Thursday, January 17, 2013

Black Dog Cottage Cookbook

Earlier in the week I raved about The Second Black Dog Cottage Cookbook and having made a couple of most enjoyable dishes from it I decided I should get hold of the first book in the series which I have now done and I am pleased to report that it is also a cracker.

Foodie Adie McClelland has this to say, in part, in her introduction:

My cooking career began under false pretences many years ago in the Port of Piraeus, Greece. As a young girl I bluffed my way into a job cooking on a charter yacht. It was a big step up for me from cooking for shearers on the family farm in Orari in the South Island of New Zealand, but I got away with it and the experience has influenced my life and cooking ever since

That summer my days revolved around the fresh produce we bought every day in the markets of the delightful Greek villages we visited. I started to cook local dishes, copying food we were eating in the seaside tavernas. The food was real peasant fare, nothing fancy but stunning. The tastes were so clean and it was all so simple. The same big hold earthy flavours kept coming though: the dense taste of tomatoes ripened in the intense heat, the pungent aroma of oregano picked from the hillsides and the heady flavour of a good glug of locally produced olive oil underlying every dish. I was hooked.
Later, my years spent in Hong Kong introduced me to another cuisine that delighted my senses and suited my cooking style. Asian food is wonderfully different but there’s no longer any mystery to its prep thanks to well-stocked Asian sections in most supermarkets. The sour-hot and salty-sweet flavours of Asia are fabulously addictive and work so well for the passionate home cook.

So this book represents my travels and my favourites. This is the food I love to cook, the food I love to eat, the food I love to teach. It’s food designed for relaxed and happy times with family and friends, eaten without ceremony and always enhanced with a good bottle of wine?

And this is what the Black Dog Cottage Cookbook is all about.

Thanks Adie you are an inspiration and if I lived a bit closer I would definitely be enrolling in one of your home-based intimate cooking school classes.
The publishers have kindly allowed me to reproduce a couple of recipes from the book and these follow:

This first one is especially timely and I plan to make it tomorrow..

Warm Sweet Corn Salad

Beautiful vegetable dish when corn is at its peak. Great at room temperature. Sometimes I leave the feta out and I often use just what herbs I have on hand.
A handy hint: When I’m taking the corn off the cob, I stand the cob actually in the sautéing pan with the onion, spring onion, and chilli. That way the corn doesn’t go everywhere and falls directly into the pan.

Serves 4-5
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 onion, chopped
1 red chilli, seeds removed and chopped
Bunch spring onions, chopped
4 fresh corn cobs, kernels removed
1 bunch of coriander, basil, and chives
1 packet mild feta, broken into chunks
Salt and pepper

1. Heat 1 tbsp of the oil in a large flat pan. When hot add onion, chilli, and spring onions.
Soften a little then add the corn. Keep cooking this until the corn is just beginning to change colour, i.e. to a deeper yellow and has lost that slightly floury taste. This will probably take no more than 10 minutes, depending on how fresh the corn is.
2. ‘When it has cooled a little, add the herbs, remaining oil, broken feta, salt and freshly ground pepper.
Warm salads are meals in themselves, perfect for a lunch or a light supper. They are fun to
create, nourishing and satis’ing, both on the eye and the stomach. A warm salad is my preferred way of eating, as every component is honest, clean and unadulterated.

Broad Bean, Pea, Asparagus, Spring Onion
and Herbs

This is one of my all-time favourite vegetable dishes, which is a visual treat as well as being divine to eat. Use it as a base for any fish, chicken or meat dish. It can be made in advance, but just be careful not to ‘cook’ it again when you heat it up, as you will lose the beautiful green colours. I nearly always surround the dish with a fresh tomato concasse (see Essentials). Serve it for lunch, or for a vegetarian course with gorgeous big chunks of your favourite goat’s cheese flicked through it.


Serves 6
1 onion, finely Chopped
1 bunch spring onions, Chopped
2 coves garlic, finely Chopped
2 bunches asparagus, steamed and each stalk chopped into three
500g broad beans, frozen or fresh, steamed and skins removed
250g peas, fresh or frozen
I bunch parsley, chopped
Handful of snipped chives
Handful of basil, chopped
Large dollop of butter
Salt and pepper

1. Heat a glug of extra virgin olive oil in a large skillet, add the onion, spring onions and garlic. Cook gently over a medium heat until soft, do not let the mixture brown.
2, Add the peas, cook for 5 minutes. Add asparagus and broad beans, cook for a further 5 minutes.
3. Add all the herbs, season and finish with a good dollop of butter.

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