Well, here we are already half way through January, and half way through my own personal challenge for the month to cook something out of one of my cookbooks every day.
I have really enjoyed this so far, trying some new recipes, and others I have been meaning to try for ages. It’s a bit tricky pleasing eight people, but there have been no complaints so far.
Here’s how week two looked:
7th January: at the kids suggestion, and having taken a whole chicken out of the freezer, we had butter chicken. I used the Australian Women’s Weekly Slow Cooker recipe, which you can find here. Using a whole chicken made it perfect for the slow cooker, it was easy and fast to get cooking, and tasted amazing. I served it with jacket potatoes, basmati rice, and warmed naan bread. A very good start to the week.
8th January: with temperatures hitting the forties on this day, there was going to be minimal time spent in the kitchen. I picked up some take-away Japanese on the way home, and added some duck pancakes since I had a Luv-A-Duck pancake kit in the fridge. Easy, light, and no-effort.
9th January: to make up for no effort the day before I tried something I have always been curious about: home-made cevapi. Cevapi are small skinless sausages. Turkish in origin, they have been adopted by Croatians, Bosnians, and Serbs alike. The one thing they can all agree on . Now I turned to the few Croatian cookbooks I have and was disappointed that none of them offered a recipe. So after checking Google, I came up with my own. And without bragging too much, they were amazing. I also made a Spanish-style frittata with black olives and chorizo from “Mezze” by Rena Patten.
10th January: After de-frosting four red snappers I decided to go with Rick Stein’s “Seafood” cookbook again. Husband joined me in the kitchen today, he filleted the fish into eight fillets. With the heads and carcasses we made a soup, using lots of vegies and simmering for almost two hours. Then strained the broth, added some chopped parsley and cooked rice, and checked for seasoning. With the pan-fried fillets we served roasted portobello mushrooms (olive oil, butter, fresh thyme, garlic, salt, pepper, cooked in a very hot oven). I also made Spaghetti A La Carbonara for the kids, from “The Food Of Italy”, by Murdoch Books (a favourite).
11th January: keeping up with the seafood, and once again turning to yep, you guessed it, Rick Stein, we finished off the work week with salt and pepper squid. This recipe used a different method, no deep frying or flour, it was all done in a wok in less than ten minutes. To go with it Hubby made a crunchy vegetable salad with an Asian style dressing. Another keeper.
12th January: after a morning at the beach and an afternoon with an upset stomach the last thing I felt like doing was cooking something flash. But determined I am to keep to my challenge wherever possible, so using the well-thumbed “The Essential Mediterranean Cookbook”, we had a bit of a Greek banquet. Lamb and chicken souvlaki, haloumi with lemon, greek salad, and warmed pitta bread brushed with lemon, oil, and oregano. Thankfully my stomach cheered right up as I prepared dinner so I was able to enjoy it.
13th January: not really worth mentioning Sunday, I had zero interst in cooking, so we had left-over souvlaki. And in the interest of full disclosure we also had various frozen foods (nuggets, meat pies, chiko rolls, fish fillets). The less said here the better. What can I say? I gave myself a day off!
So here I am at the beginning of week three. Today I have turned to Nigella Lawson’s “Express” book. I have had a love/hate relationship with her for years. Love her show, love her books, but her recipes hardly ever work for me. So I am determined to make them work. Find out how it went next week.
Btw, I didn’t have much luck finding links for this weeks recipes. Only found one online!