Epicure: summer, 192pp.
by various contributors
The Age newspaper, John Fairfax Publications, Sydney, 2006
Cooking on page 32
This cookbook is filled with yummy-looking recipes from three of Australia’s leading lights in the food industry—Jill Dupleix, Brigitte Hafner and Stephanie Alexander.
Being named Summer, it focuses on seasonal produce that is available in Australia in the months of December, January and February. It covers starters (appetizers), soups and salads, main dishes and desserts.
I bought it a couple of years ago at a secondhand bookshop and this is the first time I’ve cooked from it. Brigitte Hafner offers page 32 as a starter (appetizer). It’s the first time I’ve made one of her recipes.
1 onion, finely chopped
2 cloves of garlic
4 tbsp olive oil
150g long-grain rice
1 can roma tomatoes, chopped (use only the tomatoes, not the juice)
juice of 1/2 a lemon
salt and pepper
500g shelled prawns (shrimp)
3–4 tbsp chopped parsley and mint
Gently fry the onion and garlic in oil until soft and golden. Add rice and cook, stirring for a minute before adding the tomatoes, water and lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper, bring to the boil, reduce heat to a slow simmer and cook uncovered for 10 minutes.
Add the prawns, tucking them in the rice, and continue to cook for another 5 minutes or until rice is just-soft.
Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly, then crumble over the feta, parsley and mint and serve direct from the pot with lemon wedges on the side.
How it played out
I made this as written except, when I went to use my only tin (can) of whole roma tomatoes, I found the can was blown (you know, bulging at both ends and full of botulism). So I had to substitute a tin of chopped tomatoes that I didn’t bother to drain. So this was most likely much juicier than it was meant to be (see Verdict), but really not by much.
Used parsley, mint and lemons from our garden, and a strong Greek Dodoni feta cheese, which is my favourite.
It may be winter now in Australia, but this recipe is absolutely sensational for any time of year, and for a main course or a starter.
We completely loved this recipe, even with the slightly extra juice that wouldn’t have been there if I’d drained a tin of whole roma tomatoes and then chopped them.
Try it and I hope you love it as much as we did. So glad I bought this cookbook because many more recipes look fantastic.
Prawns (shrimps) have featured in many of our travels. Here’s a post about a great seafood meal we had in a market in St Tropez.