Thursday, May 17, 2012
Dulcie May Kitchen - Everyday
Coincidentally I got a copy of Natalie Oldfield's recently published third cookbook a few days before the Festival - Dulcie May Kitchen - Everyday.
I was impressed by her youthful enthusiasm for food at the Festival and was therefore not surprised to find her Introduction to her new book equally as enthusiastic.Here it is for your pleasure.
My love for food was instilled in me early on by my Gran, Dulcie May Booker, who taught me that food prepared with love was at the heart of every home, every day. My inspiration is and always will be my Gran, and the enduring memories of her love, her food and the sharing of these with others.
In this book I offer my own interpretation of the everyday, remembering Gran’s lessons and applying them to ‘modern’ ingredients. The recipes are simple and easy for everyday people and everyday use. Like my own favourite recipe books, I hope this book’s pages will become well worn with use in your kitchen.
You will find recipes for every part of the day — from new ideas for breakfast to share with the kids in the weekend to my favourite easy lunch and dinner recipes and, of course, my forever favourite puddings, which I can never get enough of ! There are soups to share, loaves to inspire you to ‘cut and come again’, special recipes your children can prepare and simple yet elegant suppers to serve to friends
and family alike.
The recipes come from my own family: Gran, my mother, my sister and me. They have been tried and tested countless times on the people we love and are ready for you to do the same. Don’t be afraid to adjust them to your own taste, or to the ingredients you have to hand. A key component of everyday cooking is the confidence to personalize and improvise. The trick is to replace like with like. Starchy vegetables like potatoes, kumara and pumpkin can replace one another; try lamb or pork mince instead of beef; replace a herb you don’t love with one that you do; play with the textures and tastes of different cheeses; relish the colours and flavours of a variety of vegetables.
Baking is perhaps the most exacting category of food with its delicately balanced dry and wet ingredients and the magic of baking soda, powder or yeast. But, if you’re a keen baker, try a blend of white and wholemeal flour when you make a cake or loaf, add some nuts or bran, use different fruits and spices, and as you become more experienced you’ll learn how to balance your innovations.
Ultimately, I would love this book to inspire you to make some easy-to-prepare meals with and for your own family and friends and relish those moments of happiness and celebration that go hand-in-hand with the preparation, sharing and eating of food. Food and love are made to be shared, and experience tells me that both are best when shared every day.
Thank you Natalie, very nicely put.
And here is one of her easy-to-prepare (I know because I have made it!) recipes from the new book, reproduced here with the kind permission of her publishers, Harper Collins NZ.
PAN-FRIED SNAPPER WITH POTATO, LEMON AND HERB SALAD
400 g potatoes
½ tsp salt
¼ cup olive oil
juice of ½ lemon
salt and pepper
1 small green capsicum, diced
2 large red chillies, seeded and diced
¼ cup chopped mint
½ cup chopped fl at-leaf parsley
6 spring onions, finely sliced
1 tbsp olive oil
4 fillets fresh snapper, skin removed
Bring a large pot of water to the boil. Add potatoes and salt and simmer for 8–10 minutes. Drain.
Place the olive oil and lemon juice in a bowl and stir to combine. Season with salt and pepper.
Pour half the dressing over the hot potatoes cut into chunks. To the remaining dressing add the capsicum, chilli, mint, parsley and spring onion and mix gently. Leave potatoes to cool before combining with salad.
Heat a little oil in large frying pan until hot. Add the fish and cook for 3 minutes. Turn and cook on the other side for 2–3 minutes or until the fish is just cooked.
Serve fish with potato, lemon and herb salad.
Natalie's two earlier titles are: