Friday 15 May 2015

17–Alice Hart, Alice’s Cook Book - Cooking the Books


Starter:   Sticky Tamarind Chicken Wings

Main:      Lamb, Courgette & Halloumi Burgers

Dessert:  Honey’s Raspberry Turnovers

Alice Cooks
I've had this book for a few years now. It was originally sent to me by the publishers as a sample copy, and I've since cooked a few things. The recipes are that little bit different, and unusual, but generally seem to work (apart from a cake disaster I remember!) Anyway, this time, I chose recipes I haven't tried before...sticky wings, lamb, courgette and halloumi burgers, raspberry turnovers served with the simplest vanilla icecream you'll ever make, which I’ll post at a later date.

Starter: Sticky Tamarind Chicken Wings

Easiness: 8/10

Taste: 10/10

Make again: 10/10

Cheats & Changes: none – though I couldn’t find ‘fresh’ tamarind, so used a little pot of it already mixed from Tesco and added the whole pot. Skip the stage in the recipe where the tamarind is mixed with water.

These were a case of combining, leaving and roasting. My only quibble was finding free range chicken wings. The supermarkets tend to see and sell wings as a ‘cheap’ box of leftovers, and are, therefore, usually part of their value range. I did hesitate, and before cooking again, will attempt to find a higher welfare box of wings. Combine tamarind, groundnut oil ( I used olive) , runny honey, dark muscovado sugar, soy sauce, grated fresh ginger, squashed garlic cloves and chilli flakes. Pop into a bag with the wings and leave to marinate after giving everything a good squash together. Roast in a single layer at 190 degrees c for 30 minutes.


I prepped a batch of these and left in the fridge ready to watch the boxing a couple of weeks ago and they went down a treat! So much so that family in Mexico felt to urge for wings as well and had to order some in! The recipe is here, but it’s really one of those where leaving out one ingredients, or swapping for another, won’t really alter the flavours drastically, and it’ll still be delish!

Main: Lamb, Courgette & Halloumi Burgers

Easiness: 8/10

Taste: 8/10

Make again: 8/10

Cheats & Changes: none

Try to use the best lamb mince you can for the burgers as this way you'll get a softer, more 'falley apart' burger. It's a case of combining, then cooking the ingredients, (courgette with the water squished out, lamb, halloumi, mint) so really not a lot to it, apart from grating the courgette and halloumi. The Greek yoghurt dip with mint is a classic combination with lamb and, therefore, obviously works really well. Even my little one wolfed down her burger with dip...the first burger she's actually enjoyed! The link is here.


Dessert: Honey’s Raspberry Turnovers

Easiness: 10/10

Taste: 9/10

Make again: 10/10

Cheats & Changes: none

For the raspberry turnovers, again, it's not hard. Cut pre-bought, pre-rolled puff pastry squares, fill with raspberries and a sprinkling of sugar, glue together with milk or egg and varnish the top before baking on high for 20 minutes. If you need a recipe it's here, but it really is a case of assemblage!


All in all, this little gem surprised me! All three recipes were quick and easy, especially compared to the disaster of a raspberry cake I had previously tried, and all were delicious. I’ll definitely be digging it out again in the near future!

 Alice's Cookbook - Paperback - 9781844008889 - Alice Hart


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Merlotti x

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