Slow food cookbook, Australian Gourmet Traveller Collector’s Edition, 2011
I am sometimes given Australian Gourmet Traveller magazine by a friend, and I always enjoy it. This special issue promised 387 gorgeous ideas to warm your kitchen. I expect that is why I bought it. So why did I never cook a recipe from it? I think perhaps the answer lies in the reason for this blog series. Too damn many cookbooks. Do I really need this one?
I start with green lentil soup with pumpkin and harissa, p24. I have been given a pumpkin and I love both green lentils and harissa. I also have a jar of harissa I mixed and a jar of lemons I preserved, so it feels a perfect choice. It was an excellent soup-Monday meal.
I struggled to find something else I really wanted to make. There are a lot of meat dishes and vegetable side dishes. For many ideas that appealed, I already have a similar recipe. I settled on ham, Fontina and rosemary risotto, p80. It was nice. One of those risottos where you add all the stock at once and don’t stir. Not really my favourite. I find stirring gives a more creamy risotto.
I thought I’d try my hand at a pudding. I was having house guests. It has become quite wintry. I flipped through puddings and there was a fig and brandy rice pudding, p191. Figs, brandy, rice pudding. Some of my favourite things. Imagine my surprise when I was checking the ingredients for the shopping list, I discovered there is no brandy in the dish. Why name brandy in the title when the spirit used is in fact rum? I could have used brandy of course but there was rum in the cocktail cabinet so I used it. Another point I have mentioned recently. I missed the instruction to soak the figs overnight so they were a bit chewy I over-boiled the syrup, and although I managed to revive it with some boiling water, I think it was a bit of a jaw breaker. My guests were very kind but I hope their fillings survived. It did taste good though.
My overall conclusion is that I don’t need 387 new recipes for winter. There are many lovely recipes here but I am never going to get around to making them. Farewell, thanks for the figgy pudding and off to a new home.