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Cookery Book Club February - Claudia Roden and Rachel Allen

(60 Posts)
Pantah630 Wed 29-Jan-14 10:54:57

Welcome to February, Spring is on it's way but it's still cold or wet enough for hearty stews and one pots. This month is a no Cookbook buying month for me anyway so we have any Claudia Roden and Rachel Allen books you can lay your hands on. CR should be readily available in libraries and I found some of her recipes with a quick google search. Likewise Rachel Allen, she is a regular in the Good Food channel so they have lots of her recipes on their website. I'll put some links up in a bit. Happy cooking folks.

madamecake Wed 12-Feb-14 10:51:52

Made the chorizo dough balls on Monday to serve with soup. They were great, and the recipe made lots so I've now got a bag in the freezer for another day. Dd wasn't keen but she's not a fan of chorizo.

However, the absolutely best thing I've made in ages is the banana blondie recipe from Easy. They were divine and only lasted a couple of days before we had eaten them all. The almond praline that goes in them really gave them a toffee flavour.

I'm planning on making the Thai pork noodle soup tonight, followed by the apple butterscotch pudding. I'm very tempted to buy RA everyday kitchen, will have to look out for a cheap copy.

Not made any Claudia Roden recipes yet, but I like the sound of her chicken tagine with lemons and green olives from arabesque.

pregnantpause Wed 12-Feb-14 21:56:54

Still not got around to the dough ballsangry they will be made before the month is out.

I have made Rachel everyday tartiflette though. Hardly traditional, but very easy and delicious, and a real treat when it's raining so much outside. The thyme really complimented the cheese, and I thought a generous amount of pepper and a side salad for crunch made it.

I've got hold of Claudia arabesque for the next two Weeks so will get cracking on her recipes shortly, though not as impressed with this book as other similarly themed books I own, but, as most cookbooks do, I'm sure it'll grow on mesmile

IpanemaMeisje Thu 13-Feb-14 22:24:12

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

glorious Fri 14-Feb-14 08:40:53

Bit ott but could you make bacon? it's easy but getting hold of stuff to cure could be tricky I guess.

We had RA roast chicken with leek and fennel last night. So easy it barely qualifies as cooking! It needed a good season and we made a sauce with the pan juices which I'd recommend. I'd add more of the veg next time and some chunky slices of lemon would really bring it together. But it was tasty as it was and a good jumping off point.

Pantah630 Fri 14-Feb-14 09:38:32

I can ask my DB's partner, he is Brazilian and loves his meat. Should know where to get bacon or if it's available there.

Pantah630 Fri 14-Feb-14 11:26:27

Apparently, you do have it in Brazil just uncut, readily available in supermarkets and butchers. Good look in your hunt smile

I need to get cooking but am now worried about DS2s ski trip, they're due to get ferry from Dover very late tonight, I think it will be cancelled due to the wind and am waiting on tenterhooks for school to make the logical decision of switching to the tunnel, even if they charge us an extra £20 each. Completely off topic...apologies.

Pantah630 Fri 14-Feb-14 11:55:59

ipanema he just sent me this picture as what you need to look for grin

glorious Fri 14-Feb-14 12:02:58

Excellent bacon advice! grin

Sorry about the ski trip pantah hope it won't ruin your Valentine plans. Mysteriously ill baby here sad

ELR Fri 14-Feb-14 12:32:07

minmolet sorry only just saw your post so probably a little late now but here hoes a quick version.

Chop butternut into small chunks season and roast.
Sauté leeks, garlic and a little onion in butter then add grain or Dijon mustard, white wine and cream then fold in a few handfuls of spinach. Add the roasted butternut squash and place in an oven proof dish. I added a few ladles of stock as it was a little dry.
For the gratin topping mix equal quantities of grated Parmesan, bread crumbs and chopped hazelnuts season and chuck on top of the veg and roast until golden.
Make a sauce of cream, wine and stock by reducing in a pan I added a little corn flour to thicken, and serve alongside the gratin would be lovely as a side to some roast meat but I just ate it on its own with some asparagus and it was really nice.
Haven't really made much just lamb Kofte and shortbread my own recipes but flicked through RA which gave me insertion!

pregnantpause Fri 14-Feb-14 14:36:39

I made another couple of Rachel Allen everyday recipes last night, the ginger pork stir fry, more of an idea than a recipe, but which dh loved- it was very simple, not authentic, but lovely and tasty as are all the recipes.

I also made the butterscotch apple pudding, which my children liked, but I felt was far too stodgy and sweet. A nice apple crumble would have been less fuss and tastier IMO. But then I'm neither good at nor a fan of desert.

IpanemaMeisje Fri 14-Feb-14 14:55:10

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

IpanemaMeisje Fri 14-Feb-14 15:02:52

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

glorious Fri 14-Feb-14 15:24:12

You just basically whack a load of salt and stuff on it, but former veggies are definitely excused, sorry! grin

madamecake Fri 14-Feb-14 16:04:45

I completely agree with you about the butterscotch apple pudding pregnant, and I say this as a big dessert fan. A crumble would have been simpler.

But we did enjoy the Thai pork noodle soup, very simple and only needed store cupboard ingredients.

Have also made the double chocolate cookies, really good recipe, not too gooey, not too crunchy and seem to keep quite well unlike some cookies that are either stale or completely soft by the next day.

Fingers crossed for your ds's ski trip pantah.

pregnantpause Sun 16-Feb-14 19:55:19

Mmm, we had Rachel honey duck and red cabbage today with roast baby new potatoes. Delicious. The duck was like butter to cut, and so flavourful, I'm looking forward to the duck soup tomorrow as it's so lovely. The cabbage was a wonderful accompaniment, perhaps made too much, as it was an accompaniment and not a side IMO as it's so sweet, but it can be frozen and as I will be making the duck again, then that is to it's favour tbh.
I've never cooked duck well done before, as I'm generally a rare person, but it was worth it and I will do it again (with a whole duck, I wouldn't so bastardize a breast alone) it's so meltingly tender cooked slow and well done.

Very happy again.

I had planned a Claudia recipe yesterday while todays duck defrosted- the chicken thighs I bought on the day, were off- gone chicken has such a disgusting smell I'm off chicken for a few days nowsad angry dh wouldn't let me take the rotten chicken back either as I had opened it and apparently 'its embarrassing for four quid' - four quidshock angry he clearly hasn't noticed my weekly budget it 40, ten percent is a lot, and eventually I will run out of frozen meat! Argh! Sorry ranted a bit more than intended.

glorious Sun 16-Feb-14 20:45:34

Oh no that's awful pregnant, where were they from? Grr to DH too.

We finally had the doughballs, yum. But was I the only one not to squeeze all the cheese in?!

pregnantpause Sun 16-Feb-14 21:24:46

Tesco. I don't want to defame tesco though- the likelihood is they'd have taken them back happily and meat is a product that IMO can't be dated for fresh after the first two days post slaughter, not their fault necessarily.
I am going to try the balls, but based on the tartiflette she can over cheese- I used less than was suggested.

glorious Sun 16-Feb-14 21:57:33

That's very fair of you. I like the phrase 'over cheese', going to use that

Pantah630 Tue 18-Feb-14 18:52:00

Finally getting started this month. I'm cooking Claudia Rodens puttanesca sauce from Food of Italy to go with some baked chicken breasts and frozen chips tasting in the pan and it's good.

DS2 arrived at the ski resort 24hrs after leaving school, 6hr delay at ferry and it was predictably very, very rough. No contact since so no news is good news I hope. We had our own disaster as a tree came down Friday night, missing car by an inch. Luckily DH had moved my bike just beforehand or I'd still be crying now. We are a quick clean up crew so lots of logs for my fab MiLs wood burner, in her 70s she came over and helped in the log shifting as DH chainsawed merrily. I hope the rest of you managed to dodge the falling trees and other debris.

Cantdothisagain Tue 18-Feb-14 19:41:34

Stressful time for you Pantah! Glad the falling tree didn't cause too much damage.

Made the double choc chip cookies from Rachel again. Kids really like them and they are v easy to make, good half term fun.

Also made the salted caramel sauce and choc mousse - really good.

mimolette Tue 18-Feb-14 20:41:33

Yikes, Pantah, hope the weather behaves itself for you and your family from now on!
ELR, thank you very much - I made the butternut squash and leek gratin tonight to your instructions. It was nice, and I especially liked the addition of hazelnuts. Now have the rest of the bag (don't think I'd ever bought them before!), so will be on the look out for ideas on how to use them.

IpanemaMeisje Tue 18-Feb-14 23:24:34

I like the 'over cheese' phrase too. I made her Fish Gratin a while ago for friends and it got the thumbs down sad too cheesy apparently.

I haven't dare try it since but am looking again thinking maybe my children would enjoy it mmmm

pregnantpause Wed 19-Feb-14 07:19:06

Oh pantahshock that must have been awful! I would be terrified , if the tree outside our house came down I think dd1 and I would be hurt badly at best- it's a scary thought. I'm sure your ds will make all the more adventure from the rough crossing and will have a great time.

Rachel duck soup recipe for the leftover duck was indeed delicious. Best packed lunch I've had in ages. Not committing to it, but as I have the last leg of duck to use today, I'm considering the duck spring rolls- but anything seems possible before the DC are up and the mood of the day is set doesn't it?

HuevosRancheros Wed 19-Feb-14 16:07:22

Mimolette, I have hazelnuts in the house for two recipes right now!

Roasted cauliflower and hazelnut salad, from Ottolenghi's Jerusalem, link here
and these amazing looking biscuits from the ever-reliable Smitten Kitchen are just screaming at me to be made!

Cantdothisagain Wed 19-Feb-14 20:04:27

Huevos, the Jerusalem cauli hazelnut salad is gorgeous...

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