I decided not to make resolutions for the new year, and instead decided on a few projects (from small to somewhat ambitious) that I would try and complete in the next twelve months. One of those was making 50 new recipes, with the goal of making different things to my usual recipes – not just 50 cakes, for examples, although a cake has already featured.
I’m up to 9 recipes so far:
2/50: Spicy African Chicken Stew – adapted from this recipe. I do wonder how this dish can declare itself to be from an entire continent. Presumably African cuisine varies. It also contains an entire jar of peanut butter, but it does make a rather large quantity – so possibly a bit questionable health-wise, but delicious.
3/50: Carrot Soup with Tahini & Roasted Chickpeas – from a Smitten Kitchen recipe. This was fantastic – a beautifully spiced soup, but the things I loved most about it was the lemony tang of the tahini mixture, stirred into the soup, and the crispy chickpeas. The roasted chickpeas were amazing, I’m going to make them on their own as a snack when we have guests.
4/50: Braised Pork Shoulder in Apple Cider – adapted from this recipe, using carrots instead of parsnips. Braising is my new obsession. Talk about transforming cheap cuts of meat. I don’t particularly like pork, but thought it was really transformed by the cider. The Husband: “best pork I have ever eaten”.
6/50: Braised Leg of Lamb – made from this recipe. I neglected to take a photo of it (not a big loss. Braised meat is not terribly attractive). It was fantastic – sweet and fruity and falling off the bone. The Husband: “This is even better than the pork.”
7/50: Fig & Prune Bliss Balls. I looked at a few recipes for these, then hurled things into the food processor until they came together. Starting with a cup of almonds, then when they’re pretty well pulverised, adding a cup of figs, a cup of prunes, and half a cup of pepitas. Form into balls, roll in coconut, put in fridge. Tasty little healthy snacks.
8/50: Honey Cake -from a recipe in The Joy of Cooking (which someone has set out here. Dense and moist, with an intense honey flavour. I’d like to figure out if you could make it sugar free, but I imagine it would make the texture more gingerbread-like.
9/50: Lentil Salad – adapted from this recipe. It claims to be the best lentil salad ever, and it is pretty damn good. I baulked a bit at the mixture of spices, but it is lovely – spicy and slightly sweet, and the lentils and currants go beautifully together.