Cookery bookclub - who is with me?

(449 Posts)
tigerlilygrr Fri 05-Apr-13 10:19:27

I love cookbooks and have picked up a ton of recommendations since joining mumsnet. I am keen to set up a cookery book club - anyone else interested? I propose:
- we select one book each month
- we go away, try out the recipes and generally revel in the deliciousness
- we chat about it

We could alternate between books people are likely to have eg Nigella, Jamie, Delia and something a bit more unusual. If we have a rolling three month list, that gives people time to borrow / buy books they don't have (from the library for example).

What to you think?

tigerlilygrr Fri 26-Apr-13 07:14:56

I made apple and almond cake and, as instructed by Nigella, custard cream hearts. My excuse is that my DH needed some cakes to take into work! The custard cream hearts were fiddly and time consuming but so delicious, on a lazy Sunday I would definitely make them again (and my toddler was just delighted with every step - the mixing! The rolling out! The cutting out of heart shaped biscuits! The splodging of custard! Although as you can imagine my kitchen really does look like a small bomb has gone off). Unfortunately though I was in a rush by the time I got to make the apple and almond cake and I think my oven was too hot because the top was burnt... There are few sadder sights than a burnt cake! Although the upside is I've just had the non burnt bit for breakfast and it tasted great, it is obviously a good recipe (for non-idiots).

pisgah Fri 26-Apr-13 13:56:42

I have finally got round to actually cooking rather than just daydreaming over these books - have just made the Quadruple chocolate loaf cake from Feast as a peace offering present for my MIL. I made two small loaf cakes so that we could taste it too (all in the interest of research of course wink) Its in the oven now - I keep giving it anxious glances because the tin has to be lined with cling film..confused

Soupqueen Fri 26-Apr-13 19:59:30

The broccoli fritters were a huge hit. DH doesn't like broccoli but reckoned "these rock".

I served them with the suggested yogurt sauce and fried egg (sadly no runny yolk for me as I'm pregnant, but runny yolk would have been great!)

Really, really good. Very quick and I'll definitely make them again.

pisgah Fri 26-Apr-13 20:28:24

and the quadruple chocolate loaf cake was amazing - like a loafy sort of chocolate brownie mil damn well better have appreciated it. Not sure why she (Nigella, not MIL) specifies clingfilm to line the tins though, it was fine and didn't melt but I couldn't see that it was any better than my usual baking parchment liners. I don't think that the photo in Feast does it justice, you need to see an oozy syrupy cut slice to really appreciate the gorgeousness of it...

greensnail Fri 26-Apr-13 21:12:59

I haven't got around to trying the broccoli fritters yet, lack of parmesan and enthusiasm holding me back, I'm just feeling fed up of being stuck at home with poorly dd2 at the moment.

Desperate to get to the library to collect the two books for May as they're both there waiting for me so hopefully will manage that tomorrow.

The quadruple loaf sounds amazing, I might have to try to persuade dd1 we should make that for grandma instead of repeating the Guinness cake like she wants to.

Tunisian Friday stew, meatballs and cous cous from feast, was, again, amazing. Very few ingredients in the stew resulted in a wonderfully rich and deeply flavoured stew, the harissa and blitzed veg creating a beautiful Arabian sunset colour.The meatballs were a bit fiddly, but crisp and fragrant , mixed in with cous cous, (which was just cous cous, nowt special), it made for a wonderful meal. I think the best I have made from the book, highly recommended.

minimuffin Fri 26-Apr-13 23:51:26

Hello - I am screeching in at the end of April with my second SK recipe. I made the leek and Swiss chard tart (http://smittenkitchen.com/blog/2008/01/leek-and-swiss-chard-tart/) tonight as these were in my veg box this week and I always need inspiration when it comes to Swiss chard. Just realised how that sounds. I'm not up my own arse, honestly.

Anyway it was great. I used Sainsburys ready made puff pastry with herbs. Wasn't at all sure about using puff pastry in what is essentially a quiche, no blind baking etc, but it really worked! I followed the recipe completely other than I crumbled a bit of Wensleydale over the top because we have some in the fridge that needs using and Wensleydale and leeks are a great combo. It really worked. I love the SK blog - I could easily lose hours of sleep/life reading it - thanks for introducing me to it tiger.

I am sold on the quadruple choc cake pisgah. Will try that next - or the apple and almond cake which also seems to be a hit. Curries seem to be the other recommendation from this book. My friend cooked for about 12 of us once and made the chilli with cornbread topping from Feast and it was really good - I've always meant to try it myself.

Roll on May - I have the first Kitchen Diaries and it's one of my all time favourites. Now need to justify buying Ottolenghi or hit the library

minimuffin Fri 26-Apr-13 23:52:36

PS are the broccoli fritters that everyone is talking about from SK?

ELR Sat 27-Apr-13 07:25:12

Got Jerusalem from the library yesterday, had a quick flick through and it looks amazing have already chosen loads I want to make but am going to be good and not study it totally until May!
Broccoli fritters sound good I think I have all te ingredients so will make or lunch today.
The ritzy chicken hasn't been made yet as I decided to go into London about 4pm yesterday. My dad turned up a day early to babysit for me today so thought I may as well make it a double night out! Also noticed the open box of ritz next to his computer so think he may have eaten them!!
Not a lover of chocolate cake but that loaf cake wuite sounds good, may give it a go!

Pantah630 Sat 27-Apr-13 08:10:31

mini yes they are, tiger linked to them upthread but to save you searching they're here and delicious, go try them smile

Pantah630 Sat 27-Apr-13 08:17:24

pregnant I think I will try the meatball stew but I'm unable to leave couscous plain, I have to tamper with it, even if just a lot of lemon and pepper smile

ELR may try and squeeze in the cranberry and white choc cookies before no cake May!

Think we have a hit with the broccoli fritters, everyone that's tried so far has loved. greensnail the Parmesan isn't overpowering as not much used, I upped mine to 1\2 cup but you don't really taste it as there is very little batter to broccoli ratio smile

minimuffin Sat 27-Apr-13 11:22:20

Thanks pantah will try them today

BetsyBell Sat 27-Apr-13 15:17:54

Good news, DH decided he would like to cook today (having sat down to watch Masterchef with me yesterday!) and he's going to cook the Roasted Aubergine with Yogurt-Tahini Sauce and Cumin-Crisped Chickpeas from Smitten Kitchen. We went to Waitrose so now I also have a can of libby's Pumpkin so a Marbled Pumpkin and Gingersnap Tart will also be made - as long as gingernuts are same as or a good replacement for gingersnaps anyway! I forgot it needed digestives and cream cheese so it won't be made today.

I also have designs on the Rosemary Gruyere and Sea Salt Biscuits, though the gruyere is likely to be replaced with a combo of mature cheddar and grana.

ELR Sat 27-Apr-13 16:00:31

Just made the fritters and didn't really rate them, they were a little bland and dry if that makes sense, a few chunks Brie or fea would add a nice touch.

BetsyBell Sat 27-Apr-13 17:09:03

Hi ELR I'm not fasting today! I've lost track - which recipe book are the broccoli fritters from?

Chickpeas roasting in cumin smell absolutely amazing! I'm very rarely not the cook so I'm rather enjoying getting the divine smells without the work. I do love cooking of course but the occasional day off is nice too smile

BetsyBell Sat 27-Apr-13 17:10:27

Oh ignore me, just spotted the link for the Smitten Kitchen fritters.

BetsyBell Sat 27-Apr-13 18:12:28

The roasted aubergine with tahini & chickpeas is well worth making! It came out a little too salty for me but that would be easily remedied. The chickpeas came out as crunchy little nuggets (bordering on burnt truthfully) were fairly delicately flavoured despite their awesome cooking smell which might be remedied by not overcooking them. They did add a lovely crunch to the squidgy aubergine and delightful tangy tahini yogurt dressing. DH served it up with some meze bits and pieces we'd bought in waitrose - spiced lamb things and veg fritters. Would probably go really well with the lamb cutlets in the Smitten Kitchen book.

I'd make the tahini dressing again for other recipes, it would also make a great dip for anything with a middle eastern or turkish lilt.

frenchfancy Sat 27-Apr-13 19:10:41

Can I join in please, a bit late for this month I know. I have the lemon bars cooling on the counter. They smell great, and the cheeky bit stuck to the bottom i tried was great.

I don't have next months books but I'll get what I can the net.

sayanything Sat 27-Apr-13 19:13:14

tigerlily yes, my nn pays homage to my eternal crush, Mr Cusack. Hands off, he's mine wink grin.

pisgah Sun 28-Apr-13 12:06:19

Right, so breakfasts this weekend have both featured recipes from Smitten Kitchen. Yesterday was the Big breakfast rostis, today we had peach and sour cream pancakes. The rostis were a great idea, it was grated potato mixed with a sort of batter to bind it - usually I just use egg or melted butter, so was interested to try these. Only thing is, they were sooo greasy, you could feel your arteries clogging with every bite.. I suppose it was because the potato absorbs all the fat, and also that they are fried. I think I would try oven baking them next time, but dont know if the batter would work?

The pancakes were lovely, I used greek yogurt instead of sour cream (as I did with the quadruple chocolate cake - I dont usually buy sour cream, but always have natural yogurt around) - I also used <gasp> bottled peaches instead of fresh shock but twas fine. Again, next time I think I could fry them and freeze them and reheat in the oven, as they need to have a few minutes in the oven anyway to set fully.

enormouse Sun 28-Apr-13 12:16:42

Hi I'm very very late to this but I think it's a great idea. What's this month's book?

Pantah630 Sun 28-Apr-13 13:57:35

Those pancakes sound delicious pisgah

And enormouse Nigellas Feast and Smitten Kitchen cookbook for April, you have a few days left. May has its own thread, Ottolenghi's Jerusalem and the first Kitchen Diaries. Welcome aboard smile

That aubergine and tahini yoghurt chickpea thing sounds great - will have to do them even though we're nearly at the end of the month now! I exhausted myself with the Nigella Eid Mughal feast a couple of weekends ago so have been on the back burner with this since - but have all the ingredients so think I can squeeze this one in under the wire tomorrow!

Now settling down to flick through Kitchen Diaries (I only have the first one though and have a feeling we are meant to be doing the second - and I also don't have Jerusalem, just Plenty but it is DH's birthday next week so I might just have to buy it for me him!

Just catching up on the thread - pregnant do try the pheasant recipe from Feast - the sauce is amaaaaazing and would go with chicken very well too if you don't like pheasant - actually I did it with tofu as DH is veggie. It was by far the best of the Eid Feast dishes I did, the others were all fine but nothing to write home about, but that one was truly fantastic!

tigerlilygrr Mon 29-Apr-13 12:03:46

Hello all! Just a quickie to say that I have been quiet as on Friday night I went out for dinner and came home with food poisoning... I tried to look at this thread on Sunday but the thought of the food was just too much for my poor stomach! Bleurgh. Anyway normal service has now been resumed. And the lesson is... Cook at home! So I will keep updating this thread when I cook more from smitten kitchen and feast, but mainly will be on the May thread ... See you there!

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