Welcome to The Cookery Calendar Challenge for February. For the Cookery Calendar Challenge page click here; and to read all previous Cookery Calendar challenge posts, click on Cookery Calendar Challenge category in the sidebar .
My recipe book choice for January was 'Mary Berry Cooks', which accompanied the 2014 television series of the same name. Everyone who has ever held a wooden spoon knows Mary Berry, and I know I am not alone in my immense respect for her and her work. I find her books excellent; the recipes are clearly laid out, easy to follow, with each stage explained and any trickier steps detailed carefully, to instil confidence in the cook.
The two recipes I chose from the book were 'Lamb Dhansak', and '15 minute pasta'.
Although by nature a careful person , I can be slapdash when it comes to making savoury dishes, so one of my personal commitments to The Cookery Calendar Challenge is to follow the recipes with care, and use all the ingredients listed. The Lamb Dhansak recipe listed several different spices, which in turn necessitated a general purge of the spices cupboard (4 half empty jars of cinnamon anyone?), and a swift cleaning and reorganisation exercise, as well as a bit of stocking up, all of which I regard as very positive, and in keeping with the general ethos of trying to be more organised and prepared for family cooking.
The Lamb Dhansak tasted very authentic (as a vegetarian, I had to take Derek and Jacobs' word on it). The particular blend of spices didn't suit Jacob's taste unfortunately, so although the recipe turned out perfectly, I am unlikely to make it a second time.
My second recipe was Mary's 15 Minute pasta. This is a simple pasta dish, where penne pasta is served with a sauce of crispy (fried) parma ham and small chestnut mushrooms with crème fraiche. This is the sort of recipe that I would not have used prior to the challenge, as it is so simple (and anyone can throw some pasta in a pot after all). However, following the recipe carefully, using the chestnut mushrooms specified in the recipe, and taking the time to finely chop parsley to add to the sauce, and scatter over the top gave a very specific flavour and appearance to the dish, and this time, everyone enjoyed it. This one will be added to the family meals repertoire.
My recipe nook choice for the coming month is 'A Love For Food: Recipes and Notes for Eating well from Daylesford'
For anyone wishing to join The Cookery Calendar Challenge (and you are most welcome to do so), here is a quick reminder of how it works.
The rules are simple: the first week of every month, select a cookery book from your shelf and over the course of the month, cook a minimum of two new recipes from it. The recipes should be broadly seasonal, and can be for any meal. Cakes and bakes are excluded, but puddings are included. At the beginning of the following month, report back on the recipes you have used, along with any thoughts you'd like to share about the recipes, the book etc, and announce your cookery book choice for the following month (no need to announce your recipe choices at this point, unless you are uber-organised of course, in which case, go ahead!)
Please remember to link back to this post on your blog when you write about the challenge. Use the Linky below to add your blog.