Sunday Roast: Pork Cutlets with Caramelised Pear and Sage

fruit-9781925418446

Edited extract from Fruit by Bernadette Worndl, published by Smith Street Books, $55. Photography © Gunda Dittrich. Out November 2018

 

PORK CUTLETS WITH CARAMELISED PEARS AND SAGE

 “Roast and caramel flavours combine here with smoky wooden-barrel notes of Cognac and creamy, sour crème fraîche.” p. 157

 

4 pork cutlets

salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 bunch sage

2 tablespoons clarified butter

4 small pears

6 French shallots

1 garlic clove

5 juniper berries

5 peppercorns

1 bay leaf

40 ml (1¼ fl oz) Cognac

100 g (3½ oz) crème fraiche

Pork cutlets

 

Preheat the oven to 120°C (250°F) (conventional). Season the cutlets with salt and pepper. Pick the sage leaves. Heat half the clarified butter in a frying pan over high heat. Add the sage leaves and cutlets, and quickly sear the meat on both sides. Transfer the cutlets and sage to an ovenproof dish and cook in the oven for 15 minutes.

Halve or quarters the pears. Peel and halve the shallots, and bruise the garlic clove. Heat the remaining clarified butter in the same pan and cook the pear, shallot and garlic until golden brown. Add the juniper berries, peppercorns, bay leaf and cognac, and very carefully set alight to burn off the alcohol. Stir in the crème fraîche. Remove the cutlets from the oven and transfer them to the sauce. Spoon the sauce over the cutlets for the flavours to combine, then season with salt and pepper and serve.

This goes well with creamy polenta or fresh white bread.

 

 

The Best Way to Start the Day – Bircher Muesli

fruit-9781925418446

Edited extract from Fruit by Bernadette Worndl, published by Smith Street Books, $55. Photography © Gunda Dittrich. Out November 2018

 “My favourite breakfast. It easily lends itself to seasonal combinations using different grains, seeds and nuts or fruits. A grated apple always makes an appearance, though.” p. 17 

 Bircher Museli

BIRCHER MUESLI WITH GRATED APPLE, PEPITAS, YOGHURT AND FRESH GRAPES

2 apples

1 handful walnuts

100 g (3½ oz/1 cup) rolled (porridge) oats

2 tablespoons linseeds (flax seeds), roughly crushed

2 teaspoons wheat bran

2 tablespoons pepitas (pumpkin seeds)

150 ml (5 fl oz) milk

300 g (10½ oz) yoghurt

pinch of salt

small handful shelled pistachios

small handful grapes

honey, for drizzling

 

Coarsely grate one of the apples and roughly chop the walnuts. Place in a bowl and add the oats, linseeds, wheat bran, pepitas, milk, 200 g (7 oz) of the yoghurt and the salt. Stir well to combine, then cover and refrigerate overnight to soak.

 

The next day, roughly chop the pistachios and coarsely grate the second apple. Finely slice two grapes. Serve the muesli in shallow bowls and top with the apple, remaining yoghurt, grapes, pistachios and a drizzle of honey.

Review: Fruit, Recipes That Celebrate Nature – Bernadette Worndl

fruit-9781925418446

Fruit
Recipes that Celebrate Nature
Bernadette Worndl
Smith Street Books
Simon & Schuster Australia
ISBN: 9781925418446
RRP $55

Description:
We often associate fruit in recipes with jams, cakes and puddings – but fruit can be an incredible complement to savoury dishes too. Adding blackberries to a duck breast and chard recipe or caramelised pears to a pork and sage recipe can create an amazing dish. This book shows you how to make the most of out the fruit that’s in season – whether the dishes are sweet or savoury.

The seasonal arrangement of the recipes and the use of a wide array of fruit varieties, supplemented by citrus and dried fruits, make this book a kitchen staple that promises to be used again and again. The more than 70 recipes in the book include Roast pork with apples, Tagliatelle with mushrooms and blackberries and Chicken with balsamic cherries and cauliflower cream.

 

My View:
What a delectable book! I confess that I cannot wait for the summer fruits (cherries, peaches, nectarines, plums, apricots etc.) to be ready to be enjoyed. When fruit, any fruit, is in season, I find as many ways to use as possible. I preserve – make jams, marmalades, chutneys. I freeze, bottle, dry. I stew, make fruit salad, fruit “ice cream”, bake in tarts, pies, muffins… add fruit to salads, eat as is. Rarely have I thought to add fruit to savoury meals, except for the traditional cooked apple with roast pork, Bernadette Worndl celebrates the joy of fruit in ways I had not thought but cannot wait to try.

Pick up a copy of this book and you will be delighted with the range of traditional and creative recipe inside the cover. And now is the perfect time to think about creating that perfect homemade gift for the coming festive season; who doesn’t like to receive a gift made with care and love? A homemade cake, tart, jam or preserve or even something to sip on those hot summer nights; Blueberry liquor sounds just what I might need.

Fruit, Recipes that Celebrate Nature is a perfect gift for the home cook or your own kitchen library.

fruit-9781925418446

Sneak Peak – True Crime: Evil Has A Name – Audible

Evil Has A NameAre you a fan or true crime or audio books? If so this new release audio book is for you. Narrated by the Paul Holes ,the forensic criminologist and retired Costa County Detective who spent 20 years trying to crack the Golden State Killer case, and who finally did. And Jim Clemente who is a retired FBI profiler and former New York City prosecutor who has investigated some of the highest profile criminal cases in US history, including the Unabomber.

I love books narrated by the authors or those involved in the narrative, there is so much more the narrator can bring to the reading including authenticity and personal insights/point of view.

 

EVIL HAS A NAME

THE UNTOLD STORY OF THE GOLDEN STATE KILLER INVESTIGATION, ONLY FROM AUDIBLE

Audible Original | 16 November 2018 | Audible.com.au | Free with a 30-day trial, or one credit with your $16.45/month Audible membership

The Golden State Killer. The East Area Rapist. The Original Night Stalker. The Visalia Ransacker. The monster who preyed on Californians from 1976 to 1986 was known by many aliases. And while numerous police sketches tried to capture his often-masked visage, the Golden State Killer spent more than 40 years not only faceless, but nameless.

For his victims, their families and the investigators tasked with finding him, the senselessness and brutality of the Golden State Killer’s acts were matched only by the powerlessness they felt at failing to uncover his identity. To be sure, the chances of obtaining closure—or any form of justice—after so many years were slim to none, at best.

Delivering all-new details about the investigation and a stunning final act to the events of Michelle McNamara’s haunting bestseller, I’ll Be Gone in the Dark, this is the true story of how the suspected Golden State Killer was captured, as told, first-hand, by those closest to the case.

Evil Has a Name: The Untold Story of the Golden State Killer Investigation is free for new members with a 30-day trial from Audible.com.au.

Please note: This audiobook contains descriptions of violent crime and sexual assault and may not be suitable for all listeners.”  Audible

Check out the book trailer from Audible here

 

 

#Meat Free Monday: Pumpkin Curry and Cashew Soup – Pete Evans

Eat Your Greens

Eat Your Greens by Pete Evans, Published by Plum, RRP $39.99,

Photography by William Meppem

This meal in a soup has to be one of the best comfort foods I have come across. It is delicious, nutritious and can be easily modified ( use vegetable stock instead of chicken stock ) to make this a satisfying vegetarian dish. Since I  received this book I have made this particular recipe on a weekly basis.  I am sure you will enjoy it too.

 pumpkin, curry and cashew soup_

 

Pumpkin soup will always be a family favourite, as it ticks all the boxes when it comes to flavour. It is also budget friendly, very easy to get on the table and a great time saver; you can make up a big batch and freeze the leftovers to have on hand for when you need a quick meal. With this recipe I have lightly spiced it with curry powder and added
cashews for a lovely texture. If you wanted to add some fish or prawns, then be my guest.” p237

Comfort Food
Serves 4–6

SPICED PUMPKIN AND CASHEW SOUP
2 tablespoons coconut oil or good-quality animal fat,* melted
1 onion, chopped
2 celery stalks, chopped
2 carrots, cut into 1.5 cm dice
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 ½ tablespoons finely grated ginger
1 ½ teaspoons ground turmeric
1 teaspoon ground cumin
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
120 g cashew nuts (activated if possible*)
1 litre vegetable stock or Chicken Bone Broth (page 312)
500 g butternut pumpkin, cut into 2 cm dice
2 tomatoes, cut into 2 cm dice
400 ml coconut milk
sea salt and freshly ground
black pepper
2 handfuls of baby spinach leaves

Heat the oil or fat in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion, celery and carrot and cook, stirring occasionally, for 8 minutes, or until the veggies are softened and slightly caramelised. Add the garlic, ginger
and spices and cook for 1 minute, or until fragrant. Stir in the cashews and stock or broth and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover with a lid and simmer for 15 minutes.

Increase the heat to medium–low, add the pumpkin, tomato and coconut milk to the pan, stir and bring back to the boil. Simmer, uncovered, for 20 minutes, or until the veggies are tender. Season with salt and pepper
and stir in the spinach. Ladle the soup into warm bowls, scatter on the coriander and chilli flakes (if using) and serve.

To serve
roughly chopped coriander leaves a couple of pinches of chilli flakes (if you like it a little spicy)

* See Glossary

Guest Review: My Polar Dream – Jade Hameister

My Polar Dream

My Polar Dream

Jade Hameister

Pan Macmillan AU

ISBN: 9781760554774

 

Description:

Fourteen-year-old Jade Hameister had a dream: to complete the Polar Hat Trick.

In 2016, she skied to the North Pole.

In 2017, she completed the Greenland Crossing.

In 2018, she arrived at the South Pole.

This is the story of an adventurer who never gave up – who set herself incredible challenges beyond her years and experience. An adventurer who endured extremes of cold and blizzards; tackled treacherous terrain where one wrong step could be fatal; struggled through sastrugi, ice rubble and emotional lows to achieve an extraordinary goal.

Along the way, she made a sandwich for online trolls, inspired young people, and made international headlines.

At sixteen, Jade Hameister became the youngest person in history to complete the Polar Hat Trick.

Jade is:

*The youngest person to ski from the coast of Antarctica to South Pole unsupported and unassisted

* The first Australian woman in history to ski coast to Pole unsupported and unassisted

* The first woman to set a new route to the South Pole

* The youngest to ski to both Poles

* The youngest to complete the Polar Hat Trick.

 

Brenda’s Review:

What an amazing, inspirational young woman Jade Hameister is! Over a period of three years she completed three goals so achieve the Polar Hat-Trick. In doing so, she became the first in many of her endeavours. Her final journey, in Antarctica to finish at the South Pole, was over late 2017 into 2018 and was the most grueling but not once did she contemplate giving up. The support of her Dad and the other people of the team with her helped her through the worst.

Each trek was unassisted and unsupported, which meant no outside help whatsoever once the journey started. The thrill of forging a new path through the snow and ice to the South Pole meant the hard work and extreme temperatures; the dangers of a hidden crevasse on the mind constantly; the storms and blizzards which meant losing time when the danger was too intense – were all worth it. Jade’s satellite calls to her Mum and brother back in Melbourne, Australia each night were a lifeline as well.

Now she’s trying to settle back into “normal” life with schooling as her main priority. She’s sixteen years of age and has done more in the last three years of her life than most people would ever do. I wonder what she will do next? Highly recommended. 5 stars!

With thanks to Pan Macmillan AU for my ARC to read in exchange for an honest review.

#Meat Free Monday – Goats Cheese Salad: The Catalan Kitchen – Emma Warren

The Catalan Kitchen

From The Catalan Kitchen: From Mountains to City and Sea – Recipes from Spain’s Culinary Heart

by Emma Warren. Photography © Rochelle Eagle | Food styling © Lee Blaylock (Smith Street Books, October 2018 – AU$ 55, NZ$ 65)

 

Goat's cheese salad

FORMATGE DE CABRA GRATINAT

PAN-FRIED GOAT’S CHEESE SALAD

Serves 4

2 tablespoons raisins

60 ml (2 fl oz/¼ cup) balsamic vinegar

1 teaspoon honey

80 ml (2½ fl oz/¹∕³ cup) extra virgin olive oil

3 tablespoons walnuts, toasted and chopped

½ teaspoon salt flakes

250 g (9 oz) goat’s cheese log with rind, cut into 1–2 cm (½–¾ in) thick slices

freshly cracked black pepper

½ radicchio, leaves separated

70 g (2½ oz) rocket (arugula) leaves

1 red apple, cored and thinly sliced

½ bunch chives, cut into 3 cm (1¼ in) lengths

 

Heat the raisins and balsamic vinegar in a small saucepan over medium heat and simmer for 4–5 minutes to rehydrate the raisins. Stir through the honey and remove from the heat. Allow to cool a little then pour in the olive oil and mix through the walnuts and salt flakes. Keep at room temperature.

 

Line a baking tray with baking paper.

 

Heat a large non-stick frying pan over high heat. When the pan is extremely hot, add the cheese and cook for 1–2 minutes each side. Transfer to the prepared tray and crack some black pepper over the top.

 

Arrange the salad leaves on serving plates and top with the apple and fried goat’s cheese.

 

Spoon over the dressing and rain over the chives.

 

Authors note:

This simple, go-to warm salad is a modern Barna favourite served in restaurants throughout the city. It’s also very popular at functions, where it’s often served as an entrée.

 

The fats in the goat’s cheese make it an ideal cheese to fry with as you can get a crusty seal without the milk oils separating. Rinded goat’s cheese is a French product and its soft, creamy and acidic flavour pairs perfectly here with the sweet vinaigrette and fresh bitter leaves.