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MN Cookbook Club - October (Simon Hopkinson and Jamie's Comfort Food)

(50 Posts)
ScienceRocks Tue 30-Sep-14 11:11:57

This is a thread for all those wanting to share their experiences of cooking from any of the recipes written by Simon Hopkinson or from Jamie Oliver's latest tome, Jamie's Comfort Food.

For those not familiar with the MN cookbook club, the idea is to choose a couple of books (or blogs) each month and then cook a few of the recipes from one or both. The thread means successes can be celebrated, problems or mistakes highlighted, and tips or changes passed on that others may want to incorporate when they cook the same recipe.

In the past we have done books by well known cooks such as Nigella Lawson and Nigel Slater, searched through blogs by the likes of Smitten Kitchen, been wowed by the flavours of Yotam Ottolenghi and Thomasina Miers and, of course, thoroughly tested MN's own cookbook Top Bananas. Some of us find it gives focus to our menu planning, others feel it is the encouragement needed to try something different, whereas for some people it is the push needed to dust down an ignored book from the kitchen shelf and leaf through its pages for inspiration.

Everyone is welcome!

Pantah630 Tue 30-Sep-14 13:12:23

Signing in, will try and do better this month. Saw Jamie's CF last night and was taken by the curried fish pie, especially as there was no smoked fish in sight grin

ELR Tue 30-Sep-14 22:26:44

Hi thanks science and snap pantah watched lastnight too and fancy that fish pie have ordered the book today for £9.99 from amazon.

ScienceRocks Thu 02-Oct-14 07:31:03

I have started! I made the gnocchi with squash from Jamie's Comfort Food, which was easy to do. However, I served it with a sprinkling of smoked bacon bits and pecans for texture as otherwise it would have been too sloppy. It was nice, and the DCs liked it too.

madamecake Thu 02-Oct-14 09:04:01

I've started too, going to try harder this month! Made the hummingbird cake from Jamie's comfort food yesterday, it's delicious. It's definitely worth the extra effort of making the pecan brittle, although I was a bit disappointed to see half of it had melted into the icing by this morning. I also think I underestimated how huge it would be so will be giving a big wedge to my MIL to take home when she visits later.

JO's nasi goreng on the menu tonight and I'm hoping if keep the chilli heat down the DC will eat it too.

ScienceRocks Thu 02-Oct-14 11:34:30

I blimmin' love nasi goring. Please do report back, madamecake, as I'm very interested in how dialling down the chilli will work. Good work on the hummingbird cake too

ELR Thu 02-Oct-14 16:09:16

Still waiting for my book to arrive but def want to try the cake and that gnocchi sounds good especially the little extra additions!

ScienceRocks Thu 02-Oct-14 17:52:05

Jamie's chicken and mushroom pie tonight. Didn't do the whole chicken as he said, instead using chicken thigh fillets, but it was a great success with the DCs. No need to do much with it either, just some steamed veg.

Pantah630 Thu 02-Oct-14 18:38:13

Ok am ordering it recipes are only up for a week and I like the look of the gnudi too.

Cantdothisagain Thu 02-Oct-14 19:05:06

Ok, I'm in! Tried the burger which was delicious - the mustard brushing really works- and the smoked haddock which was nice and easy too and the prawn linguine which was delicious but more faff. All Jamie...

madamecake Fri 03-Oct-14 13:52:19

Nasi goreng from JO was fantastic. The rice on its own was good, but combined with the cucumber pickle and fried egg was delicious. Not too much faffing either, once all the chopping was done it only took a few minutes (I cooked the rice at lunchtime).
I wasn't sure how much sugar to use for the pickle as the recipe didn't say, but went for a couple teaspoons and it wasn't too sweet. I also missed out the birds eye chillis and just used half a regular red chilli and then doused mine and dh's portions with chilli sauce and it was still spicy enough for us but not too hot for the DC.

ScienceRocks Fri 03-Oct-14 17:21:40

Thanks madamecake! I'm giving his giant sausage roll a go tomorrow so will report in smile

ScienceRocks Fri 03-Oct-14 17:22:37

Hmm. That sounded all wrong, sorry. What I meant was I'm going to attempt the giant sausage roll recipe from Jamie's comfort food tomorrow, and will report back grin

ScienceRocks Sun 05-Oct-14 17:21:15

Giant sausage roll done, albeit with the addition of fennel seeds to the mixture. It was very good with some braised red cabbage.

madamecake Mon 06-Oct-14 08:21:40

Like the sound of the sausage roll science, may try that this week.

We had JO's insanity burgers at the weekend, Dh said they were spectacular and I agree. The burger sauce was great and it was worth hunting around to find chipotle Tabasco sauce, I also used bourbon rather than brandy as I wasn't sure how well it would work.

Must try to pick out some healthier recipes too, as I seem to be gravitating towards the fatty, calorific ones!

Cantdothisagain Mon 06-Oct-14 10:42:07

I agree Cake - the burgers were amazing. Really great flavours.

I fancy trying the nasi goring next..

glorious Tue 07-Oct-14 13:39:46

All sounds delicious, I'm in as soon as I can get to the library.

glorious Tue 07-Oct-14 13:39:47

All sounds delicious, I'm in as soon as I can get to the library.

glorious Wed 08-Oct-14 19:48:05

I've got Simon Hopkinson Cooks which is a nice book arranged in menus. Each starts with a cocktail and we're just back from Italy so we kicked off this month with a negroni. Yum.

I have beans soaking for the Jamie dahl, too.

Cantdothisagain Wed 08-Oct-14 21:02:35

Oh I do like the sound of chapters beginning with a cocktail, Glorious!

madamecake Fri 10-Oct-14 12:27:26

We had sticky toffee pudding from JO's comfort food last night. It was very good but I actually prefer his older recipe (think it might be from Jamie's dinners) which is more moist, maybe because it has yogurt in. I loved the addition of rum to the toffee sauce though, I could eat that on it's own!

ELR Tue 14-Oct-14 16:12:37

Trying the hummingbird cake as my first recipe. I'm gluten free so have made it with doves farm gluten free self raising flour I used 300g instead if 350g. It's in the oven so will report back later this evening.

glorious Tue 14-Oct-14 17:32:55

I've done two from JO. Cornbread has a nice set of flavours but I thought it was a bit dry compared to my normal recipe. Black dahl is nice enough, I liked the spicing, but didn't wow me more cream would help.
I will confess to not having faffed about with charcol, though.

Hummingbird cake looks good.

ELR Tue 14-Oct-14 21:47:40

Ok so verdict for the Hummingbird cake is 6/10. I found it very sweet I used 50g less sugar too. Its nice but I wouldn't make it again, well not for at least a year! DH and kids thought it nice too but nothing special.

ScienceRocks Thu 16-Oct-14 08:02:48

I did the nasi goring last night. Very nice, lots of little bursts of flavour from the different constituents. Would do it again.

Shame about the hummingbird cake, I had earmarked that as a possibility.

Think I'm going to do the beans on toast tonight.

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