Wednesday 27 July 2011
Belleau Kitchen Random Recipe Challenge: My Favourite Cookbook
This month's Random Recipe Challenge, hosted by the wonderfully talented Dom over at Belleau Kitchen, saw me fickly tossing cookbooks aside to choose my favourite. Seriously...this was one tough decision...I love all my cookbooks equally (I do) and I tend to obsess over one at a time, greedily flipping thorough pages and selectively cooking my way from cover to cover.
Currently, as you know, I am obsessed with Denis Cotter's For the Love of Food...but I can't say that it is my favourite...just my flavour of the month. Sticking with the veggie theme...I can't deny that my mostest favouritest cookbook on my shelf is....the fabulous...Plenty by the incredible Yotam Ottolenghi. Many of you will know that I publicly drooled my way through this book when I was gifted it last year, and have been quietly exploring recipes missed out the first time round. I have a few standby recipes...soba noodles with aubergine, stuffed onions, broad bean burgers...you know...standbys.
I have to admit now...that I kinda sorta cheated a bit...sorry Dom. The original random recipe that was chosen (gimme a number David...) was OKRA....I'm sorry...I just couldn't do it...I couldn't...so random selection number two was the incredible looking Multi-Vegetable Paella. I hadn't made this recipe yet, so that was a bonus!!
I am not a huge fan of paella...I find that the rice is never cooked properly for me...even in a restaurant. Then again, I have never been to Spain...so I reserve final judgement for when (and if) that day ever comes. This recipe was alright. In theory I loved it...lovely rice cooked with onions and peppers then topped with grilled artichoke hearts, cherry tomatoes, olives and broad beans (Ottolenghi loves broad beans)...I just wasn't convinced....but I think that comes down to my genetic disposition to stir rice...I can let long grain rice mellow...but when it comes to Paella and Risotto...anything slowly cooked in stock...I need to stir (I'm half Italian...so...it figures).
Final verdict....I still love Ottolenghi, and this dish looked stunning...it just wasn't for me. I would, however, take the different components and transfer them to a risotto without cheese (or is that sacrilege?).