Welcome to the Cookery Calendar Challenge for March. 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 cookery book for February was Trine Hahnemann's 'Scandinavian Comfort Food'.
What a gorgeous book this is. It is chunky and satisfying to hold; the photography is beautiful, each recipe has a photograph of the finished dish, and the ingredients and method are on the same page, so no turning the pages with sticky fingers to see what to do next.
The book is divided in to chapters such as 'What I eat during the day', 'My Love of Vegetables', 'Soups for every Season', so it feels very personal; and Trine's love of food, cooking, and sharing food shines through every page.
My first dish from this book was Frikadeller, or meatballs.
I love making meatballs. Trine's recipe uses a combination of beef and pork, fresh thyme, chillies, fresh breadcrumbs, and milk to bind, rather than the more commonly used egg.
The meatballs are fried off in a little oil, then popped into the oven to cook through.They are served with a dressing made from Greek yogurt, lemon juice, fresh mint, dill and parsley. I was missing dill, so chopped up some little cornichons instead. Trine serves her meatballs with a potato salad, but I served mine on top of cous cous. I brought the platter proudly to the table, feeling rather pleased with my efforts, but sadly the carnivores were underwhelmed, claiming not enough chilli, and bemoaning the lack of a 'proper' sauce.
Feeling slightly deflated, I hoped that Trine's second dish would go down better, and later the same week made Spinach Dumplings in Tomato Sauce. This was a vegetarian dish, and in a spirit of mild defiance following the rejection of the Frikadeller, I decided not to appease the carnivores by the provision of additional meat, as I usually would when serving a vegetarian meal.
Fresh spinach is cooked until wilted then drained and chopped, and mixed with ricotta cheese, nutmeg, seasoning and a little cornflour. The dumplings are formed by taking teaspoonfuls of the mixture, smoothing them lightly with another spoon, and placing them gently in the pan, where they are fried off in a little oil, then served in a delicious tomato sauce, made with leeks, courgette, chopped tomatoes, and a little double cream. I was sure the dumpling mixture would fall apart when fried, but in fact the mixture formed lovely little golden dumplings, crisp on the outside and soft on the inside. Served with crusty bread and salad, again I was very pleased with the dish, though anticipated some grumbling from the troops. I was proven right once again, as the carnivores all but poked about in the tomato sauce in disbelief, searching for meat. I serenely ate on, and enjoyed the meal very much, but the rest of the family were sadly unimpressed.
Although the family were not mad on the dishes I made, my faith in this book remains undimmed. I will continue to read and savour it, and slip the occasional family meal from it in under the radar, just for fun. I will also use it for the delicious soup recipes; home made soup being my go-to solo lunch most days.
My chosen book for this month is 'Duchy Originals Cookbook' by Johnny Acton and Nick Sandler. Derek gave me this book for Christmas the year it was published, 2006, and I have cooked one or two dishes from it over the years, but it is not a book I turn to often , so I am looking forward to revisiting it.
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. 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. 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 on to your dashboard to display). You can also join via Instagram using hashtag #cookerycalendarchallenge (you will find me on Instagram @penny.homemadeheart ).