Food is central to the lives of Kathryn Elliott and Lucinda (Lucy) Dodds. A shared philosophy based on encouraging readers to cook healthy meals for themselves rather than eating takeaway food led to their collaborative blog and e-magazine titled An Honest Kitchen.
As you'll discover, in An Honest Kitchen Kathryn and Lucy discuss food and cooking in a delightfully relaxed and chatty fashion. The pair present inspiring and deliciously simple recipes, blended with practical cooking information and a good sprinkle of advice on healthy eating. If you're thinking lentils and broccoli, think again. The Autumn edition featured oven baked chicken schnitzel with coleslaw and sweet potato wedges, and a spiced orange rice pudding; the Spring issue included spicy pan-fried mackerel as well as berry and ricotta tiramisu. Yum! Now it's over to Lucy and Kathryn...
'An Honest Kitchen is all about real food that's good for you. Meals which are balanced, made of ingredients that improve health and served in realistic portions. Food with all its beautiful imperfections ... without the fuss.'
As far as dates go, it might very well be the first day of Spring in Australia, but this morning's cracker frost and minus 6.9 degrees C temperature assures me that, despite the season, it is not at all inappropriate to share with you one of my most favourite recipes, the Hungarian classic Paprikás Csirke Nokedlivel, (Chicken Paprika with Soft Noodles).
On Fehérvári út on the Buda side of Budapest, there's a vibrant and fascinating open air market-place. It was there, many years ago, that I, as an Australian-born Hungarian foreigner, had my first encounter with an unusual vegetable called celeriac.
'Do you have any zeller,' I asked the old woman vendor in Hungarian, meaning the vegetable I knew as celery. She nodded and presented me with a large lumpy, turnip-like object with scrawny dark green stalks that had completely withered in the forty-two degree C heat of the day.
Despite being a food writer with a keen interest in fresh produce, I hadn't yet seen celeriac at our Australian markets and therefore couldn’t help laughing, as I asked — 'What on earth is it?'. 'It’s zeller,' said my cousin. He stressed the word quietly through gritted teeth, while looking straight ahead at the woman. I noticed that he was suddenly flushed and embarrassed. Oops, sort of. I suppose I was having a moment of food culture shock. It was already curious and mildy offensive to me that market shoppers were not permitted under any circumstances to touch or select their fruit and vegetable purchases. And on that topic, my father had been yelled at by a vendor because he had spoken out at the mouldy peaches the vendor had tried to sell us! Times must have been tough back then, I guess. A few years later when my aunt (said cousin's mother) visited from Hungary, she was in awe of our celery (and other produce) and I think she felt she'd landed in food heaven when she visited the markets I was managing!
But now, back to the original topic. Also known as poor man’s celery, celery root, turnip-rooted celery, German celery and celery-knob — celeriac is a native to southern Europe. It was a fashionable vegetable in the 18th and 19th century, particularly in France and Germany. Recent food trends have rekindled this vegetable’s popularity. And rightly so!
Roast Chicken with Lemon, Tarragon and Garlic
'I could cook chicken a different way each night for a long time without becoming bored, and I am never unmoved by the sight of a roasted chicken. ... I remember when a large, home-reared roasted bird was an absolute treat for Sunday lunch. We held our breath as it was brought to the table'. Stephanie Alexander, The Cook's Companion.
Grilled Chicken with Basil Butter
'If I had to choose just one plant from the whole herb garden, I should be content with basil,' Elizabeth David, Italian Food.
Sensational Salads: Goi Ga (Vietnamese Chicken Salad)
Peter and I enjoyed a three day weekend in Melbourne in 2010 and our indulgences included frequenting a Vietnamese restaurant that served a deliciously fresh Goi Ga (chicken salad). We liked it so much that we returned to the crowded little place on three occasions for lunch or dinner. The choice of REALLY good Vietnamese restaurants in our home city is quite limited, you see.
Peter travels often with his work and always brings home tales from his adventures and goodies for me in his suitcase. He has a list of favourite restaurants and eateries across Australia, from Hobart in Tasmania to Darwin in the Northern Territory, and as far afield as Thursday Island in the Torres Strait to Perth in Western Australia, and Warrnambool in Victoria to Orange in New South Wales.
After lining up to buy piping hot pies from Sebastian's Gum Tree Pies at the Farmer's Market this morning, Peter, my dear best friend, Christine, and I sat to catch up and chat a while. As we munched, we agreed that Sebastian's pastry and filings were quite superb, and noted that Sebastian had won eleven awards at the Great Aussie Meat Pie Competition last week.
A friend has an assortment of citrus trees that bear such an overwhelming amount of fruit that she feels she has exhausted all possible ideas for utilising the crop, so she asked me to come to the rescue with a few ideas.
Chinese-Malaysian born Perth food blogger, The Food Pornographer (TFP), posted an interesting article once about her first experience with a hot BBQ roast chicken and suggested various tasty ways to serve it. Reading TFP’s story brought back memories and inspired me to share my musings on the subject.
Cooking and writing have been a lifelong passion.
Join me as I share with you my favourite recipes; postcards and morsels from my travels; conversations with cookery writers
and chefs; and news on food, cookbooks
- Liz Posmyk
NB: I use Australian standard measuring cups and spoons in my recipes.