On the now defunct forum Nigella.com, they had a cookbook review each month, I have to say that none of the books selected really grabbed my attention until Jutta chose Holiday by Bill Granger - it was a book that I had owned for a while but hadn't used, and I will be forever grateful to her as I have found winner after winner in this book, actually out of all the recipes I tried (and there were many!!) there was only one that we weren't mad about - not bad going. The review has carried onto the replacement forum Through The Oven Door, which is a wonderful alternative set up by Jutta among others. (Although that said I'm having problems with it at the moment - I'm blaming all the new spyware we have installed!).
Place of honour goes to this cherry tart which beside tasting excellent has the easiest pastry of all time - no rolling out needed (yahaa!!!), I'm going to be using this time and time again. (recipe below)
The Green Ratatouille, with some obvious replacements!!! I'm not a big fan of green peppers, and I happened to have yellow courgettes (zucchini) in the house, it was a lovely vegetable dish pretty and tasty - works for me!!
Crispy Skinned Salmon with Tamarind Caramel Dressing, the tamarind was a revelation to me, I have had some in the cupboard for some time and hadn't gotten round to trying it - boy am I glad that attempting this recipe introduced me to this wonderful flavour - a subtle bitterness, that doesn't cause the "sour lemon" face (!!) but still has that sour hit - I used the leftover dressing in a bowl of rice the next day (strange but delicious!)
This is the Never-Fail Birthday Chocolate Cake, before I added the Chocolate Icing, without doubt the least successful of all the recipes I attempted, its biggest failing was that there wasn't nearly enough chocolate in it - a "mortler" in my book!! (A "mortler" being our childhood term for mortal sin, ie. a biggie!!!)
Sweet Potato with Coriander and Preserved Lemons, an unusual combination I know but it really works. The left overs were wonderful in soup.
A pretty awful picture, but this Leg of Lamb with Indian Flavours was as far from awful as you could get!! A delicious combination of flavours served with the sweet potatoes (above) and the turmeric potatoes (below).
We're Irish, we eat potatoes by the sackful!!! Any new ideas for potatoes are always welcome, this one particularly - it tastes great and with turmeric being sooo good for you, they are actually health food!!
Flourless Chocolate and Hazelnut Cake, this is the cake to give as a gift to someone diagnosed with gluten intolerance - it will make them feel a whole lot better about a life without flour!! The cake was moist and full of nutty chocolaty flavours, it went down really well when I served it to visiting relatives, worked well with all ages.
Bills Garlic Mushrooms were probably nothing you wouldn't do anyway (I get really annoyed with cookery books that contain really obvious recipes - ham sandwich anyone? - you know the sort of recipes I mean!!!) he just added some chili to the usual mushrooms, olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper. To give him his due these excessively easy recipes were few and far between.
The Roast Chicken with Coriander Chili Stuffing and Coconut Gravy, was a real departure from the norm for me, and it was a welcome change - although it in no way replaces my usual roast chicken with lemon and garlic in my affections!! As you can imagine chicken stuffed (under the skin) with chili, coconut, coriander, ginger, lime and sugar is jam packed with flavour and it really works. This dish made for wonderful leftovers - I heated up the leftover chicken meat in the coconut gravy, added this to pasta - mighty good I have to say!!!
Chocolate Chip Ice Cream, it was great to try out my new ice-cream maker with this recipe, although nice it didn't reach the dizzy heights of the Raspberry Yoghurt Ice Cream - that said it was demolished in no time!
How pretty is this dish?? Poached Salmon and Risoni Salad was really tasty (and would be a great way to use up leftover salmon) I used some chard (from the veg box) instead of the specified spinach, and I think that the rougher texture of the chard worked really well, another one on the "make again" list.
Oh man oh man, this stuff is beyond good, and couldn't be easier!! All you do is whisk 100g of sugar into 500g of greek yoghurt, tip into an ice-cream maker add a punnet of raspberries and hay presto, fantabulous Yoghurt and Raspberry Ice-Cream.
125g (4 1/2 oz) butter, melted and cooled
90g (3 1/2 oz) caster sugar
175g (6 oz) plain flour
2 tbsp ground almonds
170 ml (5 1/2 fl oz) cream
2 eggs, lightly beaten
2 tsp vanilla extract
3 tbsp caster sugar
2 tbsp plain flour
550g (1lb 4 oz) cherries, halved and pitted (Bill says fresh are best, I used frozen!!)
Preheat oven to 180 C/350 F
Grease a 24cm (9 1/2 in) round loose-bottomed tart tin.
To make the pastry, stir the butter and sugar in a large bowl.
Add the flour and salt and combine to make a soft dough.
Press this dough into the tin as evenly as possible with your fingers.
Put the tin on a baking tray and bake for 12-15 minutes, until the pastry is slightly puffy.
Remove from the oven and sprinkle with the ground almonds.
Now for the filling, whisk the cream, eggs, vanilla and sugar together.
Add the flour and mix well.
Strew the cherries, slightly overlapping over the pastry base then pour the cream filling over the cherries.
Return the tart to the oven for 40-50 minutes until the filling is firm.
Remove from the oven, and allow to cool.
Serve with cream of ice-cream.