I think the saffron didn;t add that much, so I might leave it out (or use turmeric) in future. The salad was OK, but the peanut sauce was too hot, and if I make it again I'll leave out the chili. The pears were nice, but not particularly special. Maybe if I'd turned the poaching sauce into chocolate sauce it would have worked better.

I do like the book rather a lot, though.


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