Welcome to the Cookery Calendar Challenge for November. If you would like to join the challenge this month, please take a quick look at the Cookery Calendar Challenge page, which will tell you everything you need to know.
My chosen book for October was 'Simple' by Diana Hendry; a lovely, chunky recipe book with a tactile cover and brown grosgrain ribbon for a recipe marker. It felt good in the hand, and it lived up to its early promise in the kitchen too. In fact I can't improve upon the by-line on the cover 'effortless food, big flavours'. This really describes the book perfectly.
My first selected recipe was roast citrus, ginger and honey chicken. This was one of those rare occasions when the dish turns out exactly like the photograph in the book, and I was rather pleased with my efforts, particularly on for a week night dinner. The chicken sits snuggly in a roasting dish, and a citrus based sauce is poured over and in to the bird, comprising orange juice, honey, garlic, ginger and hot sauce. Thin skinned, segmented oranges are roasted alongside, sprinkled with olive oil, ground ginger and soft brown sugar.
Jacob thoroughly enjoyed this dish; Derek less so, which was a shame, as I had hoped to add it to my repertoire of regular dishes. However, when you ask for honest feedback in my house, you get it with no holds barred, so although a perfect success in many ways, it is sadly unlikely to be made again.
My second selected dish was baked sweet potato with chorizo, mushrooms and egg. This was so easy, and (I was told by Jacob) extremely delicious. In fact I have made it for him again since. Sweet potatoes are roasted, diced chorizo is fried off, mushrooms are fried off in the chorizo oil, and an egg is then fried in the remaining oil and plonked on top. Very simple, yet, as the front cover says, lots of big flavours.
This is such a straightforward book, and feels very professionally written. Diana writes extremely well, and doesn't come over as at all needy (we all know cookery writes who do come over as needy, don't we, or is that just me?). A recipe-book-loving friend expressed amazement that this was the first Diana Hendry book I had ever owned, and now that I have cooked from it, I can understand her surprise. I am sure it wont be the last book of Diana's that finds it way in to my kitchen, and 'Simple' has earned a permanent place on my cookery book shelf.
My selected book for November is 'France, The Cookbook', a very recent acquisition, and a weighty tome. This is the sort of cook book that both intrigues and intimidates me (lots of recipes, very few photographs).
If you joined me last month, thank you. If you would like to join the challenge this month, this is what to do:
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. Don't worry about photographs; if you haven't taken a photograph of the dish, post a photograph of the recipe book you used. Similarly, you are welcome to share a recipe if you wish, but there is no pressure to do so. This project is more about the process of reconnecting with your cookery book collection, than about recipe sharing or food photography.
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 on to your dashboard to display). You can also join via Instagram using hashtag #cookerycalendarchallenge (you will find me on Instagram @penny.homemadeheart ).