Saturday, 3 June 2017

cookery calendar challenge - June



May was a carnivore friendly month, at least with regards to the cookery calendar challenge.

I chose Simple: effortless food, big flavours by Diana Henry for this latest cookery calendar challenge. I couldn't get exited about any of the cookery books on my shelves and needed some fresh inspirations. I found the inspiration hereIt is a sturdy and solid kind of book with a strong spine and thick pages. I like this in a cookery book. It has a woven and solidly attached bookmark, which is handy. Of course a cookery book needs about ten of those to mark all the recipes you might want to cook - one day. But I am not complaining. 



First up was a recipe called Tim's chicken. The recipe was not accompanied by an image, which made me a bit nervous because I am quite a visual person and like to see what a dish might look like. At the same time I am always a bit disappointed if my own cooking doesn't live up to the expectations, aesthetically at least. Anyway, let me tell you about Tim's chicken. It is a simple dish, it really is. Fresh breadcrumbs are mixed with chopped parsley, crushed garlic, parmesan (lots) and seasoning. Then skin and boneless chicken thighs are unrolled and flattened, dipped in plenty of egg and then coated all over with the breadcrumb mixture. Finally, the chicken thighs are rolled back up and some more coating is pressed on. The chicken is baked in the oven for 45 minutes. I was a little worried that the chicken would be dry but it wasn't. Eating the coated chicken rolls was a pure flavour and texture sensation, I loved it. The children also loved it, which is always a bonus (Richard was away). Jack was a bit indignant that he didn't get his own helping (but he got some leftovers for a special treat). The recipe was plenty to feed five hungry mouths, with a good sized leftover lunch to spare. I'd say that for one person, one thigh is plenty, particularly if you have something on the side. This is a dish that can be prepared in advance and put in the oven when you get back in from work. The cooking time is long enough to have a cup of coffee, have a wander in the garden and a quick look at home work. I made a few quick potatoes with the chicken. I parboiled the chunks of spuds and briefly fried them in a bit of butter. I imagine leftover boiled potatoes would be good for that.



The second dish was pork chops with a caper sauce, shown on the book cover. This is also a simple dish. As I am typing this, it occurs to me that there is a reason for the title of the cookery book.... yep, not always as clued on as I hope to be.  The pork chops are pan fried for 2 minutes on each side and then finished in the oven for a further 12 minutes, in the frying pan. My chops were quite thick and were perfectly cooked but not dried out. Whilst the chops are resting in a warm place, the yummy sticky bits in the frying pan are dissolved with dry vermouth (lots!), then the sauce is reduced to about a quarter. Lastly, cream is added and a good handful of rinsed capers. I was going to serve this with plain boiled rice but forgot to put it on and resorted to quickly frying a pack of gnocchi in a little butter. This is always a winner. The pork chops were popular but the sauce, which was really the main feature of the dish, wasn't. Richard and I liked it a lot, James and Alistair tolerated it. Annie and Sam didn't even bother trying. I'd definitely make far less sauce next time. I think it might be a good dinner party dish, easy to cook with little time spent in the kitchen, slaving away whilst the guest are guzzling Prosecco.

We do eat a lot of asparagus at this time of the year.

Richard made a really delicious chicken curry from this cookery book. I am not sure which recipe it was but it was accepted by all and there was even the odd compliment.

We don't eat rich dishes like the two shown here every day, it would be too much even for a lover of cream and cheese and butter. I haven't explored the book enough to decide if is is an easy weekend cooking kind of book or a book useful for every day. I don't really use cookery books for day to day cooking so probably the former. Either way, Simple is a winner and a useful addition to our cookery book collection. It is definitely a book that caters for die-hard carnivores, there are many meat dishes, and quite a few fish dishes, too.

I am joining the cookery calendar challenge on Penny's blog,  The Homemade Heart. If you have a minute, go and have a look, there may be some cooking inspiration for you.

14 comments:

  1. I think they both look delicious. I love capers in anything, so the pork chops have my vote. I sometimes make a recipe by Ina Garten that is similar to the chicken, but it doesn't roll them, it's just thinly-pounded chicken that is first dredged in flour, then egg, then breadcrumbs and parmesan. I enjoyed seeing your cooking this month!

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  2. They both look good, think I'll try the chicken recipe. We're eating lots of aspragus too.

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  3. Yum, both of those look really good. I have a few of Diana Henry's books and find them a bit mixed. However, when I did my own version of this challenge a couple of years ago, her warm duck and brown rice salad was my favourite of the whole year. x

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  4. The asparagus is perfect at this time of year isn't it. Well done on three new recipes, it's always a triumph when the children eat things I find! CJ xx

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  5. Your dishes look delicious! I should give Diana Henry a second chance. I checked one of her cookbooks out of the library last year and wasn't impressed. I'm going to see if they have this one available.

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  6. Both of your meals look completely delicious! What a good Mom you are to make such nice meals for your family. I'm lucky as our DIL cooks most of our dinners now. ((hugs)), Teresa :-)

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  7. Both look delicious but sadly I am not a fan of capers, but a peppercorn sauce would have been nice instead. Asparagus is one of my favourites the perfect addition to any meal at this time of year.

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  8. Christina, I was thinking of you today as I was outside on our screened in pool area talking to my son when I repeatedly got bit. It was lightly raining out and overcast and of course I got attacked by no see um's or what you call midges. After six painful bites I actually stood out in the rain to finish our discussion. I came in. looked them up and saw that they are referred to as midges which I did not know about prior to a little research. I feel for you camping and getting attacked, it must have been a painful trip.
    HUgs.

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  9. Thank you so much Christina, for jlinjng me abain this month. I own this book too, and recognised 'Tim's chicken' straight away, I may have even made it at some point. Yours looks absolutely delicious, although I don't eat chicken, my carnivores do, and they all love a crispy coating, so I might try this one again. Shame the family didn't like the cream sauce with the pork. At least they ate the pork, and again this dish looks very appetising on the plate. I really like dishes that are quick to prepare and full of flavour. Jacob is practising his cooking skills in preparation for going to university in September, and he made a chicken and sausage traybake for dinner yesterday, with lots of root vegetables. I ate some of the veg with fish, and it was really tasty, and again, so simple and easy. He is a keen cook and wont starve when he leaves home! Have a super week X

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  10. mm looks at those yummy meals. I love asparagus

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  11. Another two successful meals I would say. I always dry out pork chops - I cook them for far longer than that so that maybe why! Jo x

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  12. I don't cook much meat these days but these certainly both look delicious.

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  13. I cooked from this book in January and really enjoyed it. The pork chop in capers looks fantastic. I must revisit it actually, there were some really solid recipes in there. X

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  14. It is disappointing the children did not care for the sauce but your efforts looked beautiful and I imagine I would have enjoyed all you cooked. xx

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Thank you for visiting and leaving a comment, I love to hear from you, I really do. I sometimes reply by email but I am not all that reliable... Christina xx