Bought from: Booktopia - I preordered this one as I had seen some behind the scenes of the book on Georgina’s Instagram and knew it would be worth getting as soon as it was released!
Recipes Made: Chicken Cinnamon and Sweet Tomato Orzo p.162, Coriander and Lemon Roast Chicken p.165, Slow Roasted Pork Shoulder with Quince p.170 and Bergamot Loukoumia p.247.
I made the Chicken Cinnamon and Sweet Tomato Orzo as a nice tasty weeknight meal. It was delicious and the leftover orzo was enjoyed for a couple of days after. I would even make it again without the chicken as the pasta element was so good. I didn’t like using chicken thighs with the bone in as the recipe suggested though. It think it is the chicken I have available to me, but the pieces were just massive and hard to eat and also difficult to fit into the pan. Next time I would buy boneless thighs or drumsticks just because that is what my family generally prefers.
The Coriander and Lemon Roast Chicken is a recipe that is right up my families alley so to speak. We love a good tasty roast chicken, and coriander and lemon are flavours we often use and enjoy a lot. This roast chicken is a low fuss affair compared to some other recipes we make which was great, and it had beautiful flavour and everyone enjoyed it. So much so we have made it twice now. You could easily make this on a weeknight if you have time, otherwise its a lovely more simple meal to prepare on the weekend. We ate it with garlic mashed potatoes which we loved.
The Slow Roast Pork Shoulder with Quince was one of the first recipes that stood out to me in Taverna. I absolutely adore quince, and look forward to their season every year. Luckily when Taverna was released, quince season was just beginning so it was perfect timing. This is the first recipe I made, and while I don’t usually cook a lot of meat and had never cooked a pork shoulder (or made crackling for that matter!), this turned out really well. The skin was super crispy and the quince sitting below the meat were soft and tender. The combination of quince and pork is a beautiful one, and I really can’t wait to make this again next year when quince come back into season.
The recipe for Bergamot Loukoumia (the Greek Cypriot version of Turkish Delight), was about 90% of the reason I knew I needed to buy this book. I saw some behind the scenes things on Georgina’s Instagram when she was working on the book, and one time noticed something about bergamot. I knew instantly that if this book had any mention of bergamot I needed to own it. My bergamot obsession rivals my love of quince, so much so, that I think bergamot may win over as my favourite fruit of all time.
We have a bergamot tree, the fruit from which was maybe two or three months away from being ripe and ready when Taverna was released. This recipe for loukoumia was quickly bookmarked for when the bergamots were ready. I then went outside one day and saw a branch from the bergamot tree had broken off. There were a few bergamot lost with the branch and I couldn’t throw them away even if they weren’t 100% ripe yet. I picked a few more to lighten the load of the tree and used half of what I picked to make these Bergamot Loukoumia.
The process of making these, as confectionary making goes, is quite easy, you just need a little time. Mine didn’t go a deep golden colour (maybe as the bergamots I used weren’t ripe), but they tasted absolutely amazing. I added a couple of drops of Natural Bergamot Essence to mine as I was worried my bergamots wouldn’t have a strong enough flavour, but next I make them I wouldn’t bother with it. I found they don’t store well (which I think is common for homemade Turkish delight), as the loukoumia soak up the icing sugar mix dusted on them and create a bit of an oozy mess - but, if you can look beyond that you are in for a really amazing treat!
Favourite Things About the Book: I really loved finding out more about Greek Cypriot food. I don’t know a lot about Greek food generally, and had no idea that Cypriot dishes varied in anyway from those on the mainland. I also really like that this book is deeply personal for Georgina and her family, it is like a celebration of their heritage and food history all the while bringing the reader along for the fabulously tasty journey. This book is really unique and unlike any I already have (which is saying something!).
Bookmarked Recipes (to make later!): Grilled Spicy Prawns with Feta and Ouzo p.74, Garlic Butter Prawns with Orzo p.130, Pastitsio p.172-3, Classic Moussaka p.176-7, Jewelled Pilafi p.209 and Pistachio and Strawberry Celebration Cake p.224.