Month: March 2023
##MeatFreeMonday -Oozy Vegan Pumpkin & Saffron Risotto: Gluten-Free Mediterranean- Helen Tzouganatos
Pan Macmillan Australia
Photography by Jeremy Simons.
“Oozy is not a word you would normally associate with a risotto made without butter or cheese. The secret here is caramelised roasted pumpkin that is pureed to add a smooth, creamy texture and delicate sweetness to the risotto. Earthy, floral saffron compliments the pumpkin’s sweetness and produces a sunny, golden risotto. Ensure you use a short-grain high-starch rice, such as arborio or carnaroli, for that signature creamy texture.” p90
400 g butternut pumpkin, peeled and cut into 1.5 cm cubes
80 ml (1⁄3 cup) extra-virgin olive oil
sea salt flakes and freshly ground black pepper
875 ml (3 1⁄2 cups) warm Vegetable Stock (page 207)
1 onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
275 g (1 1⁄4 cups) arborio or carnaroli rice
pinch of saron threads
125 ml (1⁄2 cup) white wine
crispy sage leaves, to serve (optional) (see Note)
Preheat the oven to 180°C (fan-forced).
Place 250 g of the pumpkin in a roasting tin, drizzle in half the olive oil, add a pinch of salt and toss well. Roast for 30 minutes, tossing halfway through to ensure even browning. Transfer the pumpkin to a food processor, add 80 ml (1⁄3 cup) of the stock and puree. Set aside.
Meanwhile, heat the remaining oil in a large frying pan over medium–low heat. Add the onion and a generous pinch of salt and cook for 5 minutes to soften. Stir in the garlic and cook for another 30 seconds. Add the remaining pumpkin, the rice and saffron and gently stir for a minute to toast the rice grains. Deglaze the pan with the white wine, stirring to release any caramelised
bits caught on the base, and simmer for a minute so the rice absorbs the wine. Add a few ladles of the remaining stock and bring to a gentle simmer. When the stock has been absorbed, add more to the pan, a few ladles at a time. Continue, gradually adding more stock as it is absorbed, and cook for 15 minutes or until the rice is al dente. In the last 2 minutes of simmering, gently fold in the pumpkin puree.
Remove the pan from the heat and adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper as required. Ladle the risotto into shallow bowls and serve with crispy sage leaves scattered over the top, if desired.
Crispy sage leaves: fry a handful of sage leaves in 3 tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat for 30 seconds or until crisp. Remove with a slotted spoon and sprinkle with salt.
An Interview with Tiffany McDaniel
Tiffany is the author of more than 20 books. She is an artist, a poet, an animal lover. But today we are here to discuss her motivation for writing her latest book, On the Savage Side.
I have always lived by a river. The mirror of Appalachia, reflecting the hillsides and flowing behind the houses that raised me in Ohio. Those waters I walked in, chasing minnows and frogs, would one day become the same muddy brown waters that would carry the bodies of women in a crime that is now known as the Chillicothe Six. Though the victim count would eventually exceed that number, the name was given for the six women who disappeared first. Tameka Lynch, Tiffany Sayre, Charlotte Trego, Wanda Lemons, Timberly Claytor, and Shasta Himelrick.
Part of my research into this crime was to unearth the photographs of the female victims. One stood out to me. Though she was older than I’d last seen her, and her features had been altered by her drug use, I recognized the face, then the name. She was someone I had known when we were little girls. Having gone to school together, I remember her first day because she cried in class. The teacher had warned us beforehand about the new student. She was coming to our school because her mother had been killed in an automobile accident. The teacher explained that death can happen as suddenly as a car going down the road with a mother and young daughter inside it, and by the end of it, only the daughter survives. But how well?
As the new girl sat crying in the middle of class, I knew losing her mother was something she’d never get over.
After she’d gone missing, I discovered an interview her sister had given in which she spoke about how the loss of their mother had set her sibling on a path of destruction. I understood that, because I have never forgotten how hard and long she had cried in class all those years ago, not knowing then that her face would be among those victims of the still unsolved Chillicothe murders.
I grew up in both central and southern Ohio, in communities affected by drugs. I played with kids who were like Arc and Daff y,
the twin sisters in ON THE SAVAGE SIDE. Kids whose parents were addicts and kids who suffered under not only the strain of that, but the abuses that come with it, including the failures of the system. Kids who, in many cases, went on to have their own addictions like the characters in this book. As I reflected on the real-life victims who were murdered, I wanted to imagine who they might have been as they started out in life. I wanted the readers to age with Arc and Daff y to understand how those early years shaped them and planted the seeds that would eventually root themselves into the savage side.
While the characters in my novel are not based on the real-life victims, the story of violence was inspired by the crime. But more
than these women being victims, I wanted to write a story that captured the spirit of who they might have been.
I have known women like them in not only my community but in generations of my own family. In my previous book, BETTY, I wrote about my aunts Fraya and Flossie, who each struggled with substance abuse throughout their lives following their father Landon’s death. When I was a child, my mother Betty warned me not to drink or smoke because addiction was in my genes. I happened to be wearing a pair of Levis and I stuck my hands in my pockets, trying to find what she was talking about. I was too young to understand the difference between ‘genes’ and ‘jeans’.
In ON THE SAVAGE SIDE, the character of Aunt Clover expresses her desire to one day see the Mona Lisa. That was one of the last conversations I had with my aunt Fraya, when she spoke about wanting to see the painting, and knowing she never would. By that time, she was deep in the throes of an addiction to prescription pills.
I wonder what their lives would have been like had the choices been different?
While I had spent a lot of time in Chillicothe throughout my childhood, part of my research was visiting again the sites like the
paper mill, the motel and the river, where some of the women’s bodies had been recovered.
Chillicothe was the town next door. It was a town my mother did Christmas shopping in and I remember the brown paper bags of
yarn from the craft store, smelling of the cool winter air and road salt. Chillicothe itself smelled of rotten eggs and the fumes from the paper mill. As I was growing up, the notebook paper I wrote my stories on came from that mill. Chillicothe was a thread weaved into our lives. I’d watch the smoke churning up from the mill and imagine the large factory was a dragon, exhaling his smoky breath above all our heads.
The paper mill still sits like an old dragon on the edge of town, still exhaling a smoky breath up into the air. The Chillicothe Inn, a
motel some of the women frequented, is more rundown today than ever before. And then there is the river. When we think of rivers, we think of fish and snapping turtles and the ripples of a dropped rock. But when you know those same waters have carried a body, you can’t help but see the water as something different. As I stood on the overpass where one of the women’s shoes had
been found, neatly placed, before being taken in as evidence, I stared out at the dark brown water and wondered how cold it must have felt to each of them that final time.
It’s important that all victims’ stories are amplified, regardless of race, gender or class. When I first heard about the murders, there was a sense in the community that because the women were linked to addiction and prostitution that they were active participants in their death. In the book, I try to highlight that the women were mothers, sisters and daughters and that they mattered. That’s important to remember.
I think now of the river behind our house in southern Ohio. It flooded several times. Touched the house. Ruined the basement.
Brought the smell of mud and wet rock with it. Eventually, the waters receded and what was left were traces of sand and mud. Maybe a flood is just the ghosts reaching as far as they can toward home. Their voices collecting at the edge of the water. If we’re quiet enough, we will hear their names on the ripples.
Thank you Tiffany for sharing your response.
Lamb & Spinach Gozleme: Gluten-Free Mediterranean- Helen Tzouganatos
Pan Macmillan Australia
Photography by Jeremy Simons.
olive oil, for pan-frying
lemon wedges, to serve
260 g (2 cups) gluten-free self-raising flour
90 g (1⁄3 cup) Greek yoghurt (or coconut yoghurt for dairy free)
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1⁄2 teaspoon sea salt flakes
LAMB & SPINACH FILLING
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 small onion, finely chopped
pinch of sea salt flakes
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1⁄2 teaspoon paprika
1⁄2 teaspoon ground cumin
pinch of freshly ground
250 g lamb mince
large handful of baby spinach leaves
“Crispy, golden gluten-free Turkish gozleme can be easily whipped up in under 20 minutes, so it’s the perfect after-school snack. The dough comes together very quickly and while it’s resting, you can quickly make your filling of choice. I love a spiced lamb mince filling when I feel like a break from spinach and feta, but you can get as creative as you like. Don’t overfill the gozleme – the flatter the parcel the crispier it will get when it hits the hot frying pan.” p30
Combine all the dough ingredients in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment, add 125 ml (1⁄2 cup) of warm water and mix on medium speed for 1 minute to form a smooth dough. If the mixture is too dry, add a little more water and mix again. Set the dough aside to rest, uncovered, while you make the filling.
To make the filling, heat the olive oil in a frying pan over medium heat. Add the onion and salt and cook for 5 minutes to soften. Stir in the garlic, paprika, cumin and black pepper and cook for 30 seconds. Add the lamb and cook, breaking up any chunks with a wooden spoon, for 3 minutes or until browned. Add the spinach, stir and cook for 1 minute to wilt. Remove from the heat and set aside.
Divide the dough into six balls. Working with one ball at a time, roll out the dough between two sheets of baking paper to form a paper-thin rectangle about 20 cm × 30 cm in size. Scatter 3 tablespoons of the lamb and spinach filling in the centre, leaving a clear border of roughly 8 cm around the edges. Fold the dough over the filling to enclose. Cover with baking paper and very
gently roll out again to flatten and thin out the gozleme. Repeat with the remaining dough and filling.
Place a heavy-based frying pan over high heat and allow it to heat up. Drizzle 1 tablespoon of olive oil into the very hot pan and cook the gozleme, one at a time, adding more oil as needed, for 2–3 minutes on each side until golden and crispy. Serve with lemon wedges.
Spinach & Feta: combine 135 g (3 cups) baby spinach, 3 sliced spring
onions and 200 g crumbled feta.
Potato & Cheese: combine 460 g (2 cups) mashed potato, 150 g grated
mozzarella, a handful of finely chopped flat-leaf parsley leaves,
1⁄2 teaspoon paprika and salt and pepper
#FidayFreebie: Gluten-Free Mediterranean – Helen Tzouganatos
Pan Macmillan Australia
‘Growing up in Sydney’s multicultural inner west, I was surrounded by migrants from various countries spanning the Mediterranean. My Lebanese neighbours taught me the secret to the best mejadra, the Cypriots across the road introduced me to koupes and haloumi bread, and my mother would exchange Greek syrupy sweets for pistachio biscotti and olive and rosemary focaccia with the Italians down the street.’
More a way of life than a diet, the Mediterranean style of eating is embraced around the world for its simplicity, health benefits and downright deliciousness.
Now you can enjoy all your favourite dishes from Greece, Italy, Spain, Lebanon and more, minus the gluten.
Helen Tzouganatos, host of SBS Food’s Loving Gluten Free, shows you just how simple it is to cook delicious gluten-free versions of Mediterranean classics, with clever ingredient swaps that not even Yiayia or Tayta will notice. From the fluffiest focaccia and crispiest loukoumades to the easiest seafood paella and most decadent chocolate roulade, you won’t believe these family favourites are gluten free.
Helen Tzouganatos is a presenter, passionate home cook and recipe developer, who specialises in delicious gluten-free food made from scratch. Helen’s gluten-free journey started 15 years ago when she was diagnosed with coeliac disease. She began sharing her simple gluten-free food via her blog and social media, and went on to host SBS television show Loving Gluten Free. This is her third cookbook. Helen lives in Sydney with her husband, Spiro, and three children, Vasili, Sofia and Ruby.
I have one copy of the book to give away thanks to Pan Macmillan Australia. In the comments tell me the name of the show that Helen hosts on SBS. Easy! Winner will be randomly selected on 10th March 2023. Good luck. **Australian residents only**