Saturday, 16 March 2013
One of the things I love most about the food blogging world is that you get to touch base with food bloggers from ALL over the World! I think that's pretty cool. It makes the world . . . well . . . not so big a place, and it opens up your palate to all sorts of variety and possibility. At least that's my theory.
I was contacted recently and asked if I would be willing to participate in an activity to help to promote the launch of a new cookery book by one of the world's best food photographer/food bloggers Jules Clancy of the popular food blog Stone Soup. As a part of this activity I was asked to submit an ingredient which she could give me some recommendations for cooking quickly and deliciously.
The Stone Soup Blog is all about cooking fresh, healthy and delicious meals that can be cooked with 5 ingredients and in 10 minutes or less.
I asked Jules about Swede. I love Swede, or Rutabaga as it is known in North America and probably other parts of the world. We always called it turnip when I was a child, but that was a misnomer. It is a member of the brassica family, but it's not a turnip per se. In any case we love them in this house. Here was Jule's advice to me . . .
I'll be honest, swedes aren't my favourite vegetable. I usually only buy them once or twice a year when I feel like making a huge pot of my Mum's lamb and veggie soup or making a mixed root veg stew.
Given that they take at least half an hour or longer to cook, they really didn't get a look in when I was planning recipes for my book '5 Ingredients 10 Minutes'. But if you love swedes and would like to include them in your midweek cooking more often, the best thing to do is to cook them on the weekend. Just scrub and dice and roast in a little oil until golden. Then keep in the fridge to throw into soups like the simple minestrone in my book.
The roast cubes can also be quickly warmed in a pan to make warm salads more substantial. They're also great in any dishes involving lentils or eggs or cheese. Try using your diced roast swede to add bulk to a frittata or omelette or even scrambled tofu. Or make your favourite pasta bake recipe a bit healthier by replacing some of the cooked pasta with roast swede cubes.
I agree, they can take some length of time to cook, and I appreciated Jules advice to roast or cook it ahead of time, at the weekend, so that you can have some ready to add to soups, salads, omelettes, etc. I personally have a pretty quick way of cooking it myself, which is quite, quite delicious. I simply grated it on the large holes of a box grater and then pan fry it in a bit of butter. It's done pretty quickly and is absolutely delicious. Tis a trick I learned from a Canadian Mennonite.
I do love Jule's book. It's got a fresh clean look to it and peppered throughout with her beautiful food photography. All of the recipes are nicely written and quite doable! And yes, quick . . . Quick . . . QUICK!
Recipes for tasty spreads and dips such as this simply beautiful looking warm Cannellini Bean Spread with Parmesan . . .
to the unusual . . . like this Cream Cheese, Honey and Soy Crostini. Now tell me that's NOT appealing and intriguing! The picture alone begs me to create it and the ingredients list . . . simply crusty baguette slices, cream cheese, honey and . . . well . . . soy sauce! It could not be simpler.
But that's not all . . . there is also a beautiful variety of delicious looking and sounding soups . . .
Tasty and beautiful looking salads . . .
Quick easy, fresh and colourful pasta dishes . . .
A variety of mains using meat, fish and poultry . . .
And even fresh and delicious desserts.
And . . . all of the recipes use five ingredients or less and are easily created in just ten minutes or less. One of the main excuses people use today for not eating healthy is that they don't have the time to cook healthy meals . . . this delightful cookery book blows that theory right out of the water . . . it is indeed possible to cook fresh and delicious food, using healthy fresh ingredients in not an awful lot of time!
I was personally intrigued by her recipe for Crunchy Bread Pudding. We love bread pudding in this house, especially the Toddster. Too often though the recipes make far too much and most of it ends up being thrown away because it just doesn't get eaten in time. Was it possible to make a delicious bread pudding in ten minutes or less??
Yes. It is and I did.
*Crunchy Bread Pudding*
Take care to watch while it is baking as it can burn very quickly if you take your eyes off it for even a second.
60g caster sugar (I used golden about 1/4 cup)
125ml whipping cream (1/2 cup double cream)
1 large free range egg
2 thick slices of bread, cut into cubes
cream or ice cream to serve
Preheat your oven grill to it's hottest setting. Line a large baking tray with some aluminum foil. Spray it lightly with non stick cooking spray. Set aside.
Whisk the sugar, cream and egg together in a bowl. Add the bread cubes and squash them into the mixture, allowing it to soak up as much of it as possible. Spread the soaked bread onto the prepared baking tray.
Cook under the heated grill for about 5 minutes. Turn the cubes over and grill for another 3 minutes or so until golden brown.
Divide the cubes between two small bowls and serve with cream or ice cream.
Note: you can use coconut cream instead of the whipping cream and egg to make this dairy-free/vegan; or use a gluten free bread for a gluten free version, you can add cinnamon to give a spiced flavour, or replace the crea, sugar and egg with a commercial egg free custard for an egg-free version.
Another thing I like about Jules' recipes is that there are many variations included for most of them which give you the opportunity to charge things up. There are also 10 minute tricks of the trade, etc.
All in all I think this book is a real winner and will take pride of place on my book shelf.
Many thanks to the people from Penguin and Jules for sending it to me.
5 ingredients 10 minutes
delicious, healthy recipes for tired and hungry cooks
by Jules Clancy
Published by Penguin books
Do take a gander at the banner at the top of my right hand side bar to see all of the other people participating in this blogging event.