12 x 60g strips
Wednesday, May 23, 2012
The Food Truck Cookbook
Michael Van de Elzen
Packaged up with eye-popping photography by Babiche Martins, lots of hints and tips and a breezy style, the book is a delightful kitchen companion, just like the TV show and Michael!
Publication: 25 May 2012
Michael Van de Elzen is on a mission, a mission to get kiwi’s to realise that fast food can be healthier and tastier. Releasing just in time for the end of the new season of the Food Truck, this fabulous new cookbook brings together Chef Michael Van de Elzen’s recipes from both series of the TV show.
Unsurprisingly I reckon series One of The Food Truck was one of the ratings hits of the year on TV ONE in mid 2011 and now it’s back with more of Michael’s fast food creations. More than 583,000 New Zealanders tuned in to watch the first episode of The Food Truck this season and the show is as popular as ever. In this household we are great fans and never miss an episode. The man is a born entertainer as well as being an impressively creative chef.
Covering all the meals-on-the-run that New Zealanders love, from burgers and pies, to chicken pieces and pizza, smoothies to cola, Michael’s recipes transform these meals from being tasty but unhealthy, fat-laden convenience foods that we feel guilty about to guilt-free, super-tasty, health-giving meals. How does he do it? By replacing the fatty, sugary ingredients with healthy alternatives — without sacrificing taste.
The book includes Nutrition information for each recipe as well as cooking methods and tips to help reduce fat and lots of essential bits and bobs to make your meals perfect from Garlic Oil and Onion Jam to Tomato Sauce and Curry Powder.
Here is the list of the contents which will give you an idea of subjects he has covered:
A few words from Mike
A brief history of fast food in New Zealand
The Great OE
About the author/chef
Michael Van de Elzen is one of New Zealand’s best known chefs. After a period working as a chef in the UK, New Zealand-born Van de Elzen returned to New Zealand in the late 1990s, and in 2003 opened the award-winning restaurant Molten, in Mount Eden, Auckland, with his wife Belinda. Belinda and Michael sold Molten last year in order to concentrate on his other ventures.
Michael is also the author of The Molten Cookbook which won the “Best First Cookbook” category in the NZ section of the 2011 Gourmand World Cookbooks Awards.
I was taken by Michael' introduction to his new book part of which follows:
Until I started The Food Truck I had no idea of the eye-watering statistics that lie behind the fast-food industry. For a start, it’s worth $1.3 billion a year. Incredible! Then there’s the volumes we munch through: 65 million pies a year. Astounding — and pretty horrifying, to be honest. And then there’s the unhealthy ingredients it tends to contain: way too much fat, way too much salt, way too much MSG, way too much sugar and not nearly enough fibre. Yet we continue to load ourselves up with all this, even though fast food often doesn’t even taste that great.
Don’t get me wrong, I love fast food; at its best it’s tasty, relatively affordable and convenient. I’m certainly guilty of chowing down on one too many Big Macs after a double shift at the restaurant, and I look back on every one of them with fond memories. We’ve always eaten takeaways in this country, as you will read in the essay on the history of fast food in New Zealand further on in this book. But somewhere along the way we’ve begun eating them just a little bit too often.
Looking into our fast-food eating habits made me look at the way I cook as a chef, too. Restaurant kitchens typically turn out rich food, and being forced to use more vegetables, not use the deep fryer, and cut fat and sugar challenged me as a chef while making me realise how easy it is to make good, healthy food. It’s made me ask myself, as a chef, is there another way? In the process it’s opened up a whole new world of tastes, flavours and ingredients and given a new direction to my cooking.
The recipes in this book were all created in response to the challenges I put myself through in the TV series. I had less than a week to come up with each one, but this forced me to be creative and take chances with my food, something I think we should do every time we cook.
It wasn’t always that simple to figure out what would work, and what could be churned out in highvolumes at a fast pace, under the pressure of selling food at a large outdoor event. If you’ve seen the TV series, you’ll know that even with great food I had mixed success. But it can be done, and it proved to me that there is another way.
I think one of the greatest things about the dishes in the following pages is that they were created with the help of everyday Kiwis, young and old, from all walks of life. It was so gratifying to see how people responded to the food I made. Not always, but for much of the time what I’d hoped for did eventuate: New Zealanders know great food when they see it and taste it — and they will buy it.
There will always be a time and place for fast food, but I hope that on the odd occasion rather than jumping in the car or picking up the phone, you open this cookbook. The recipes here are serious ones; they’re not novelty, gimmicky dishes but rather creative, tasty, nourishing and appealing meals and snacks that you and your friends and family can enjoy. They are mostly easy to prepare. Most of all, they are really delicious, and full of wonderful flavours that you perhaps didn’t know could be there.
I hope the TV series and this book (with its per serving nutritional analyses) will help you think about the fast food you buy, how much you eat, when you eat it, and when you could cook it at home instead. Enjoy!
And the publishers have kindly allowed me to reproduce one of Michael's recipes from the book.
Incredibly easy, this is a great dish to get your kids to help you make, or make themselves.
You’ll need to use a Japanese turning machine to slice the potatoes that finely; you can find them in most Asian food stores. You can make these on the barbecue, too.
Curly wurlies with pea purée
720g snapper fillets, cut into
12 x 60g strips
12 x 60g strips
4 potatoes, peeled and cut into strings on a Japanese turning machine or citrus peeler
canola oil for spraying
1 cup frozen peas
white pepper to taste
For the curly wurlies
1. Preheat oven to 180°C.
2. Wrap strips of fish in potato strings, then spray wrapped fish with canola oil. Place in a baking dish.
3. Bake for 3 minutes on each side.
For THE pea purée
1. Boil peas until just cooked. Drain, cool immediately and process in a food processor until puréed. Season with pepper.