Post Script: More Please! My Family Recipes You’ll Love to Cook and Share – Manu Feildel with Clarissa Weerasena

A word of warning – do not open this book if you are hungry! Eat first- read second.

more-please

More Please

My Family Recipes You’ll love to Cook and Share

Manu Feildel with Clarissa Weerasena

Murdoch Books

ISBN: 9781743368459

 

Description:

Co-host of the highest rating TV show in the nation, My Kitchen Rules, this time showing us the easy accessible food his family eats at home.

As the cheeky co-host of one of the country’s best-loved TV programs, MKR, Manu Feildel gets to sample some of the finest home cooking in the nation. His favourite meals, though, are most often those he enjoys at home with his loved ones.

 

Like many of us, Manu’s family has diverse cultural roots – French, of course, but also Chinese, Malay and Sri Lankan. And he loves to put a spin on his favourite dishes from Spain, Italy and the Middle East. He and his partner, Clarissa, draw on all these influences when cooking at home. The result is a collection of simply delicious recipes that tick all the boxes: quick, easy and enticing for all the family on those busy weeknights, plus plenty of special-occasion dishes you can whip up to impress a crowd.

 

This is real food, with no skimping on flavour, and infused with all the flair and flamboyance for which Manu is renowned. It’s sure to have you coming back for more.

 

Author bio:

Manu Feildel has become one of the most popular personalities on Australian television as co-host of the highest-rating prime- time tv show My Kitchen Rules. He also stars in My France with Manu and Around the World with Manu.

 

Manu grew up in his father’s restaurant but dabbled for some years with performing in the circus before he took an apprenticeship as a chef. He studied in London and then moved to Sydney to take the position of head chef of Bilson’s, before opening and running his own restaurants, which he has since closed, now concentrating on his busy tv career.

 

 

My View:

A word of warning – do not open this book if you are hungry! Eat first- read second.

 

Ok – I have now grabbed an apple and feel confident I can sit and read the rest of this book without delving into the fridge/pantry to see what I can find to tempt me to eat. J  This is a spicy mix of French/Malay/Sri Lankan and Chinese – what a tempting array of recipes to choose your next meal from.

 

Slight pause in typing to go check out pantry again…still nothing that tempts me there but I could really eat some on Manu’s Salmon Terrine (in fact I think I will add this dish to my Christmas menu) and Manu’s Spaghetti Bolognese (made with beef stock, I think this ingredient will make this dish shine) is just what I need right now…or maybe Pumpkin and Lemon Thyme Risotto ( have you noticed I haven’t even mentioned the desserts yet?),  delicious easy to make family recipes and comfort foods – so much to choose from…and you can always finish the meal off with a banana fritter, omelette soufflé with berries or a chocolate  and chilli cream brulee if you have a little room left in your tummy.

 

More please! This writer is hungry!

 

Brenda’s Top Ten Aussie Author Reads of 2016

It has been a great year for Aussie authors and readers alike. Here is guest reviewer  Brenda’s Top Ten picks of 2016. In no particularly order ( click on links to see Brenda’s reviews on Goodreads.)

fear-is-the-riderFear is the Rider

Kenneth Cook.

 https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1506198294?book_show_action=false&from_review_page=1

 

scared-to-deathScared to Death

Rachel Amphlett

 https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1774526984?book_show_action=false&from_review_page=1

 

red-dirt-odysseyRed Dirt Odyssey

Kath Engebretson

https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1819270982?book_show_action=false&from_review_page=1

the-last-crocodile-hunter

The Last Crocodile Hunter

Bob Irwin and Amanda French

  https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1795309647?book_show_action=false&from_review_page=1

fearlessFearless

Fiona Higgins

https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1696711298?book_show_action=false&from_review_page=1

 

the-chocolate-tin

The Chocolate Tin

Fiona McIntosh

https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1654937999?book_show_action=false&from_review_page=1

 

the-art-of-keeping-secrets

The Art of Keeping Secrets

Rachael Johns

https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1682401798?book_show_action=false&from_review_page=1

 

the-wifes-tale

The Wife’s Tale

Christine Wells

https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1613736070?book_show_action=false&from_review_page=1

 

the-game-you-played

The Game You Played

Anni Taylor

https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1622987075?book_show_action=false&from_review_page=1

 

Darkest Place

Darkest Place

Jaye Ford

https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1476681496?book_show_action=false&from_review_page=1

 

Thanks Brenda, there have been some awesome books written by Australian authors this year, it must have been a real task to choose just ten. 

 

 

 

Post Script: Our Chemical Hearts – Krystal Sutherland

Today we have guest reviewer Rachel sharing her thoughts on:

our-chemical-hearts

Our Chemical Hearts

Krystal Sutherland

G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers

ISBN: 9780399546563

 

 

Description:

John Green meets Rainbow Rowell in this irresistible story of first love, broken hearts, and the golden seams that put them back together again.

Henry Page has never been in love. He fancies himself a hopeless romantic, but the slo-mo, heart palpitating, can’t-eat-can’t-sleep kind of love that he’s been hoping for just hasn’t been in the cards for him—at least not yet. Instead, he’s been happy to focus on his grades, on getting into a semi-decent college and finally becoming editor of his school newspaper. Then Grace Town walks into his first period class on the third Tuesday of senior year and he knows everything’s about to change.

Grace isn’t who Henry pictured as his dream girl—she walks with a cane, wears oversized boys’ clothes, and rarely seems to shower. But when Grace and Henry are both chosen to edit the school paper, he quickly finds himself falling for her. It’s obvious there’s something broken about Grace, but it seems to make her even more beautiful to Henry, and he wants nothing more than to help her put the pieces back together again. And yet, this isn’t your average story of boy meets girl. Krystal Sutherland’s brilliant debut is equal parts wit and heartbreak, a potent reminder of the bittersweet bliss that is first love.

 

Rachel’s View:

Our Chemical Hearts is a beautifully written, character-driven YA novel about first love and it’s heartbreaking inevitability.

26-yeard old Australian Krystal Sutherland’s debut is utterly heartbreaking yet at times incredibly uplifting. Filled with humour and pop-culture references, it’s the kind of book you stay up all night to read.

Henry Page – self-aware 17 year old, budding author and film buff, has never been in love. But that all changes when Grace Town walks into his life. But don’t for one minute think this is a story about love at first sight, or even a typical boy-meets-girl story. Grace dresses in oversized men’s clothing, looks vaguely unclean and utterly unhappy, walks with a cane and seems pretty disinterested in life, making her as far from a typical love interest as you can get. But on top of all that she is enigmatic, smart, witty, and her way with words soon has Henry hooked. Sure enough he falls in love, but through the soaring highs and deepest lows, Grace has to ask if he really is in love with her – or just the idea of her.

And this is where things become really real. Because love is complicated, life is not straight-forward, and sometimes as much as we want things to work out, they just don’t. As Henry finds out more about Grace’s past, he becomes more determined to love her, purposely ignoring the warning signs and massive ups-and-downs of the relationship because of the way it has changed his world. It’s no doubt they’re both going to be transformed by this ride and it’s inevitable, far from happily-ever-after ending.

But it’s that moment when Henry finally realises how little he actually knows about Grace – this girl he supposedly loves with every fibre of his being – that there will be many a reader shouting ‘preach’, because damn this book is relatable!

One of the things I loved most about this book were the pop-culture references – while many new authors try to avoid mentioning specific technologies, celebrities or other aspects of today’s digitally-driven world in an attempt to be ‘timeless’,  Krystal Sutherland has cemented this novel firmly in the world of today. The snippets of poetry (“I love you as certain dark things are to be loved, in secret, between the shadow and the soul”), movie quotes, celebrity name drops and dozens of other offhand pop cultural references pepper this book giving it a relatable, realistic edge that a lot of first novels lack.

My love for this story withstanding, it does struggle in some areas – I hated how Grace was constantly referred to as ‘broken’ because of her mental and physical illnesses and think the book would have gained a lot by sharing some of her perspective so that her history and struggles could have been more than just a plot device.

All in all, Our Chemical Hearts is fast-paced, quick-witted bittersweet story about love, loss, and how these things shape our lives. It is a darkly beautiful, honest love story that you’ll want to come back to again and again.

“Love doesn’t need to last a lifetime for it to be real. You can’t judge the quality of a love by the length of time it lasts. Everything dies, love included. Sometimes it dies with a person, sometimes it dies on its own. The greatest love story ever told doesn’t have to be about two people who spent their whole lives together. It might be about a love that lasted two weeks or two months or two years, but burned brighter and hotter and more brilliantly than any other love before or after. Don’t mourn a failed love; there is no such thing. All love is equal in the brain.”

 

Thanks Rachel

 

Guest Post – Anthea Hodgson – Writing…and Life

the-drifter

Welcome Anthea to my blog. Anthea is a Western Australian writer who has just had her debut novel, The Drifter, published by Penguin Random House Australia. Anthea’s book is a most enjoyable read; it is an authentic, original story that gives voice to many contemporary issues in a complex yet enjoyable read… Themes of fractured families, death and atonement and survivor guilt are explored skilfully in this heart-warming coming-of-age drama.

anthea

Anthea has had what may seem a magical passage to publication.  A woman in a hurry, she wrote her first novel The Drifter in five weeks, and pitched it to Penguin Random House in five minutes. She was then signed to a two book deal. WOW!!! I can hear the gasps of appreciation (we all know how hard it is to score a publishing deal) and to have written this book in just five weeks? Amazing! I invite Anthea to tell us about her writing journey.

 

Anthea have you always yearned to be a writer?

Absolutely! I have always loved books and writing, but I learned early on that it was an impractical passion on which to base a career, so I shoved the urge deep down inside me and left it to fester in a nice way, while I worked in radio, organising and writing interviews. It was a fascinating job (with access to free books – yay!) but once I had children I found it hard to fit radio shifts in with my two small kids and a husband who worked away much of the time, so I felt as if it was time to finally give it a bash.

 

When did you first start writing?

As an adult, I started just before I wrote The Drifter. I haven’t ever studied writing because I hated the thought of anyone reading my work, and I think I’d be too confused by input from a writing group or formal course. I think I last wrote in year ten at school, although I had a kind of journal in my early twenties. The Drifter was the first time I sat down and plotted out a manuscript, although I did have a false start a year before with a manuscript that never really resolved itself. I think Drifter worked for me because I wrote it down scene by scene on little yellow cards and literally worked from the top of the pile to the bottom, in order.

 

What inspired The Drifter?

The Drifter was inspired initially by my love of the country and my home-town. I knew I wanted to write a rural romance, so the idea of a drifter coming to town seemed a good way to do it, because it allowed the protagonist and therefore the reader to discover how the community and the farm worked at the same time. Just before I wrote it my father died of Alzheimers disease in a nursing home in Perth after a long and horrible illness. There are a couple of themes that came from that time – the idea of what makes a good death, and a good life, and the idea that you never really lose the people you love – because you can take them with you. Dad’s death showed me that, and I take him with me everyday.

 

Five weeks to write a complete novel- seems like an incredible feat, how did you achieve this?

My number one rule for writing the Drifter – get out of bed! Writing the Drifter was a mad, joyful dash for me – I had always wanted to write, I had found my plot and my themes, and I couldn’t write it fast enough. The Drifter was a wonderful experience. It was the coming together of my love of the country, of writing, of the people I grew up with, of laughter, and of my dear dad. The Drifter came galloping out of me at three o’clock every morning, surrounded by the wonderful warm and quirky women of Yealering, the beautiful countryside, and the strength of their relationships and love. The romance between Cate and Henry was so much fun to write, but I think I wrote the manuscript quickly, thousands of words a day, because I already knew the characters so well and because I had something to say, about friendship and about death. My farm is described in the book, our old dog, the place we buried him, members of my family, friends – everyone got stuffed into the Drifter’s pages.

 

Getting the attention of a publisher – how did this happen?  

This was the hard part, and I think it is probably difficult for most writers. For two years I sent Drifter out into the void, with no response whatsoever. I sent it to all of the major publishers and never heard back, I entered it in a competition two years in a row, where it only had to be in the top 15 entries of 28 to get to the next round – it wasn’t. It sat in slush piles and it was rejected by agents. And so it would have gone on, unless the wonderful Romance Writers of Australia hadn’t come to my aid. They have a yearly conference with a valuable offer – the chance to pitch to a number of agents and publishers for five minutes! The year I pitched the conference was in Melbourne. I flew to Melbourne and stayed a few days. I was too freaked out to actually attend the event – I pretty much wandered about the city chanting my pitch to myself like a mad woman. And somehow it worked – I lined up outside a door, someone rang a little bell and I sat down in front of Ali Watts from Penguin and said, Hello, my name is Anthea Hodgson – and I’ve written a rural romance about death. This one small act of bravery resulted in a two-book deal with my dream publisher – I was so lucky Ali took a chance on me, with no training or track record, and with no online presence. It was both exhilarating an extremely humbling to be handed my dream. I never mind the early starts – they are a privilege!

 

Tell us a little bit about your next book and when we can expect to see it.

Well! Funnily enough I’m just finishing it off now. Penguin was silly/generous enough to offer me a couple of extra weeks, so I’m obsessing and tinkering about at 3am again, getting it ready to deliver. It will be out around August of 2017. This novel might be called The Cowgirl, or perhaps The Firebird, I’m not sure, but it follows the story of Deirdre, the wonderful old battle-axe who stole so many scenes in The Drifter. It is her story – how she came to be such a tough old nut, and is also the story of her granddaughter Teddy, who is trapped on the farm, milking the cow – just as her grandmother has always done. Or is she? What lies buried next to the old pepper trees – and could it change her life?

 

Where can readers connect with you?

I am hoping to do some library talks around Perth and some country areas early in the new year – check out my website and I’ll keep you posted!

My facebook is Anthea Hodgson Australian Author

Website is Antheahodgson.com

Twitter @AntheaHodgson

Insta Antheahodgson

As you can see – I like to keep it simple..!

 

Thanks you for sharing so generously with my readers and congratulations on writing a fantastic book!

Thanks so much! I’m so happy you enjoyed The Drifter – as you can tell – it’s very close to my heart!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Post Script: The Drifter – Anthea Hodgson

the-drifter

The Drifter

Anthea Hodgson

Penguin Books Australia

ISBN: 9780143797241

 

Description:

Cate Christie is a party girl, unable to commit to anything, until she is involved in a tragic accident that changes everything. To escape her guilt and her parents’ bitter disapproval, Cate leaves Perth for her Aunt Ida’s isolated farm in country Western Australia.

 

Henry is a drifter, a young swagman-like character who wanders onto the Christie family property and takes up residence in a disused shed. With secrets of his own, the last thing he wants is to get tangled up in Cate and Ida’s lives.

 

Against their own better judgement, the fates of Cate and Henry and Ida inexorably intertwine and they learn to face the realities of life, death and letting go.

 

A witty, charming and moving debut rural romance about what makes a good death and, more importantly, what makes a good life.

 

 

My View:

Debut Perth writer reflects on survivors guilt in a moving, fast paced most enjoyable coming of age read that ticks all the boxes.

 

Wonderful realistic characters

Natural and genuine dialogue

Local (Western Australian) settings – rural and city

Discusses many contemporary social issues including redemption and atonement, survivor guilt, end of life choices, the survival of small rural towns …

Has a fast paced narrative

Is mysterious and complex

Has an honest and trustworthy voice

Weaves into the narrative a few twists

And an ending that…will you will have to discover that yourself.

 

What more could you want?

Post Script: Red Dirt Odyssey – Kath Engebretson – Guest Review

Today we have guest reviewer Brenda sharing her thoughts on:

red-dirt-odyssey

Red Dirt Odyssey

Kath Engebretson

Atlas Productions

ISBN: 9780995377653

 

Description:

The campervan sits in the driveway waiting for Alice–a jaded academic–and her husband, Will, to retire and hit the road … any day now.

But when Will suddenly dies, Alice is lost. Unhappy at work, and with her future plans thwarted, she rises daily, puts one foot in front of the other, existing not living.

Until one day, she climbs into the campervan and decides to go it alone. Escaping from her city life she heads across the Nullarbor, taking work as a shearers’ cook, and meeting a colourful cast of characters who will change the way she views the world.

Red Dirt Odyssey is a reminder that life can change in a moment but when one door closes, another opens. A story of contemporary Australian life explored – loss and loneliness, friendship and renewal, risk and adventure, set against the dramatic landscapes of outback and coastal Australia.

Brenda’s View:

Devastated at the sudden, shocking death of her beloved husband, Alice was buried in her grief. She took extended leave, then resigned, her academic position not enticing enough to keep her there. Will had been part of her life it seemed like forever – his death just prior to their retirement and travel in their campervan felt cruel and unjust. Alice’s married son and daughter were supportive but they were grieving as well…

Gradually Alice found a way out of the fog; a plan started to form in her mind for herself and her future. And when she tentatively and nervously told her children she was going to leave her home in Melbourne and head across the Nullarbor in her campervan, by herself, they were shocked. But after much preparation, Alice was finally on her way – heading for adventures she’d previously thought she’d share with Will; now doing it alone.

And adventures she found! A mistreated pup she named Matey joined Alice on her odyssey; before long they were inseparable. Alice was a good cook – her meeting of Tom, boss of a shearing team – and his invitation she join the crew as shearers’ cook was an eye opener for Alice. And she loved it – exhausted but happy, she made friends with the “boys” and they raved about her cooking. As she continued across the Nullarbor to Kalgoorlie and up the west coast, the people she met and scenery she viewed had a profound impact on her. When one door closed, another definitely opened…

Red Dirt Odyssey was a thoroughly enjoyable and entertaining read. A mix of emotions rippled through this book – happiness and new friendships; sadness and loss; grief and new beginnings – and it was set to the backdrop of the magnificent outback and coast of Western Australia. Aussie author Kath Engebretson has blended Indigenous Australians with ease into Red Dirt Odyssey – the varied and diverse characters are wonderfully written. I have to add that I love the cover as well! Highly recommended as a new voice in Australian fiction. 5 stars.

With thanks to Atlas Productions for this copy to read in exchange for my honest review.

Thanks Brenda

Sticky Toffee Pudding with Banana Caramel Sauce: Bread Street Kitchen – Gordan Ramsay

cover-bread-st-kitchen

Recipes extracted from Bread Street Kitchen by Gordon Ramsay and the Bread Street Kitchen Team (Hachette Australia). Available in hardcover nationally at $49.99 and in ebook at $19.99

 

Sticky Toffee Pudding with Banana Caramel Sauce

“Being in the City of London, our old-fashioned nursery puddings are always popular, the stickier and more comforting, the better. Our sticky toffee pudding is exactly how it should be – soft and squidgy with plenty of banana caramel sauce to pool on top. Serve with clotted cream or crème fraîche and a big smile.” p. 142

 

Serves 12

 

For the pudding

  • 325g stoned dates, roughly chopped
  • 275g dark soft brown sugar or dark muscovado sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 90g butter, melted and cooled slightly, plus extra for greasing
  • 300g self-raising flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda

For the banana caramel sauce

  • 300g butter, cut into pieces
  • 375g light soft brown sugar
  • 150g dark soft brown sugar or dark muscovado sugar
  • 375ml double cream
  • 2 just ripe bananas, chopped (optional)

Clotted cream or crème fraîche, to serve

Tips

The pudding can be made a day or two ahead. Simply make it as directed, then cool completely before wrapping it well and storing in a cool, dry place. The sauce can also be made ahead and kept in the fridge, then reheated gently to serve. Any pudding or sauce leftovers will freeze well (separately) for up to 1 month. Thaw at a cool room temperature, then gently reheat to serve.

 

  1. Preheat the oven to 190°C/170°C fan/Gas 5. Grease and line the base of a 30 x 23 x 4cm deep baking tin with baking parchment.
  2. Put the dates into a saucepan with 225ml water. Cook over a low–medium heat until soft and mushy, and the water is almost all absorbed, 4–5 minutes. Transfer to a blender or use a stick blender in the pan and blitz to a purée, then leave to cool slightly.
  3. Whisk the brown sugar and eggs together in a large bowl for a minute or so, until a bit paler in colour and light, then whisk in the melted butter to combine. Sift the flour, baking powder and bicarbonate of soda together in a separate bowl, then stir this into the egg mixture, a third at a time, using a large metal spoon. Stir in the date purée until combined. The mixture will be soft. Pour it into the prepared tin, spreading gently to smooth the surface. Bake for 25–30 minutes, until risen and firm but springy to the touch.
  4. While the pudding is baking, make the banana caramel sauce. Combine all the ingredients, except the bananas, in a large saucepan and heat gently until the sugar has dissolved and the butter has melted, stirring often. Increase the heat to medium and bring to a fast simmer, then bubble for 1–2 minutes, just to thicken the sauce slightly. Remove from the heat and leave to cool for a bit.
  5. Pour the sauce into a blender (or use a stick blender in the pan), add the chopped bananas, and blitz together until smooth and combined. Warm through gently before serving.
  6. Check the pudding is cooked by inserting a knife into the centre – it should come out clean. Remove the pudding from the oven and turn out onto a wire rack. Peel off the lining paper, invert the pudding onto a board, then cut into 12 squares to serve. Alternatively, cool the pudding slightly in the tin, then cut into squares and remove the portions, leaving the lining paper behind.
  7. Pour some of the sauce over each portion (don’t be shy), then drizzle extra on the plates. Serve with a dollop of clotted cream or crème fraîche.

sticky-toffee-pudding

Lamb Rump with Pea Puree & Griddled Asparagus: Bread Street Kitchen – Gordan Ramsay

cover-bread-st-kitchen

Recipes extracted from Bread Street Kitchen by Gordon Ramsay and the Bread Street Kitchen Team (Hachette Australia). Available in hardcover nationally at $49.99 and in ebook at $19.99

 

lamb-rump-with-pea-puree-and-griddled-asparagus

Lamb Rump with Pea Puree and Griddled Asparagus

 

“The best way to celebrate the arrival of lamb in the spring is to serve it with other ingredients that come into season at the same time, in this case, Jersey Royal potatoes, asparagus and peas. You could use fresh peas for the purée, but as frozen peas are frozen within hours of being picked, they are considered just as fresh if not fresher than unfrozen ones.” p.20

 

Serves 4

 

4 lamb rumps, about 200g each

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 300g spinach, rinsed
  • 500g frozen peas
  • 250ml hot vegetable stock
  • 2 mint sprigs, leaves picked
  • 25g butter
  • 500g asparagus spears, trimmed
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • Sea salt and freshly ground
  • black pepper
  • Beef jus (see page 234), to serve (optional)
  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C/180°C fan/Gas 6. Season the lamb rumps with a little salt. Heat the olive oil in an ovenproof frying pan over a high heat until very hot, then brown the rumps for 2–3 minutes on each side, until well caramelised.
  2. Transfer the pan to the oven and roast for 8–10 minutes, until the lamb is cooked but still pink in the centre (or cook for 15–20 minutes, if you prefer well done). Remove from the oven and leave to rest for at least 5 minutes before carving into slices. Keep warm.
  3. Meanwhile, make the pea purée. Put the spinach into a large heatproof bowl. Pour boiling water over to cover and leave for 30 seconds, just until wilted. Immediately drain and cool quickly under running cold water. Squeeze out any excess water, then pat dry on kitchen paper and roughly chop the spinach.
  4. Put the peas into a saucepan, pour over the hot stock and simmer until tender, 3–4 minutes. Drain well, reserving 100ml of the stock, then blitz the peas and reserved stock in a blender or food processor with the spinach, mint and butter, to make a purée. Season to taste with salt and pepper (you may not need salt as the stock is quite salty). Keep warm.
  5. While the peas are cooking, blanch the asparagus in a separate large pan of boiling water for 2–3 minutes, until just tender. Drain, immediately refresh in cold water, then drain again well and pat dry on kitchen paper.
  6. Heat a griddle pan until it’s very hot and then drizzle in the vegetable oil. Add the blanched asparagus to the pan (you may need to do this in a couple of batches, depending on the size of your pan) and cook over a high heat for 2–3 minutes, turning once, until charred all over.
  7. To serve, put a spoonful of the pea purée onto each plate, then sit the lamb slices on top and drizzle with beef jus. Arrange the griddled asparagus alongside, then serve with crushed minted Jersey Royal (or other) new potatoes.

Ricotta Hotcakes with Banana & Stem Ginger Butter: Bread Street Kitchen – Gordon Ramsay

cover-bread-st-kitchenRecipes extracted from Bread Street Kitchen by Gordon Ramsay and the Bread Street Kitchen Team (Hachette Australia). Available in hardcover nationally at $49.99 and in ebook at $19.99

 

Ricotta Hotcakes with Banana and Stem Ginger Butter

“These hotcakes really do sell like their proverbial cousins… made with ricotta to make them light and tasty, these delicious pancakes are never off the menu.” p.45

 

ricotta-hotcakes

Serves 4–6 (makes about 14 hotcakes)

For the hotcakes

  • 250g ricotta
  • 150ml whole milk
  • 3 large eggs, separated
  • 75g plain flour
  • ¾ tsp baking powder
  • Pinch of sea salt
  • 30g butter, for frying

For the stem ginger butter

  • 60g butter, at room temperature
  • 2–3 tbsp maple syrup
  • 2 large balls of stem ginger in syrup (about 40g in total, drained weight), drained and finely chopped
  • 2 bananas, sliced on the diagonal, to serve

Tip

Use the batter when freshly made so that it doesn’t lose its fluffiness, otherwise it may deflate a bit on standing.

 

  1. First make the stem ginger butter. Put the butter, maple syrup and stem ginger into a small bowl and mix together using a spatula until smooth and combined. Cover and set aside while you make the hotcakes.
  2. Put the ricotta, milk and egg yolks into a mixing bowl and beat together just until combined using a balloon whisk. Sift the flour, baking powder and salt together, then gradually beat this into the egg yolk mixture until smooth and combined.
  3. In a separate large, grease-free bowl, whisk the egg whites until they form stiff peaks. Carefully fold half of the whisked whites into the batter, then fold in the remaining half until evenly combined but the mixture is still light and fluffy.
  4. Melt a knob of the butter in a large, non-stick frying pan over a low–medium heat until foaming. Cook the hotcakes in batches over a medium heat (adjusting the heat if necessary so the butter doesn’t burn), using 2 tablespoons of batter per hotcake (you can cook two or three at once, but don’t overcrowd the pan). After spooning in the batter for each hotcake, gently spread each one with the back of the spoon to make a circle about 8–10cm diameter. Fry for 1–2 minutes until golden brown, then flip the hotcakes and repeat on the other side. Remove to a plate and keep warm while you cook the remaining hotcakes.
  5. Serve the warm hotcakes topped with dollops of the stem ginger butter and the banana slices.

Post Script: Gordon Ramsay’s Bread Street Kitchen: Delicious Recipes for Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner to Cook at Home – Gordon Ramsay

cover-bread-st-kitchen

Gordon Ramsay’s Bread Street Kitchen: Delicious recipes for breakfast, lunch and dinner to cook at home

Gordon Ramsay

Hachette Australia

Hodder & Stoughton

ISBN: 9781473651432

 

Description:

‘If you think you can’t eat as well at home as you do in a restaurant – think again. I’m going to show you how to cook stunning recipes from Bread Street Kitchen at home.’

GORDON RAMSAY

From breakfast to dinner and everything in between, this is a collection of 100 fresh new recipes from Gordon Ramsay and the award-winning team at Bread Street Kitchen. Like the restaurant itself, the book is all about relaxed and sociable eating, using fresh ingredients, simple techniques all delivered with the signature Gordon Ramsay stamp so that you know it’s going to be good.

Recipes include Ricotta Hotcakes with Honeycomb Butter – perfect for a weekend brunch, Sea Trout with Clams or a Crispy Duck Salad for a weekday supper. For a weekend get together, get things off to a good start with a Bread Street Kitchen Rum Punch and Slow Roast Pork Belly with Apple & Cinnamon Sauce, followed by Pineapple Carpaccio with Coconut Sorbet or a super indulgent Coconut Strawberry Trifle.

 

My View:

I think this is very possibly the best all round cook book of the year! Full of contemporary soon to become classic recipes; easy to make at home, delicious and colourful meal choices.  There is something here for everyone. I particularly likes the sections on breakfasts – Get Going and Brunch – suggestions such as Bircher Muesli, Avocado and Toast, Smoothies, Spicy Scrambled Eggs, French Toast, Ricotta Hotcakes…the list goes on. I find that most cook books do not give due consideration to the important meals, breakfast/brunch.  If I am going out for a meal breakfast  (if out early) or brunch  can be a truly remarkable, fresh and enjoyable meal – I look for menus that serve something  little different to just “Eggs All Day.”  Breakfast out can be such a unique experience if one is open to new idea or fresh approaches.  I like to transfer these type of fresh approaches to my home cooking. What meal out do you enjoy the most?

 

This book is more than just breakfast and brunch ideas. I also love the section “Food For Sharing”.  Sharing a meal you have prepared or dishes to share is one of the most heartfelt ways to demonstrate your caring side, to engage your community (family, friends…whoever is special to you). In this section e have Flatbreads, Focaccia, Venison Scotch Eggs, Spiced Prawns, Broad bean, Spinach and Mint Dip And more.

 

The Big Weekend meal plans also get the thumbs up from me – again this new tradition is rapidly becoming a normal part of our contemporary lifestyle – meals to make when you have time to indulge in the slow cooking or when you have time to experiment with ingredients or recipes that are new to you, meals to share.

 

I could go on and on but I won’t. Get the book and start experimenting and sharing. It feels so good to share food you have prepared! This is a five star book that has easily earned a place in my cook book library.