Monday, 24 March 2014

New cookbooks

As I have written before; I admit I have a cookbook addiction. So it's proabably no surprise that to me local cookbooks are the best souvenirs to bring home. From my recent trip to South Korea and Australia this was the 'catch':

Korean Family Foods
I only bought one cookbook about Korean food, even though I knew nothing about it before we visited Seoul. There were just not so many cookbooks in English available plus you can find so many information about recipes and typical Korean ingredients online nowadays. But I do think it's nice to have a book with some basics to look at now and then. One of the best things about the book is the fact that the ingredients are written in both Korean and English names. That makes it more easy when looking for the right ingredients in Asian foodstores.

The Ultimate Masterchef Part Three
Besides the fact that this little cookbook was only $ 6,95 the main reason for buying it was because Peter Gilmore's famous Snow Egg recipe was in there! And since we had dinner reservations for Quay restaurant, where it was still on the menu, I wanted to know how it was made. Although I must admit that for me it was not the highlight of the evening as I expected it to be; way to cold and a not matching with the wine. But I do think it's nice to know the techniques that are used. By the way; you don't need to buy this recipebook if you want to make it at home. You can also find it online.

Produce to platter; Victoria's High Country
More a book about all the terrific local produce that is found in this area than just a recipe book. We only visited the Milawa gourmet region, and that alone is a reason wanting to go back here. Reading about the regional products, the restaurants and some of their recipes gives me a bit of the holiday feeling back at home.

Oh yes, this is the right exit ;-)

Bil Grangers 'Sydney food'
This book was a birthday gift from my foodie friend SarahKate. This book reminded her of Sydney when they were living in the UK for a few years so she figured it was a perfect gift for me. And it is! Sydney is a lovely and relaxed city with great food and this book is a good reflection of that. Ever since we got back I have been craving toast with avocado and tomatoes every now and then ;-)

I had been looking at this cookbook already a few times in the bookstores in the Netherlands. It was only while travelling in Australia I realised it's a famous Melbourne based tapas restaurant. Without looking very well I assumed it were tapas recipes from a restaurant in Spain. But I'm glad I found out before we went to Melbourne, this way we were able to get a bar table in between lunch & dinner since we didn't had a reservation. But that worked out perfectly as a late afternoon snack with a glass of wine, as the portions were so incredibly little! And this way we could still taste some of their tapas.

Recipes from an Indian Kitchen
Although it has nothing to do with my vacation to South Korea and Australia, travelling always reminds me of my love for Indian food. Because there is no Indian restaurant in the city we live and no good ones close to Tilburg, we almost always try and eat Indian food while travelling other countries (especially big cities).
It was pure coincidence that we happened to be within walking distance from Dal restaurant in Seoul, and we just couldn't resist going there. And off course it was no surprise to find many Indian dining options in Australia. Because it was so expensive to go out for dinner in Australia we enjoyed some Indian curries a few times for lunch in the food courts instead.
So when I saw this Indian cookbook discounted for $10,- I bought it and immediately made a New Years resolution for 2014  to finally make an effort learning to cook tasty Indian food myself.

Adriano Zumbo
Another gift from friends we met while travelling Barossa Valley and  who immediately invited us for dinner at their house in Adelaide. I have been wanting to try some of Adriano Zumbo's famous macarons (he calls them 'Zumbarons') while in Sydney. But unfortunately the shop we went to in Manly was just closed the month before.  When I saw this book standing in our new friends' kitchen I was immediately excited about the Vegemite macarons! Since they never used it anyway they wanted me to have it. Can't wait to actually try this recipe with the tons of Vegemite I brought back home :-)

So far I only have been cooking Indian recipes from my new bought cookbooks. Which is quite a challenge with so many different ingredients included. But for a first attempt in Indian cooking the meatballs in creamy cashew sauce from the Indian Kitchen cookbook worked out great! Definitely gonna make these more often.

Even though they were delicious; the meatballs were not so appropiate for nice food pictures.
But here is the recipe anyway. Serve it with Jeera rice.

Rista Meatballs in creamy cashew nut sauce

‘Recipes from an Indian Kitchen’

Serves  4 / makes 20 meatballs

For the lamb meatballs:
-          450 grams fresh lamb mince
-          1 tablespoon plain yogurt
-          1 large egg, beaten
-          1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
-          1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
-          1/2 teaspoon pepper
-          1/2 teaspoon dried mint
-          1/2 teaspoon salt
-          300 ml cold water
For the sauce:
-          1 cinnamon stick, 1-inch/2,5 cm piece
-          5 green cardamom pods
-          5 cloves
-          2 bay leaves
-          3 tablespoons sunflower oil
-          1 onion, finely chopped
-          2 teaspoons garlic paste
-          1 teaspoon ground ginger
-          1 teaspoon ground fennel seeds
-          1/2  teaspoon ground turmeric
-          ½ - 1  teaspoon chili powder
-          1 cup/ 125 gram cashews
-          100 ml boiling water
-          2/3 cup/ 150 ml heavy or double cream
-          1 tablespoon pistachio nuts, crushed for garnish

1. In a large mixing bowl, combine lamb, yogurt, egg, cardamom, nutmeg, pepper, mint, and salt; use your hands to knead until well combined and sort of velvety. Soak the cashews in the boiling water for 20 minutes.

2. Cover and place in the refrigerator for 30 to 40 minutes to rest; divide mixture into quarters, then make 5 meatballs out of each quarter.

3. In a large saucepan, bring the water to a boil, then add the cinnamon stick, cardamom pods, cloves, bay leaves, and meatballs in a single layer; reduce heat to medium, cover, and cook 15 minutes.

4. Remove meatballs and keep covered; strain cooking liquid, discarding solids and reserving liquid.

5. Wipe out saucepan, heat to medium heat, add oil, onion, garlic paste, ground ginger, fennel, turmeric, and chili powder; stir-fry for 2 to 3 minutes.

6. Stir in the reserved liquid, meatballs, bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low, cover, and cook 10 to 12 minutes.

7. Meanwhile, process cashews with their soaking water to a paste in a blender or food processor; add to the meatball mixture along with the cream.

8. Simmer 5 to 6 minutes, then remove from heat; garnish with crushed pistachios.

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