I’m excited to announce that my new book, The Cook’s Apprentice, is at the printers and will be released in October 2018!
This book was inspired by The Cook’s Companion, but this time I found myself thinking of young people just starting to cook.
The new cooks I know often have many questions about ‘how?’ and ‘what is it?’. This new work concentrates on achievable (but of course delicious) recipes, highlighting and explaining each technique as well as identifying unusual ingredients and where to get them.
I had a curious teenager in mind as I wrote … but I know that new cooks come in all shapes and sizes, all genders, and all ages. Circumstances change in families, and sometimes even older ‘non-cooks’ find themselves becoming ‘new cooks’!
There are 54 chapters and 300 recipes. The language is straightforward and where a recipe has been transferred from some other work, I have scrutinised it to ensure that it is crystal-clear and never confuses. Each ingredient has its quirky and delightful hand-drawn image by artist and designer Evi O.
Last week I had the excitement of seeing a mockup of the final book whilst doing some short video clips for eventual social media promotion.
The Cook’s Apprentice is available for pre-order now, for delivery in October 2018.
Each copy ordered through my website will be signed and can be personalised with the recipient’s name.
PRE-ORDER NOW >>
Researchers at the University of Melbourne are looking for people aged 18–23 to take part in a new study about what young people are cooking and eating.
The What’s Cooking? study is a follow-up to the evaluation of the Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden Program that found children who were part of the Kitchen Garden Program had better cooking and gardening knowledge, skills, and confidence, and an increased willingness to try new foods.
The new evaluation aims to find out if these changes are retained when participants become independent young adults.
All adults aged between 18 and 23 years who attended primary school in Victoria are eligible to participate in the study.
Take the Survey
On these chilly mornings I am reminded of the superlative breakfasts I enjoyed at Ballymaloe House in County Cork, Ireland. The porridge was one of the highlights. It was made from stone ground oats, alongside was a jug of cream and unrefined brown sugar that melted almost instantly into toffee-like trails. Steel-cut oats, or pinhead oats, are different from the rolled oats that are more commonly used. Rolled oats are first steamed, then pressed between rollers and dried. They absorb liquid more quickly and thus the porridge cooks faster but with a loss of flavour. For steel-cut oats, each oat ‘groat’ is split into several nubby pieces. Usually simmered with water (sometimes pre-soaked) the porridge retains much of the shape of the groat, resulting in a chewy and nutty-tasting porridge.
Being made with water you can add cream to this bowl of porridge without any twinge of guilt. As a child my favourite was hot milk, brown sugar and a lump of butter. I enjoyed watching the butter melt into a golden pool on the surface of the bowl before I stirred it in and ate it. I have never been a fan of slicing raw fruit such as bananas into my oatmeal. And I would prefer to have a separate bowl of stewed fruit rather than combining them.
And now for the holiday edition. If you do not want to hear about my adventures in Jordan and Egypt, do not read on!
Many of our closest friends privately wondered whether my two friends and I would cope, but we did – through rough and bumpy tracks, over Roman paved roads, up and down staircases, down sloping boardwalks inside 3000+ year-old tombs. Mostly in plus 25 degree heat, including two days of over 35 degree heat and one of 42 degrees (I sat that one out!).
If your family prefers to eat fish on Good Friday, here are six recipe ideas for delicious seafood meals. The best advice of all is to locate an excellent fish retailer who can recommend the freshest fish on the day and prepare it for you. Always be prepared to try something new. Happy Easter!
Sauce Vierge for Fish
Season diced ripe tomato with salt, pepper and a little wine vinegar and add a generous quantity of herbs and an even more generous quantity of barely warmed extra-virgin olive oil. Serve as a sauce with grilled fish. I like it spooned over fried eggs!
Baked Fish in North African Marinade
This baked fish recipe uses a whole snapper cooked in a North African chermoula, with red peppers. Click HERE for the recipe
Top a small bream with chopped spring onion, freshly sliced ginger, a sliced garlic clove, 3 tablespoons light soy sauce and 2 tablespoons dry sherry. Steam for 10–15 minutes and eat with boiled rice.
Every cook has a favourite fish pie recipe. Mine has wafer-thin slices of potato and fennel a touch of saffron and high heat at the end of the bake to crisp the top. Click HERE for the recipe
Pan-fry a cutlet or fillet of Tasmanian Atlantic salmon in the merest trace of oil and serve with stewed sweet peppers, olives, tomatoes and caramelised onions.
The Cook’s Companion App and book.