It was a good day at the Cookbook Store not too long ago... I went in, very innocently. I didn't think I would find anything, but I hadn't been in awhile and I really wanted to walk around and browse.
Imagine my surprise when I found not one but TWO cookbooks! First up, David Rocco's Dolce Vita. What a beautiful cookbook! Next up, Jamie Oliver's Ministry of Food. Woo hoo!
G often complains that I buy lots of cookbooks and food magazines, but that I don't often cook things from them. Part is because I am busy and disorganized, the other part is because it's so hard to settle on things that I often just end up making pasta with garlic and oil! But not this time. NOPE. We picked two recipes, one from each, and made them for dinner.
First up was a beef stew featured in David Rocco's book. The stew was amazing. We cooked up some Israeli couscous (which was delightful) instead of rice or potatoes. We haven't made the Israeli couscous in awhile and had forgotten how much we both really liked it!
YUM! The picture is awful. Apologies. I am putting away the new camera until I can get someone who knows how to use it to show me what to do. Anyway, the stew was really nice. It had a really rich flavour and looked remarkably like the photo in the cookbook!
Next up?! Jamie Oliver's lasagna recipe...
This was slightly less successful. This is supposed to be an easier version of lasagna, and I met a few roadblocks... first... the meat sauce was nowhere near right. I followed the recipe to the letter, but it was runny and had no flavour. I doctored it up and it was fine. Then, you were supposed to use creme fraiche. I couldn't find any, and all the recipes to make your own took too long. I read on the internet that you could substitute sour cream. Well, no you can't, actually. At least not in this. The sour cream sauce just melted into the lasagna noodles. It was strange.
BUT at the end of the day, the flavour was there and while not something I would rush to make again tomorrow, if I had some creme fraiche, I would give it another go.
The Ministry of Food is an interesting idea. Jamie Oliver wants to teach people how to cook. He wants those people to teach people. And then he wants everyone to get off their duffs and start cooking. And so we did.
All in all, a fruitful day at the Cookbook Store!