Classic Italian cooking, 93pp.
by Beryl Frank
Budget Books, Melbourne, 1984
Cooking on page 32
This cookbook has been on a shelf in my kitchen for many decades, but this is the first time I’ve ever cooked from it. I bought it second-hand for $4 when I was expanding my collection of ethnic recipes.
I was interested to find that the author, Beryl Frank, has written more than 20 books on a variety of topics ranging from creative pressure cooking to great disasters of the world to pictorial histories of both the Democratic and Republic parties in the USA. Looks like a theme of ‘disasters’ going on there.
According to Goodreads, her most popular book in Creative International Cooking. Frank is now aged 88, but I haven’t been able to find out much more about her. Let’s see if her recipes are any good.
Venetian rice and peas
3 tablespoons butter or margarine
1/4 cup chopped onion
2 cups regular-strength chicken broth (stock)
1 cup raw long-grain rice
1 (10-ounce) package frozen green peas
1/2 cup diced cooked ham
salt and pepper
grated Parmesan cheese
Melt butter in large saucepan. Sauté onion until transparent.
Meanwhile heat chicken broth (known as chicken stock in Australia) to boiling.
Add rice to onions; stir to coat with butter. Add peas, ham and chicken broth; stir well. Cover cook over low heat approximately 20 minutes, until all liquid is absorbed. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and serve.
Serves 4 to 6.
How it played out
Except for using slightly more onion and peas than the recipe called for, I followed this as written. Hey, it’s so easy, why would I change a thing?
That said, you could substitute any kind of meat (say chicken) for the ham. For a vegetarian version, use vegetable stock and leave out the meat completely or use a soy option.
I need to be using this book more often and seeking out more of Frank’s cookbooks (she’s written at least 10).
This recipe is so doggone easy to make and so tasty. The really great thing is that a nice salad and some crusty bread are all you need to have a complete meal ready in about 30 minutes. Four of us polished this off.
Highly recommended. I’m sure you could easily double or halve the recipe.
If you are interested in travel, check out the sesame rice crackers we saw being made in Vietnam.