Meat Free Monday: Gnocchi with Mixed Greens and Cave-Ripened Cheese – Adriatico – Paola Bacchia

Adriatico_cover

 

From Adriatico: Stories and recipes from Italy’s Adriatic Coast by Paola Bacchia

(Smith Street Books, September 2018 – AU$ 55, NZ$ 65)

Photography (c)  Paola Bacchia

 

Gnocchi with mixed greens and cave-ripened cheese

Gnocchi con erbe e formaggio di fossa

 

Gnocchi with mixed greens and cave-ripened cheese

SERVES 4

500 g (1 lb 2 oz) mixed greens (such as silverbeet/Swiss chard, spinach and witlof/chicory)

iced water, to refresh

200 g (7 oz) fresh ricotta, drained

100 g (3½  oz) parmesan, grated, plus extra to serve

100 g (3½ oz) formaggio di fossa or a crumbly pecorino, grated

2 eggs, lightly beaten

100 g (3½ oz/1 cup) dried breadcrumbs

1 teaspoon chopped dill

finely grated zest of ½ lemon

sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

100 g (3½ oz) unsalted butter

 

Bring a large saucepan of salted water to the boil. Wash and trim the greens, then plunge them into the boiling water. Once it comes to boil again, let the greens cook for a few minutes. Drain and refresh in iced water (to help retain their colour), then roughly chop and allow to cool.

Meanwhile, place the ricotta, grated cheeses and egg in a large bowl and stir until well combined. Add the cooled greens, breadcrumbs, dill, lemon zest and salt and pepper to taste and combine well – the mixture will be quite thick. Roll the mixture into walnut-sized balls. Ideally the gnocchi should be cooked as soon as you make them – don’t let them rest too long.

Bring a large saucepan of water to the boil. Before you add the gnocchi to the water, melt the butter in a large deep frying pan over low heat. (You may need to do this in two pans or batches if you don’t have a very large pan.) Once the water is at a rolling boil, carefully drop in the gnocchi in batches, using a slotted spoon. Once they rise to the surface, lift them out with the slotted spoon and carefully drop them into the melted butter. Allow the gnocchi to cook for a few minutes on each side until nicely golden. Spoon onto warmed serving places and drizzle over some of the deep-golden butter.

 

Scatter with extra grated parmesan and serve immediately.

 

Authors note:

In Solignano al Rubicone in Emilia-Romagna, just north of Le Marche, they make cheese that is buried in the ground while it ages. It is called ‘formaggio di fossa’, literally, ‘cheese of the pit’. The cheese is made with sheep or cow’s milk (or a combination of both). It is wrapped in muslin and buried in a straw-lined rocky pit – typically of volcanic ash – three to four metres (about three yards) deep, and matured for a period of up to three months. During this time the cheese develops a distinctive woody flavour.

 

The cheese vendor at the weekly market in Cervia encouraged me to have a taste; it was crumbly, pungent and intense – what I would have called a ‘smelly cheese’ as a child. These days this sort of cheese is right up my alley; a worthy companion to softer milder cheeses on a platter, and a sharp-tasting addition to gnocchi or risotto.

 

These gnocchi are a bit like gnudi; ‘naked’ filling for ravioli without their pasta coat. Adding the ‘pit cheese’ makes them more flavoursome, and works well if you add some bitter greens to the mix and coat them in melted butter at the end. I am lucky that my local specialised deli in Melbourne sells imported formaggio di fossa, but if you can’t find it, use a crumbly strong-tasting sheep’s milk cheese that has been aged no more than 12 months, such as pecorino sardo.

Marinated Mackerel: Adriatico – Paola Bacchia

Adriatico_cover

From Adriatico: Stories and recipes from Italy’s Adriatic Coast by Paola Bacchia

(Smith Street Books, September 2018 – AU$ 55, NZ$ 65)

 

Marinated mackerel

Sgombri in aceto

 Marinated mackerel

SERVES 4 AS AN APPETISER

300 g (10½ oz) mackerel fillets (about 900 g/2 lb before cleaning)

250–500 ml (8½ –17 fl oz/ 1–2 cups) white wine vinegar

2 tablespoons finely chopped mint

1 large clove garlic, finely chopped

3 tablespoons good-quality extra virgin olive oil

sea salt

 

Wrap the mackerel fillets in a clean piece of fine white cloth (I use pieces of old cotton sheets but you could also use muslin or a tea towel) and tie the ends with string or elastic bands, so it looks like a bon-bon. Place the parcel in a saucepan filled with room-temperature water and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer gently for about 2 minutes, then remove the parcel and allow most of the water to drip off it.

 

Place the parcel of mackerel in a medium ceramic or glass bowl and pour in enough vinegar to cover the fish completely. Set aside for 1 hour.

 

Combine the mint, garlic and olive oil in a bowl and set aside to steep.

 

After an hour, remove the parcel from the vinegar and open the ends. Gently remove the fish fillets (take care as they may stick to the cloth and break). They should be mostly white; if they are still very pink, drop them directly into the vinegar and check them in 5–10 minutes. It’s fine if they are pale pink.

 

Pat the fish dry with paper towel and place on a serving plate. Drizzle with the infused olive oil and season to taste with sea salt.

 

Authors note:

Fresh mackerel are beautiful fish to look at, with their large eyes and colourful silvery skin. They are plentiful and easily caught in spring, when they approach the shore to eat tiny anchovies.

 

You might think that marinating the poached fillets in vinegar would make the flavour overwhelmingly acidic, but it’s quite the opposite. It removes any excessive fishiness from the delicate fillets and – when dressed with extra virgin olive oil, garlic and mint – imparts a well-balanced lightness. It is the kind of appetiser you would want to share on the terrace with close friends on a warm summer night over a bottle of crisp Fiano, a white wine typical of the Gargano.

 

I usually ask my fishmonger to clean the innards from the mackerel, and then fillet them at home, although you could always see if your fishmonger would do the filleting part too. Make sure you remove any bones with fine tweezers – there aren’t many but it’s worth taking the trouble. If you can’t find mackerel, use large sardine fillets instead.

Sadhana Kitchen Super Bowl: The Naked Vegan – Maz Valcorza

naked-vegan-cvr

 “Images and recipes from The Naked Vegan by Maz Valcorza (Murdoch Books) RRP $39.99”

 

Sadhana Kitchen Super Bowl

SERVES 4

 

“This is one of our most popular dishes at Sadhana Kitchen because it’s so vibrant, beautiful and delicious. That it’s one of the healthiest things you could eat is just a happy bonus.”

 

baby English spinach leaves, to serve

1 batch Brazil nut cheddar cream cheese (page 79)

1 batch Tomato, paprika & zucchini hummus (page 125)

1 batch Sauerkraut (page 84)

1 batch Beetroot dip (page 122)

 

Zoodles

2 zucchini (courgettes), spiralised

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1 tablespoon cold-pressed extra virgin olive oil

pinch of Himalayan pink salt or Celtic sea salt

 

Minted cucumber

2 large cucumbers, sliced

2 tablespoons finely chopped mint

1 tablespoon lemon juice

 

Lemony kale

140 g (5 oz/2 cups) shredded kale

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1 tablespoon cold-pressed extra virgin olive oil

 

Parsley tomatoes

250 g (9 oz) cherry tomatoes, cut in half

1 tablespoon cold-pressed extra virgin olive oil

2 tablespoons finely chopped flat-leaf (Italian) parsley

 

Put the zoodles ingredients in a small mixing bowl and toss together. Toss the minted cucumber ingredients together in another bowl, and the lemony kale and parsley tomatoes in two separate bowls.

 

Line a large bowl or platter with some baby spinach leaves. Arrange the four different salads on top, along with the Brazil nut cheddar, hummus, sauerkraut and beetroot dip. Enjoy straightaway.

 

superbowl

 

Roast Chook ‘Bo Ssam’: The Natural Cook – Matt Stone

The Natural Cook

 Images and recipes from the Natural Cook by Matt Stone (Murdoch Books) photography by Matt Roper available from 1st August $39.99

Roast Chook Bo Ssam

Roast Chook ‘Bo SSam’

“This is the ultimate ‘got no time to cook’ dinner. This recipe is inspired
by the bo ssam, an Asian shared meal. You can use up any pickles or vegetables that are in your fridge. It’s basically whatever you like wrapped in a lettuce leaf with sauce and pickles.

It’s a great dish to use up leftover roast meats and other bits lying around. The notion behind this chicken version is to grab a whole roast chook on your way home and have a fresh, healthy meal ready in 10 minutes.” ( p.159)

 

SERVES 3-4

 

1 roast chicken

2 small lettuces (I like to use baby cos/romaine but any lettuce will do)

1 avocado, sliced

300 g (10½ oz) Kimchi (see page 63)

200 g (7 oz) pickles

2 handfuls bean sprouts, trimmed

150 g (5½ oz) mixed fresh herbs

Hot Sauce (see page 221) and Mayonnaise (see page 216), to serve

 

Pick and shred the flesh from the chook (keep the frame for broth-making purposes). Place the flesh in a serving bowl. Pick
and wash the lettuce leaves. Place the lettuce on a platter and top with the chicken, avocado, a pile of kimchi, pickles, bean sprouts, herbs and sauces on the side.

 

This dish looks great as it’s full of vibrant colours and the part that took the most effort was probably swinging past the shops to pick up a roast chook.

 

 

Hot Sauce

My version of Sriracha sauce only has a few ingredients, but the depth of flavour comes from the fermenting of the chilli. Use it as you would Sriracha – that is on a lot of things and particularly leftover pork-belly sandwiches.

 

Makes about 350 ml (12 fl oz)

 

Ingredients

1 cup Fermented Chilli Paste

1 large garlic clove

2 tablespoons honey

125 ml (4 fl oz/½ cup) vegetable oil

 

Method

Place the chilli paste, garlic and honey in a jug-style blender. Start the blender and gradually increase the speed. Slowly pour in
the oil, season to taste with salt and you’re good.

 

This sauce will keep for weeks in the fridge. If it sits dormant for a while, the ingredients might start to separate a bit – just give it a good shake and it will come back to life.

 

 

Mayonnaise

The only thing that beats a good homemade mayo is a sandwich made with homemade mayo. I encourage you to double this recipe – it will easily last in the fridge for a week and it’s great to use not only on sandwiches, but in salads and on the side of meat and veg dishes. It can quickly be flavoured with spices or you can add capers, chopped cornichons, herbs and lemon to make a simple tartare sauce.

 

4 egg yolks

1 tablespoon dijon mustard

1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar

250 ml (9 fl oz/1 cup) vegetable oil

 

Note: Turning your homemade mayo into homemade aioli is a cinch. Finely dice the rind from 1 preserved lemon and finely chop 2 garlic cloves, then add to the mayo at the same time as the mustard and vinegar.

 

 

Twist up a tea towel (dish towel) and place in a circle on the bench. Place a mixing bowl in the middle of the towel. (The tea towel should help keep the bowl from moving around too much while
you whisk away with one hand.)

 

Put the egg yolks, mustard and vinegar into the bowl and whisk together. Slowly pour the oil into the mixture while whisking as fast as possible (use a jug if you have one – it needs to be a slow stream of oil flowing in, and pouring from a jug is an easy way to control it). If the oil is added too quickly, it won’t be incorporated and will split from the eggs. It sounds a bit tricky, but just take your time and everything will be fine.

 

Once all the oil is whisked in, add some salt to taste. Store in a jar in the fridge. It will last up to 2 weeks.

 

Spread. Enjoy. Be merry.

Post Script: It’s All Easy – Gwyneth Paltrow with Thea Baumann

it's all easy

It’s All Easy: Delicious Weekday Recipes for the Super Busy Home Cook

Gwyneth Paltrow with Thea Baumann

Hachette Australia

Sphere

ISBN: 9780751555493

Description:

Gwyneth’s fans have been begging her to write a cookbook that will help them get healthy, yet wonderfully delicious meals on the table during hectic weeknights. Well, she listened and she is sharing over 125 recipes that can be made in under 30 minutes that are surprisingly tasty even though they have little or no sugar, are low in fat, and many with no gluten. They will be of the same quality as those in It’s All Good, but can be pulled together in the time it would take to call for a takeaway. And because every family needs some pasta or pizza now and then, Gwyneth will include recipes for easy takes on those favorites too! Everyone knows that takeaway and restaurant meals can contain large amounts of fat and sugar, and can be made with less than ‘clean’ ingredients, so here is the solution to making sure you and your family eat a healthy, yet delicious meal every night of the week. And, since it is so much healthier and economical to bring lunch to work and school, there will be a special section on ‘Lunchbox ideas’ made from dinner leftovers and easy-to-throw-together lunches!

 

My View:

A versatile, quick to make, collection of recipes that use quality fresh ingredients to produce tasty and interesting meals. There is nothing boring here.  “This book is meant to be a road map: a self-help book for the chronically busy cook….All the food in this book tends to be on the healthier side ( see the gluten free, diary free  dessert section section), we have also included recipes with more standard ingredients ( some cheese, some regular flour) because, well, it’s just easier. And because we never sacrifice deliciousness, some of the recipes might have an extra step or a special ingredient that might not seem easy, but trust us, it is worth it… Our aim is here was to make… a book full of recipes that are beautiful and sometimes times unexpected,  while also comforting, satisfying, and realistic for anyone and everyone to make ”  (pps. ix -xi)

 

The authors give a useful “pantry” section that includes ingredients and tools for cooking the foods in this book, then divides the book into useful guides for:

First thing (breakfasts)

On the Go

Pick Me Ups

In a Pinch

Cozy Evenings

Summer Knights

Unexpected Guests

Something Sweet

The Basics.

 

I love the breakfast suggestions here – Blueberry Granola Parfait, breakfast crepes, chocolate cinnamon overnight oats, ginger chia pudding and scrambled eggs with parmesan and arugula (rocket) to name a few.

To impress your dinner guests try this quick delicious main meal; seared scallops with watercress and asparagus – quick, tasty and impressive dish, your guests will think you have slaved in the kitchen for hours!

A beautifully presented cook book with more than a few recipes that will become your all time favourites.

Chicken Korma with Cumin Naan – Quick.Easy.Healthy. – Callum Hann & Themis Chryssidis

Quick.Easy.Healthy

‘Recipes and Images from Quick. Easy. Healthy by Callum Hann (Murdoch Books).

CHICKEN KORMA WITH CUMIN NAAN

“Making your own curry paste allows you to take control of the heat, spice and salt content. Korma is a mildly spiced curry and is super simple to make, so give it a go.”

 

130 g (41/2 oz/1/2 cup) low-fat Greek-style yoghurt

3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced

1 thumb-sized piece ginger, finely grated

2 handfuls coriander (cilantro), stems finely chopped, leaves reserved

2 teaspoons garam masala, plus 2 teaspoons extra

4 x 100 g (31/2 oz) boneless, skinless chicken thighs

2 tablespoons rice bran oil (or olive oil)

1 brown onion, halved and thinly sliced

1 red capsicum (pepper), thinly sliced

2 teaspoons curry powder

250 ml (9 fl oz/1 cup) tomato passata (puréed tomatoes)

2 handfuls baby spinach

Chicken Korma with Cumin Naan

Cumin Naan bread

100 g (31/2 oz/2/3 cup) self-raising flour, plus extra for dusting (gluten-free flour works just as well here)

95 g (31/4 oz/1/3 cup) low-fat Greek-style yoghurt

1 teaspoon cumin seeds

pinch of salt

Stir together the yoghurt, garlic, ginger, coriander stems and 2 teaspoons of the garam masala in a large bowl. Slice each chicken thigh into four pieces, then each of those into three pieces so you
have twelve pieces per thigh. Stir the chicken into the yoghurt mixture and set aside to marinate.

 

Heat a large deep frying pan or stockpot over high heat. Add the rice bran oil, then add the onion and capsicum and stir for 2–4 minutes until the onion starts to become golden brown. Add the curry powder and the extra 2 teaspoons of garam masala. Cook for a 1–2 minutes, stirring until fragrant, before adding the chicken and yoghurt mixture. Cook for 2–3 minutes, stirring often until the yoghurt has started to brown. Stir in the passata and cook for a further 5–10 minutes until the chicken has cooked and the sauce has darkened slightly in colour.

 

Meanwhile, make the cumin naan bread. Mix the flour, yoghurt, cumin seeds and salt in a bowl using a spatula, then use your hands to bring the dough together. Divide the mixture into four and dust each piece with a little extra flour. Press each dough piece down into a thin circular shape. Heat a frying pan over high heat, add the naan, two at a time and cook for 1–2 minutes on each side until golden brown.

 

Stir the baby spinach through the chicken korma and top with the reserved coriander leaves. Serve the korma with the cumin naan.

 

Nutrition tip Curries are a great way to increase vegetable intake, as the vegetables absorb the flavour of the dish.

 

Substitution Try substituting prawns for the chicken.

 

NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION (PER SERVE)

Energy  2033 kJ (486 cal)

Protein 25.2g

Sodium 410mg

Fat 28.7g

Sat Fat 28.7 g

Carbohydrate 29.2g

Sugar 8.9 g

Fibre 4.8g

Post Script: Good Life Great Food – Judy Phillips

Cover Good Life Great Food

Good Life Great Food

Judy Phillips

Judy Phillips

ISBN: 9780646936956

Description:

Good Life Great Food – what more could you ask for? In her debut cookbook Judy Phillips creates simple, healthy and delicious recipes designed to share with loved ones. Inspired by her family, her love of entertaining and favourites from her cooking classes Judy shares dishes handed down from her beloved Hungarian grandmother, her family’s favourites, and delicious, seasonal recipes adapted for today’s health conscious lifestyle.

Judy’s influences range from her Eastern European Jewish background as well as flavours from the Middle East, Japan and the Mediterranean to create recipes that are easy to prepare whether cooking for a few or for many. ‘Good Life Great Food’ features easy to follow recipes, simple ingredients and stunning photography designed to inspire anyone in the kitchen.

 

My View:

 

About Judy:

Judy Phillips is a home cook, mother of five and fitness fanatic. In 2012, at the urging of family and friends, Judy started cooking classes from her kitchen in Sydney to impart the tips and tricks she’d learnt from years of creating easy to prepare, abundant, seasonal, healthy and delicious meals. Her debut cookbook, Good Life Great Food: Recipes for Loving and Sharing, is the result of a lifetime of interest in eating well, enjoying the food nature has to offer, and remaining healthy. Judy has degrees in commerce and law and is a certified personal trainer. Her kitchen is the hub of her busy household.

 

WOW! Judy Philipps has packed a lot into her life and it seems that a love of cooking has always been part of that life. This is Judy’s first book and hopefully not her last. I love the mix of family and culture and lifestyle that have influenced Judy’s cooking. The recipes she shares here are full of colour and passion, are vibrant, nourishing and comforting too! (and may I add are beautifully presented – the photography here is amazing – just look at the images for North African Hot Fish Stew or Walnut Cake – they cry out to be made. (I wish my food images were this good!)

 

Speaking of food images – I made the Flourless Chocolate Cake the other morning when we had visitors for morning tea – the coffee and rum ( I use a spiced rum) gave this such a wonderful aroma when cooking and added an extra depth to the flavour (I will share this recipe with you later). Unfortunately the cake was so successful that it was devoured before I had a chance to take a photo to share with you, you will have to take my word that this is a simply delicious!

 

Back to the book – a beautifully presented collection of interesting (particularly interesting to me as I have never made Hungarian influenced foods before) yet simple and easy to make recipes that are guaranteed to find a permanent place in your repertoire of favourite dishes to cook and share.

 

And all profits from the sale of this book are donated to The Black Dog Institute – the perfect reason to treat yourself to a copy of this book (or maybe buy as a Christmas gift for the cook in your life).

 

Why The Black Dog Institute?

The Black Dog Institute is a not-for-profit organisation and world leader in the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of mood disorders such as depression and bipolar disorder.

Like many of us, Judy has witnessed the grief depression can inflict on people’s lives. This inspired Judy to donate the profits from Good Life Great Food to help The Black Dog Institute continue their good work in this area.