Review: Adriatico, Recipes and Stories from Italy’s Adriatic Coast – Paola Bacchia

Adriatico_cover

Adriatico

Recipes and Stories from Italy’s Adriatic Coast

Paola Bacchia

Smith Street Books

ISBN: 9781925418729

 

Description:

The food of Italy’s eastern coastline mirrors the memories and traditions of peoples past and present who have lived on the shores of the Adriatic. Local ingredients reflect the climate and terrain. Naturally, seafood in abundant, as well as an array of incredible pasta, rice, polenta and meat dishes.

 

The Adriatic coastline runs from the heel of the boot-shaped peninsula at the Ionian Sea, through Puglia and Venice, to the northern waters of the Gulf of Trieste on the border with Slovenia. Along its length are rugged rocky coast lInes, sandy stretches of beach, lagoons and wetlands. Spindly wooden fishing piers, white washed walls, colourful villages and sea-facing piazzas dot the 1,200-kilometre coastline with a rich history touched by Etruscan, Greek, Roman, Venetian and Austrian populations.

 

In Adriatico, join Paola on a beautiful journey as she travels the length of this relatively unexplored coastline, to find ancient food traditions still thriving.

 

 

My View:

This book is a visual feast – I love the travel photography and narrative that accompanies the recipes.  There are images/photographs of the local landscape here I want to try and paint! Beautiful! If anyone suggested a trip to Italy right now I would not hesitate to pack my bags and join them – this book is inspirational.

 

And then there are the delicious recipes – I have already made half a dozen or so from this book and there are plenty more I would like to try out.  The ingredients are seasonal and fresh and pack a flavour punch.  This is a great book that inspires some wonderful kitchen (and travel) adventures.

 

 

Meat Free Monday: Vegetarian Pho – Fodmap Friendly – Georgia McDermott

FODMAP Friendly Cover

FODMAP Friendly by Georgia McDermott, Published by Macmillan Australia, RRP $34.99

“Vietnam is one of my all-time favourite travel destinations, and at least 70% of that assessment is a direct result of
the national dish, pho. While pho is traditionally made with a beef broth heavy in onion and garlic, I’ve created
an inadvertently vegan and advertently FODMAP-friendly version. Shiitake mushrooms add a necessary depth to the
broth, but you can adjust the amount if they are a trigger for you.” p.66

 

Vegetarian pho

Vegetarian pho
Serves 4
Pho broth
4 cinnamon quills
7 star anise
2 cloves
1 tablespoon peanut or
sesame oil
2 large carrots, roughly
chopped
1 large fennel, roughly chopped
(you can throw the fronds
in too)
10 g fresh ginger, peeled and
finely sliced
75 g fresh shiitake mushrooms,
sliced
4 tablespoons gluten-free tamari
2.5 litres water
a bunch of Thai basil, leaves picked, stems discarded
a bunch of Vietnamese mint, leaves picked, stems discarded

to serve
200 g firm tofu
1 large carrot, julienned
a bunch of bok choy
250 g rice noodles
fresh red chilli, finely sliced
lime wedges

 

1. Place a large saucepan over a medium heat, and dry-fry the cinnamon, star anise and cloves for a minute or two, or until fragrant. Add the peanut oil, chopped carrot and fennel and cook for a couple of minutes until it begins to sizzle. Add the ginger, shiitake and a splash of water, and continue to cook for another couple of minutes.
2. Add the tamari, and once it has reduced down and caramelised on the bottom of the pan, add the water. Place the lid on the pan and bring the broth to the boil. Add a handful of the herbs, reduce to a medium heat and cook for 20 minutes.
3. Meanwhile, in a medium frying pan over a medium heat, dry-fry the tofu, cubed or in slabs, and then pour over
a splash of tamari. Remove the pan from the heat.
4. Transfer the tofu to a plate, then rinse out the frying pan and return it to the heat. Gently cook the carrots and bok
choy with a splash of water until done. Remove from the heat.
5. Prepare the rice noodles as per the packet instructions.
6. To assemble, divide the noodles between four serving bowls and then arrange the tofu, carrot and bok choy on top. Ladle over the pho broth, and finish the bowls with some fresh chilli, herbs and wedges of lime.

Meat Free Monday: Roasted Capsicum and Haloumi Shakshuka: Fodmap Friendly – Georgia McDermott

FODMAP Friendly Cover

FODMAP Friendly by Georgia McDermott, Published by Macmillan Australia, RRP $34.99

“Given that the volume of onion and garlic in a standard café shakshuka could put me in bed for a week, I’ve
given up ordering baked eggs when I’m out in favour of making them at home. Although they’re a little labour
intensive, roasted capsicums are a great substitute for the sweetness of caramelised onion, and anything that
includes haloumi warrants a bit of extra elbow grease, as far as I’m concerned.” p.35

Roasted Capsicum and Haloumi Shakshuka

shakshuka

Serves 4
4 medium–large red capsicums
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 kg tomatoes, chopped
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon mixed spice
1 teaspoon garam masala
2 teaspoons light brown sugar
1 teaspoon harissa paste or chilli sauce (make sure it doesn’t contain onion or garlic)
1 teaspoon tomato paste
¼ piece preserved lemon rind
125 g haloumi, diced
1 small handful each of fresh mint and coriander leaves, or your preferred herb
juice of ½ lemon
4 eggs

1. Preheat the oven to 180°C and line a baking tray with
baking paper.
2. Slice the capsicums in half, remove the seeds and lay them face down on the baking tray. Cook for at least 30 minutes, or until the flesh is soft and the skin has blistered and blackened. Once cooked, transfer them to a large bowl and cover with a cloth, to encourage them to sweat their skins off (aka what happens to me whenever the temperature reaches 26 degrees or higher).
3. Add the olive oil and tomatoes to a cast-iron frying pan over a medium heat (or you can use four small pans if you have them). Adding water as you see fit, cook the tomatoes down until they have the consistency of pasta sauce. Add the spices, sugar, harissa, tomato paste and preserved lemon, and gently stir to combine. Finally, add the haloumi cubes, herbs and the lemon juice, and stir gently to disperse throughout the mixture.
4. Using the back of a spoon, create a little indent for each egg, and gently crack each one into its designated spot. Turn the heat down to low, and cook extremely gently for a few minutes, alternating between placing a lid on and taking it off. Once the whites are cooked and the yolks still slightly runny, remove the pan from the heat and top with herbs and additional seasoning.
5. Allow to sit for a couple of minutes, so your guests don’t burn their hands on the pan, or their mouths on the shakshuka.

 

Mini Mediterranean Frittatas: Fodmap Friendly – Georgia McDermott

FODMAP Friendly Cover

FODMAP Friendly by Georgia McDermott, Published by Macmillan Australia, RRP $34.99

 

“I have to admit I’ve become a bit complacent about how lucky I am to eat a cooked breakfast every morning, as
one does when they work from home. I don’t have to choose between extra sleep and hot food because my boss
(me) is a bit too laissez faire for early starts. That said, the memory of making smoothies the night before my daily
work commute (I love food, but I love sleep more) is all too vivid, hence these little frittatas. They are as close as
you can get to a full breakfast when you have about five minutes before you need to run out the door.” p. 135

 

Mini Mediterranean frittatas

Mini Mediterranean frittatas

Makes 8 or 9 mini frittatas
6 eggs
125 ml (½ cup) milk of
your choice
50 g parmesan, finely grated
a pinch of dried oregano or ground nutmeg, or both
salt and pepper
85 g (½ cup) Sicilian olives, pitted
½ cup sundried tomatoes, roughly chopped
a handful of basil leaves, finely chopped

1. Preheat your oven to 180°C. Grease 9 holes of an 80 ml
(1/3 cup) capacity 12-hole silicone muffin tray.
2. In a large bowl, whisk the eggs, milk, parmesan, herbs, spices and a good pinch of salt and pepper together until
well combined.
3. Add the olives, half of the sundried tomatoes and the basil leaves to the mixture, and stir well.
4. Divide the mixture evenly between 8 or 9 of the mun holes.
Scatter the rest of the sundried tomatoes over the top of the frittatas and gently push them down. Place in the oven and cook for around 15 minutes, or until the frittatas are golden on top and set.
5. Allow to cool completely and then keep in an airtight container in the fridge for about 2–3 days.

 

 

Banana, Peanut Butter, Chocolate and Coconut Muffins: Fodmap Friendly – Georgia McDermott

FODMAP Friendly Cover

FODMAP Friendly by Georgia McDermott, Published by Macmillan Australia, RRP $34.99

“This one is for the FODMAP, gluten-free vegans – you must be going through it, because I certainly was while I was
developing this recipe. If you don’t need the muffins to be vegan, you can use regular chocolate, but otherwise, find
a brand of vegan chocolate with as few weird additives as possible.” p. 146


Banana, peanut butter, chocolate and coconut muff ins

Banana, peanut butter, chocolate and coconut muffins

Makes 7–8 muffins
55 g (½ cup) cocoa powder
60 ml (¼ cup) coconut oil, melted
2 tablespoons natural peanut butter
¼ cup coconut yoghurt
60 ml (¼ cup) maple syrup
110 g (½ cup) light brown sugar
1 banana, mashed
185 ml (¾ cup) almond milk
a pinch of sea salt, plus extra for serving
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons vinegar
1 cup fine rice flour
50 g vegan chocolate, broken into small chunks

1. Preheat the oven to 180°C and grease a 12–hole 80 ml (1/3 cup) capacity silicone muffin tray.
2. In a large bowl, whisk together the cocoa and coconut oil, ensuring there are no lumps. Add the peanut butter, coconut yoghurt, maple syrup, light brown sugar, mashed banana, almond milk and sea salt, and continue to whisk until combined.
3. Add the baking powder and baking soda, along with the vinegar, and stir through. Finally, add the flour and mix
until a batter forms.
4. Pour the batter into your greased muffin tray and gently press
a few chunks of chocolate into the top of each muffin. Cook for 35 minutes, or until the muffins are firm, but springy.
Immediately transfer to a wire rack to prevent soggy bottoms (but take care as the muffins will be delicate fresh out of the oven). Sprinkle over a pinch of salt, if you like, to intensify the chocolate flavour.
5. Store in an airtight container and eat within 2–3 days.

Review: Fodmap Friendly – Georgia McDermott

For the digestive challenged 🙂 

FODMAP Friendly Cover

Fodmap Friendly

95 Delicious Gluten – Free, Mostly Vegetarian Receipes suitable for the Digestively Challenged.

Georgia Mc Dermott

Macmillan Australia

ISBN: 9781760555467

RRP $34.99

 

Description:

A low-FODMAP diet is the simplest and most effective way to manage irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and a range of other dietary intolerances.

 

Georgia McDermott is one of the 15 per cent of Australians who suffer from IBS. She is also a passionate home cook. She set out to find a way of managing her symptoms and discovered the low-FODMAP diet. At the same time, she chronicled her journey and her cooking experiments on her phenomenally successful blog and on Insta (@georgeats).

 

Now, in her first book FODMAP Friendly, Georgia shares over 90 recipes that are not only delicious, but will help relieve the uncomfortable symptoms of an unsettled gut.

 

Georgia creates food for all occasions, from colourful salads and hearty dinners to gorgeous savoury bites and full-blown baking extravaganzas. Accompanied by all-new photography, these recipes – most vegetarian and sometimes pescetarian – are tried and tested by Georgia to ensure that taste is never sacrificed in the pursuit of feeling well and comfortable.

 

Whether you’re following a low-FODMAP diet, suffer from food intolerances or experience gut-health issues OR you simply love great-tasting food that’s also good for you, this book, bursting with deliciousness, is for you.

 

 

My View:

This book is an excellent resource with many recipes that will soon be on my daily meal plan. I will put my hands up – I am digestively challenged, reflux is not my friend. A low *FODMAP diet is one I am keen to try.

 

*FODMAP stands for Fermentable Oligo-, Di-, Mono-saccharides and Polyols – types of carbohydrates that some people find hard to digest. Common FODMAPs include:

Fructose: A simple sugar found in many fruits, vegetables and added sugars.

Lactose: A carbohydrate found in dairy products like milk.

Fructans: Found in many foods, including gluten grains like wheat, spelt, rye and barley.

Galactans: Found in large amounts in legumes.

Polyols: Sugar alcohols like xylitol, sorbitol, maltitol and mannitol. They are found in some fruits and vegetables, and often used as sweeteners.

 

Georgia states (p. 10): “Digestive issues are extremely personal, and everyone has nuanced reaction to food. For example, I don’t tolerate many gr4ains (FODMAP friendly or not) so I only eat them occasionally, If onion and garlic don’t bother you? Add them! If the thought of tomatoes makes you nauseous? Don’t eat them. Remember the whole point is to feel better.  If something doesn’t sit well with you acknowledge it, work around it and substitute other foods.  This book will hopefully provide you with ideas and inspiration to experiment with a way of eating that suits you.”

 

Sound advice. I am ready to experiment.

 

 

 

 

Review: Restoration – Angela Slatter

Allow me to introduce to you a fantastic, Australian, new to me author, (and I ask WHY haven’t I heard about this author before now???)

angela slatter

Angela Slatter is the author of the urban fantasy novels Vigil (2016) and Corpselight (2017), and Restoration (2018) as well as eight short story collections, including The Girl with No Hands and Other Tales, Sourdough and Other Stories, The Bitterwood Bible and Other Recountings, and A Feast of Sorrows: Stories. The third novel in the Verity Fassbinder series, Restoration, will be released in 2018 by Jo Fletcher Books (Hachette International). Vigil has been nominated for the Dublin Literary Award in 2018.

Angela is represented by Meg Davis of the Ki Agency in London: meg@ki-agency.co.uk

She has won a World Fantasy Award, a British Fantasy Award, a Ditmar, an Australian Shadows Award and six Aurealis Awards.

Angela’s short stories have appeared in Australian, UK and US Best Of anthologies such The Mammoth Book of New Horror, The Year’s Best Dark Fantasy and Horror, The Best Horror of the Year, The Year’s Best Australian Fantasy and Horror, and The Year’s Best YA Speculative Fiction. Her work has been translated into Bulgarian, Chinese, Russian, Spanish, Japanese, Polish, French and Romanian. Victoria Madden of Sweet Potato Films (The Kettering Incident) has optioned the film rights to one of her short stories (“Finnegan’s Field”).

Vigil has been nominated for the Dublin Literary Award in 2018.

She has an MA and a PhD in Creative Writing, is a graduate of Clarion South 2009 and the Tin House Summer Writers Workshop 2006, and in 2013 she was awarded one of the inaugural Queensland Writers Fellowships. In 2016 Angela was the Established Writer-in-Residence at the Katharine Susannah Prichard Writers Centre in Perth. She has been awarded career development funding by Arts Queensland, the Copyright Agency and, in 2017/18, an Australia Council for the Arts grant. (http://www.angelaslatter.com/)

She is the author of the novellas, Of Sorrow and Such (Tor.com) and Ripper (in Horrorology: The Lexicon of Fear).

And all of the above is why, when I was offered the opportunity to read the new release Restoration (part 3 of the Verity Fassbinder series) I leapt at the chance. Angela Slatter is possibly the most awarded writer I have ever had the pleasure to review.

 

 

           Restoration

Verity Fassbinder #3

Angela Slatter

Hachette Australia

Jo Fletcher Books

ISBN: 9781784294380

The Verity Fassbinder series is what may be compartmentalised as urban fantasy or paranormal fiction; looking closely, this called also be  called an engaging, quirky, Australian narrative about love, family, reconciliation, retribution and tolerance – yes there is a lot happening in this novel. Did I love reading this book, this series? Yes I did.

Snappy, sharp dialogue with contemporary pop culture references ensure this above all else this is a fun read. Larger than life characters, escapades, a few deaths, Verity Fassbinder’s life is busy. Add to the mix a new boyfriend, an ex she still works for and uncle with a third eye in the back of his head all living in downtown Brisneyland, Queensland, Australia and you have a cast and locations that will keep you entertained for hours!   (*Authors Note – The city is not the city. Though I do live in Brisneyland and have used as the backdrop…I must confess that I have played fast and loose with some of the details. I’m sorry West End and I am really sorry Gold Coast.  I’m a writer. It’s fiction…while the reader will recognise certain landmarks and suburbs, Verity’s city is not quite the city you know. It just looks a bit like it, seen through a glass darkly. Enjoy the journey) *Authors Note – page 7 Vigil

 

Reading this series reminds me that I have not read much in this genre since the Sookie Stackhouse Southern Vampire series by Charlaine Harris. I did enjoy that series, for the most part, but Verity Fassbinder series is so much more. The snappy dialogue dripping with sarcasm, the locations,  the intrigue and above all – the honest and grounded character that is Verity Fassbinder make this a fabulous must read. I am sure you will enjoy it too.

 

Angela Slatter can be reached  here: me@angelaslatter.com