Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Reinventing Mother? The Groove Book Report: Modern Classics by Simon Gault

'The dishes that made it into this book are quite simply the ones every cook should have in their repertoire.'  In Simon Gault Modern Classics you'll find a modern take on culinary favourites from around the world. Traditional dishes such as Italian risotto, roast leg of lamb and seafood paella are updated with Simon Gault's signature five percent magic. Favourite desserts such as crème brûlée, apple pie and cheesecake are reinterpreted with unexpected and irresistible fresh new flavours.
Learn to cook the perfect steak and soufflé, be inspired to try new recipes from different cuisines, and master an array of timeless dishes that promise to become your new go-to classics.

This is Master Chef, Euro owner, Food Emperor Gault reinventing classics with pretty much no fanciness - just a bit of nous.  He does the mushroom omelette - is that actually a recipe? - and Pizza Magarita, Croque-Monsieur, and naughty Macaroni Cheese Chips (big in Canada), Peach Melba (my Mum's dinner party show off dish), Cornbread (a movie staple), Spaghetti Carbonara, Potato Gnocchi, and a 'Japanese Rissoto' (is that a classic.  Anyways, there are all the faves here, even good ol' bread and butter pudding.  Can I say these appear better than the originals our mothers taught us?  Well that comes down to a number of things:  Did your mother teach you to cook?  If she (or your day) did, then you don't need this, save your money.  But if se/he didn't then you could pick up a few tips.  Or maybe there's the opportunity to re-educate yourself or be reminded how to make Spag Bog the proper way! Not like your flatmate john does.  On, the whole it's a good idea.  But is it worth forking out large sums of bread for what is a well photo's Edmonds Cookbook with a celebrity endorsement?  Mmmmm Juries out on that.  I'll head back to the kitchen and try a few more recipes before I can answer that one!

New Man Food. The Groove Book Report: Smoked: How to flavour, cure and prepare meat, seafood, vegetables, fruit & more - by Jeremy Schmid

Following the success of Bangers to Bacon Jeremy Schmid takes it a step further with Smoked and demonstrates the wide scope of this age-old art of preserving food. The enticing aroma of wood smoke is hard to beat but you don’t necessarily have to cook outdoors to create that sweet salty smoked flavour. Smoking units can be created for the stove-top, in a barbecue, or in a cabinet outside. Jeremy describes the difference between hot and cold smoking, explains wood fuels and spices to blend and balance the right level of smoky flavours and uses step-by-step photos to show the process. Individual sections on meat, fish and seafood, fruit and vegetables, dairy, eggs and nuts begin with technique and lead on to showcase delicious recipes Jeremy has developed using smoked foods. Make your own mouth-watering pastrami, or try Smoked Snapper Pie, Beer-crusted bread with Smoked Butter and Roast Apricots with Smoked Mascarpone for dessert.

There’s a receptive calmness about chef Jeremy Schmid that is almost disconcerting in an age of bad tempered, tantrum-throwing wanker chefs like Gordon-Fucking-Ramsay and his Hell's Kitchen 'Ristront'!  I hate the tense, nervousness he creates around his food and his style.  Everything is rush-rush.  Schmid's smoked cuisines are all about slowing down a little and enjoying the concept of crafting your mean, and respecting the ingredients and the people you are serving to.

Schmid's a traditionalist to the extent that he cures his own small meat products and salmon on the premises, when he cooks at his cafe's and good on him for that.  In Smoked he takes us (and I mean you and mean, the novices) through all the steps of hot and cold smoking and curing.  I'm sure you've seen people whip up green-tea smoked salmon with wasabi butter and truffle poo.  Well Schmid is not the one to pull out that muck.  He's all about basics done well. He does chicken, salmon game but also cheese too and plenty of vegetables.  And all you need is space in the garden and a halfway decent BBQ.  Yum.  Summer here we come!!!

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

The CoffeeBar Kid Interviews The very Fast Food Truck Man (Michael Van de Elzen

We interview Mike at a café in Wellington.  Mike was in town to promote Fast - his new book on good 'ol family cookin'. 
Fast: Good Home Cooking - A fantastic new collection of easy everyday meals by much loved chef Mike Van de Elzen
Foodies knew how terrific his food was when he owned the award-winning restaurant Molten in Auckland’s Mt Eden. TV viewers in their thousands discovered what fun he was and how inspirational and clever his cooking style is when they tuned into the three high-rating series of The Food Truck.
Now Mike is back with his fourth book, which showcases the food he cooks at home for family and friends, including his young daughters, Hazel and Ivy.
This sparkling collection of over 80 recipes covers everything from food for babies and toddlers to barbecues, Italian, Asian and Indian dishes, roasts, brunches and tempting cordials and drinks.

They’re straightforward to make, they’re healthy, they’re bursting with flavour — and, best of all, you can get them on the plate fast! 
Check out more at his website http://vandeelzen.com/