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