It must therefore come as a bit of a surprise when I reveal that I hardly ever use these books for their intended purpose, that is to cook from them. I am much too much of a rebel and inventor in the kitchen to be told what to do by a recipe :) I do sometimes feel slightly guilty about this though...
That is why I have decided to set a challenge for myself. I will choose one cookbook a week and cook a dish from that book. That way each and every one of my beloved books will get its very own fifteen minutes of glory and spotlight time!
There are some truly wonderful recipes in this book.
The one I chose for my challenge was this butternut squash stew.
I had every intention of following the recipe to the word, but realised within minutes that this was not going to happen! I didn't have enough butternut in the house and had to add in some sweet potato to make up the difference.
I also decided on a whim that I was going to oven roast these veggies before adding them to the stew. I personally think that you get the best flavour from vegetables by covering them in glistening olive oil, adding a few little cubes of butter and roasting them in a hot oven.
I also used a red onion in favour of the required brown one, as I much prefer the sweet and mild flavour that it brings to the stew.
The end result was not too dissimilar to Hugh's own, and I was very happy that I had more or less achieved my goal.
The proof was in the eating though, and I am very pleased to report that it was clean plates all around :) That's a win in my book!