Diana Henry recipes…

January 30th, 2012
Diana Henry Cook Simple - effortless cooking every day

Diana Henry Cook Simple - effortless cooking every day

Regular readers of this Smoky Jo’s blog will remember when award-winning food writer Diana Henry came on one of our courses last year.  She kindly presented us with a copy of “Food from Plenty – Good food made from the plentiful, the seasonal and the leftover…” – a wonderful book full of ideas, inspiration and recipes.

Yesterday I was distracted from my toils by a courier who had brought me a copy of Diana’s “Cook Simple – effortless cooking everyday”.  It is so well laid out, so easy to find ideas – and so easy to cook from!  I happened to be defrosting some pork chops that I had bought from Orton Farmers Market for supper and I wondered whether there was a suitable recipe. Yes! Pages of quick, easy and wonderfully tasty chop recipes!  I did “smothered pork chops with mustard, thyme and butter” (and apple and wine and potatoes… but you can’t put all the ingredients in a recipe name, can you?!)  Delicious.

There’s a section for chicken recipes, another for fish recipes etc etc and most pages have suggestions for slight variations.  Then there’s the pudding section… which like other bits of the book has lots of ideas for “next-to-no-cooking” recipes. But tonight I am doing Johanna’s Swedish Apple Pie.  Well why wouldn’t I?  Smoky Jo is after all a Johanna…  that and the fact that it has a cakey twist, as well as almonds!

UPDATE:  Since drafting this post we have had Normandy roast leg of lamb – with a gravy made from cider and creme fraiche – mouth-wateringly wonderful; and we’ve had Johanna’s Swedish Apple Pie twice… the lemon zest in the not-quite-crumble-not-quite-cake absolutely makes the pudding.  AND I cooked cod on bean puree with anchovy dressing.  The flavour combinations were amazing – and yet the cod was still coddy.  The only change I made was to leave out parsley – I love fish dishes but so many recipes insist on a mountain (or so it seems) of fresh parsley and I have tried – truly I’ve tried! – to like it, but no.  Anyway, I replaced the parsely in the dressing with coriander – and the fresh lift it gave it was I’m sure as good as you would have got from parsley.  And anyway, I liked it!


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