Cooking magazines can be a delightful little foodie indulgence (and not so little depending on the level of your addiction). I only actually subscribe to one magazine (Delicious) but I can’t resist buying editions of various others. Since starting this blog a few months ago I realise I do make pretty good use of my subscription, the arrival of which always creates a little thrill of excitement. The winter months seem to produce the best editions IMO. My June and July copies are liberally dog-eared and I’ve been cooking from them quite a bit and snapping photos from the best I’ve tried. So I thought I’d do a Delicious Roundup of dishes good enough to make again.
I’m often struck by how different people are drawn to different recipes in the same magazine or cookbook and how, when I see what one of my friends has decided to make, it draws me to have another look and notice recipes I passed over on my first read through. So I hope this Delicious Roundup might draw some of you back to re-look at your magazines or to share other recipes (maybe as a comment on this post) you’ve tried from the same editions.
I have included recipes from one of the May back copies here too as I once again make good use of my magazine filing system.
Soups are some of the best winter fare. Looking back over my photos I realise I’ve made quite a few good ones lately. First off the rank is Home Style Minestrone, from May 2008. This is a very tasty version of an old favourite and I particularly liked the inclusion of shredded cabbage. It improves even more the next day, as you’d expect, although the pasta gets pretty well-cooked by then. This is one dish where I don’t mind the pasta getting soft.
This Lamb Shank and Barley Soup (found on Taste.com and originally from Fresh Living not Delicious – oh well I’ll include it anyway) was a winner. I only used 3 shanks instead of the 6 listed in the recipe and this was plenty (shanks are not as cheap as they once were and this would have made the soup pretty pricey and more meaty than I wanted).
Celery, parsnip and fennel sounded like an intriguing combination and produced a mellow and creamy result. This is a Tobie Puttock recipe from June 2010 and his gourmet touch is to top the soup with bottarga but I didn’t happen to have any 🙂 so I garnished the Celery and parsnip soup with bottarga with slices of olive and pancetta sausage which was very tasty. However the soup was really very tasty on its own and we had it naked the second night with just a few fennel fronds scattered over.
Creamy but actually pretty light in calories, the Thai Fish and Pumpkin Soup by Jill Dupleix in this months (July 2010) Delicious is like a full on curry in a soup. She uses only 200ml of light coconut milk but the creamy-ness tells your mouth that there is a lot more. This is a flavoursome hit of a soup and was a great use for more of that seasonal pumpkin. I used snapper fillets. The photo is of the soup reheated the next day so it doesn’t look as pretty as the first night – but it was still lovely.
I also added a couple of spoonfuls of cooked Jasmine rice to the bowl, rather like having a Tom Ka Gai. When I googled this soup it seems it’s a variation on a classic soup combination for Thai cuisine so if you don’t have the magazine you can probably find a pretty similar recipe somewhere on the net. This one suggested just using a bought red curry paste so it made it pretty quick and easy. I use the Thai pastes you can get in a plastic tub at most South East Asian grocers and they are very authentic. I have yet to find a really good ready-made Indian paste, though, and always make these from scratch.
Next is a dish that I made to use up some pork cutlets I had in the freezer. I wasn’t expecting all that much from it given its very short list of ingredients but I was pleasantly surprised at how well it worked and will definitely make it again. Pork with Lentils and Spinach was from the May 2008 Delicious. It was very simple with minimal ingredients and very flavoursome. The recipe called for pork steaks but I had cutlets and I’m sure you could use any fairly fast cooking cut as they were just seasoned and pan-fried.
Rick Stein was a guest contributor in the June 2010 Delicious and offered this spicy, fragrant, Indian style Aromatic chicken pilau with cinnamon tomato and nutmeg. He listed a mixture of thigh and breast fillets but I used only thigh as I find breasts go dry too easily (and thighs are tastier and cheaper). This has a fairly long list of ingredients (typical for Indian dishes) but they are mostly spices and it’s easy to put together. It had a great complexity of spice flavours and a bit of poke. The added advantage of this kind of dish is that it’s truly one pot cooking with the rice an integral part of the dish.
Another chicken dish that I’ve actually made several times before is Belinda Jeffery’s Roast lemon chicken with Sicilian olives in the May 08 edition (and I also found it online). Belinda Jeffery is one of the most reliable cook book writers I have come across. I’ve got two of her books and made many of the dishes in each one. Every dish has been easy to do, worked as promised and they’ve all been full of flavour. This one makes a great feature of the bright green Sicilian olives – they are my favourite olive; quite mild, firm but fleshy. Don’t try to get the stone out though, they really cling on. Your guests (or family) will just need to eat around them. The slices of lemon on top make a tangy foil to the richness of the caramelised onion sauce. The thyme is a significant element here too and is a favourite herb for me (also happens to be one of the tougher perennial plants in my neglected veggie garden).
Everyone has their favourite dahl recipe. The version in the June 2010 Delicious – Dahl with spinach – is now pretty close to the top of my list (although there is a version in Christine Manfield’s Spice with lots of chilli and lots of fish sauce that is an intense flavour bomb of a dish that can’t be beat – my all time favourite). The longish list of Indian spices works really well to make a multi layered flavour experience. The only criticism I have is that the recipe does not tell you to season at all and I found it needed at least a good teaspoon of salt. I also added a lot more spinach (it only called for 100g of baby spinach). I had a medium-sized bunch of spinach with soft tender leaves so I shredded it fairy finely and used the lot. I served it with yogurt and of course my home-made quince chutney.
That’s the first Delicious Roundup @ For the Love of Food – Yeeehaa! – and I’ve still got a number of recipes dog-eared for July. I think I’ll make this a regular post – maybe once every month or so depending on how much I cook from the magazine. I may also include recipes from other magazines from time to time.
Because I don’t have permission to reproduce a number of these recipes I wasn’t going to blog on them but I figure many foodie blog readers probably buy Delicious and so you can look up the recipes yourselves. I’d be interested to know whether this is the kind of post you’d like to read even if all the recipes can’t be reproduced here (due to copyright issues) and may not have a link to the recipe on the net?