So how is everybody feeling? Dishes done? Hangover receding from last night’s festivities? Feeling a bit peckish again? Yes? Excellent. Because whereas yesterday I shared my favourite restaurant dishes of 2013 with you, today I’m sharing my ten favourite recipes that I made here on Cooksister (in chronological order of posting). Are you sitting comfortably? Then let’s go!
1. Easy crab and chilli pasta with rocket – one of the few recipes that I’ve found where you can use substitute crabsticks for real crab without (much) shame – a surprisingly light and zesty pasta dish.
2. Sautéed Brussels sprouts with nduja and preserved lemon – for everyone who has ever said that sprouts are boring. The smoky, spicy, porky goodness and the flavour spike of the preserved lemons raise these humble sprouts up to awesomeness.
3. Strawberry and rhubarb spiced upside down cake – take two of the English summer’s most iconic crops and transform them into this rather grown-up spiced, caramelly cake. Easy to make and a huge hit at summer barbecues!
4. Mint chocolate chip brownies – the result of trying to make space in my cupboards and finding a bag of choc-mint chips that needed using up. Chocolate brownies, but with the added deliciousness of a fresh minty twist, like the love-child of a brownie and an After Eight mint thin.
5. Glazed radishes on garlicky radish greens – a revelation for anybody who’s ever only eaten radishes in a salad. Braising the radishes slowly with stock and sugar leaves a sweet-salty sticky glaze which is perfectly offset by the slight bitterness of the wilted greens. Sublime.
6. Pattypan squash pasta with capers, chilli and Parmesan – a light and summery pasta dish with added zing from the chillies and capers, and very pretty too!
7 . Baked white chocolate cheesecake with rhubarb - another result of the glut of produce from Nick’s allotment, this time rhubarb. Tangy rhubarb. Sweet white chocolate. A dense, rich baked cheesecake. What’s not to like?
8. Gem squash with a cheesy spice creamed sweetcorn filling - keeping it South African, this was a happy combination of Nick growing a bumper crop of gem squash and Ocado beginning to stock South African products including KOO creamed sweetcorn. A cheesy, spicy and delicious taste of home.
9. Beetroot risotto with goat’s cheese, rocket and pine nuts – as a recent convert to beetroot, I am now determined to find as many ways as possible to use it. This classic combination of flavours works beautifully as a salad so I figured it woudld also work as a risotto. I was right.
10. Cranberry and clementine upside down cake – ending the year on a high note with this easy but delectable upside-down cake filled with Christmas flavours. A huge crowd-pleaser.
Stay tuned for the final of my “2013 in review” series where I will sum up my travels for the year – but before we finally leave the topic of food, here are some of my favourite recipes that my food blogging friends published in 2013. Bon appetit!
- Colleen’s spectacular salad of grilled avocado with prosciutto and pine nuts
- Marie’s recipe for making your own boerewors spice mix
- Kit’s chocolate pear tarts with Amarula ice-cream
- Meeta’s beautiful Kanelbullar (cinnamon buns)
- Michelle’s all-singing, all-dancing fabulous dal makhani (lentil curry)
- Andrew’s Italian carrot cake
- David’s gloriously simple fried halloumi cheese with olives
- Jamie’s Assyrian spinach pies
- Rosa’s fantastic farro salad with roasted pumpkin, dried cranberries and a ras el hanout vinaigrette
- Barbara’s Kahlua pumkin-spice brownies with brown butter and kahlua frosting
- Jackie’s awesome wild rice, pecan and cranberry salad
- Rosana’s decadent fresh fig cake
- Krista’s indulgent brioche with dark chocolate chunks
- Ilva’s hearty zucchini, pancetta and farro salad
- Kalyn’s warming black bean chilli with lime and cilantro
- Sarah’s lemon courgette pesto tart