A Tasty New Year

CookbooksAnyone who visits here with any sort of regularity will have noticed that I am partial to the odd challenge now and again. From the latest String Quartet to Every Photo Tells… or SpinTunes, challenges are a great way to provide a new focus to creative ideas and take you to new and often unexpected places. After setting me the 10 Weeks: 10 Sounds challenge, I returned Katharina the favour by setting her a challenge of her own.

Since she has a collection of cook books that seemed to be rarely used (as she tends to fall back on her favourites), I thought it was time she made some use of them, so for the Cookbook Challenge, I set the following:

You should create one dish from each of the following cookbooks, photograph the process and blog about each one. Let us know a bit about the book, why you chose the recipe, what (if anything) and why you had to change any ingredients or processes. What was difficult? What did you learn? How did the final result taste?

1. Haggis, Whisky & Co. (leave out a single ingredient)
2. Paul Bocuse Standardkochbuch [The Paul Bocuse Standard Cookbook] (use an ingredient you have never used)
3. Austro Tapas (use breadcrumbs)
4. Crèmes Brûlées (change an ingredient)
5. Gordon Ramway’s Great British Pub Food (pick a recipe that contains alcohol (it’s pub food, after all!))
6. Natürlich Jamie [Jamie at Home] (add something red)
7. Macarons (something that goes well with coffee)
8. Vive la France (add vanilla)
9. La Cuisine Grecque [The Greek Kitchen] (served with a feta side dish)
10. Plachutta – Meine Wiener Küche [My Viennese Kitchen] (traditional, but different)

In each case, I chose the book and set some restriction to make it a bit more interesting than just selecting a recipe at random. You’ll find my specific comments about the resulting meals under each blog post Katharina made, but suffice it to say that I ate like a king for the weeks that the challenge was running.

My favourite savoury dish was the Greek meal with meatballs and deep fried feta cheese, which offered up a fantastic combination of flavour and texture. Of the desserts, the quark dumplings with cranberry whisky sauce were probably my favourite (though it was a close call), because they were tangy, warm, fluffy and crispy. The success story of the whole thing, however, was the caramelised apple cake from Haggis, Whisky & Co.. We’ve made this again twice since the initial challenge, because it was so good!

Apple Cake

Find her whole series of blog posts here.