I love a good cook book. Flicking through the pages, seeing all the amazing foodie photos, and dreaming about what i’m going to try. Now that’s what i’m talking about.
You may think i’m sad, but i’m not ashamed to say. Food is my life.
A lot of the time i’ll freestyle my recipes or get them online, but I’ve recently been trying more from actual real life cook books. From the moment I first laid eyes on Jamie Oliver’s incredible creation, the Five Ingredient Cook Book, my outlook on cooking changed. I’m more excited to follow new recipes, and it’s such a satisfying feeling when it really works. Especially when it’s something I’ve never made before.
I still use the Jamie Oliver bible on a weekly basis, and you can see my favourite recipes here.
For Christmas this year I received a new cook book, one i’d never heard about before but reading the title I was very excited to give it a go. One Pound Meals by Miguel Barclay. Now I know you’re probably thinking exactly the same as I was, surely you can’t make anything decent for £1?! But there are some seriously tasty sounding recipes in the book, so I decided to give it a go.
Here’s what i’ve made so far:
Ultimate £1 Rosti
What tempted me with this recipe is the poached egg placed perfectly on top. I’m sucker for an egg, in any form. Scrambled, fried, in a cake, they’re just so good. I decided to try and be clever with the Rosti because I didn’t want to grate the potato by hand, (I don’t have the greatest track record when it comes to grating) so I used a ricer. NOTE: this does not work. Instead of ending up with a perfectly crispy nest of potato I ended up with a patty of baked mash.
Not quite what the recipe had described however all was not lost! I think i’ve pretty much perfected the poached egg technique now, and the only other thing I needed to do was to bake the Parma ham and put it all together.
A pretty simple recipe – and HOORAY, it worked! The combination of crispy Parma ham with a runny poached egg was delicious, and although the Rosti hadn’t quite worked, I can imagine how good it could have been. This feels like the perfect brunch recipe, and I can’t wait to try it again and fingers crossed, perfect it.
Chorizo-stuffed Sweet Potato
For some reason, I always forget to use sweet potato in my every day meal planning. I don’t know what it is but it always just slips my mind. The title of this recipe made me drool and I can tell you the real thing was even better.
This recipe is SUPER simple. Like quite a few of the recipes in this book and something I think can be really helpful is that it doesn’t take much preparation. Just pop the sweet potato in the microwave and mix up the insides with the rest of the ingredients. The creme fraiche on top is just the perfect addition needed to top it all off.
Some of the recipes i’ve tried in this book aren’t really very filling, but this was perfect. There’s everything you need, the veg, the meat, and the seasoning. I really would recommend it and I would without a doubt make it again. Now all I have to do is remember that sweet potatoes exist …
Sweetcorn, Courgette & Feta Fritters
Ok so you know I said i’m obsessed with eggs? Here’s the evidence. I decided next to try yet another recipe with a poached egg plopped on top. And you know what, it was a stellar decision from me. These fritters are to die for – Unbelievably easy to make and so delicious.
I also love feta, and I think for this recipe it’s perfect. It just adds a little more flavour to the fritters which could be a tad bland without. The only thing missing from this recipe in my hungry girl eyes would be some meat. I wasn’t exactly hungry afterwards, but I do think it would have been tasty with some sausages, or even bacon. Something to dip into the runny yolk of the egg. That’s the nice thing about these fritters, they are so versatile I think they’d go well with a lot of things to form part of a delicious meal.
Right, full honesty here … I really didn’t like this recipe. In an effort to save money, i’d planned my recipes so a lot of the ingredients crossed over. Hence the spinach, feta, chorizo being used in a few of them. This recipe used feta, and I thought it sounded like an interesting idea as well as being very healthy.
As you can see in my photo, and it pains me to even include it, it was a bit of a mess. I found the leeks stringy, I think because they’d been oven cooked whole rather than in slices, and the whole dish was pretty dry. I was also ready to eat a horse afterwards. So overall, not a huge success.
I like to think of these things as a learning curve and after all, not every recipe is going to turn out how you expect. What I did take away from this is an idea. I actually think the combination of feta and leeks is quite nice, just in a different form. So i’d like to experiment with that on the side of another meal.
Overall, I think this a great little recipe book to have on your shelf. I’m all for saving money, and although each recipe isn’t exactly £1, if you’re savvy you can plan a very cheap week.
Some of the recipes would maybe be better as a side dish, but the flavour combinations are really nice.
What’s your favourite recipe book? I’m always up for trying something new, so let me know!