social spark Aisling Beatha: Hairy Dieters Recipe Reviews


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Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Hairy Dieters Recipe Reviews

I have been sharing a lot of recipes from the Hairy Bikers new Hairy Dieters book, but I don't always have time to take photos as I am cooking or even of the finished product.  I did however promise to share reviews of each of the recipes we try, so here are some of those.

Together in this post I will review and comment on:

Cajun Spiced Chicken with Potato Wedges and Chive Dip

Harissa Chicken with Bulgur Wheat Salad

Cottage Pie

Rich Beef and Ale Casserole

Italian Meatballs with Chunky Tomato Sauce

Cheese, Leek and Onion Pasties

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Cajun Spiced Chicken with Potato Wedges and Chive Dip
page 67
Well, we didn't quite follow this recipe completely.  I still had some Cajun spice mix that I made for a previous recipe in the cupboard, so I used that.  The chicken took longer than I expected BUT I don't think I bashed it thin enough with the rolling pin at the start. The wedges were just right and the dip was great, especially since I used chives straight from the garden.

Harissa Chicken with Bulgur Wheat Salad
p 68
Really worth squeezing the lemon over this, it lifts it.  This time, when bashing the chicken breasts, I got them the right thickness and they cooked quicker than in the Cajun Spiced Chicken.  The salad is great and you could easily add more vegetables for those with heartier appetites.  I did need to use two pans for both of these recipes though, so be aware of that when getting equipment ready.

Cottage Pie
You're going to get fed up of me gushing about these recipes aren't you?  Believe me they don't always work as expected.  However, this one was delicious.  I would recommend letting the meat sauce cool a little before trying to add the potato and leek topping. Another good idea would be to find an ovenproof dish of the right volume but deeper, rather than the lasagne dish I used.  That meant the potato was spread really thinly, so much so it was difficult to cover all of the meat.  We will certainly cook this again but I will rethink which of my dishes I cook it in.

Rich Beef and Ale Casserole
Usually I am the only member of this family to eat Parsnips, but everyone ate everything on their plate for this one.  We used stout rather than ale and since the cans of stout we had were 330ml I actually used all of both cans, rather than the 500ml the recipe calls for, lowing the amount of stock accordingly.  If you follow that route, don't forget to take account of the extra calories.  We froze the portions we didn't use that night and ate them a week or so later and it was just as tasty as first time around.

Italian Meatballs with Chunky Tomato Sauce
My 17 year old foodie son cooked this for us as I had to fetch his dad from work.  We used plain pork mince rather than beef or a mixture of the two.  The meatballs did break up a bit on cooking.  I think the extra calories of one egg in the whole recipe might be worth it for the binding power.  Another good dish that we will cook again.

Cheese, Leek and Onion Pasties

These weren't as cheesy as we would have liked, but the whole thing of using bread dough instead of pastry worked really well.  I would make one suggestion, MAKE SURE the potato mix is cooled completely before you add the cheese and form the pasties.
We have decided that for us, we would prefer more cheesy flavour and so we will double the amount of cheese next time, accounting for the extra calories.  We will also only grate half of it, dicing the other half, so that there are mouthfuls where you get more of a cheesy hit.

I am really enjoying the recipes from the book, even if they don't all quite come out the way I expected, they are tasting delicious.

So far I have blogged about these recipes from the book:

You can check out the sites I link up to over in my sidebar. Before you go, why not check out my recipes index page, or my craft projects index page, I am sure you will find something there to interest you.

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