Ep 25, 26: Feb 2019: Downtime: Deliciousness at Home by Nadine Levy Redzepi
Updated: Apr 16, 2019
This was my second cook since I joined the CookBookNook. And it turned out to be quite an adventurous one leading up to the time I finally made it to the designated place. More on that later!
The book is full of recipes that are simple, yet downright delicious, and turn out good enough to be on a plush restaurant menu. It's written by Nadine Levy Redzepi, who's married to the Executive Head Chef at Noma, René Redzepi. No wonder the book's been promoted with the tagline "What do you cook for the world's best chef?" :P
The recipes are a collection of Nadine's family recipes and exude her love for food. There's a quaint description of the dishes before each recipe that make you almost taste it even before cooking!
Since CookBookNook has grown in numbers, we had two meets in February to accommodate everyone. The first meet was held on 17th, and the list of all the gorgeous dishes made is posted for reference. I didn’t attend this meet, but judging by the pictures, everything looked great, and the cured egg yolks looked like a piece of art! I joined the meet on 23rd at Shweta's place. She was attending for the first time but still offered to host us in her lovely garden. This was one of the last meets that we could have outside with still some semblance to a pleasant winter evening :)
Here’s my firsthand account of the evening.
Jahnavi made a wholesome Squash and Carrot soup, artfully decorated with chopped almonds that looked like pine nuts (don’t we just love skilled illusions in food!). Our resident star Ravi, brought more than his share of dishes, like always :) He made the Sweet Potato Crisps – so yummy and crunchy, accompanied with two equally yummy dips - the flavourful Black Bean and the aromatic Herbed Dip. He also made the Sausage Lasagna which was oozing with the goodness of a cheesy, meaty sauce. Shweta made a gorgeous dish of Spaghetti with fresh Tomato and Basil sauce, perfectly seasoned, and meticulously cooked the pasta while we were still on our appetizers. It was perfectly al dente by the time we moved on to the main course.
Coming to my adventure of the day, I had chosen to make Nadine’s Roast Chicken and Potatoes with Garlic and Thyme. Now, I always order a full chicken from Aamir’s, but this time, due to a flurry of multiple orders, they forgot to clean the innards of the chicken, which I’d never done myself before. So imagine my shock when I discovered that while washing it : - and let me tell you, having your hand up a bird’s ass, is not a nice feeling :O Anyhow, once I got through that, I marinated the chicken in buttermilk to keep it moist while being roasted in the hot oven(although the book doesn’t call for it). After this, I rushed to see a few houses as I was house hunting during that time. Came back home after a couple of hours, set the oven to pre-heat, took out the chicken from the marinade and seasoned it, and then prepped the potatoes. Once done, I set the oven timer and kept the chicken and potatoes to roast in my beautiful 60-litre Morphy Richards oven :D
Meanwhile, I had another house left to see, so I rushed there, and on my way back, got stuck in the building elevator due to a power cut. Owing to the power backup not kicking in, I had to be rescued by the security guards by forcing the doors open in between two floors and being pulled up. Whew! Quite dramatic, to say the least :P
Thankfully, when I finally reached home, the chicken was almost done. I amped up the temperature for another half an hour to get the beautiful brown colour on the chicken skin as per the recipe’s instructions. Despite the overwhelming day, the recipe turned out great (as per the others members' reviews, not bragging!) The only thing I need to do differently next time is to figure out a way to avoid the bitterness of the lemons stuffed inside the chicken. The bitter after taste was in the innermost pieces of the chicken.
For dessert, Amrita made the Old-fashioned Apple Tart, which was the most gorgeous, buttery and delectable tart I've ever eaten! I went for a second helping even though I'm not a dessert person :) and the entire tart was demolished in minutes.
All in all, this was a great book to cook from, and I'll be trying out many more recipes from it in the coming months.