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Cookery Book Club November - River Cottage Fish (or Baking book if you dislike Fish) and any Preserve Cook Book of your choosing.

(71 Posts)
Pantah630 Wed 30-Oct-13 20:13:57

New thread for November folks hope we'll get a few more of you back now Winters drawing in grin

River Cottage Fish, self explanatory but if you dislike fish, I did until I turned 40 bizarrely, feel free to pick a Baking book or other.

I have RC Handbook on Jams and Preserves and another couple I can't recall titles of, there are also lots of recipes online. Can we share the good ones please. I've made a start with some Brandied Peaches and will be trying Nigellas Spiced Peaches this weekend if I can find some more.

HuevosRancheros Wed 30-Oct-13 20:39:22

I'm in.

As a mostly veggie (apologies, I know that's not really a thing, I am an partially ex-veggie going back to being a veggie, slowly), I will give Fish a miss, but will gladly go back to Dan Lepard, as I devoted too much of that month to EGoR, and feel I need to do more baking. And it feels like the right time of year smile

Cantdothisagain Wed 30-Oct-13 22:09:32

I have Fish and have largely ignored it. I'm in too! I also need no excuse to bake...

BsshBossh Wed 30-Oct-13 23:39:14

I'm new to these threads but I need to get cooking more (I do the basics; my DH is the adventurous cook in our household but as he works long hours I want to pull my creative weight more). I also am not partial to fish (DH loves it) but love seafood and have RC Fish - so this thread is my chance to leap into cookbook territory smile

BsshBossh Wed 30-Oct-13 23:41:03

Ooo, just noticed the preserves bit too. I'm Indian and grew up on my Dad's homemade Indian chutneys yet I've never made one. Here's my chance!

schmalex Thu 31-Oct-13 06:04:42

I have this, but it's in a box somewhere ready for our move. If I ever find it again, I'm in!

pregnantpause Thu 31-Oct-13 08:42:32

I am admittedly intimidated by fish and Dh says he doesn't like it. I am however really excited to cook fish this month- I haven't tried enough to say I'm no good at it and Dh hasn't eaten enough of it to claim he doesn't like it. Though having picked it up and read it this weekend I'm looking rather disdainfully at the fish in my freezer, which is not sustainable, wasn't frozen correctly, and has been there over six months I thinkshock but I'm loathe to chuck it away so the first few attempts may be duds based soley (ha ha see what I did theregrin ) on the crappy quality of the fish.

I'm going to buy a preserve book as I don't have one- any recommendations?

Pantah630 Thu 31-Oct-13 09:37:26

My freezer is full of salmon steaks I cut up after getting a whole one cheap. Surprisingly, for a town next to the sea, we only have a fishmonger in Waitrose, no actual shop and the Fish stall on the Quay tends not to sell catches off the boats, these go to all the pubs and hotels in the area. May have to go chat up a fisherman. grin

Welcome aboard BshhBossh

pregnantpause Thu 31-Oct-13 09:57:44

Any excuse pantahwink grin

I've only got the Morrison fish counter too. I'm in middle of a very mountainous region, an hour minimum to get to any sea. But the fella that works in the fish counter, apparently used to be a fish monger in his own shop that didn't make it, I spoke to him on Saturday, he was so passionate about fish, and fishing I don't think he'd have noticed if I were chatting him up naked but for a feather boa. Fish really inpires some strong emotions doesn't it?

ScienceRocks Sun 03-Nov-13 20:25:42


May channel my bread making skills this month. Feels like the right time if year to get back into it. I also didn't do enough Dan Lepard in August for various reasons so this gives me an excuse to get back into it.

glorious Mon 04-Nov-13 14:50:22

Fish for us. I haven't made much from RC fish but the Japanese slow cooked mackerel is a favourite (not too fishy either). I'm going to see what looks good at the fishmonger before deciding what to cook.

Excited to do some preserving too. I always make mincemeat so I'll do that but wondering about a spicy chutney.

ELR Mon 04-Nov-13 17:05:45

Thanks for the new thread pantah
I can recommend nigella's ginger, apple and beet root chutney it really is devine. Have ordered rc fish from library it's coming from another branch so should be a few days yet. While I'm waiting I'm going to go back and try a couple of the fish recipes from Jerusalem and will also revist dan leopard as didn't do enough from that in August.
Welcome bsshh

schmalex Mon 04-Nov-13 19:40:39

Just bagged RC fish at the library. I have my eye on the crab bread & butter pudding.

No preserves for me this month as we're moving house and my DH has banned me from taking empty jam jars with us!

glorious Mon 04-Nov-13 21:30:35

So we had the bream with pea puree for dinner. It was good, simple but the small touches like garlic and bay came through well. The pea puree was a bit thick but worked nicely with gnocchi stirred in.

A good start to the month.

Barbeasty Tue 05-Nov-13 18:26:25

I made the quince and apple sauce from the RC preserves book, although a very whingey baby meant I got fed up at the point where it was meant to go in jars and be boiled in the oven. So it's gone into the freezer in tubs. I've portioned it so there's some to go with goose on Christmas day, and enough to make a crumble or something. And of course some to have straight away. Nice and sharp, so easy to use for sweet or savoury dishes.

I also made the plum jam from the same book. Really easy. DD enjoyed helping weigh the sugar, but I should have learnt not to do preserving with the baby around. I didn't quite boil it enough and it's a very runny soft set jam. Tastey though.

Pantah630 Thu 07-Nov-13 19:03:58

I have Hugh's Mums Fish Pie in the oven, this is a big event for me as I only started eating fish and shellfish at 40. I always thought I was allergic as I was so sick eating it as a child. I still can't stand smoked fish, it makes me gag and heave but relented and have added a small piece of smoked haddock to the mix. I'll be honest, it's all I can smell, I so don't want to eat it but will try it for the sake of Mumsnet. [dramaqueen]

Serving up for Ds2 but we're off out for a meeting so I'll have some later and let you know. if i don't spend all night over the bowl

pregnantpause Fri 08-Nov-13 07:10:15

Well done pantah - I for one appreciate your sacrifice to mumsnetwink
Let me know what it was like, it is either the fish pie or mackerel on bay and potatoes for us tonight. dh feels as you do about fish, so it's going to be a fight tbh, but I can't wait as we never have fish, and it's nice to try new things.

ScienceRocks Fri 08-Nov-13 07:45:51

Pantah, I know lots of people who don 't like smoked fish (nit me, I'm obsessed with it) so hope your fish pie was ok.

I made Dan Lepard's banana fudge cookies last night, thinking it was a nice way to use up some overripe bananas, given that I had the oven on for the dc's dinner. The recipe said it makes 25. It made 40! They are lovely, but I do wish authors would be more realistic about their quantities angry

glorious Fri 08-Nov-13 09:53:14

Well done for trying pantah hope you liked it smile

science I made those biscuits last week and I agree, massive quantity! I liked them too but the topping didn't quite work for me.

Pantah630 Fri 08-Nov-13 10:04:35

Two spoonfuls not much of a sacrifice really, it tasted ok but the smell put me off eating an evening meal for the first time in yonks, still feel queasy now, that's my diet sorted!! DH and Ds2 on the other hand, loved it and will be having it for tea again tonight to finish it off. I will be eating leftover couscous and stir fried cabbage if I can face it grin.

Pretty sure if I'd left out the smoked fish, I would have loved it...a whole bag of my favourite prawns that I'd sautéed in garlic and butter went in there. I used frozen unsmoked haddock and cod I had in freezer, a bag of raw prawns cooked as above and a pack of fresh fish pie mix, that contained the dreaded smoked haddock. Because the fish was frozen fillets and raw, shelled, prawns there was no skin or shells to add to the milk but it tasted just fine without IMO. Don't let my weird food fads put you off please, even Ds1 who popped round when I took it out the oven said he would love some if he hadn't already eaten.

Envying you the cookies now I'm at work science and pregnant I've found my favourites are simply pan fried sea bass/bream or salmon, which I prefer a tad under in the middle like my steak, not too strong on the fishy taste. I love sushi but despise smoked salmon, odd I know.

ELR Fri 08-Nov-13 18:40:54

Evening all, so glad I checked in here. I have three ripe bananas going spare and mil and dd are arguing over whether to make the banana fudge cookies or my trusty old banana cake. Now I know the recipe makes so many we are going to have it and make a banana cake too so everyone is happy! Will report back once baked.
Love fish pie so will give that a go next week

ELR Fri 08-Nov-13 18:45:53

Sorry I meant half the recipe not have!

pregnantpause Fri 08-Nov-13 18:48:39

Fish pie in oven now.had a very bad prawn experience, exacerbated by the books high ethics regarding fish- I bought shell on prawns, only to get home and find that most were female with eggs intactsad I'm ashamed to say I sat and cried over the prawns and the future generation of prawns that died for me to get cheap shellfish.

Still I persevered, and while the house, to me, smells unbearably fishy, I skinned, deheaded, infused, and now am awaiting my spoils.

Lamb sharwama tomorrow to cheer up dh who is most put out by fish nightgrin

pregnantpause Fri 08-Nov-13 20:03:07

Well, it was worth the effort- though perhaps not worth the prawn ordealgrin , it was delicious. Proper comfort food, much tastier than my usual version, and arguably healthier than my usual version. The sauce really was special, much richer than my usual bechamel, and was made indescribably creamy by the egg yolks melting into it.

I might add onions and peas next time though, as I feel it's lacking in veg, and already uses a lot of pans to be adding side veg as well.

Also the infusing- and I think this of all stock and marinades really- I hate using a decent carrot and onion knowing they won't be eaten. It feels wasteful to me. (even though I give it to the chickens)

Pantah630 Fri 08-Nov-13 22:20:09

Glad you enjoyed it pregnant I'm raising a glass to all the baby prawns and their mothers. I don't think I could of carried on so you're braver than me. They've finished off the leftovers and DS2 has begged me to make it again, I will be think I'll forgo the smoked haddock and see if they notice. Agree about the bechamel, I left mine infusing all day while at work, without the skins and heads, and it was lovely, I imagine with the added extra there would have been even more depth of flavour <channels Monica Galetti>. I'm envy of your shawarma, thinking about defrosting the leg in the freezer.

elr enjoy the cookies and the fish pie but remember to open all your windows first smile

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