Here is my first little roundup of mini recipe reviews. Life has been pretty hectic of late (thanks 2020…) and finding time to write full recipe reviews with the amount of detail I’d like while looking after a toddler has been difficult, so I shall be writing these weekly roundups. I’ll still try to put a full review on the blog when I can, but in the meantime still provide you with my honest opinions of recipes I’ve tackled and recommend the best ones for your own kitchen adventures!
This was definitely a good food week for us- there were no outright disappointments and narrowing down our favourites was hard- but the stars were a Minestrone Soup we made for lunch one day and Kleftiko Style Lamb Shanks that we had for our Sunday dinner.
Thai Curry Fishcakes with Sweet Chilli Dressing
These were very easy to make and quite enjoyable. I thought the idea of turning something that has classically been thought of as a starter into a light meal by serving with salad leaves and changing the dipping sauce into a dressing was great, especially if you’re trying to eat a low calorie diet. On the other hand, I thought the dressing was too sweet for a dressing rather than a dipping sauce and I didn’t think the fishcakes themselves were particularly special. Pleasant, but not amazing.
Would I recommend it? If you have some leftover Thai red curry paste and some fish- go for it. If you have a particular hankering for Thai Fishcakes and not a ton of time? Go for it. I probably won’t bother to make them again though.
From September’s Delicious. Magazine. Bizarrely the recipe’s on the Australian website and not the British one- https://www.delicious.com.au/recipes/provencal-burgers-quick-ratatouille/207dcccd-e0ec-4717-ab06-8b15ee155d76
This recipe came from one of my favourite food magazine columns, wherein delicious. magazine pairs a dish with a film- in this instance Disney’s Ratatouille. The burgers were a really fun fusion of two classics. The recipe was clear, easy to follow, largely accurate timings. I did have to cook the burgers for slightly longer than stated to bring them up to medium rare. The flavours of the burgers paired well with the flavours of the ratatouille. For ease of eating I actually ended up chopping up the burger into chunks to spread it throughout the panini bun and, when eating it ended up eating it as two open sandwiches with a knife and fork. The portion size was very generous, I could only eat half, and you definitely wouldn’t want to serve anything with it- or if you wanted the recipe to go further, you could serve half size portions (as open sandwiches or just cut the panini in half) with fries and it would be plenty. If you served it as open sandwiches, coy could pop them under the grill to melt the mozzarella, which would be a nice touch.
Would I recommend it? Definitely- especially if you watch Ratatouille while you eat it! It would also be a good recipe if you have tomatoes or courgettes to use up or just if you want a fun twist on a burger.
Filipino Style Adobo Coconut Chicken
From Waitrose Magazine’s Curry Supplement. The recipe doesn’t appear to be online, but the supplement is available free in the app.
I’ve discovered, purely by accident, that adobo is one of my all time favourite dishes. When I was little, Uncle Bens did a variation of sweet & sour sauce called Sweet Soy & Sesame (or something along those lines) which my sister and I loved. Adobo is the closest dish I’ve ever found to my memories of that sauce. This particular recipe was accurate; easy to make; balancing sweet, sour and umami textures. We used chicken supremes instead of chicken thighs as I’m currently trying to lose my extra lockdown pounds, but it was still delicious.
Would I recommend it? I would, but there’s a different chicken adobo recipe I prefer, so it’s not going into our family book.
Kleftiko-Style Lamb Shanks
Both my husband and I love slow cooked lamb, but I can only have it in cheat days. This was definitely worth it though. If it looks a little… crusty in the picture, that’s because I was making it whilst feeding a toddler her dinner and forgot to add the 100mls of wine. Had I remembered, it would have been amazing and, even without, it was fantastic and my husband was immediately asking for it to go in our book of favourites.
Would I recommend it? Absolutely. Make this if you like lamb!
Verdict? 4.5/5- and I suspect the lost half point was purely due to my own error.
From the book Skinny Pasta
This was one of those lunches that you make slightly because you feel like you ought to make something healthy, but ended up being thoroughly enjoyed not just by me but by my husband who isn’t that keen on either soup or meat-free dishes. It was a joy to make and to eat and very much ended up being more than the sum of its parts. It had the added bonus of being low calorie and extremely healthy, but it didn’t seem like diet food when you were eating it. It did take about 45 minutes (although most of that is simmering) so it wasn’t the quickest lunch dish.
Would I recommend it? Yes- virtuous comfort food that’s easy to make, what’s not to love.
Confessions first- I didn’t make my own pitta bread as suggested in the recipe, I used shop bought. This one was a known quantity, as it was from our book of family favourite recipes or ‘the book’ as I like to call it. I just love this way of cooking chicken breasts- they have that gorgeous chargrilled, lemony, oregano taste that instantly transports you to Greece and although marinading seems like it will be a faff, it’s so easy and really cuts down on cooking time. A winner all round.
Would I recommend it? Yes, it’s really quick and tasty- also a massive crowd pleaser if you have fussy eaters and easily customised (eg I use 0% Total in my tzatziki to cut calories and nobody notices)
Fish with Asian flavours, rice and veg just always seems to work somehow, doesn’t it? It warms you up in the winter, refreshed you in the summer, fills you up but doesn’t bloat and rarely takes longer to prepare than the rice takes to cook. This was no different- the miso based sauce on the grilled salmon was super tasty and the baby corn and pak choi added the perfect texture. Nothing groundbreaking, just extremely pleasant. Also, I didn’t have to change the cooking time on the salmon which was a nice change to a lot of recipes that seem to think we want to eat dry, overcooked fish.
Would I recommend it? Yes- it was quick, tasty and healthy.