Shortcuts: more than 200 recipes for busy cooks, 184pp.
The Australian Women’s Weekly kitchens
ACP Books, Sydney, 2010
Cooking on page 32
This handy spiral bound book is filled with tips and recipes for cooks who are time-poor and short of inspiration. There are plenty of useful hints like using frozen chopped onions or other pre-cut vegetables and herbs. And other tips such as noting how quick it is to cook couscous and vermicelli. There is also advice on shopping and storage.
Recipes cover soups, salads, barbecues, things to do with bread, stir-fries, roasts, dessert and baking. Many pages have two recipes and each recipe has a photo.
Page 32’s recipes are for salads. I made the first one.
Mixed bean salad
250g (8 ounces) green beans, trimmed
250 g (8ounces) yellow beans, trimmed
60g (2 ounces) butter, chopped
1/3 cup (45g) finely chopped roasted hazelnuts
1/2 cup coarsely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
2 teaspoon finely grated lemon rind
Boil, steam or microwave beans until tender; drain. Combine warm beans with remaining ingredients in medium bowl. Serves 4.
How it played out
I chose this recipe because a friend gave me fresh green beans from her garden and I’d already bought yellow beans on special on the market.
I was a little short, having only 190 grams of each kind of bean, so I cut the butter back to 50 grams and slightly reduced the nuts, parsley and lemon rind. I steamed the beans for about 5 minutes.
The hazelnuts were roasted at 135°C (275°F) for about 15 minutes. I let them cool for about 5 minutes and then rubbed them vigorously in a towel to remove the skins.
Served with tandoori fish with mint relish, another page-32 recipe.
We almost always get the recommended five serves of veggies every day and this was a great addition to my repertoire.
I rarely have two kinds of beans on hand, so I’ll probably keep this recipe as one I might serve to company. It’s pretty, colourful and a bit out of the ordinary. The nuts add a classy touch. Highly recommended.
We’ve had some great meals on our travels including a few very special dishes in northern India.