Omelette Soufflé with Berries: More Please! – Manu Feildel with Clarissa Weerasena

more-pleaseImages and recipes from More Please! By Manu Feildel with Clarissa Weerasena (Murdoch Books) $39.99

Omelette Soufflé with Berries

Serves 4–6

 

6 egg yolks

80 g (2¾ oz) caster (superfine) sugar

4 egg whites

pinch of sea salt

20 g (¾ oz) butter

icing (confectioners’) sugar, for dusting

 

Berry compote

100 g (3½ oz) cherries, halved and pitted

100 g (3½ oz) strawberries, hulled and quartered

100 g (3½ oz) raspberries

100 g (3½ oz) blueberries

2 teaspoons caster
(superfine) sugar

30 g (1 oz) butter

1 tablespoon brandy

 

Definitely one to make when you want to impress your friends – easier than a soufflé but just as light, sweet and delicious. If you can, make it when fresh berries are in season but you can substitute with frozen if fresh are unavailable. And because this is all about the lightness of a soufflé, it should be made with organic or free-range eggs.” (p.172)

 

sweet omelette souffle

 

Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F).

To make the berry compote, place a large frying pan over medium–high heat, add the fruit, sugar and butter and cook for 5 minutes, or until the fruit is soft and the juices have started to thicken. Pour in the brandy and flambé. To do this, light a long match and ease it down to the surface of the liquid, without actually touching it. Remove the match as soon as the alcohol ignites and allow it to burn off. Transfer the compote to a bowl and set aside to cool slightly.

Put the egg yolks and 1 tablespoon of caster sugar in a large bowl and whisk
for 2 minutes, or until the mixture is thick and pale.

Put the egg whites and salt in a second bowl and whisk with electric beaters
until foamy. Slowly add the remaining sugar and beat to glossy soft peaks.

Fold one-third of the egg white meringue into the yolk mixture to loosen it.
Add the remaining egg whites in two batches, gently folding to combine.

Place a 20–22 cm (8–8½ inch) non-stick ovenproof frying pan over low heat, add half the butter and heat until just foaming. Pour in half the egg mixture and shake the pan gently to spread it out. Cook for 5 minutes, then transfer to the oven to bake for 3 minutes, or until puffed and lightly golden.

Spoon half the berries over one side of the omelette, run a spatula around the edge and fold it in half to enclose the filling. Slide it onto a large plate.

Wipe out the pan and repeat with the remaining butter, egg mixture and compote to make a second omelette (stir the egg mixture once or twice beforehand to ensure an even texture). Slide the second omelette onto the other half of the serving plate.

To serve, dust with icing sugar and cut into wedges.

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Oven-baked Ratatouille: More Please – Manu Feildel with Clarissa Weerasena

more-please

Images and recipes from More Please! By Manu Feildel with Clarissa Weerasena (Murdoch Books) $39.99

Oven-baked Ratatouille

serves 4 as a main or 6 as a side

If you’re not a big fan of vegetables, I have a feeling this recipe from the south
of France will change your mind. Ripe vegetables are baked together with garlic and fresh herbs, and the result smells like summer.” (p.150)

 

Oven Baked Ratatouille

60 ml (2 fl oz/¼ cup) olive oil

4 brown onions, thinly sliced

4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced

2 tablespoons thyme leaves

3 large zucchini (courgettes)

3 Japanese eggplants (aubergines)

6 truss tomatoes

2 tablespoons coarsely chopped rosemary

sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

 

Preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F).

 

Place a frying pan over medium heat, add 1 tablespoon of olive oil and sauté the onion for about 15 minutes, or until lightly golden, reducing the heat a little if the onion begins to catch. Add the garlic and 1 tablespoon of thyme and cook for 2 minutes. Spread the onion mixture over the base of a large roasting tin.

 

Wash the veggies and cut them widthways into 1 cm (½ inch) thick slices. Tightly arrange the vegetables in rows over the onion base, starting with the zucchini, followed by the eggplant then the tomato. Gently push the slices out so they sit in a diagonal pattern, exposing some of the flesh. Drizzle with the remaining olive oil and sprinkle over the rosemary and remaining thyme. Season with salt and pepper and bake for 45 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender.

 

My Spaghetti Bolognese: More Please! – Manu Feildel with Clarissa Weerasena

more-please

Images and recipes from More Please! By Manu Feildel with Clarissa Weerasena (Murdoch Books) $39.99

My Spaghetti bolognese

This is probably every kid’s favourite meal and it’s no different for my son Jonti –
he just loooves it. It does take a long time to cook but I think that is the secret to its success: the longer you cook it, the better it will taste. I usually make a big batch and freeze the leftovers for an easy weeknight meal.” p.47

 

my bolognese

 

Serves 4

90 ml (3 fl oz) extra virgin olive oil

250 g (9 oz) minced (ground) beef

250 g (9 oz) minced (ground) pork

150 ml (5 fl oz) white wine

100 g (3½ oz) speck bacon or pancetta, finely diced

1 brown onion, finely chopped

1 carrot, finely diced

1 celery stalk, finely diced

3 garlic cloves, finely chopped

1 x 400 g (14 oz) tin chopped tomatoes

400 ml (14 fl oz) Beef stock (see page 198)

150 ml (5 fl oz) milk

sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

400 g (14 oz) spaghetti or other pasta

grilled bread, to serve (optional)

 

Heat half the olive oil in a large frying pan over medium–high heat. When the oil is hot, add the beef and pork and stir with a wooden spatula; at the same time, press down on the meat to break up any lumps. Keep stirring the meat until it is nicely caramelised, about 3–5 minutes, then pour in the white wine. When it starts to boil, reduce the heat to low and simmer until the wine has almost evaporated.

Meanwhile, place a large frying pan over medium–high heat and pour in the remaining oil. When hot, add the speck or pancetta and fry for 1–2 minutes, then add the onion, carrot and celery and cook for about 4 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for another minute.

Now add the vegetable mixture to the meat and pour in the tomatoes and stock. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat to low and cook, covered, for 1 hour, stirring occasionally.

Remove the lid and cook for another hour, or until the liquid has thickened and reduced by one-third.

Stir in the milk, then taste and season if necessary. Simmer for 10–15 minutes (or longer if you have time, as it will only get tastier with long, slow cooking).

Cook the pasta following the packet directions until al dente. Drain and serve with a generous helping of bolognese sauce and some grilled bread, if you like.

Post Script: More Please! My Family Recipes You’ll Love to Cook and Share – Manu Feildel with Clarissa Weerasena

A word of warning – do not open this book if you are hungry! Eat first- read second.

more-please

More Please

My Family Recipes You’ll love to Cook and Share

Manu Feildel with Clarissa Weerasena

Murdoch Books

ISBN: 9781743368459

 

Description:

Co-host of the highest rating TV show in the nation, My Kitchen Rules, this time showing us the easy accessible food his family eats at home.

As the cheeky co-host of one of the country’s best-loved TV programs, MKR, Manu Feildel gets to sample some of the finest home cooking in the nation. His favourite meals, though, are most often those he enjoys at home with his loved ones.

 

Like many of us, Manu’s family has diverse cultural roots – French, of course, but also Chinese, Malay and Sri Lankan. And he loves to put a spin on his favourite dishes from Spain, Italy and the Middle East. He and his partner, Clarissa, draw on all these influences when cooking at home. The result is a collection of simply delicious recipes that tick all the boxes: quick, easy and enticing for all the family on those busy weeknights, plus plenty of special-occasion dishes you can whip up to impress a crowd.

 

This is real food, with no skimping on flavour, and infused with all the flair and flamboyance for which Manu is renowned. It’s sure to have you coming back for more.

 

Author bio:

Manu Feildel has become one of the most popular personalities on Australian television as co-host of the highest-rating prime- time tv show My Kitchen Rules. He also stars in My France with Manu and Around the World with Manu.

 

Manu grew up in his father’s restaurant but dabbled for some years with performing in the circus before he took an apprenticeship as a chef. He studied in London and then moved to Sydney to take the position of head chef of Bilson’s, before opening and running his own restaurants, which he has since closed, now concentrating on his busy tv career.

 

 

My View:

A word of warning – do not open this book if you are hungry! Eat first- read second.

 

Ok – I have now grabbed an apple and feel confident I can sit and read the rest of this book without delving into the fridge/pantry to see what I can find to tempt me to eat. J  This is a spicy mix of French/Malay/Sri Lankan and Chinese – what a tempting array of recipes to choose your next meal from.

 

Slight pause in typing to go check out pantry again…still nothing that tempts me there but I could really eat some on Manu’s Salmon Terrine (in fact I think I will add this dish to my Christmas menu) and Manu’s Spaghetti Bolognese (made with beef stock, I think this ingredient will make this dish shine) is just what I need right now…or maybe Pumpkin and Lemon Thyme Risotto ( have you noticed I haven’t even mentioned the desserts yet?),  delicious easy to make family recipes and comfort foods – so much to choose from…and you can always finish the meal off with a banana fritter, omelette soufflé with berries or a chocolate  and chilli cream brulee if you have a little room left in your tummy.

 

More please! This writer is hungry!

 

Brenda’s Top Ten Aussie Author Reads of 2016

It has been a great year for Aussie authors and readers alike. Here is guest reviewer  Brenda’s Top Ten picks of 2016. In no particularly order ( click on links to see Brenda’s reviews on Goodreads.)

fear-is-the-riderFear is the Rider

Kenneth Cook.

 https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1506198294?book_show_action=false&from_review_page=1

 

scared-to-deathScared to Death

Rachel Amphlett

 https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1774526984?book_show_action=false&from_review_page=1

 

red-dirt-odysseyRed Dirt Odyssey

Kath Engebretson

https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1819270982?book_show_action=false&from_review_page=1

the-last-crocodile-hunter

The Last Crocodile Hunter

Bob Irwin and Amanda French

  https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1795309647?book_show_action=false&from_review_page=1

fearlessFearless

Fiona Higgins

https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1696711298?book_show_action=false&from_review_page=1

 

the-chocolate-tin

The Chocolate Tin

Fiona McIntosh

https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1654937999?book_show_action=false&from_review_page=1

 

the-art-of-keeping-secrets

The Art of Keeping Secrets

Rachael Johns

https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1682401798?book_show_action=false&from_review_page=1

 

the-wifes-tale

The Wife’s Tale

Christine Wells

https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1613736070?book_show_action=false&from_review_page=1

 

the-game-you-played

The Game You Played

Anni Taylor

https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1622987075?book_show_action=false&from_review_page=1

 

Darkest Place

Darkest Place

Jaye Ford

https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1476681496?book_show_action=false&from_review_page=1

 

Thanks Brenda, there have been some awesome books written by Australian authors this year, it must have been a real task to choose just ten. 

 

 

 

Post Script: Our Chemical Hearts – Krystal Sutherland

Today we have guest reviewer Rachel sharing her thoughts on:

our-chemical-hearts

Our Chemical Hearts

Krystal Sutherland

G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers

ISBN: 9780399546563

 

 

Description:

John Green meets Rainbow Rowell in this irresistible story of first love, broken hearts, and the golden seams that put them back together again.

Henry Page has never been in love. He fancies himself a hopeless romantic, but the slo-mo, heart palpitating, can’t-eat-can’t-sleep kind of love that he’s been hoping for just hasn’t been in the cards for him—at least not yet. Instead, he’s been happy to focus on his grades, on getting into a semi-decent college and finally becoming editor of his school newspaper. Then Grace Town walks into his first period class on the third Tuesday of senior year and he knows everything’s about to change.

Grace isn’t who Henry pictured as his dream girl—she walks with a cane, wears oversized boys’ clothes, and rarely seems to shower. But when Grace and Henry are both chosen to edit the school paper, he quickly finds himself falling for her. It’s obvious there’s something broken about Grace, but it seems to make her even more beautiful to Henry, and he wants nothing more than to help her put the pieces back together again. And yet, this isn’t your average story of boy meets girl. Krystal Sutherland’s brilliant debut is equal parts wit and heartbreak, a potent reminder of the bittersweet bliss that is first love.

 

Rachel’s View:

Our Chemical Hearts is a beautifully written, character-driven YA novel about first love and it’s heartbreaking inevitability.

26-yeard old Australian Krystal Sutherland’s debut is utterly heartbreaking yet at times incredibly uplifting. Filled with humour and pop-culture references, it’s the kind of book you stay up all night to read.

Henry Page – self-aware 17 year old, budding author and film buff, has never been in love. But that all changes when Grace Town walks into his life. But don’t for one minute think this is a story about love at first sight, or even a typical boy-meets-girl story. Grace dresses in oversized men’s clothing, looks vaguely unclean and utterly unhappy, walks with a cane and seems pretty disinterested in life, making her as far from a typical love interest as you can get. But on top of all that she is enigmatic, smart, witty, and her way with words soon has Henry hooked. Sure enough he falls in love, but through the soaring highs and deepest lows, Grace has to ask if he really is in love with her – or just the idea of her.

And this is where things become really real. Because love is complicated, life is not straight-forward, and sometimes as much as we want things to work out, they just don’t. As Henry finds out more about Grace’s past, he becomes more determined to love her, purposely ignoring the warning signs and massive ups-and-downs of the relationship because of the way it has changed his world. It’s no doubt they’re both going to be transformed by this ride and it’s inevitable, far from happily-ever-after ending.

But it’s that moment when Henry finally realises how little he actually knows about Grace – this girl he supposedly loves with every fibre of his being – that there will be many a reader shouting ‘preach’, because damn this book is relatable!

One of the things I loved most about this book were the pop-culture references – while many new authors try to avoid mentioning specific technologies, celebrities or other aspects of today’s digitally-driven world in an attempt to be ‘timeless’,  Krystal Sutherland has cemented this novel firmly in the world of today. The snippets of poetry (“I love you as certain dark things are to be loved, in secret, between the shadow and the soul”), movie quotes, celebrity name drops and dozens of other offhand pop cultural references pepper this book giving it a relatable, realistic edge that a lot of first novels lack.

My love for this story withstanding, it does struggle in some areas – I hated how Grace was constantly referred to as ‘broken’ because of her mental and physical illnesses and think the book would have gained a lot by sharing some of her perspective so that her history and struggles could have been more than just a plot device.

All in all, Our Chemical Hearts is fast-paced, quick-witted bittersweet story about love, loss, and how these things shape our lives. It is a darkly beautiful, honest love story that you’ll want to come back to again and again.

“Love doesn’t need to last a lifetime for it to be real. You can’t judge the quality of a love by the length of time it lasts. Everything dies, love included. Sometimes it dies with a person, sometimes it dies on its own. The greatest love story ever told doesn’t have to be about two people who spent their whole lives together. It might be about a love that lasted two weeks or two months or two years, but burned brighter and hotter and more brilliantly than any other love before or after. Don’t mourn a failed love; there is no such thing. All love is equal in the brain.”

 

Thanks Rachel

 

Guest Post – Anthea Hodgson – Writing…and Life

the-drifter

Welcome Anthea to my blog. Anthea is a Western Australian writer who has just had her debut novel, The Drifter, published by Penguin Random House Australia. Anthea’s book is a most enjoyable read; it is an authentic, original story that gives voice to many contemporary issues in a complex yet enjoyable read… Themes of fractured families, death and atonement and survivor guilt are explored skilfully in this heart-warming coming-of-age drama.

anthea

Anthea has had what may seem a magical passage to publication.  A woman in a hurry, she wrote her first novel The Drifter in five weeks, and pitched it to Penguin Random House in five minutes. She was then signed to a two book deal. WOW!!! I can hear the gasps of appreciation (we all know how hard it is to score a publishing deal) and to have written this book in just five weeks? Amazing! I invite Anthea to tell us about her writing journey.

 

Anthea have you always yearned to be a writer?

Absolutely! I have always loved books and writing, but I learned early on that it was an impractical passion on which to base a career, so I shoved the urge deep down inside me and left it to fester in a nice way, while I worked in radio, organising and writing interviews. It was a fascinating job (with access to free books – yay!) but once I had children I found it hard to fit radio shifts in with my two small kids and a husband who worked away much of the time, so I felt as if it was time to finally give it a bash.

 

When did you first start writing?

As an adult, I started just before I wrote The Drifter. I haven’t ever studied writing because I hated the thought of anyone reading my work, and I think I’d be too confused by input from a writing group or formal course. I think I last wrote in year ten at school, although I had a kind of journal in my early twenties. The Drifter was the first time I sat down and plotted out a manuscript, although I did have a false start a year before with a manuscript that never really resolved itself. I think Drifter worked for me because I wrote it down scene by scene on little yellow cards and literally worked from the top of the pile to the bottom, in order.

 

What inspired The Drifter?

The Drifter was inspired initially by my love of the country and my home-town. I knew I wanted to write a rural romance, so the idea of a drifter coming to town seemed a good way to do it, because it allowed the protagonist and therefore the reader to discover how the community and the farm worked at the same time. Just before I wrote it my father died of Alzheimers disease in a nursing home in Perth after a long and horrible illness. There are a couple of themes that came from that time – the idea of what makes a good death, and a good life, and the idea that you never really lose the people you love – because you can take them with you. Dad’s death showed me that, and I take him with me everyday.

 

Five weeks to write a complete novel- seems like an incredible feat, how did you achieve this?

My number one rule for writing the Drifter – get out of bed! Writing the Drifter was a mad, joyful dash for me – I had always wanted to write, I had found my plot and my themes, and I couldn’t write it fast enough. The Drifter was a wonderful experience. It was the coming together of my love of the country, of writing, of the people I grew up with, of laughter, and of my dear dad. The Drifter came galloping out of me at three o’clock every morning, surrounded by the wonderful warm and quirky women of Yealering, the beautiful countryside, and the strength of their relationships and love. The romance between Cate and Henry was so much fun to write, but I think I wrote the manuscript quickly, thousands of words a day, because I already knew the characters so well and because I had something to say, about friendship and about death. My farm is described in the book, our old dog, the place we buried him, members of my family, friends – everyone got stuffed into the Drifter’s pages.

 

Getting the attention of a publisher – how did this happen?  

This was the hard part, and I think it is probably difficult for most writers. For two years I sent Drifter out into the void, with no response whatsoever. I sent it to all of the major publishers and never heard back, I entered it in a competition two years in a row, where it only had to be in the top 15 entries of 28 to get to the next round – it wasn’t. It sat in slush piles and it was rejected by agents. And so it would have gone on, unless the wonderful Romance Writers of Australia hadn’t come to my aid. They have a yearly conference with a valuable offer – the chance to pitch to a number of agents and publishers for five minutes! The year I pitched the conference was in Melbourne. I flew to Melbourne and stayed a few days. I was too freaked out to actually attend the event – I pretty much wandered about the city chanting my pitch to myself like a mad woman. And somehow it worked – I lined up outside a door, someone rang a little bell and I sat down in front of Ali Watts from Penguin and said, Hello, my name is Anthea Hodgson – and I’ve written a rural romance about death. This one small act of bravery resulted in a two-book deal with my dream publisher – I was so lucky Ali took a chance on me, with no training or track record, and with no online presence. It was both exhilarating an extremely humbling to be handed my dream. I never mind the early starts – they are a privilege!

 

Tell us a little bit about your next book and when we can expect to see it.

Well! Funnily enough I’m just finishing it off now. Penguin was silly/generous enough to offer me a couple of extra weeks, so I’m obsessing and tinkering about at 3am again, getting it ready to deliver. It will be out around August of 2017. This novel might be called The Cowgirl, or perhaps The Firebird, I’m not sure, but it follows the story of Deirdre, the wonderful old battle-axe who stole so many scenes in The Drifter. It is her story – how she came to be such a tough old nut, and is also the story of her granddaughter Teddy, who is trapped on the farm, milking the cow – just as her grandmother has always done. Or is she? What lies buried next to the old pepper trees – and could it change her life?

 

Where can readers connect with you?

I am hoping to do some library talks around Perth and some country areas early in the new year – check out my website and I’ll keep you posted!

My facebook is Anthea Hodgson Australian Author

Website is Antheahodgson.com

Twitter @AntheaHodgson

Insta Antheahodgson

As you can see – I like to keep it simple..!

 

Thanks you for sharing so generously with my readers and congratulations on writing a fantastic book!

Thanks so much! I’m so happy you enjoyed The Drifter – as you can tell – it’s very close to my heart!