Thursday, 22 September 2011

Cookbook Challenge #1

So, last night boyfriend and I implemented the first "cook from cook book" challenge *grins* I posted about it on Tuesday, but the general point is that I have a bunch of cookbooks yet boyfriend and I tend to rotate the same few meals. To expand our repertoire we decided to try new recipes from my cookbook library. The plan is to try to do this weekly, although without any pressure or anything - sometimes it just won't happen!

Last night we made the effort to try something new, from this book:

If I recall correctly, I picked this book up pretty cheaply from the Book People, who bring a selection of books to my office every now and again. I know I've never made anything from it though!

We picked Chicken and Pancetta with Creamed Leeks, which sounded tasty (at first I was put off because I thought the leeks would be pureed, but they're actually cooked in a cream, thyme and white wine sauce with onions and garlic, much nicer).

Unusually for me, I followed the recipe almost exactly. Well, apart from the cream crisis - boyfriend went to fetch the ingredients and discovered that the supermarket had no fresh cream of any description. In fact his choice was between canned squirty cream (obviously not an option!) and Elmlea whipping cream *laughs* But it worked out ok.

I was very aware when I was dishing up (or "plating" if I want to sound fancy *laughs*) that I was planning to take a picture of this, and was then concerned that the colour of the leeks might not have enough contrast with the white plate to look as nice as it should. I think it looks ok though ;)

We both really enjoyed this, the pancetta and leeks go so well together. The only thing I didn't like was the lack of a starch. I like carbs with my dinner, so I'd made extra leeks to make up for it. In hindsight, a smaller portion of leeks and a chunk of crusty bread would have worked better.

Overall though, it was definitely a success.


  1. Mmmmmmm, that is very tasty looking.

    I have always enjoyed chicken wrapped in pancetta ham :)

  2. mmn looks good! It seems Elmlea-subbing is a common feature :)

  3. That chicken looks delicious! We quite often have to use Elmlea instead of cream as our corner shop hardly ever has the real stuff when we need it.

  4. An excellent combination that was destined to work out, looks lovely.

  5. Those leeks look seriously tasty!

  6. Very nice! I agree a piece of crusty bread would have rounded out the dish.

  7. I've recently joined a group with friends to try out new cooking recipes together once a month. It's a great exploration of both cooking skills and tastes. Great to add to your life like this!

  8. That looks wonderful. I never know what to do with leeks.

  9. It looks tasty, however, I had to look up leeks in the dictionary. Mine usually looks greener. :-)

    I have a monthly magazine with lots of recipes and I try to cook at least one. But mostly I cook the same things over and over again. Why not? They are our favourites.

  10. Thanks for pointing me to your recipe challenge! Nice one to kick off with - but I totally agree, I struggle without some carbs (a recently diagnosed diabetic came to stay with me for 10 days, she was having to go through a 100% carb free phase - that was HARD catering!)

  11. I've been trying to use my crock pot once a week, with some rather dubious results. Let's just say that your meal looks great whereas the bean and pesto pasta crap I made last week tasted about as good as it sounds. :-/


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