Corner Shop Spanakopita (page 54)
Spanakopita is a favourite around here. My go to recipe hails from the book The Olive and the Caper and is flavoured with green onions, parsley and lots of fresh dill, and made with phyllo dough. But I was game to try any variation, including one that used the rather non-traditional puff pastry. I cooked off the defrosted spinach in the pan with the onions rather than steaming it and went with the fennel seeds and feta to flavour the filling. I made this on a day of crazy family schedules where a sit down dinner wasn't going to happen so I baked them as turnovers, an easy grab-and-go meal with a salad, Greek of course, packed separately.
These were really good - not as fresh tasting as the recipe I use with all of those herbs, but still perfectly delicious. I'd love to see how it turned out baked as a pastry-topped pie.
Brussels Sprouts, Apple, and Cheddar (page 108)
Cabbage/Brussels sprouts + apple = delicious; apple + cheddar = delicious; the three ingredients combined with toasted hazelnuts and lemon vinaigrette = fantastic! This was a great lettuce-free salad that fulfilled my craving for fresh and crisp foods with bright flavours, one that doesn't go away even though the weather is cold and snowy and slow-roasted and braised foods are the order of the day. I will definitely be making this again.
Bruschetta with Curly Kale (page 200)
The kale lovers including myself really enjoyed this quick open-faced sandwich of toasted garlic bread topped with barely cooked garlicky kale and cheese. We so enjoyed the kale and cheddar pizza topping from October's CCC, that that became our cheese of choice. But that ingredient was secondary; this was a recipe where the kale was allowed to shine. I used curly since that's much more readily available here than Tuscan/lacinato, and good though this was prepared as per the recipe, it was fabulous after a stint under the broiler that crisped the kale and melted the cheese!
Quick Chickpea Pasta (page 246)
Leek Risotto with Chestnuts (page 270)
This was a lovely seasonal risotto flavoured primarily with leeks, some wine and good vegetable stock finished with the crunch of some crumbled, fried chestnuts. I used the author's method of adding one-quarter of the stock at a time, one that seemed less fiddly than adding it by the ladle-full but still produced good results. This was a simple, comforting dish which I quite enjoyed...for family who complained that it was too sweet, there was a bowl of grated Parmesan on the table!
Sweet Corn Fritters with Cilantro Raita (page 325)
These crispy fritters reminded me of the cauliflower pakoras we made in September with a similar spice profile and the rather distinctive flavour of chickpea flour. A little hot, spiced with warm earthy flavours, and pops of sweetness from the corn, they were a taste of summer in the depths of winter. The dipping sauce of yogurt and goat's cheese had lots of flavour and tang to complement the fritters.......the perfect accompaniment.
This was a very delicious month at Cottage Cooking Club and I'm just sorry I didn't have time to try more of the dishes (especially the salsify!). I can't wait to see what everyone else made! Visit here to find out....
Wishing everyone a happy and healthy New Year!