Stephanie Alexander's Kitchen Garden Companion
Dig, Plant, Water, Grow, Harverst, Chop, Cook
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This is the ultimate garden-to-table guide from one of Australia's most highly regarded food writers.
Authoritative and distinctly personal, the book offers detailed garden and kitchen notes for 73 vegetables, herbs and fruits, along with 250 delicious recipes. Just as The Cook's Companion inspired a generation to rediscover the pleasures of the kitchen, Stephanie Alexander's Kitchen Garden Companion will revolutionise the way we think about sourcing, growing and sharing our food.
The following are example recipes from this book:
SERVES 4 There is something very special about the deep crimson juice from raspberries. This crumble is one of my favourite dishes. Try it with blackberries and mulberries too. It deserves being served with the very best cream.
50 g unsalted butter
400 g raspberries (or mulberries or blackberries or a mixture)
1/3 cup caster sugar
double or clotted cream, to serve
1/3 cup soft brown sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon ground ginger
60 g unsalted butter, chopped
2/3 cup plain flour
4 x 125 ml-capacity individual gratin dishes
Preheat oven to 200°C.
To make the crumble topping, mix sugar, baking powder and ginger in a bowl. In another bowl, crumble butter into flour with your fingertips to make pea-sized pieces, then toss flour mixture with sugar mixture. Set aside.
Use some of the butter to grease four 125 ml-capacity gratin dishes. Divide berries among dishes. Press them down lightly with the back of a spoon. Scatter over sugar. Spoon over crumble topping; it should be no more than 1 cm deep (any extra crumble topping can be put into a suitable container, labelled and frozen, ready for a crumble some other day). Divide remaining butter into small pieces and dot over tops of crumbles. Set dishes on a baking tray with a lip to catch any overflowing juices.
Bake crumbles for 15 minutes or until topping is golden and berry juices are bubbling through. Leave crumbles to cool for several minutes before serving with spoonfuls of double or clotted cream.
About the Author
Stephanie Alexander's early food life was influenced first and foremost by her mother, Mary Burchett, a wonderful cook who was interested not just in recipes, but in the culture that inspired the dish. She was eager to experiment. When she left school she went to the University of Melbourne and then studied to become a librarian (with no thoughts of working with food professionally). She left Australia at the age of 21 to see the world. The world for her at that time was France, and she was delighted to discover that France was every bit as thrilling and satisfying as she had dreamed it would be. In the intervening 40 plus years she has returned as often as possible and, whilst acknowledging change, there remained a value and respect accorded to food that she found renewing and reassuring.