So much more than a cookbook, Lauraine Jacobs Everlasting Feast is her story but also our story of food through the years in NZ.
Remember back to spiders as children, homemade trifle and really good bacon and egg pie? Lauraine’s journey in food traverses the decades of her life and with it a warm sense of nostalgia to the reader.
With a expansive career in food that includes Cuisine magazine, Chairperson of the International Association of Culinary Proffessionals and most recently her column each week in the Listener, Lauraine has a long list of credentials and a sound approach to food.
While Lauraine has travelled the world and eaten many exotic meals, in Everlasting Feast the recipes are all perfect for the home cook. Ingredients are all available at well stocked supermarkets and I am about to adopt her mantra “if it’s easy to make it will be easy to eat”.
A book perfect to curl up with on these cool autumn days, Everlasting Feast is sure to inspire and the text well complimented with photography from Elizabeth Clarkson.
Note also the flowers the lead into each chapter, all picked from Lauraines own garden.
Everlasting Feast, a treasury of recipes and culinary adventures
Hardback RRP $55
Recipes and images printed with permission.
salmon in thai curry sauce
Salmon is a wonderful choice for adding to a Thai meal; although it
is a sturdy fish, the delicacy of the flavours allows both the salmon and the curry sauce to retain their own identity. In the Thai markets I found a wide range of curry pastes. The chu chee paste traditionally used for a dish like this is a red curry paste without coriander or cumin, but it can be substituted with any Thai red curry paste.
2 tbsp vegetable oil
2 tbsp red curry paste
2–3 cups coconut milk
4 x 150g pieces of fresh salmon, skin on
2 tsp Asian fish sauce
2 tsp grated palm sugar (or soft brown sugar)
2 large red chilli peppers, finely sliced
2 kaffir lime leaves, very finely sliced
Place the oil in a heavy-bottomed frying pan and heat it over a gentle flame. Add the curry paste and fry it gently until fragrant. Pour on half the coconut milk, stir to mix well and bring to a simmer. Add the salmon, skin side up, and allow to simmer very gently for 3 minutes. Turn the salmon over, add more coconut milk to keep it very sauce-like, and continue to simmer for another 2–3 minutes. Season with fish sauce and palm sugar so that the leading flavours hint of sweetness, followed by salty notes.
The salmon should be served almost rare in the middle, so try to
avoid over-cooking. Serve on a plate, skin side underneath, and pour the sauce over. Garnish with the chilli and kaffir lime leaf shreds.
This salad has become one of my signature recipes, and is a study in contrasts. It’s always lovely to have the four main flavours — sweet, salty, sour and bitter — together in a dish. By adding honey to the walnuts you get the sensation of bitter and sweet at once. I also like to ensure that the salad has a few bitter greens as well as tender young sweet leaves. Duck breast served rare is the rule as it’s juicy, but do remember to rest the cooked duck for at least 10 minutes.
I loved the photo Elizabeth Clarkson took of this salad for the Listener o much that I put it on the back of my business card. When we were recently in Japan, the chef in a kaiseki restaurant in Kyoto became so excited when he saw it that he added an extra course ofquickly seared duck to our menu. It was superb.
10 baby beetroot
2 large waxy potatoes
3 tbsp duck fat
handful of fresh walnuts
1 tbsp liquid honey
3 tbsp olive oil
2 large duck breasts
3 cups fresh mixed salad leaves and herbs
few opal basil leaves and herb flowers to decorate
juice of 1 lemon
Pre-heat the oven to 170°C. Prepare all the ingredients. Boil the baby beetroot in water until tender (about 25 minutes), then peel and cut into halves. Peel and slice the potatoes and blanch in boiling water for 5 minutes. Melt the duck fat in a heavy frying pan, and gently fry the potatoes until golden and tender. Toss the walnuts in a roasting pan, coating with the honey and 1 tablespoon of the oil, and roast in the oven for 5–7 minutes until they are crisp. Turn out onto baking paper and allow to cool. Slash the duck skin in a criss-cross pattern and generously season both sides with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Heat the remaining oil in a heavy-bottomed frying pan and add the duck, skinside down. Reduce the heat to low, and cook for 15 minutes until the skin is crisp and much of the fat has been released. Turn the breast over and cook for 2–3 minutes. Remove and allow the duck breasts to rest for 10 minutes before slicing. To assemble the salad, wash the leaves and herbs, dry them carefully and spread on a large serving platter. Evenly scatter the beetroot, potatoes, walnuts and duck slices over. Finish with the basil leaves and flowers, and drizzle a little of the hot duck fat and the lemon juice over everything.
Every single time I serve my roast potatoes, I am complimented.
There are two secrets to them. The first is that the floury potatoes (preferably Agria) must be cooked in boiling salted water until they are tender but not falling apart. The second secret is to add a very generous knob of butter to the lightly flavoured olive oil for the roasting. That’s where the glorious colour and the crunch come from.
1kg Agria potatoes (or another floury roasting potato)
2 tbsp light-flavoured olive oil
2 tbsp butter
Pre-heat the oven to 180°C. Peel the potatoes and cut into large, even chunks. Place in a large saucepan of salted water and bring to the boil. Simmer for about 10–12 minutes, then drain well. Score each potato on every side with a fork. Place the oil and butter in a roasting pan over an element on the stove-top, and allow the butter to just melt. Remove from the heat and tip the potatoes in. Carefully turn them in the oil and melted butter so that all sides of each piece are coated in the fat. Generously sprinkle with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Roast in the oven for 1 hour and 15 minutes, checking occasionally and turning if necessary. When the potatoes are golden and crunchy, serve at once.
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