Friday, 3 September 2010

30 days / 30 things Day 3

Right, today's is my favourite cookbook - or rather one of. This is more than tricky. I have so many of them, the Husband rolls his eyes every time another one finds it's way into the house.

What do I look for in a cookbook ? Well, obviously firstly that I'd actually cook some of the recipes in there, although in the case of some it's just pure food porn ;-). I'd love a copy of the Gordon Ramsay Recipes from a 3* chef  but would I ever use it ? Secondly I'm a very visual viewer so the pictures have to be great. 

Recently there was an article in the Observer Food Monthly about the top 50 cookbooks of all time see here & here ! I think I had only a handful and I'd not even heard of some of them ! 

The only one in the top 10 that I own is Nigel Slater's Kitchen Diaries which I love and this is my book of the day ! It's written in such a beautiful way, I read it more as a book than as a reference book and it's one I go back to again and again. I love the way sometimes he just can't be bothered to cook and ends up with chips and a beer. Even sleb chefs have off days ! It represents perfect seasonal cooking and reads like a diary, more than once I've gone to a particular month to get inspiration for dinner. The photos are tremendous too and guaranteed to get your mouth watering.

This is my favourite recipe from the book

serves 4

50g fresh white breadcrumbs
400g minced pork
1 lemon
handful parsley roughly chopped
6 sprigs of thyme leaves stripped
2 tbsp grated parmesan cheese
6 anchovy fillets chopped

2 tbsp olive oil
small knob butter
200ml chicken stock

Put the pork and breadcrumbs in a bowl, add the lemon zest and squeeze the lemon
Add the herbs and lemon juice, then add the anchovies and parmesan
Shape into 18 or so flattened balls (approx 1 tbsp of mixture each) & lightly flour
Heat the oil and butter in a heavy based pan and cook the polpettine in small batches
Don't turn too frequently or they will fall apart and you won't get the lovely sticky crust
Tip the fat from the pan and then add the chicken stock and allow to reduce

You can serve with paparadelle pasta, rice or couscous and a crispy salad.

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