Cook (those) books recipe report.

Earlier in October I presented the Cook (those) books challenge.  Simply, the goal was to cook two brand new recipes a week exactly as written in the recipe.   Two weeks in and I’ve had some hits and misses.  Here’s what I tried.

First up was my choice.  Black Pepper Tempeh from Super Natural Every Day.  While any recipe by Heidi Swanson is usually a winner, this one was teeming with the potential for disaster.  The major ones being that neither of us are huge fans of tempeh or cauliflower, the two key ingredients.  This of course begs the question “why choose it then?”.  My only answer to that would be because that’s the point of the challenge!  Visually I can’t say it was too appetizing, but it sure did taste good.  It was a bit sweet for me, but had lots of zest and nice and fiery.   Best part, it (surprisingly) made a great cold lunch the next day with a bit of thai chili sauce added for extra spice.  Keeper number one.

Second up was my husbands choice.  Crunchy Garlic Chicken from Jamie’s Food Revolution .  Now this one should have been a no brainer.  Sadly, while it tasted quite good I was forced to adapt the recipe to make it work.  Despite both of us reading the recipe several times over we could not figure out how to get the crust to actually coat the chicken.  I finally gave up and added about a cup of panko and it worked perfectly.  The next day we took leftovers and chopped them over some pasta, in the Italian style of adding breadcrumbs, which was delicious.  I’d make this again for sure, but unless Jamie wants to come and show me himself how to make it work I would add the extra panko.

On to week two.

The week started out well with the best recipe yet.  My husband chose braised short ribs from the Earth to Table Cookbook by Jeff Crump.  I am yet to make a recipe from this cookbook that isn’t a success and this was no exception.  Beef short ribs are always a bargain from the butcher. and the recipe was super simple.  After only 3 hours cooking these were tender and flavourful beyond belief.  Thankfully there was extra sauce as the next day it was heavenly over some fresh fettuccini.  Absolute keeper number two.

Sadly the week went downhill from there.  I made an amazing recipe based on a dish from The Glorious Pasta of Italy but to be fair, it can’t count towards the challenge as I changed it up a bit based on availability of ingredients.  However, I did manage to use the last of the leftover chicken from the Jamie Oliver recipe – so maybe that brings it back in the running. As always though I highly recommend this cookbook and, after I’ve experimented with my variation a bit more I’ll share it too.

Also attempted were pumpkin muffins adapted from a recipe on and some jalapeno tea biscuits that tasted good but were a complete disaster as biscuits (I’m not even going to share where this recipe came from).  These two recipes just convinced me, yet again, that baking just is not my thing.

So all in all I’d say these last two weeks were a success.  Some brand new by the book recipes and some more great ideas.  Stay tuned to see what this week will bring.

So many recipes, so little time.

2 thoughts on “Cook (those) books recipe report.

  1. I have that Jamie Oliver book. Haven’t tries the crunchy chicken. Thanks for the tip about the panko. Will definitely use it.
    Btw, what’s tempeh?
    Great post. Love the idea behind it. Maybe I’ll try one new recipe a week.

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