It was all a bit last minute, as in the last couple of days of the month, but I joined in with Penny's Cookery Calendar Challange for August. There is a bit of a story to my copy of "Simply Nigella". A friend from my branch of the Embroiderers' Guild, Annie, brought along some chocolate at the beginning of the year as she could no longer eat it due to health issues and we just got chatting about chocolate cakes, in particular a chocolate and liquorice cake I'd seen Nigella baking on television. She said she had made it tand it was indeed good. Then next time I saw her she not only loaned me her copy of the book with the recipe but also gave me some liquorice powder and a jar of rather good blackcurrant jam with which to sandwich the cake together.
It did indeed make an excellent cake and it was the cake I opted to make for my Noel Fielding cake a couple of weeks ago, but I digress. Because then Annie said I could keep her copy of the book as she didn't really use it, which was really kind of her. I have a few Nigella Lawson cookbooks and really like her approach to cooking (even if she herself can be a bit too finger licking sickly on TV at times) and several of her recipes are family favourites. But this particular book has sat on the shelf all year and I've not used it once except for the liquorice cake... so I thought it was about time!
The first meal I opted for was a macaroni cheese which Nigella claims is the best ever. Now this was going to be a tall order as I already love Jamie Oliver's tomato macaroni cheese, but it really was excellent and something I will definitely make again.
The secret ingredient is mashed sweet potato, which makes it creamy and smooth and it also has crumbled feta cheese, giving it a lovely salty bite. As you can see I opted to make one large dish rather than individual portions which worked just fine. It made a delicious and satisfying supper along with some green beans which we are having with everything at the moment. It is quite possible that eight plants were too many!
The second recipe I chose from the book was an Indian inspired cod fillet which was incredibly easy and very tasty. The fish was coated in a spicy yoghurt mixture which took less than five minutes to put together and it was then baked in the oven.
I served it with a simple coconut dhal, the recipe for which is also in the book... and of course the ubiquitous green beans, because it did all look a rather uninspiring beige! This is another meal I would happily make again if only because it was so quick and simple.
I also made some rather delicious sticky, spicy aubergine to go with it too because I have also grown aubergines this year and had a couple lurking in the fridge that need using up. The recipe was from Sabrina Ghayour's new book but I found it in the Sunday Times magazine... it was also delicious!
I hope to join in the Cookery Calendar Challenge again this month and this time will be cooking from Nadiya Hussain's new book, British Food Adventure, which seemed to drop into my trolley when I was in Sainsbury's. There are some really tasty sounding meals that I want to try... not to mention a cake or two!!