“One-Pot chicken with dates and caramelised lemon” from “nothing fancy”

Kirstin: This week, it’s just the boy and me. Tom is away, travelling. And Tate is at university. So I’ve had to think a bit harder about what I can cook for just the two of us. This looked like a good bet, as I could see I could scale it down. Or indeed up.

As you may all be aware I’m not generally keen on fruit with meat. But I’m trying a little harder than previously. I don’t want to miss out on flavours, you know? Also I trust Alison so if I am going to experiment a little more, then it’s always going to be with her. And then there was the Urfa chile and caramelised lemon which sealed the deal.

I made this earlier on in the day so it could get good and proper yum. And it was totally worth it. The flavours were so very deep with just the right amount of chile, perfect for winter. Miles has already asked for this again later in the week. I may well take him up on his request as he’s having braces fitted and I am happy to do anything to help ease his pain.

“One-Pot chicken with dates and caramelised lemon” from “nothing fancy”

“Crushed Peas with Burrata and black olives” from “Nothing fancy”

Kirstin: ALL my friends know how much I have adored the salads from Alison Roman’s first book. I make them ALL THE TIME. The one with melon is just brilliant, so unexpected and so good (you can see a peek of it in this pic). So I was particularly curious to see what was in the salad chapter of this book. And then I saw this little gem. And it is a gem. Because the textures go so well, all the flavours too. It is a delight to make (crushing the peas by hand was a revelation) and even more so to eat. ALSO, for the record, I used two kinds of olives, because the colours.

YUM!

“Crushed Peas with Burrata and black olives” from “Nothing fancy”

“Coconut-braised chicken with chickpeas and lime” from “Nothing Fancy”

Kirstin: Ah, this is amazing. Like #thestew but with chicken too.

Tom: AND GOCHUJANG!

Kirstin: Which is why I made this. Because I know how much you love gochujang.

Tom: I do. I do!

Kirstin: A whole two tablespoons of it, that is! I loved that all the slow cooking with the spices added a real depth to the flavour. And for the record, this only has one can of coconut milk, not two as she recommends. I think that was plenty to be honest.

Tom: And I saw you packing leftovers into the fridge. Was that for lunch tomorrow?

Kirstin: It’s part of my new test for a recipe. How well it warms up the next day. Just kidding. But we had some leftovers and it will be perfect between morning surgery and before I go out to do a home visit at work tomorrow. I tend to get very peckish before doing home visits which makes me hangry. Not a good look when seeing patients. How do you think this compares with the original stew?

Tom: I loved everything about this. I also loved the peanuts as the garnish too. I hope you’re making this again.

Kirstin: I will be. Have no fear!

Postscript.
Kirstin: AND the leftovers were AMAZING!

“Coconut-braised chicken with chickpeas and lime” from “Nothing Fancy”

“Slow-roasted oregano chicken with buttered tomatoes” from “Nothing fancy”

Kirstin: Alison Roman does it again. Takes a simple recipe, like roasting a chicken, and turns it on its head. And we are all left wondering why we didn’t think of it all before. This time she takes tomatoes and adds them to the pan while the chicken roasts. She adds some oregano and also garlic to help make a tasty marmalade. And then here’s the clever bit. Once the chicken is ready, you add the jam to pieces of sourdough toast. It is quite an extraordinary recipe and has already made it into my pantheon of best roast chicken recipes.

“Slow-roasted oregano chicken with buttered tomatoes” from “Nothing fancy”

Cookbook of the month, November 2019, Nothing Fancy by Alison Roman

Kirstin: I stan Alison. So this month’s book was not difficult to choose. I’d preordered it in May!

Maureen: I think everyone is aware of your love for Alison. I love her recipes too. So simple and so tasty. It’s still going to be difficult to follow Diana Henry’s book though. Such a good book!

Kirstin: The UK publishing date was pushed back a week which made me lose sleep but the book is here now. Still not in kindle form too but it’s here.

Maureen: November is all Thanksgiving in our part of the world so lots of meals with lots of people. This book will be a part of that.

Kirstin: Excellent. Let’s just crack on!

Cookbook of the month, November 2019, Nothing Fancy by Alison Roman

“Chocolate and red wine cake” from “From oven to the table”

Kirstin: I am so not a baker. But I could not resist the idea of a red wine AND chocolate cake. And this turned out to be a good thing. Because this was the yummiest, moistest cake ever. The ganache was incredible with just a little icing sugar to make it super shiny.

And if you’re British, you’ll understand it when I say this was a like an extremely classy Jaffa cake.

As Tom said, if you only make one cake, let it be this one.

“Chocolate and red wine cake” from “From oven to the table”

“Chicken and rice with coconut, green chillies, coriander and lime” from “From the oven to the table”

Kirstin: Miles does not like coconut milk. So I had to really persuade him that this would be good. He is also into weightlifting at the moment (he’s almost 14 so this is just a phase) so he told me all the exercises he was going to do AFTER he had eaten. And about carbs and protein. He decided he actually liked coconut milk after eating this recipe so there is that. As did our cat, Luca. But without the weightlifting, because he likes jumping more.

Anyway, I digress. This took more than a little bit of preparation. I listened to Sinatra with Count Basie as I chopped and fried so it did not feel like any kind of chore. Dancing across the room to fetch the lime leaves out of the fridge is quite the mood. It was also completely worth every second. The rice was outstanding seasoned with cumin and coriander amongst other yummy things, as was the chicken and vegetables.

Gah! At this point I could make just Diana Henry recipes from this book for the rest of time. And that would be fine with everyone! This one would be regular.

“Chicken and rice with coconut, green chillies, coriander and lime” from “From the oven to the table”