Thursday 28 September 2017

Cookbook of the Month September 2017: Jamie's Comfort Food.

Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuhu!

In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful

The perfect cookbook for September!
This month, I chose to cook my way through Jamie Oliver's Comfort Food.
September is always the busiest month with everyone getting back into old routines and getting used to a few new ones. It's the month where we need comfort food the most and this splendid book didn't disappoint.

Here's what I made:

Nostalgia: Chicken Tikka Masala - I had made this same recipe a few years back but after having my wisdom teeth removed, I was really in the mood for something soft but still spicy. Enter the chicken tikka masala with wholemeal paratha. So good!
The tikkas were marinaded in yoghurt and spices before being skewered and grilled with lemon wedges and red chillies.
The sauce made extra creamy with coconut milk. We prefer our curry a little thicker so dried it out the next day as the first photo showed.
Chicken tikka masala on my blog: chicken tikka masala

Nostalgia: Chicken Shawarma - So, this chicken shawarma feast was a definite must make from this book. And, it turned out to be a real feast as well with the spiced chicken with vegetables, sauces, salads, pickles and flatbreads.
I used whole boneless chicken thighs for the shawarma and marinaded them in yoghurt, peanut butter, bay leaves and garlic. The spices were toasted in a hot pan before being added to the marinade: green cardamom pods, fennel seeds, cumin seeds, coriander seeds, ground cinnamon, ground allspice, ground cloves and sweet smoked paprika.

The chicken was marinaded overnight before being skewered with peppers, onions, tomatoes and limes.

Once the chicken was cooked and crispy, it was ready!

On a large platter with fresh herbs, lemon and tomatoes.
On the side, sesame flatbreads.
A tabbouleh with bulghar wheat, loads of fresh herb, preserved lemons and tomatoes.

A wheat-free tabbouleh for my gluten-free cousin!
A mango amba sauce with lime, garlic and spices.
Homemade pickled green chillies.
Houmous with tahini, lemon and garlic.
Snapping all the pictures before we dig in!

So good!
Chicken shawarma recipe on my blog: chicken shawarma

Nostalgia: The Porridge Ritual - One of the best breakfasts on a dark September morning is porridge. This one is made with proper porridge oats, boiling water and a little salt. Once the whole thing is cooked and thick, I like to add in a little milk to get everything creamy. For sweetness, once the hot porridge went into a bowl, lots of crunchy demerara sugar was sprinkled on top and left for a few minutes to settle before being stirred in. I really want to try the golden syrup version next!

Good Mood Food: Nasi Goreng - An Indonesian stir-fried rice dish that I couldn't resist trying.
A cucumber pickle is served on the side. It's made with cucumber, fresh coriander, lime, rice wine vinegar and sugar. A real sweet and sour treat!
Prepping onion, garlic, ginger and red chillies. These four with the real flavour powerhouse in this fried rice. For vegetables, I used tenderstem broccoli and sugar snap peas.
Stirred, fried and ready to eat topped with a fried egg, spring onions and chillies.
Fried rice recipe on my blog: egg fried rice

Good Mood Food: Gorgeous Gado Gado - This Indonesian salad caught my eye as I was flicking through the book. I made mine with a peanut sauce + chilli chicken instead of tofu + beansprouts + tomatoes + boiled eggs + lettuce instead of Chinese cabbage + fresh prawn crackers + boiled potatoes + fresh coriander. It was nice but the peanut sauce had too much peanut butter in it for my liking. I guess that's the point of a peanut sauce though.

Pick Me Ups: Ultimate Arrabbiata - The recipe for arrabbiata from this book is one that I had wanted to make for ages. It took a while but was well worth it in the end and I froze the extra pasta sauce for a rainy day.
First, I made a chilli oil and confit. I cooked fresh red chillies (a real mission to find in the supermarket!), bay leaves and garlic with olive oil over a low heat for 45 minutes.
Once cool enough to handle, out came the chillies and garlic. They were roughly chopped and added to a jar along with seasoning, vinegar and some of the cooking oil. This was the confit.
The actual sauce was made with the chilli oil, fresh garlic, dried red chillies, fennel seeds and of course, the confit chilli and garlic. Tinned tomatoes made the bulk of the sauce and once simmered, the sauce was tossed with spaghetti. Arrabbiata is famous for being a spicy sauce and this one was definitely that. So addictive!
Arrabbiata recipe on this blog: pasta arrabbiata with grilled spicy chicken.

Ritual: Mighty Greek Moussaka - A moussaka is one of those dishes that I had always wanted to try but just never got round to. Finally, I got my chance. It's a Greek baked dish with layers of lamb mince, aubergines, potatoes and a white sauce.
The lamb was cooked with rosemary, sage, oregano and bay leaves among other things.
Then, the aubergines!

They were salted, patted dried and fried in olive oil.
To finish the layering, a lemon and egg white sauce, potatoes, Cheddar and Feta cheese.
Assembling the moussaka.

Guilty Pleasures: Garlic Tear and Share Bread Rolls - September is the month of soup and what better with a steaming bowl than a garlic butter bread roll?
The garlic butter was packed with garlic, fresh parsley and lemon.
One third was spread at the bottom of the dish.
Breadcrumbs on top to give the bottom of the rolls a little crunch.
I used half wholemeal flour in the recipe and once the rolls were shaped, the second third of butter was dropped on top. Then, they went in to bake!
After baking, the final third of butter was spread on top. The ultimate treat with a bowl of soup!

Guilty Pleasures: Pizza Perfection - These pictures are from Ramadan 2015 when I made a big batch of the pizza dough from the book to make pizzas with for Iftar one night.
The dough is so easy. It's just strong bread flour, dried yeast, salt and water.
The secret is in letting it rise properly. I let this one go for a couple of hours in a warm place.
I made three pizzas and used loads of different toppings.
Time to divide up the dough!
With tomato sauce, spicy chicken and vegetables.
Finished with cheese and baked until perfect.
The most welcome Iftar!
Pizza recipes on this blog: here!

Sweet Indulgence: Scrumptious Sticky Toffee Pudding - How could we resist? I had loads of dates in the freezer that needed using up plus I had recently bought a bundt tin and was looking for an excuse to use it. Enter, this scrumptious sticky toffee pudding.
Let's blame the tin, shall we?
And the dates, in all their defrosted glory.
A batter ready to bake - filled with dates, tea, cinnamon and dark brown sugar.
Baked, turned out and drowned in a decadent caramel sauce.
Anyone for a slice?
Sticky toffee pudding recipe on this blog: sticky toffee pudding with fudge sauce.

Sweet Indulgence: Amazing Apple Pie - With it being Autumn, I couldn't resist baking the apple pie. I've never really been an apple pie fan but I think this one may have converted me.
I even added in a few crab apples from the garden.
The longest task was the peeling, coring and chopping.
But before long, we had an apple pie filling on our hands rich in cinnamon, butter and brown sugar.
Cooled and snug in its flaky shortcrust pastry case.
Mum on pie design.
Ready to bake!
My first proper apple pie!
Enjoyed with lashings of custard!
Apple pie recipe on this blog: apple pie

Sweet Indulgence: Hummingbird Cake - Another classic cake that I'd never eaten let alone baked. Now was my chance! And, it was delicious - packed full of banana, pineapple and pecan nuts before being sandwiched with a lime cream cheese frosting.
I'm not the biggest fan of nuts in cake but these chopped pecans going into the banana pineapple batter may have converted me.
Cakes baked and cool.
I used smaller tins than the recipe recommended so made a few cupcakes with the leftover batter.
To ice the cake, a lime cream cheese frosting. The lime went so well with the sweet, nutty sponge.
Half in the middle and the rest on top!
Sprinkled on top? 

Lime zest and candied pecans.

My first time making the caramel pecans. It crystallised slightly but once smashed up, they were just fine.
Great in cake form.
And, just as good as cupcakes.

Sweet Indulgence: Devil's Double Choc Malt Cookies - These chocolatey cookies caught my eye as I was flicking through the sweet section and I couldn't resist baking them.
The dough came together in one pan and the cookies had Maltesers and white chocolate chips stirred in.
Drizzled with white chocolate and so good dunked into a hot cup of tea!
Chocolate cookies on my blog: double chocolate brownie cookies 

Sweet Indulgence: Brazilian Teardrop Doughnuts - These were amazing! Fluffy, small doughnuts rolled in cinnamon sugar and dipped in a citrus chocolate sauce. What's not to love?
The yeast-free batter is so quick to put together. Then, teaspoons of it are dropped into hot oil. Once golden brown, they're rolled in cinnamon sugar.
So good as they are but even better with a citrus chocolate sauce. I even tried the recipe with gluten-free flour and the doughnuts came out great!

Sweet Indulgence: German Coffee Cake - A cake that is eaten with a cup of coffee except that this one had actual coffee in it.
Beautiful cake batter.

Another caramel! This time with coffee.
Smashed up!
Stirred into a crumble topping to go on top.
Baked to perfection.
I love the two tones in this cake.

Sweet Indulgence: Peanut Butter and Jelly Brownies - How could we not try these?!! A brownie batter swirled with peanut butter custard before being finished with dollops of raspberry jam and fresh raspberries.
Time to assemble!
A one-bowl brownie batter was made and into it was swirled a peanut butter custard.
Raspberries and raspberry jam dotted on top.
Ready to enjoy after our chicken shawarma feast!

Cookbook of the month, previously: nadiya's british food adventure // simply nigella // fresh india // cooking for jeffrey // summers under the tamarind tree

Keep me in your duas please!

Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuhu!

Spice Enthusiast
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