200 Cookbooks And Counting – Book 10, The Ethicurean Cookbook

The Ethicurean Cookbook Recipes, Foods and Spirituous Liquors, from Our Bounteous Walled Garden in the Several Seasons of the Year

Corpulent Capers: The_Ethicurean_CookbookThis cookbook was a gift from Betty Mahoney of The One Mile Bakery to Mark for his birthday (really a gift to me as well as I am the one who enjoys cooking from it!). This is Betty’s fave cookbook for the year.

This is simply a beautiful book with glorious food celebrating modern British seasonal cuisine. In this cookbook the team of 4 friends, from the multi award winning Ethicurean restaurant just outside of Bristol, share their ethos, stories and recipes. The restaurant serves a menu using only local and seasonal produce made by local artisan food and drink producers or grown within their walled garden. They use many traditional techniques and recipes and some have been adapted to the modern kitchen.

The book contains 120 innovative and exciting recipes in four chapters: Winter, Spring, Summer and Autumn. This book celebrates not only seasonal, local produce but their local food and drink producers.

Corpulent Capers: Beetroot Barley

Beetroot Barley

You will find an abundance of recipes for salads, soups, main course, salads, drinks, cocktails, pickles, cakes, and pies using local and foraged foods. But this is not just a book of recipes. Each recipe tells a story and each story gives you some idea of the inspiration behind the recipe. Some recipes may be difficult to recreate at home as they call for ingredients that are not common, or that you need to forage; such as pineapple weed, lovage, liquorice basil, goat meat. Where they can, they give more common substitutes.

You will find innovative recipes such as Rabbit Confit with lovage breadcrumbs or St. Georges Mushrooms with Asparagus, Ribwort Plantain, Mushroom Jelly and Apple Jelly. But as well there are twists on simple recipes such as asparagus with toasted sesame and hollandaise sauce where an artisan cider vinegar is used instead of lemon juice as they cannot grow lemons.

Corpulent Capers: Chicken Thighs with Beetroot Barley and Bordelaise Sauce, with broccoli

Chicken Thighs with Beetroot Barley and Bordelaise Sauce, with Broccoli

As I had a glut of beetroot, I took inspiration from the recipe: Pigeon breasts with beetroot barley and bordelaise sauce. As I did not have pigeon, I substituted chicken thighs and was happy with the result. The barley has a nutty edge which works really well with the earthy and sweet beetroot and the lovely rich bordelaise sauce tied the dish together.

This is not a cookbook I pull off the shelf for an easy week night supper. It is one that I use when I have time to cook and want to expand my horizons in cooking truly seasonal and British food.

You can find this book at good local book stores and on Amazon by clicking the image,

*If you want to know more about Carol’s adventure with food or even join her on one then check out Food Adventure Ltd.

200 Cookbooks And Counting – Book 9, Forgotten Skills of Cooking: Darina Allen

Forgotten Skills of Cooking: The time-honoured ways are the best – over 700 recipes show you why by Darina Allen

Forgotten_Skills_of_CookingThis time of year, Forgotten Skills of Cooking comes off the shelf and is used a lot. It was recommended to me by my friend Bill King, an alumni of the celebrated Ballymaloe Cookery School run by Darina Allen, as I was asking a whole heap of questions as what to do with all the excess vegetables we had grown in our garden. I went out and bought the book and it has been in constant use ever since. But this is not a book just about preserving food. This is a book that teaches you the skills that the older generation used in cooking and that are becoming lost. Darina Allen revives recipes and techniques that were used before the advent of ready meals.

Have you ever watched Masterchef where the contestants have to do a skill test? John and Greg call them in and they have to fillet a fish, skin a rabbit, prepare kidneys, tunnel bone a leg of lamb. Most of the contestants fail miserably. They would all have done better if they had a copy of this book!

Forgotten Skills of Cooking: The time-honoured ways are the best – over 700 recipes has over 600 pages and has the following chapters, Foraging, Fish, Game, Beef, Dairy, Eggs and Poultry, Pig, Lamb, Vegetables Herbs and Salad, Preserving, Puddings, Cakes Buns and Biscuits, Bread, and Household Tips. Each chapter gives traditional recipes, such as how to cook the perfect steak or bake a loaf of bread. It also includes ideas on cooking with forgotten cuts of meat. Most importantly it is packed with the traditional skills of cooking. This book teaches you how to make your own sausages, cure your own bacon and make your own yoghurt.

The foraging chapter is divided into wild greens, wild flowers, wild fruit, wild nuts, wild mushrooms, and wild coast. Darina Allen gives loads of tips on when and how to pick as well as a myriad of traditional and new recipes such as spaghetti with wild garlic and herbs and crab apple and blackberry tart.

Corpulent Capers: Pickling Beetroot

Pickling Beetroot

The fish chapter gives you tips such as cleaning and filleting a fish, cooking and extracting meat from lobster, and smoking fish.

The section on game will teach you all about game birds: not only how to cook but about hanging, plucking and gutting.

Beef, Pig and Lamb teach the reader about the different cuts of meat and teaches forgotten process such as brining as well as recipes for lesser used but traditional cuts of meat.

The section on milk included recipes on making buttermilk, butter, cheese as well as recipes for milk based desserts and meals.

Eggs and Poultry gives instructions on keeping hens and Vegetables and Herb has a lot of great suggestions for growing your own whether you have a big garden or just a window box.

As I have a glut of vegetables and have been foraging for wild berries, I have turned to this book for the Preserving chapter. Here you will find recipes and tips for making flavoured vinegars and oils, mustard, pickles, chutneys, jams, marmalade, and cordials. You will also find instructions on how to preserve food by smoking, salting and brining.

JammingThis year I have, so far, made pickled beetroot, wild damson and apple jam, wild blackberry and apple jam, white beetroot chutney, rhubarb and ginger jam and the marrow, lemon and ginger jam! Again along with fabulous recipes, the book gives clear instruction on sterilising jars, getting a good set in your jam, preparing fruit and vegetables for preserving and more.

I absolutely love this book as it so much more than a collection of recipes. It focuses on skills needed to be a good cook. It will make you a confident home cook as you delve into the pages and learn some traditional cooking skills. A must if you wish to develop fundamental cooking skills.

You can find this book at good local book stores and on Amazon by clicking the image,

*If you want to know more about Carol’s adventure with food or even join her on one then check out Food Adventure Ltd.

200 Cookbooks And Counting – Book 8 Rôtis, Stéphane Reynaud

Cook Book 8, Rôtis Roasts for every day of the week by Stéphane Reynaud.

Rôtis by Stéphane Reynaud

Rôtis by Stéphane Reynaud

Stéphane Reynaud came into my life via Saturday Kitchen. I can’t remember what he cooked but it made me go out and buy his cookbook Pork & Sons, and I have bought several of his cookbooks since then. The one I am featuring in this blog post is Rôtis Roasts for every day of the week.

I love a good roast as basically it’s what I call no faff cooking. Season up the meat, pop it in the oven and basically it cooks itself into a beautiful meal. I am always looking for new ideas when it comes to roasts and this book beautifully fills the bill.

The book’s chapters include, Beef, Veal, Poultry, Pork, Fish, Lamb, Game, Side Dishes and also a chapter on what to do with any leftovers. Each recipe is accompanied by a photograph.

What I love about this book is that it is clearly stated how much preperation and cooking time is needed for each recipe; so that you can easily find recipes that work with your cooking time budget. Want a fast roast? Try the Roast Beef with Olives which requires 15 minutes prep and 20 minutes cooking time or the Roast Lamb Loin with Pesto which requires 10 minutes of prep and 10 minutes of cooking. I also appreciate that Reynaud gives ideas and serving suggestions for a simple roasts. For example, he gives recipes for 4 sauces to go with beef, ideas for stuffing or seasoning a plain roasted chicken, 4 different ways to cook a veal shank in addition to the traditional Osso Buco.

Corpulent Capers: Chicken stuffed with sautéed shallots, fresh tomatoes, mustard and tarragon.

Chicken stuffed with sautéed shallots, fresh tomatoes, mustard and tarragon.

I opted to be inspired by his 4 ideas for stuffing a chicken. One of his stuffing ideas is to stuff a chicken with Boursin cheese. I have done this on many occasions; melted Boursin mixed with roast chicken pan juices makes a delightfully sinful gravy. This time, I sautéed shallots and fresh tomatoes and then added some mustard and tarragon. After cooling the mixture I stuffed the chicken with it. I had some homemade mixed herb “pesto” in the fridge and used some of this to rub on the chicken breast under the skin. The tomato mixture kept the chicken moist and when added to the pan juices, made a delectably rich gravy.

I find all of Stéphane Reynaud’s cookbooks charming, playful with well written recipes that are easy to follow. If you love a good roast and want to add to your repertoire, this is a great cookbook to have.

You can find this book at good local book stores and on Amazon by clicking the image,

*If you want to know more about Carol’s adventure with food or even join her on one then check out Food Adventure Ltd.

Kallo Rice & Corn Cake Giveaway

The nice people at big fish sent us some Kallo rice and corn cakes for us to review.

IMG_4835We tend to opt for crackers and bread instead of rice or corn cakes so were keen to give these a try. Kallo make a variety of savoury plain rice and corn cakes as well as some fabulous flavoured ones such as smoked paprika, seal salt and balsamic. These round rice cakes make a nice change from ordinary crackers and bread. They are crispy and airy, and at 3½ inches in diameter are a great base for spreads, dips and salads.

We enjoyed these rice and corn cakes loaded with a variety of toppings for a quick lunch. Chicken liver pate, smoked salmon and cream cheese, cheese and chutney, coronation chicken, roasted beetroot pate with goats cheese. We found that neither the plain or flavoured cakes competed with the flavour of our topping but were either a nice neutral host or the perfect compliment for it.

Kallo also make sweet rice cake thins topped with chocolate, such as Belgian dark chocolate with orange pieces and Belgian milk chocolate. kallobdcwop

All of the rice and corn cakes are low in calories, contain no artificial colours, flavours or preservatives. Gone are the days of associating rice cakes with calorie-counting and diet-obsessing, you really can have your cake and eat it. Many are vegetarian, vegan, coeliac friendly and gluten free. The packaging and website clearly indicates the dietary fit for each product.

So taken were we with these Kallo cakes we asked big fish if they’d give us a second hamper to give away.  Being the lovely people they are, they said yes. So you lucky people here’s the details of what you have to do to be in with a chance of winning this fantastic hamper containing*:-

  • Lightly salted rice cakes
  • Organic unsalted rice cakes
  • Organic lightly salted rice cakes
  • Organic sesame seed rice cakes
  • Corn cakes
  • Sea salt & balsamic rice & corn cakes
  • Blueberry & vanilla rice & corn cakes
  • Belgian milk chocolate rice cake thins x2
  • Belgian dark chocolate rice cake thins x2
  • Organic garlic & herb stock cubes
  • Organic tomato & herb stock cubes
  • Organic chicken stock cubes
  • Organic vegetable stock cubes

The approximate cost of this gift in stores would be £20.00

*Contents may vary slightly.

So to be in with a chance of winning simply leave us a comment below telling us what topping you’d put on what Kallo product for a tasty snack.  You can increase your chances of winning by liking the Corpulent Capers Facebook page and/or following me (@gomezadams) on Twitter.  Good Luck

Click here to view this promotion.

The rules:-

  • The deadline for entries is 23:59 BST Sunday 5th October 2014.
  • The competition is open to U.K. mainland residents only, sorry.
  • The winners will be selected from all valid entries.
  • The editors decision is final and no correspondence will be entered into
  • Entry instructions form part of the terms and conditions.
  • The prize is one Kallo Rice & Corn Cake Hamper, as detailed above, and includes free delivery anywhere in mainland UK. (Contents may vary)
  • The prize cannot be redeemed for a cash value.
  • The prize is offered and provided by Big Fish Design Limited.
  • Where prizes are to be provided by a third party, Corpulent Capers accepts no responsibility for the acts or defaults of that third party.
  • One main entry per person only.
  • Entrants must provide a valid email address for contacting the winner.
  • By entering you agree to join our mailing list. You may unsubscribe at any time and we will never pass your details to any other party. Your privacy is very important to us.
  • The winners will be notified by email. If no response is received within 3 days of notification, the prize will be forfeit and a new winner will be picked and contacted.

200 Cookbooks And Counting – Book 7 The Complete Heinz Cookbook

heinzWe have a wide array of cookbooks in our collection of 200 and counting. Sometimes we love to buy vintage cookbooks that give a snapshot of what type of cooking was on trend at that time. I have to admit, I walked right by The Complete Heinz Cookbook but Mark snapped it up.

I didn’t really think about the book until the other week when Mark and I had dinner with our friends Ann, Peter and Dale when the conversation drifted to the evolution of home cooking. We talked about the time when home cooking meant everything was made from scratch, farm home cooking where every part of the animal was used, cooking during the war when food was rationed and people were creative with their rationed ingredients and the introduction of ready meals and convenience foods. On our side of the Atlantic, Campbell’s soup was used to make quick and easy casseroles and pasta bakes. For example, if you didn’t have time to make a roux, Cheddar Cheese soup was a classic quick cheat or a tin of cream of mushroom soup was used as the base for beef stroganoff.

The Complete Heinz Cookbook was published in 1994 to give home cooks “cheats” for making fast meals at home. Of course the focus of this book was to keep a larder full of Heinz products to achieve that goal. 20 years on, cooking simple and quick meals at home is still relevant issue. How many of you have a copy of Delia’s How to Cheat, Jamie’s 15 Minute Meals, Rachel Ray 30-Minute Meals or 10 Minutes To Table: Real food in 10 minutes – no cheating by Xanthe Clay (Cookbook 6 featured here).

Cowboy Hash

Cowboy Hash

Anyway, this cookbook gives recipes and novel ways for using their baked beans, salad dressings, soups, condiments, canned salads, sandwich spreads, toast toppers and apple sauce. In the Starter section you can find recipes like crab and haddock pots using cream of asparagus soup. In snacks and light bites you can find Heinz Neptune, a salad made by combining Heinz potato salad with a tin of tuna fish. In the main meal section of course you have a number of casseroles using soup such as the Lamb and lentil hotpot but there is also the very unique baked bean moussaka, mackerel smothered in tomato soup, and fried liver with a minestrone soup sauce. Side dishes incudes a traditional Marie Rose sauce as well as more creative recipes such as scones using Heinz Ploughmans pickle and ratatouille using mulligatawny soup.

So what did I cook from this book? To be quite honest, nothing grabbed me. I am sure if this was a Campbell’s soup cookbook, I would have found a few familiar recipes and would have enjoyed going down memory lane. So we opted to try the Cowboy Hash which basically consists of sautéing some minced beef with a diced onion and adding a tin of baked beans with pork sausages.

Cowboy Hash, the finished dish.

Cowboy Hash, the finished dish.

This cookbook has made me have a think about my favourite cheats and ways I try to cut down my time in the kitchen when I simply am not in the mood to cook. In summary, we bought this as a vintage cookbook. It is a snapshot in time, thank heavens that today we have moved on and have better options to help us prepare tasty, wholesome meals quickly. I would love to hear about your favourite “cheats”. Please leave me a comment and tell me about them.

This book is currently out of print, if you really must try Ebay.

*If you want to know more about Carol’s adventure with food or even join her on one then check out Food Adventure Ltd.


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