I have a small addiction to recipe books. I know I’m not the only one who salivates over the beautiful photos and makes big plans for all of the wonderful meals I’m going to cook – and then does nothing.
When it comes down to actually planning meals and buying food, I always end up just going back to the tried and tested things I know won’t stress me out and the lovely recipe books stay shut on my shelves.
Jamie Oliver’s new Everyday Super Food has been the exception to this recently. We’ve been watching his new programme where he makes everything look so simple with easy to find ingredients.
After some hectic weeks we decided to have a weekend at home hibernating and wanted to experiement with some new recipes.
The first recipe we tried was butternut squash daal with fried eggs and spinach. Living in Tooting we are spoiled by all of the wonderful curry houses nearby and struggle to replicate the flavours at home and also worry about how unhealthy curries can be sometimes.
This dish was a riot of colour and full of fresh, healthy ingredients. It’s not hard to make but did take a bit longer than expected – mainly because butternut squash is so damn hard to cut up!
The eggs are fried in a temper of garlic, chillies, mustard and cumin seeds and curry leaves, of which half goes into the daal, and this makes such a nice addition to the top of the dish.
Jamie’s recipe was easy to follow and unusually for me, the end result looked a lot like his creation. The added bonus was that we were left with enough for the next two days!
The other recipe we have tried from the book is the chicken, mushroom and miso broth with wild rice. Again this was something we haven’t really attempted at home as we didn’t think we could replicate the kind of thing we’ve eaten in Japanese or other Asian restaurants.
The recipe doesn’t have too many ingredients and all of them were easy to source.
Mushrooms are one of my favourite foods and I have gradually been sneaking them in to meals to turn Matt into as big a fan.
We used porcini, shiitake and chestnut for our broth.
Again the dish did not take too long to make and basically involved just putting it all in one pan – which was a bonus for the washing up!
The broth was delicious and we ate it with a mix of wild, brown and red rice which gave a nice balance of texture and flavour.
We were left with quite a bit after stuffing ourselves and so the next night we made more miso broth, added a few more mushrooms and served it with brown rice noodles instead which was just as delicious.
I don’t want this to come across as a massive PR favour for Jamie Oliver but I just wanted to share two meals which have excited us in the last few weeks.
This weekend I’m going to give the steak and herby jewelled tabbouleh a go I think!