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Stonehouse Cooks

Stonehouse Cooks

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Stonehouse Cooks

Lunghezza:
272 pagine
2 ore
Pubblicato:
Jun 16, 2011
ISBN:
9780986642364
Formato:
Libro

Descrizione

Stonehouse Cooks offers recipes, meal plans and strategies to bring nutrition, delicious food and fun into the kitchen and on to the table. Lorina Stephens examines the real food revolution from both a modern and historical perspective, and offers guidance not only for the kitchen, but the barbecue and open-fire cookery. A perfect companion to The Organic Home Garden, by Patrick Lima.

Pubblicato:
Jun 16, 2011
ISBN:
9780986642364
Formato:
Libro

Informazioni sull'autore

Lorina Stephens has worked as editor, freelance journalist for national and regional print media, and publisher.

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Anteprima del libro

Stonehouse Cooks - Lorina Stephens

Rivers

Introduction

So why write a second recipe book? The answer to that is simple. I love to cook. And I’ve been cooking from the time I was eight years old, preparing family meals in order to alleviate the burden on my mother, who worked outside the home.

Over the years I discovered a great deal about balancing budget and nutrition with flavour and interesting presentation. Instead of cooking being a chore, as it is for so many people, I find cooking an art form, a therapy where I can retreat from the sometimes baffling complexities of life and society, a way to unwind, to bring together, to create closure for a day whether it’s been hectic and harried, or positive and productive. I remember my young daughter tucking herself under my arm to watch as I’d chop vegetables, and later assigning food preparation tasks to both her and my son.

The nest is empty now, yet that sense of sharing both the day and the preparation of a meal has taken on a new dynamic, in that my husband pulls up a stool to the counter, glass of red wine in hand, and shares in the food preparation. Conversation ensues, carries through dinner, and into an evening filled with intelligent, lively discourse to a background of music and memory of a meal well-made.

It is food that has formed the architecture for these common moments, the preparation of it, the enjoyment of it, the clearing away of it.

For me, part of the creative aspect of cooking came about through simple necessity. As a girl, I’d often turn to a recipe only to find I didn’t have the ingredients. I’d substitute one ingredient for another and, as the years went by, I came to realize a recipe was more about a method, a framework if you will, within which you could liberally adapt to create something new. Certainly that’s not a new concept. It’s been around since humans discovered fire and agriculture. It’s an idea embraced by many celebrity chefs today, Jamie Oliver and Michael Smith being the leading advocates of cooking from a pantry.

It’s that adaptability you’ll find throughout this book – variations on a basic recipe – that will free you from strict adherence to a list of ingredients. The inventory of my pantry shelves and freezer has more to do with stocking staples and taking advantage of sales than shopping with a specific menu in mind.

By that one shift in thinking, I’ve discovered the great economy of re-inventing leftovers, which allows a creative energy to flow through what might otherwise be nothing more than kitchen drudgery and tasteless, reheated offerings. It also stretches a budget: one meal becomes two, (sometimes three or four!) that can be frozen and reheated on a rushed night or after an exhausting day.

I have chosen to present this cookbook in its print format in a 6x 9 trade paperback so as to take up as little space as possible on your kitchen counter. I’ve found endless frustration with some gorgeous cookery book that is too big to wrestle safely into the space between the food processor and mixing bowls.

I’ve allowed for a lot of white space to allow you, dear reader, to make notes of your own. It’s a good idea to keep a kitchen journal as a separate book or by using margins and white space in your favourite cookbook.

I would be remiss if I failed to thank my recipe testers: Kelly Stephens (my daughter), Vandy Simpson (dear friend), Jo Chadwell, Victoria Rumble and Margaret Trainor Howie.

This collection of recipes is the result of years of dabbling, experimentation and discovery. They are without pretension. My philosophy of cooking is keep it simple. Sure, sometimes I break out and go completely over the top for a special occasion but, for the most part, I tend toward the Mediterranean philosophy of cooking: simple ingredients treated simply, food bringing family and friends together. I’ll show you how humble fare can add to your experience as a cook and your love of life.

Lorina Stephens

June 2011

The Stonehouse Kitchen

Supper, Brunch & Vegetable Dishes

In our household we mix food choices for brunch, lunch and supper depending on our mood, what’s in the pantry, the fridge, what the day has brought, time demands, all manner of variables. Sometimes I feel like going all out and creating a wonderful feast. Some days I plan to make chili but find I’m just too tired to face doing that. Instead I opt for an egg dish loaded with vegetables. I might even dive into some of the frozen soups or stews I’ve squirreled away as a backup for those too-tired, don’t-want-to-cook days.

In this section you’ll find breakfast or lunch served for supper. I’ve found this strategy greatly alleviates the stress in my life and provides considerable variation in our diet.

The kitchen is the heart of the home. By sharing in the preparation of a meal, working families with impossible schedules can apply the brakes and slow time. You can enhance your life by creating a launch point for dinner conversation, effective communication and the all-important need for vibrant family bonding.

Portobello Mushroom Tart

In our house, mushrooms are a staple — any kind of mushroom. For us, the scene in J.R.R. Tolkien’s epic novel, The Lord of the Rings, in which Merry and Pippin add stolen mushrooms to their pilfered, edible booty, is one with which we can empathize. Mushrooms are treasure, glorious, edible treasure. We love them so much I came up with a series of mushroom tart variations inspired from some medieval recipes.

In this first recipe, the robust and rich flavour of Portobello mushrooms combines well with sharp, old cheddar in a hearty tart. Served cold with a green salad in summer or hot with roasted vegetables in winter, it is a delicious meal any time of year and a perfect addition to any vegetarian diet.

I call for winter savoury in this recipe. Many of you may not be familiar with this aromatic perennial herb, reminiscent of thyme in shape, fragrance and taste. Native to southern Europe, it has been used for centuries as both a medicinal and culinary plant. It’s easy to grow, tolerant of neglect, and withstands both drought and deluge quite well. I have a sprawling, fragrant mass of winter savoury in my kitchen herb garden, and harvest it annually for fresh, frozen use in the winter.

4 Portobello mushrooms

Pastry pie shell

1 tablespoon finely minced winter savoury (you can substitute rosemary or thyme)

Salt and pepper to taste

2 cups grated old cheddar

Preheat oven to 350F. Clean mushrooms, pat dry; trim ends and break off stems. Set aside.

Roll out pastry and lay into a 9" deep pie plate. Dock well (prick liberally with a fork to prevent air bubbles.) Arrange mushroom caps and stems in the shell, sprinkle with herbs and seasonings. Evenly distribute grated cheddar over the top. Draw up the edges of the pastry and pinch overlapping sections together. Bake for about 40 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool on rack about 10 minutes. May be served hot or cold.

Serves 6 to 8

Variations:

Substitute about 2 cups cremini mushrooms for the Portobello, poudre fort (see recipe under Condiments and Flavour Blends) or nutmeg for the savoury and one cup grated Regiano parmesan for the cheddar.

Substitute about 2 cups white button mushrooms, 1 cup Brie cut into cubes and add 1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced. Feta cheese also makes a great cheese variation with the mushrooms.

You can experiment with pretty much any mushroom/cheese/herb/spice combination you wish and invent your own favourite.

Roasted Portobello Mushrooms with Stilton and Asparagus

2 large Portobello mushrooms cleaned

4 slices Stilton cheese

4 tablespoons capers

24 spears asparagus

Salt and pepper

Grape seed oil

Truffle oil (Truffle oil can be found in most urban large grocery chains, as well as in specialty shops. The earthy, pungent flavour and aroma of truffle oil adds an extra punch to this dish, but can be eliminated if you don’t have it on hand.)

Oil a large baking sheet with grape seed oil. Clean mushrooms and remove stems. Save stems for use later in the week. Slice caps in half so you have 4 large disks. Place Stilton slices on top of the caps. Mound capers over this. Arrange asparagus spears around the mushroom caps. Season and drizzle with truffle oil.

Roast at 350F for about 15 minutes or you can grill on the barbeque for about the same length of time. The cheese should be melted and the mushrooms tender and beginning to sear around the edges.

The mushrooms make a fabulous vegetarian burger.

Serves 4

Cheese and Onion Pie

The star of this dish is most definitely cheddar. Because of that you want to choose a good quality cheddar. There are many on the market, both from major and cottage industry dairies. Generally, the older the cheddar, the sharper it is, so if you have the ability to be able to sample the cheddar you wish to purchase, do so. It should sting the palate, have a crumbly and slightly grainy texture.

However, if you’re under budget constraints – high quality cheddar is expensive – just go with whatever brand you usually purchase.

Pastry for a double-crust pie

1 large onion peeled and sliced thinly

½ pound good quality cheddar grated

6 sage leaves finely minced

Salt and pepper

Roll out your pastry and line a 9" pie plate, docking well. Arrange grated cheese and then the onions over the pastry. Sprinkle with minced sage and a liberal amount of black pepper. Seal the top layer of pastry, dock and sprinkle with coarse salt.

Bake at 350F for about 1 hour, until pastry is a golden brown. Remove from oven and allow to cool.

Serve cold with a salad of delicate, quivering green like mesclun, arugula, or bib lettuce. Makes a great lunchable and wonderful on a picnic.

You can also choose to make this recipe as tarts for easy lunch packing or for interesting appetizers or hors d’oeuvres at your next party.

Serves 6-8

Tomato Pie

Pastry for a double-crust pie

2-3 large tomatoes, sliced thickly

2-3 cloves garlic finely minced

¼ cup basil leaves, coarsely chopped

1 chilli pepper finely minced

½ cup good quality pitted olives, and by this I mean no canned olives that have been processed of any flavour. Choose olives that have been either dry-cured, or cured in a brine of some form. The olives you find in the deli section of your grocery store are often of reasonable quality. If you can only find unpitted olives, it’s easy to remove the pits by pressing the flat of your chef’s knife on the side of the olive, breaking the flesh, and removing the pit with your fingers. This is a great kitchen task for that adolescent moaning for dinner. Having said all that, the olives can be optional.

1 cup crumbled feta cheese (I usually use the reduced salt version.)

Olive oil

Coarse salt

Preheat oven to 350F. Line a 9" pie pan with pastry and dock well. Arrange the sliced tomatoes in a ring in the bottom of the pastry. Sprinkle with garlic, basil, chilli pepper and olives.

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