I do love a nice surprise, who doesn't, so when I got home a couple of days ago, to discover that Z had bought me a new cookery book, I was delighted. The book in question is a copy of Meze Cooking by Sarah Maxwell and dates back to 1992, a few years before I caught the cooking bug.
Z found the book in our local charity shop and it is clearly from the home of somebody that doesn't/didn't cook but does/did smoke. Not one crease or sticky page anywhere and the unmistakeable aroma of tobacco on every page. I was excited enough to see past the nasal assault and in no time at all inspiration had leapt from the page.
I was going to cook Tandoori Chicken as a Friday Night Take-away for this evening's meal, but all that has now changed. The chicken that was destined for Indian spices was now marinating in olive oil, white wine, garlic and industrial quantities of dried oregano*. The marinated chicken was then simply grilled, turned and basted until golden. I also cooked black-eye beans with spinach from the same book. This is such a simple and versatile side dish of greens, cooked, seasoned and mixed with a pulse of your choice, that I think we will be doing similar things again. We will definitely be cooking the chicken again, it will be perfect for a barbecue when summer comes.
*We use a lot of oregano and we have recently been given a kilo bag of it, by a friend returning from their holidays. If you're using supermarket bought dried spices this may not be the recipe for you as you'll need a couple of jars just for the marinade.