As I was saying the other day, what with all the bloggers and the foody TV around, I almost don't bother with cookbooks any more. And, as the year is coming to an end, I thought I should tip my hat to a few of the bloggers whose dishes have been rocking my world of late.
Firstly, the totally awesome Peter Minakis of Kalofagas. Vine Grower's Lamb is one of the many dishes that he has posted about that I have wanted to try ASAP. And I actually had most of the ingredients! A stash of vine leaves frozen from spring, a joint of mutton (turned out to be unboned, but boning out a leg of lamb is a useful skill to learn) and some home made cheese combined to make an absolutely delicious dish.
I served it with a butternut and barley pilaf and a dollop of yoghurt, rather than making the sauce.
Kavey, of Kavey Eats, was the source of this lovely ox-cheek Bordelaise recipe. I'd heard all these reports about the Waitrose "forgotten cuts" range of meats - the fatty, bony, sinewy bits that reward patience with sweet, gelatinous meat and full-bodied sauces, but when I actually got my hands on some of their ox cheeks, I was at a bit of a loss. This recipe was the perfect way to showcase them. And was so good that I have bought some more ox cheek to make it again - but this time I was able to source marrow bones.
But the absolute stand-out, "really? does that work? ...oh my god can we have this again tomorrow?!", dish of recent weeks has been Kat & Matt's Lasagna Soup from A Good Appetite. It was the addition of the ricotta that threw me, but it works!
I used chorizo, and fresh basil and oregano instead of dried. I didn't blend it, because Paul prefers a chunky soup. I also added a bit of extra chilli sauce (it was really cold!) and took Kat's advice about adding some spinach for colour (although not the winter greens in the diet bit) and used green lasagne. Absolutely perfect. Rib-sticking, spoon-stand-upping and gorgeous. It'd probably be wonderful made with some leftover ham & turkey, if you have such things lying about after Christmas. This is definitely what you want to eat when it is -5C outside, like it is now.
Merry Christmas Bloggers! Thanks for another great year!