Category: Recipe

Cooking and some cookbook recommendations

We’ve been cooking again, really cooking. It has been glorious. Finally trying new things, creating delicious dinners, odd but tasty leftovers and everything in between. Partly this is because we’re trying to be a little more frugal so cooking at home is the way forward. Partly this is also because for my birthday this year I received three wonderful cookbooks. I love cookbooks and often flick through them for inspiration but I recently realized that I was getting into the habit of falling back to cook what I knew, rather than trying new things. So new recipes from new cookbooks it is.

The Jewelled Kitchen by Bethany Kehdy This is a beautifully written book with fabulous images to accompany the recipes. Recipes from across the middle east which I really like and inspiring flavours and colours.

The Lebanese Kitchen by Salma Hage  This is almost as much a reference book as a recipe book. Full of a huge number of recipes, some variations on a theme but all simple, straightforward and most importantly delicious. I made a lamb and aubergine stack last weekend which was yummy.

Ottolenghi by Yohan Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi  I’m sure everyone has already heard about this but this cookbook is a delight. Full of great flavour combinations in the recipes, straightforward, good instructions and beautiful mouthwatering illustrations.

Ottolenghi
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Lemony courgette pasta

This is one of my all time favourite dinners. So simple, quick and tasty. Recipe:

2 largish/3 medium courgettes
1 lemon
1 small garlic clove
Chilli (if you want)
Olive oil
Salt & pepper
Linguine/tagliatelle/spaghetti

Take a vegetable peeler and peel the courgettes into ribbons in a large bowl. After each one is peeled drizzle over a generous drizzle of olive oil. Zest the lemon into the bowl then cut in half and juice. Grate the garlic clove in (I find this helps to spread it around a bit more plus saves me chopping it). Add the finely chopped chilli, more olive oil and salt and pepper. Mix around and put to one side.

Courgettes

Cook your pasta, al dente if you like, or however you enjoy cooking. When the pasta is about five minutes off heat a saute pan or frying pan and quickly saute the courgette mix, try to cook so there is still some bite in the courgettes and you cook off a little of the garlic and the lemony/olivey/courgettey juice too. Drain the pasta, add to the pan and swirl around so it gets coated in the lovely juices.

Serve with a large heap of grated parmesan and maybe a glass of red!

Dinner

 

In search of domestic godessness

I’ve been trying to get more in touch with my domestic goddess recently which has been quite good fun, it’s been really nice trying some new recipes and working at old ones. First are some of the old ones J and I work on, his tabbouleh (soooo good), my houmous with lamb and pine nuts and some labneh. Yummy! This all went with our lebanese feast we had when we were in one weekend recently.

And then up come the choux buns! This was the first time I’ve made Choux pastry, and it was surprisingly easy. I thought it would be much more liable to go wrong but somehow it turned out really well. And tasted good too! I then filled these bad boys with creme patissiere and covered with melted nutella…

And finally the meringues from the egg whites left over from the custard. These were a little crumbly, something went wrong somewhere but they tasted okay so all good in the end!

Now I think I might have promised the choux pastry recipe at some point so below please find the recipe, taken from Michel Roux Jr’s recipe book “A life in the kitchen”
125ml water
125ml milk
1 pinch salt
1 teaspoon sugar
100g butter
150g plain flour sifted
4 eggs
Put the water, milk, butter, salt and sugar into a pan and slowly bring to the boil. Take off the heat and beat in the flour. When the mixture is smooth put it back on the heat and beat vigorously for a minute. Take off the heat and put the paste into a bowl, beat in the eggs one at a time. Now put the paste into a piping bag with a 1.5cm nozzle, pipe out buns measuring 3cm across onto a non-stick baking sheet (I used oiled baking paper). Cook in a preheated oven at 220C/Gas Mark 7 for 5 minutes. Open the door for a few seconds to let out the steam, then turn down to 180C/Gas Mark 5 for 20 minutes or until fully cooked.
And enjoy!!!