How to Cheat at Cooking by Delia Smith

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  • Burgundian braised pork with borlotti beans

    • redjanet on December 27, 2012

      I'm not really sure why Delia classifies this as a cheat's recipe. Not that it was difficult, in fact quite the opposite, but unlike a lot of other recipes in this book it didn't use a lot of pre-packaged ingredients (unless you count tinned tomatoes). It was a simple enough stew to throw together and then leave for a couple of hours while I got on with other things, so perfect for a Sunday. Overall, the results were okay, if a bit bland, so I was kind of disappointed. This didn't taste bad and was perfectly edible, but when I have something bubbling away in the oven for a couple of hours I generally expect something a bit tastier when it's ready.

  • Bangers with caramelised red onions and mustard mash

    • redjanet on December 27, 2012

      This is one of my OH's favourite dishes which I regularly make. It's a very easy way to make flavourful sausages by frying them in a pan and adding red wine, red wine vinegar, thyme, seasoning and caramelised onions from a jar and it comes out well every time no matter what type of sausage I have used. Delia gives instructions on how to make mash using frozen mashed potato, but I just make my own.

  • My mum's macaroni cheese

    • redjanet on December 27, 2012

      Aside from the ready-made cheese sauce this dish incorporates, I'm not really sure how much of a, "cheat's," recipe this really is considering I had three saucepans on the go on the hob as well as getting the grill ready for the final finish. That said, this was not a difficult recipe to make, and though the ready-made ingredients made it a bit more expensive than normal, it was really very tasty. Unlike Nigella's "Express" mac and cheese that I recently tried, the cheese in this recipe didn't coagulate and was still smooth and consistent throughout. I didn't add cherry tomatoes as suggested as I'm not really a fan of roast tomatoes and felt the dish had enough flavour anyway with the added bacon, onion and mushrooms.

  • Caribbean chicken with salsa

    • redjanet on December 27, 2012

      This was a bit different for my OH and me, but as it was pretty straightforward I thought I'd give it a go. The marinade on the chicken worked quite well and tasted better than I thought it would once it was cooked, as I was worried it might be a bit too sour with all the ginger and lime juice. The mango salsa was very nice, though maybe slightly too oniony. I left out the coriander as I don't really like it, and it wasn't missed. I stirred in the leftover black beans (unheated) with the basmati rice I made on the side as suggested and overall it was a colourful, flavourful dish which was very filling.

  • Sesame scallops with rice noodles

    • cook_fresco on December 01, 2021

      Really nice. Next time I wouldn’t toast the sesame seeds and only 1 tbsp toasted sesame oil. Used Amoy straight to wok medium rice noodles which worked well. Could sub prawns or squid for the scallops.

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  • ISBN 10 0340487925
  • ISBN 13 9780340487921
  • Published Dec 31 1999
  • Format Hardcover
  • Language English
  • Countries United Kingdom
  • Publisher Hodder & Stoughton General Division
  • Imprint Hodder & Stoughton Ltd


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