This week I found a moment to complete my next cook book challenge. As mentioned in Week 33, I have a few books published by Philidelphia that were freebies in the grocery shop. They're all fairly mouth-watering books with a huge variety of recipes. This week's recipe comes from "Simply Heaven: Volume 2".
I love home made gnocchi, but rarely do I make it. I find it time consuming so I have to be motivated enough to make it. When I do find said motivation, though, it is incredibly rewarding.
I usually make it with regular potatoes, but this recipe provided a new take on the classic. As soon as I saw it I just needed to try it.
Recipe after the jump…
Every so often, Philly have one of those deals where if you buy so many products you get a recipe book for free. Unlike most of the freebies you get in supermarkets, these books are actually amazing and usually cost $35-45 each to buy on their own. Each is filled with 75 recipes, most of which I'm keen to try out at some point.
A while ago I picked up volume 2 at the supermarket. My dad found the first volume at the op shop. On last week's grocery shop I noticed volume three was out, and eagerly snatched it up. Flicking through the newest copy reminded me of how fantastic these books are, so I decided to dig them out for the cook book challenge. This week begins with the first volume.
I've got a lot of baking on over the next couple weeks, what with the Daring Baker's Challenge, a couple of other challenges, as well as a personal project you guys will find out about soon, so I steered away from the desserts section for once. While there were a bunch of savoury options begging to be tried, I decided to go with something that involved a technique I've always been too intimidated to try.
Bacon, Olive and Almond Filled Chicken
Jumping back into the cook book challenge this week, I turned to a book that fills me with indecisions like few others. As the name suggests, Dream Desserts is filled with dreamy recipes for every occasion. From winter warmers to light summer desserts, from the simplest of cakes to decadent desserts that require a bit of know-how, this book has it all. What's more is that this book has a lot of desserts that are quite different from what I would usually do, or create, or crave, myself, so it encourages me to try some new things.
This week I decided to try a dessert I've always heard about but had no idea what it actually was: Banoffee Pie…
Now that my mini-series of cook books has been cooked through, I'm back to indecision in picking a book for the challenge. This week was made a little easier for me, as dad picked up another couple books from the op shop for me. I was flicking through one whilst trying to decide on dinner and came across as recipe I just had to try.
The book is New Idea's "Let's Cook Chinese". I'm such a lover of Asian food, but it's something I seldom have at home. Neither of my parents were equipped to cook Asian dishes, so growing up the only Asian food I got was take away. I haven't learnt enough yet to be able to experiment much with Asian flavours, and so I tend to rely a lot of cook books when I'm making it at home. Some are more westernised than others, and I feel this one lingers half way between traditional and bastardised Asian cuisine, but as a Westerner I'm not picky enough to mind. This book had so many dishes I wanted to try, but there was one that caught my attention above all else.
This week is the final installment of the Cook Book Challenge taken from this mini-series (because I am a genius and did #10 weeks ago). Next week we shall return to your regularly-sized version.
Gary Mehigan is another well-known Melbourne chef. He was well known before becoming a judge on MasterChef, but since has become a household name. He began his cheffing career in London before moving to Melbourne and opening a plethora of award-winning restaurants. This book is named after, and full of, my favourite types of eats: comfort food. It's particularly comforting during this cooler part of the year. Choosing a recipe was almost impossible.
Winter, or any time, warmers…
I've just finished another batch of research, and perhaps my final pending on how the data turns out. While I was getting up at 5am and coming home at 8pm, I didn't have the energy to cook anything. Dinner was usually my first meal of the day and often consisted of 2-minute noodles or a pasty. Anything I make quickly and shove in my mouth before collapsing into bed. Needless to say, I fell off the CBC bandwagon once more. This week, I was extra excited to pick it up again given that this week's book is Kylie Kwong "Simple Chinese Cooking".
Kylie Kowng is an Australian chef who is as charasmatic as she is brilliant. She takes the Cantonese cooking she learned from her mother and applies the chef-fy skills she's learned in her adult life. But my favourite thing about her is that she's a proponent of sustainable food and ethical eating. Her restaurant famously uses only local, organic and biodynamic produce and has won awards for it's sustainablity.
I've been a nature and animal lover as far as I can remember, and in my adult life a Zoologist. Conservation, sustainablity and animal ethics are among my highest priorities in life. I've found that a lot of people think that to eat and live sustainably means to go without all the good things. Kylie and her restaurant show just how easy it is to have amazing food that is sustainable.
Chilli-salt Duck Breasts with Lemon
I'm a week late in posting this challenge. I've just started a new round of field work for my research project that has me up at 5am and home way after the sun has set. Ahh, the joys of working with a nocturnal species. But if you're as much of a fan of squid as I am, you'll agree that this one is definitely worth the wait.
This week's book is Tobie Puttock's "Daily Italian". Tobie is a local Melbourne boy who cheffed his way across Europe, working 18-hour days in Italian-speaking kitchens. He worked with many a high profile chef before bringing all this knowledge back to Melbourne. In 2006 he opened his restaurant, Fifteen — a Jamie Oliver founded chain many of you will know of, that gives opportunities to disadvantaged youths. The restaurant fell victim to arson a few years ago, but recently reopened as The Kitchen Cat.
Tobie is a fantastic foodie, and his book was full of recipes I wanted to try, and will do so soon. But I couldn't go past the squid recipe. Not only do I love it, I've never cooked squid myself before, and so it was perfect for the cook book challenge.
Recipe after the jump…