Cookery bookclub - who is with me?

(449 Posts)
tigerlilygrr Fri 05-Apr-13 10:19:27

I love cookbooks and have picked up a ton of recommendations since joining mumsnet. I am keen to set up a cookery book club - anyone else interested? I propose:
- we select one book each month
- we go away, try out the recipes and generally revel in the deliciousness
- we chat about it

We could alternate between books people are likely to have eg Nigella, Jamie, Delia and something a bit more unusual. If we have a rolling three month list, that gives people time to borrow / buy books they don't have (from the library for example).

What to you think?

ELR Thu 11-Apr-13 23:26:59

May change my mind about the ribs then as I have my own fab recipe which is delish! Still looking through feast and so far it's the desert recipes I am finding I like, will carry on till I come to a savoury one!

tigerlilygrr Fri 12-Apr-13 14:35:28

Just put smitten kitchen cranberry and mulled spice bars in the oven. This is an ideal recipe for those of us with --questionable food hygiene--a large quantity of homemade cranberry sauce left over from Christmas that exactly matches the specified ingredients suggested for filling! (Just to reassure everyone, homemade cranberry sauce lasts a spookily long time, it must be the sugar and pectin). I will let you know how i go. Very easy recipe indeed and my dd got involved with the mixing which was very nice. I am sure as well you could adapt it to include any thickish jam that you have around, so it's pretty low cost if you have the spices (other ingredients are just flour, sugar, egg, butter).

tigerlilygrr Fri 12-Apr-13 14:37:50

Recipe is here as I don't think it's up on the site.

Brices Fri 12-Apr-13 19:23:48

I tried the crepe-canalloni from Feast it was ok but I wouldn't do it again. Children ate but not enthusiastic. Next I will try the paneer recipe.
Smitten kitchen is a really lovely book isn't it? Some of the recipes seem quite hard for me. I'm on the salads chapter at the mo and I'm very tempted

brices I am doing the pander recipe tomorrow! Will report back!

pantah I cooked the Marsala for much longer than she suggested - practically evaporated - and it was really good - think that is the way forward.

General report: venison excellent substitution, worked v well with (much-reduced) Marsala. Am low carbing so didn't have the rice, instead used French "poivre saveur" which is basically pepper with some spices, mainly cardamom - ground over the steak. It was vey good! Subtle edge.

Mushroom bourgignon also good but for me was too mushroomy to be a main - worked well as aside but wouldn't have wanted as main event. Lashings of kale too to balance out otherwise slightly rich flavours of venison/bourgignon.

Thanks tiger for tip on the chocolate hall of fame - will have a browse! Loving idea of Himalayan tea!

paneer.

Damn autocorrect.

tigerlilygrr Fri 12-Apr-13 22:38:10

choos I really fancy that poivre saveur, I've never heard of that. I never salt my food so pepper would be a treat for me, I will look out for it!

brices I made the crepes cannelloni many years ago, but remember it as being a bit bland. I would have thought it would be good for Dcs though. Better luck with the mutter paneer which I remember as being good!

I tried the cranberry and mulling spices recipe from sk today. Really easy to make - I realised after trying it that it's basically a crumble type layer, then a cranberry sauce (jam consistency) than a crumble layer on top (with extra spices), then bake. You could probably prep it in fifteen minutes, maybe even less, if you substituted jam for the cranberry. It's not a massively exciting recipe (maybe why there's no photo) but I have mentally bookmarked it as a keeper... It would be really easy to knock it together when guests come round and it tasted good.

Tiger I got it ready-made in a French supermarket in its own little disposable mill - they love things like that! And so do I, so I have a veritable collection - also a Provençal one with sundried tomatoes and stuff in, and a seasalt and seaweed one (though that would be no good to you).

You could make your own one up in a separate mill though - I will check which spices are in it as it's very good.

Liking the sound of that crumble - love mulling spices!

MrsSchadenfreude Sat 13-Apr-13 09:31:16

Tigerlilygrr - PM me if you would like me to send you one. I'm in France. It is indeed wonderful stuff - I put it on everything (particularly good in home made burgers) and have taken the spices out and used for pickled onions!

MrsSchadenfreude Sat 13-Apr-13 09:34:14

Minimuffin - I soak raisins in Bourbon and add to my banana cake recipe. The flavour works really well with bananas!

minimuffin Sat 13-Apr-13 10:45:36

Thanks MrsS - that's the way Nigella does it too in her domestic goddess recipe and it's really nice. I definitely prefer a banana bread with something extra in for texture.

I'm tempted to try the vodka pasta from Feast next - it's one of those recipes I've always meant to try as it looks like it could be a good staple one for one of those evenings when you're short on inspiration, ingredients and time

Those lemon bars from SK sound like a hit and the grapefruit cake sounds interesting but I can't quite get my head around that bitter taste grapefruit has in a cake

tiger have checked and the poivre saveur if you wanted to make up your own mill is 50% black pepper, then the other half coriander, cardamom and green pepper in descending order but it doesn't say how much. Wonderful stuff, I agree MrsSch!

To ought am doing some of Nigella's eid curry feast - the mutter paneer, aloo ghobi, pilaff, then as DH is veggie adapting the lamb maharaja to be with aubergine, and the pheasant curry to be with tofu.

And thought I would also do these Indian vegetable fritters from SK to munch on to start:
http://smittenkitchen.com/blog/2006/11/throwing-pancakes-to-the-wind/

Much too much but will have leftover tomorrow night/freeze.

Tonight not to ought!

I have tried two recipes so far, one feast one from the blog.

Smitten kitchen blog- alexs mushroom and chicken marsala- this was beautiful. Very easy, looked delicious, and tastes wonderful. I would have paid for it in a resteraunt. I'm going to buy the book now, as originally I felt buying both books was a bit extravagant if the recipes are this good, I see it as an investment.grin

Feast- Vietnamese turkey and glass noodle salad- this too was delicious,, and very easy to make, lalthough I did eat it warm, as am not huge on cold food. Having had leftovers for lunch, it's definatly better slightly warm. The coriander is essential I think,it really completed the meal.

My copy of feast is misprinted- kiddie feast features twice and cuttable cookies is omitted, as well as part of chocolate cakes.sad can't send it back as it's been used, and I bought it from Amazon market used already. Still it's a book that's got me excited about Christmas I can tell yougrin

WeakAtTheCheese Sat 13-Apr-13 21:29:39

I am clearly very late to this thread but it sounds great. I have Feast and so will dig out a couple of recipes. I don't have Smitten Kitchen but have soooo many cookbooks I could not possibly justify buying another. I'll use the blog to get an idea. I fact I made the chocolate brownie cookies the other day and they were pretty good although didn't keep brilliantly. Hot from the oven though they were awesome grin

minimuffin Sat 13-Apr-13 22:48:42

Blimey Choos can I come and live at yours if that's an ordinary Saturday night in?

grin I have been put in a cooking mood by the thread! I thought that since we were doing Feast, it would be nice to actually do a feast, and it was our anniversary so that was an excuse for it!

Also made a Mughal Martini to start (made a vodka/sugar syrup infused with cardamom and, then mixed that with rose petal liqueur and vodka) and also made rose petal, saffron and cardamom ice cream scattered with pistachios for pudding.

Thoroughly recommend the pheasant curry - I did with tofu as DH is veggie - the sauce was heavenly and would be very good with chicken if you're not a pheasant person.

The smitten kitchen Indian vegetable fritters were also very good.

poppy77 Sun 14-Apr-13 18:04:08

I have now tried the cheesy feet from Feast - although I didn't bother rolling them out and using cutters (and I certainly don't have feet cutters), I just squished little balls into circles. Nice easy recipe and I think would go really well with tomato soup. Thumbs up from child 1 (usually the fussy one) and thumbs down from child 2 (usually less fussy). They were competing with rainbow cupcakes though.

I am trying to select some savoury recipes from both books (I have my eye on the Malteser chocolate cake from Feast, but really need to expand my savoury repertoire). The Smitten Kitchen book is definitely more veggie-friendly I find - although I like the idea of adapting the Feast recipes as well. I currently can't decide whether the pasta with chopped up raw cauliflower (in the Smitten Kitchen book) sounds disgusting or not.

glorious Sun 14-Apr-13 20:27:05

Mmm, the whole lemon bars are good and very easy indeed. Possibly they'd be nicer a touch tarter. But bonus marks for using my new foodx processor smile

WeakAtTheCheese Sun 14-Apr-13 20:46:04

Can I ask a question re the amazing lemon bars. I don't have a food processor, I have a blender will that do? confused or my kitchenaid?

karmakameleon Sun 14-Apr-13 20:49:56

I found that with the whole lemon bars my average sized lemon didn't weigh as much as Deb's so I used a lemon and a half. That may be the way forward if you like a tarter lemon bar.

We've been out a lot this weekend so not much time for cooking but I did manage to squeeze in the banana buttermilk pancakes from Feast. They weren't really any better than normal buttermilk pancakes but did use up the last manky banana in the fruit bowl so can't complain.

karmakameleon Sun 14-Apr-13 20:53:25

You could do the biscuit base by hand but I'm not sure about the lemon layer. I don't think there is enough liquid to work in a blender but it may be possible. A Kitchenaid mixer wouldn't work as it wouldn't chop up the lemon.

glorious Sun 14-Apr-13 21:03:50

It might work in a blender, not really sure about the liquid as karma says. And another half a lemon is a good idea too.

tigerlilygrr Mon 15-Apr-13 07:25:40

Hello all! Sounds like everyone's been productive! I need to catch up.

mrsS thank you so much, that's really kind. I will have a go at making my own but if you're in the supermarket could you have a look at the mill and see if you could guess the spice proportions? Otherwise I'm going with 50% black pepper, 25% coriander, 15% cardamom, 10% green pepper. I love spices so am excited about this. Also I have googled and googled and can't find a recipe for it anywhere, how strange!

tigerlilygrr Mon 15-Apr-13 07:37:44

pregnantpause do you know which cake recipes are missing from your copy of feast? Or if you want let me know which ones you have and I will tell you which ones are missing. Then you can check on the nigella website or I'll pm them to you. Would be a shame not to have the complete set as it's my favourite bit in the book!

weakattheknees not sure if it would work without a food processor although a hand held blender might work as you could make sure every little bit gets chopped up. Or as an alternative there is an older recipe on the sk blog for lemon bars which is slightly different.

lemon bars
But for this one you have to do a lot of grating which I personally hate!

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