Two of the world’s cutest celebrity cooks – SA’s Justin Bonello and the UK’s Jamie Oliver – have released new books. Plus we’ve got an exclusive recipe for you to try!
Cooked Out of the Frying Pan – by Justin Bonello
After three seasons of his popular television show Cooked, Justin Bonello is up for a new challenge.
Bracing himself for a baptism of flour, he visits 13 professional kitchens – all beacons on the South African culinary landscape – and gets to cook with some of the most celebrated chefs and cooks in the country, all warm and willing to share their secrets. Along the way he also manages to lift the lid on a smorgasbord of tips and take-aways that surround fine dining.
Follow the adventures of this self-confessed bush cook as he makes a giant gastronomic leap and smarts up to the value of salsa verde, a good mirepoix and the most complicated scallop dish on the planet. This time you get the best of both worlds: everything you’d expect from a bush cook, and everything he learns along the way. From All Seafood-Carpetbaggers and Prawn Jumpers to Prickly Pear and Champagne Sorbet, this is a lip-smacking exercise in becoming a better cook.
Recommended Retail Price: R300
JERUSALEM ARTICHOKE SOUP WITH SMOKED SALMON ICE CREAM, HERBED CROUTONS AND CRISPY SAGE LEAVES
From Justin Bonello’s Cooked Out of the Frying Pan. Recipe by Jackie Cameron, head chef at Hartford House in the Midlands.
JERUSALEM ARTICHOKE SOUP – INGREDIENTS (Makes 1 litre)
â€¢ 100 g butter â€¢ 320 g onions – chopped â€¢ 420 g potatoes* – chopped â€¢ 625 g Jerusalem artichokes â€¢ 1500 ml water *Chef’s note: do not place the cut potatoes in water as you want the natural starch in the potato to thicken the soup, so only peel and chop them just before you start cooking otherwise they’ll discolour.
SMOKED SALMON ICE CREAM – INGREDIENTS (Makes 2 litres)
â€¢ Smoked salmon â€¢ ice-cream â€¢ 1200 ml cream â€¢ 180 g smoked salmon – roughly chopped â€¢ 80 g castor sugar â€¢ 12 egg yolks â€¢ salt and pepper
â€¢ a couple of slices of brown â€¢ bread â€¢ Vesuvio olive oil â€¢ fresh thyme â€¢ Crispy sage leaves â€¢ sage leaves
1. Add the butter to a hot pot and get it to a beurre noisette stage, which is a French term for brown (literally hazelnut) butter and just means heating the butter until it’s golden brown and the milk solids in the butter burn. Add the onions and potatoes and caramelise well as this adds a depth of flavour. ‘I find people don’t take the time anymore, so we do things properly and it makes all the difference,’ reiterates our chef.
2. Rinse the chokes by running them under water to remove excess grit. It takes ages to clean these little buggers but hard work will bring great rewards. ‘No need to be too vigorous as we are going to put it through a fine sieve later.’ I decide to use a basting brush, which works really well. Once the chokes are clean, chop them roughly and toss them into the pot with the browned onions and potatoes and sautÃ©. Add the water and simmer until all the ingredients are cooked.
3. Once cooked, allow to cool. ‘With soup you want to allow it to cool before you blitz it, it improves the texture this way.’ Then liquidise and strain and set the soup aside until you’re ready to serve.
4. Smoked salmon ice-cream: Put the cream and smoked salmon in a pot, bring up the heat so that they infuse but, please, it must simmer, not boil. Cool slightly and blend. Whisk the sugar and egg yolks thoroughly until light yellow in colour. Add the warm cream mixture slowly to the whisked egg yolks. Season with salt and pepper and place in the fridge to cool. Salt and pepper in ice cream – odd, you might be thinking. But Jackie confirms, ‘Even though it’s ice cream you still have to season it.’
When cool, churn the mixture in an ice cream machine and then freeze. If you don’t have an ice cream machine, put the chilled mixture in a flat wide-mouthed dish and put this into the freezer. Whisk every 30 minutes or so until it’s frozen to produce a light and fluffy textured ice cream. I sneak a little taste when it’s ready and it’s exquisite.
5. Now the croutons: Cut off the crusts and turn them into crumbs or feed them to the birds, just don’t waste them. Cut the bread slices into cubes roughly 1 cm x 1 cm. Space the cubes evenly on a baking tray and drizzle with olive oil and fresh thyme. I’m lucky that there’s an abundance of thyme in Jackie’s herb garden so I just pick a bunch, wash it and sprinkled it all over the cubes and am delighted when I get her approval: ‘That’s great, you need a hardy herb that can withstand the heat from the oven, and thyme is perfect for this.’
6. Crispy sage leaves: Lightly deep-fry the sage leaves in the hot oil and then drain.
7. Final Plating: Heat the soup and season with as much salt as is needed and some black pepper. Top with a ball of smoked salmon ice cream, herbed croutons and crispy sage leaves.
Jamie’s 30 Minute Meals – by Jamie Oliver
In his new book, Jamie’s 30 Minute Meals, Jamie Oliver proves that, by mastering a few tricks and being organised and focused in the kitchen, it is absolutely possible, and easy, to get a complete meal on the table in the same amount of time you’d normally spend making one dish!
The 50 brand-new meal ideas in this book are exciting, varied and seasonal. They include main course recipes with side dishes as well as puddings and drinks, and are all meals you’ll be proud to serve your family and friends. Jamie has written the recipes in a way that will help you make the most of every single minute in the kitchen.
This book is as practical as it is beautiful, showing that with a bit of preparation, the right equipment and some organisation, hearty, delicious, quick meals are less than half an hour away. You’ll be amazed by what you’re able to achieve.
Recommended Retail Price: R350