Exciting New Books

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Exciting new books are piling up on my desk, some have been, kindly sent by publishers, others by the authors themselves and then there are several that have particularly caught my eye in bookshops. I love small independent bookshops, I can’t seem to pass one without slipping in for a root and a meander along the shelves of tempting titles. I am also acutely aware of how badly they need support at a time when so many of us are tempted to order on-line.

 

I found a copy of a charming book entitled ‘The Little Library Cook Book’ in Whyte’s Books on the Main Street in Schull. Its written by London based, Kate Young, a writer whose name was unfamiliar to me. She is originally Australian and according to the blurb on the inner flap, spent her childhood indoors, reading books where she found ‘comfort, inspiration and distraction’. It’s a beautifully produced book, elegantly written in erudite prose. Many of the tempting recipes are inspired by food in literature, gorgeous home cooking that makes you want to don your apron and dash into the kitchen, beautiful photos on beautiful paper, comforting food and comforting reading…

 

The Happy Pear brothers, who the Sunday Times dubbed “the poster boys for a healthy way of life”, have brought out a sequel to their two number one best sellers, The Happy and The World of the Happy Pear.

Lots more vegetarian and plant based recipes (the new buzz word) for economical easy dinners that can be rustled up in as little as fifteen minutes. How tempting does Chickpea Tikka Masala sound? Also some gorgeous hearty dishes like Hungarian Goulash and hearty Greek stew.

 

At the other end of the spectrum – a surprising new book entitled ‘Goat’ piqued my curiosity. I love goat meat and really wish I could get it on a regular basis.  Those who travel to India, Sri Lanka and other parts of Asia will have realised that the flavourful mutton curry they have enjoyed is in fact made from goat meat. On the cover of this eye catching book is an endearing photo of a billy-goat, who nowadays are considered of little commercial value so are normally euthanized at birth. This was the reason why James Whetlor was moved to write this book. James worked at River Cottage for years before founding his ethical company Cabrito, which supplies kid and goat meat to chefs and shops in the UK. Can some young entrepreneur over here please follow…This publication highlights the fact that that goat meat has long been overlooked and is packed with delicious recipe for slow cooked curries, stews, braises, roasts, even kebabs and stir fries.

 

The Happy Pear, Chickpea Tikka Masala

Chicken Tikka masala has been called the UK’s national dish, originating when a chef added tomato soup to a curry to make it less spicy! Our version, based on chickpeas and aubergines, is rich, creamy, and lovely and ‘meaty’!

 

For the paste

1 tablespoon cumin seeds

1 tablespoon coriander seeds

2 cloves of garlic

a thumb-size piece of fresh ginger

½ a fresh red chilli a bunch of fresh coriander

1 heaped teaspoon garam masala

½ teaspoon smoked paprika

1½ teaspoons sea salt

½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1 tablespoon tomato purée

1 x 400g tin of chopped tomatoes

 

For the curry

3 scallions

300g mushrooms (we love oyster, but any mushrooms will do)

1½ tablespoons oil

2 x 400g tins of chickpeas

1 x 400ml tin of coconut milk

juice of ½ a lime

chilli flakes (optional)

 

 

In a dry frying pan, fry the cumin and coriander seeds for 3–5 minutes on a high heat until the cumin seeds start to pop, stirring regularly. Peel the garlic and ginger.

 

To make your paste, whiz together the garlic, ginger, chilli, the stalks from the fresh coriander (setting the leaves aside for later), the garam masala, smoked paprika, salt, pepper, tomato purée, chopped tomatoes and the toasted cumin and coriander seeds in a blender until smooth.

 

Chop the scallions into small slices and cut the mushrooms into small bite-size pieces. Put the oil into a large frying pan over a high heat, and once the pan and oil are hot, add the mushrooms and fry for 3–4 minutes. If the mushrooms start to stick, add a few tablespoons of the paste.

 

Drain the chickpeas, rinse thoroughly and add to the pan together with the chopped scallions, the rest of the paste and the coconut milk. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for a further 2 minutes.

 

Squeeze in the lime juice, taste, and season with more salt, pepper and maybe some chilli flakes if you think it needs it. Chop the reserved coriander leaves roughly and sprinkle over each serving as a garnish.

 

Lovely served with soya yoghurt and toasted almond flakes on top.
From  Recipes for Happiness by David and Stephen Flynn. Published by Penguin Ireland

 

 

Kid Korma

 

James writes “I’m is a  dairy addict, this and Rogan Josh are two of my favourite curries – the yoghurt (and the almonds in the korma) give such a lovely richness. Neither of these two curries is hot, but you can add a few chilli flakes to the Rogan Josh if you like.

I batch-cook a lot at home and these are perfect for that. Double the recipe and freeze what you don’t eat, then you’ll have homemade ready meals for when you can’t be bothered to cook. Serve with rice, naan and chilli and garlic chutney.”

 

Serves 4

 

100g/scant ½ cup plain yoghurt

juice of 1 lemon

½ teaspoon ground cinnamon

¼ teaspoon ground cardamom

¼ nutmeg, freshly grated

600g/1lb 5oz diced kid

20g/1 ½ tablespoons butter

splash of vegetable oil

1 onion, thinly sliced

2 garlic cloves, finely chopped

1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger

A big pinch of saffron strands, soaked in

2 tablespoons warm water

1 teaspoon garam masala

1 tablespoon sugar

40g/scant ½ cup ground almonds

salt

3 tablespoons chopped coriander (cilantro), to serve (optional)

 

In a bowl, mix half the yoghurt and half the lemon juice with the cinnamon, cardamom, nutmeg and ½ teaspoon salt.

 

Add the meat and turn to coat. Set aside to marinate (the longer the better).

 

Heat the butter with the oil in a large frying pan, add the onion and fry for 10 minutes until soft.

Add the garlic and ginger and fry for a few seconds, then add the meat in its marinade, the saffron in its soaking water and half the garam masala, and fry for 5 minutes to thicken.

Add 250ml/1 cup water, the sugar, ground almonds and ½ teaspoon salt, cover and gently simmer for about 1 hour, until tender, giving it a stir every now and then.

If the sauce needs to be thicker, cook it uncovered for the last 15 minutes.

Stir in the rest of the yoghurt, a squeeze more lemon juice and the rest of the garam masala, then check the seasoning and serve straight away, topped with coriander (cilantro), if you like.

 

Kricket

Kid Goat Raan

 

Kricket started life as a pop-up in a shipping container in Brixton, and was such as success that it has grown into a modern Indian restaurant in London’s Soho. This is probably one of my favourite dishes in the book. Anything with a litre of double (heavy) cream in it is OK by me. The recipe looks … unconventional, but stick at it. It comes together beautifully in the end.

 

Serves 10

 

1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger

1 tablespoon grated garlic

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

1 leg of kid

3 tablespoons Kashmiri chilli powder

2 tablespoons salt

3 star anise

2 cinnamon sticks

6 whole cloves

8 black peppercorns

2 black cardamom pods

4 green cardamom pods

600ml/2 ½  cups malt vinegar

1 litre/4 cups double (heavy) cream

pinch of saffron strands, soaked in a little warm water

2 tablespoons garam masala

chopped mint leaves and pomegranate seeds, to serve

 

In a small food processor or blender, blitz the ginger and garlic together with the oil to form a smooth paste. Rub the leg all over with the paste, the chilli powder and salt, and leave to marinate overnight in the fridge.

 

Preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F/gas mark 6. Place the leg in a large casserole or pot that has a lid, add the whole spices, vinegar and enough water to just cover the meat. Cover and cook in the oven for

30 minutes, then reduce the heat to 170°C/325°F/gas mark 3 and cook for a further 4–5 hours, until the meat is falling off the bone.

 

Remove the casserole from the oven, take the leg out of the braising liquid and set aside until cool enough to handle. Transfer the braising liquid to a pan and boil over a high heat until thickened and the salt levels taste correct. Strain into a clean pan, reduce the heat and add the cream, saffron and its soaking liquid, and the garam masala. Simmer for a further 5 minutes, check the seasoning and set aside to cool.

 

Meanwhile, pull away the meat from the bone and set aside.

 

When you are ready to serve, heat a frying pan over a high heat and sear off the meat in small batches to give it a nice crispy exterior. Return it all to the frying pan, add the braising sauce and stir through the goat until it is nicely coated. Serve the raan sprinkled with  chopped mint and pomegranate.

GOAT: COKING AND EATING by James Whetlor (Quadrille Publishing) Photography: Mike Lusmore

 

 

Neil Rankin

Goat Tacos

 

I was sitting in a reclining chair in the South of France in 2013, flicking through Twitter, when I saw Neil making these tacos at Meatopia, and it changed the way I thought about our product for good: it made me believe that kid could move out of its niche and break into the mainstream. Now at Temper, Neil has transformed the way people think about cooking with live fire, and we have pulled along in his wake. Thanks, Neil.

 

Makes 10

 

1 whole shoulder of kid, about

1.5–2kg/3 ¼ –4 ½ lb

150g/1 ½ cups masa harina

1 tablespoon olive oil

50g/1 ¾ oz chipotle in adobo, blended until smooth

100g/scant ½ cup sour cream

1 avocado, diced

juice of 2 limes

2 jalapeno chillies, finely sliced

1 red onion, finely sliced

small bunch of coriander (cilantro), leaves only

salt

 

For the green sauce

25g/1oz coriander (cilantro), leaves and stalks

6 garlic cloves, chopped

grated zest of 1 lime

50ml/1 ¾ fl oz lime juice

Preheat the oven to 130°C/250°F/gas mark 1.

 

Season the shoulder with salt, place in a roasting pan, cover with foil and cook in the oven for 5 hours.

 

While the meat is roasting, make the taco dough. Mix the masa harina with a pinch of salt, then add the olive oil and about 100ml/scant ½ cup of water to achieve a smooth dough. If it’s too sticky, add more flour; too dry, more water. Roll into a ball, cover in cling film (plastic

wrap) and refrigerate until needed.

 

Mix the blended chipotle with the sour cream and set aside.

 

Meanwhile, make the green sauce. Place all the ingredients in a blender or small food processor and whiz until smooth. Once the meat is cooked and tender, remove from the oven and set aside at room temperature to cool, then pull off chunks of meat and use the fat left in the tray to keep it moist.

 

Heat a non-stick or cast-iron pan on the hob until nice and hot. Roll the taco dough into about 10 small balls, then roll each ball between 2 pieces of greaseproof paper, pressing down to make a flat circle.

Dry-fry in batches in the hot pan for 1 minute on each side, and repeat until the dough is used up, stacking up the cooked tacos on a plate as you go. Build the taco with the pulled meat and diced avocado.

Drench in freshly squeezed lime juice, top with the chipotle-sour cream, green sauce, and slices of jalapeno and red onion. Finish with the coriander (cilantro) leaves.

 

GOAT: COKING AND EATING by James Whetlor (Quadrille Publishing) Photography: Mike Lusmore

 

Kate Young’s Brown Butter Madeleines

 

She sent out for one of those short, plump little cakes called ‘petites madeleines,’ which look as though they had been moulded in the fluted scallop of a pilgrim’s shell.

Swann’s Way, À la recherche du temps perdu, Marcel Proust

 

 

Makes around 20 madeleines

Ingredients
110g/4oz unsalted butter
2 large eggs
100g/3½oz superfine sugar
100g/3½oz  plain/all-purpose flour
1teaspoon baking powder
15g/1tablespoon  melted butter for greasing
Icing/confectioners’ sugar for dusting

Equipment
Electric mixer or whisk, if you have one
Madeleine tin (mine has large 7.5cm/3in moulds)

Melt the butter over a low heat. Once melted, tip half into a dish and set aside. Leave the other half over the heat until butter has turned brown and gives off a nutty aroma. Remove from the heat and add this browned butter to the dish of melted butter.

Beat the eggs with the caster sugar in a bowl until very thick, which should take at least 5 minutes using an electric mixer or whisk.

Sift the flour and baking powder into the egg and sugar mixture and fold in gently with a spatula. Fold in the butter, then cover and chill for at least 2 hours, or overnight if that’s easier.

Preheat the oven to 200ºC/400ºF/Gas 6 and generously brush the madeleine tin with melted butter. Dust with a little flour, then pop the tin in the freezer for 10 minutes. Fill the tray with the batter – around ⅔ full is enough, as the sponge will spread as it rises.

Bake for 7–9 minutes, until brown and risen, then tip out of the tin and leave to cool on the rack. You’ll have enough batter to do a second, and possibly third, batch. Dust all the madeleines with icing sugar and serve, warm, with a cup

 

From “The Little Library Cookbook” by Kate Young, photographs by Lean Timms. Published by Anima, an imprint of Head of Zeus

 

Kate Young’s Honey and Rosemary Cakes

 

‘That’s funny,’ he thought. ‘I know I had a jar of honey there. A full jar, full of honey right up to the top, and it had HUNNY written on it, so that I should know it was honey.’ 

Winnie-the-Pooh, A. A. Milne

 

 

Makes 10

 

Ingredients
Cakes
170g/6oz  butter
115g/4oz dark brown sugar
175g/6oz honey
200g/7oz plain flour
1 ½tsp baking powder
½tsp ground cinnamon
1tbsp finely chopped rosemary leaves
2 eggs, beaten
Icing
100g/3½oz cream cheese
300g/10½oz confectioners’ sugar
Rosemary Honey Drizzle
150g/5½oz honey
2 sprigs rosemary

 

Equipment
Deep 12-cup muffin tray
Palette knife

 

Preheat the oven to 180ºC/350ºF/Gas 4 and grease the muffin tins with a little of the butter. Place the rest of the butter, along with the sugar, honey and 1tbsp water, into the saucepan. Heat gently, stirring only once, until the butter is melted and the sugar dissolved. It will look like it’s separated, but don’t stress, this is normal. Set aside to cool.

 

Sift the flour, baking powder and cinnamon together, and add the finely chopped rosemary.

 

When the honey mixture is cool, stir in the beaten eggs. Add to the dry ingredients and stir until the mixture is smooth.

 

Divide the mixture between the well-greased tins, making sure they are all around two-thirds full. Bake for around 25 minutes, until a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean. Cool for 5 minutes in the tins, then turn out and transfer to a wire rack.

 

Whisk the cream cheese until light and airy. Sift the icing sugar and beat it into the cheese, to create a smooth and creamy icing that holds its shape.

 

When the cakes are completely cold, ice them using a palette knife to drop the icing onto the cake, then round it off at the edges.

 

To make the rosemary honey drizzle, put the honey in a saucepan with the rosemary leaves and bring to the boil. As soon as the honey starts bubbling, turn off the heat and allow the flavours to infuse for at least 20 minutes. Pour the mixture into a jar – it will keep for a good few weeks, and tastes wonderful on roasted carrots as well as cakes.

 

To serve, warm the rosemary honey in the saucepan and spoon over an iced cake. Eat immediately.

 

From “The Little Library Cookbook” by Kate Young, photographs by Lean Timms. Published by Anima, an imprint of Head of Zeus

 

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Darina Allen
By Darina Allen

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