Monday, 14 June 2010

Bill's Sydney Food cookbook review

It's been a while since I've written a new review - but I was checking out the lovely food available in Stockholm! Below are a couple of photos from the Saluhall which is a gorgeous indoor market with loads of things on offer. All the salads and sandwiches looked gorgeous, unfortunately we were still incredibly full from breakfast and no eating was involved. Oh well. It was also super expensive, as was the rest of the holiday. Lots of window shopping instead of actual buying.

But breakfast was outstanding at our hotel, the Rival (owned by Benny from ABBA - oh yes! And we saw him there!). The hotel had its own bakery and the breads were absolutely scrumptious, yup, scrumptious! One morning I ordered french toast which was lovely, and another morning these rather lovely looking pancakes.

On the other plate is a very red concoction of crispy bacon, serrano ham, gravalax, said example of scrumptious bread and a tomato slice to appear healthy! There was also eggs any way you pleased, pastries, a cheese board and the usual suspects. I'm dreaming of going back soon! Oh, and Stockholm was lovely too!

But on to my own cooking. I bought some ricotta on special offer and then wasn't too sure what to so with it so purused my cookbook collection for something other than spinach and ricotta lasagne, yummy as it is. Bill Granger came up with the goods in his Bill's Sydney Food - the original and classic recipe collection. I'm trying to own all the Bill Granger cookbooks, falling for the man when his series was on BBC1. His grinning got me, the looking just a little too long at the camera while smiling widely made me love him! I keep waiting for another series of his to be shown over here as we only got his holiday series, but there's a new cookbook due in September so maybe we'll see something soon.

The book is really cleanly laid out, representing the food really well, and no faffing around with loads of introductions, just a nice foreword and straight into the breakfast section, where I found my 1st recipe - ricotta hotcakes. I think these are the main attraction at Bill's cafes, never to be taken off the menu. I can see why.

They were incredibly light and fluffy, a combination of the whisked egg white and the ricotta. I halved the quantities and the mixture easily made 10. The only downside was waiting for the next batch to be cooked before I could eat them!

A serving suggestion:

And don't be mean with the maple syrup. If I can't have pancakes in Stockholm then I can have hotcakes in Manchester!

The rest of the breakfast section looked just as inviting, coconut waffles, homemade crumpets and breakfast muffins will certainly get me reaching for this book again.

My second recipe was from the lunch section, chicken noodle soup with lemon. Another big thumbs up. I'm a big sucker for soup, my next post will actually be on a soup book. There seemed to be quite a few ingredients but I already had everything I needed, just opting for sweetcorn kernels rather than baby corn and rice noodles instead of lasagne sheets. The lasagne sheets seemed a bit of an odd choice but visually I suppose it works quite well.

I really liked the twist on the usual chicken soup recipe and the broth was really light and flavoursome, and just enough chili to make the lips tingle! Without doubt I would make this again and it's incredibly healthy, easy to make and a joy to eat. Again the rest of the lunch section looks simple, healthy and inspiring. Same goes for the dinner section. I like that there are full page colour photos next to each recipe so you know exactly what you're aiming for.

So another recommended cookbook with maybe one downside - no grinning photos of Bill himself!!

And one last little recipe I tried as a side dish, hot paprika potatoes with garlic mayo from the July 2010 issue of Good Food magazine, hot off the press. Except I forgot to take a photo, but you can tell from the empty plate that they were really nice! Easy to make too, just boil new potatoes for 5 minutes, then coat in oil, paprika, chili powder, sea salt and cumin and roast till crispy. Maybe I'll get a picture next time I make them!


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