Welcome to the Cookery Calendar Challenge for April.
Click here for the Cookery Calendar Challenge page, which has all the information about the challenge.
My recipe book of choice for March was 'Simply Nigella', the latest offering from Nigella Lawson. Nigella's first book, 'How to Eat', published in 1998, remains one of my favourite recipe books, and I fully respect and acknowledge her role in presenting an unfussy, relaxed cooking and eating style to home cooks. However, I found 'Simply Nigella' very hard to get to grips with; not many recipes jumped out at me, and the two I made for the Cookery Calendar Challenge were judged 'ok' by the family, but neither will be added to my repertoire of family recipes.
'Thai Turkey Meatballs' was my first recipe (though as Nigella herself acknowledges, turkeys do not exactly roam free in Thailand). The recipe itself uses a high proportion of grated courgette (wet) with the turkey mince (wet). Various other ingredients are added and then lightly mixed together to form meatballs. Though the courgette is squeezed in kitchen roll to remove some of the moisture, the meatball mixture is very slack. I didn't feel confident the meatballs would stay intact in the broth and ended up adding some breadcrumbs to bind and stabilise the mixture. Not difficult to make, but a fair bit of fiddling about, and the dish didn't receive a rave review from the family.
My second recipe was 'Chicken Shawarma' which I was quite excited about making, as it had lots of different spices in it, yet was simple to prepare. I thought it looked and smelled good when it came out the oven, but it received a lukewarm review from the carnivores in the family and I am unlikely to make it again.
Overall a disappointing start with 'Simply Nigella'. When two out of two dishes have been tolerated rather than enjoyed, it takes a leap of faith to try many more from the book. I appreciate that much of Nigella's writing is about a lifestyle, and a general vibe of on-trend recipes and ingredients channelled via her image for use by us less stylish mortals, but this time round I felt slightly wearied by it all. Positive things about the book.... attractive cover; what looks like some interesting baking recipes at the back, and make-ahead and storage notes for all the recipes.
My cookery book choice for April is 'French Leave' by John Burton Race. I talked a little about this book in my last post, it has been on my shelf for a long time; time for a good look through it again to find two new dishes to make.
Many thanks to those who joined the link up last month, I hope you enjoyed it and will continue the challenge with me. If you haven't joined before, and would like to, here's how to take part.
How it works:
The challenge is simple: the first week of every month, select a cookery book from your shelf and cook two new recipes from it. The recipes can be for any meal. Cakes and bakes are excluded, but puddings are included. At the beginning of the following month, blog about the recipes you have used, and announce your chosen cookery book for the month ahead. This is an ongoing project, it's never too late to get involved, and everyone is very welcome.
I would appreciate a link back to this Cookery Calendar Challenge post in your post. Grab the Cookery Calendar Challenge badge to display on your blog too if you like. (Just copy and paste the code into your blog dashboard to display) You can also join via Instagram using hashtag #cookerycalendarchallenge (you will find me on Instagram @penny.homemadeheart).