There’s nothing better than leafing through a cook book and poring over the gorgeously shot food photography and recipes for culinary inspiration in our kitchens at home.
There’s something really evocative about old cookery books, whether they are old papers passed down and marked with notes in the margin from your grandmother, the food bible you used when cooking for the family for the first time, or a treasured birthday cake recipe – they all hold great foodie memories.
We have quite a library of cookery books and so we wanted to share our Founder Charlotte’s top six books that have influenced and inspired creativity in the kitchen over the last few years, and –most importantly – made her mouth water!
1. Fusion: A Culinary Journey by Peter Gordon “Peter is a fellow Kiwi (and I’m delighted to say a fan of G’NOSH!) and we have every cookery book he has written. Fusion contains stunning food photography and literally takes the reader on a journey through Asia, Europe and the Pacific – wonderfully showcasing the broad influences in his signature, innovative fusion cooking.”
2. Ottolenghi: The Cookbook by Sami Tamimi and Yotam Ottolenghi “Ottolenghi’s first cook book is still our absolute favourite. With dynamic recipes for every occasion, from breakfast to dinner parties, the dishes never fail to impress and delight. We love the diverse flavour inspiration from across the globe that means each recipe is exciting.”
3. The Kitchen Diaries II by Nigel Slater “This is written so beautifully, it’s not just a cookery book but also a wonderful read! The focus is on seasonality with readily available British and garden ingredients to make comforting, wholesome and utterly delicious food.”
4. Bill’s Everyday Asian by Bill Granger “Although you may need to make sure you do a shopping trip to stock up on key Asian ingredients before starting the recipes, these have the chilled back Aussie vibe for fuss-free, tasty cooking that Bill Granger is so well known for.”
5. Savour the Pacific by Annabel Langbein “I always dream of coral atolls, coconut palms and the deep blue ocean when I begin reading. I often draw to this cookbook gem for a journey taste of the Pacific Rim. This book is full of extraordinary exotic fruits and vegetables, fresh seafood, harvests of wild aromatics such as galangal, vanilla and chillies. The mango cheesecake is heaven on earth and has always been a dinner party favourite over the years.”
6. Home Cooking by Rachel Allen “This cook book is so easy to follow, the recipes are simple to achieve, and it is a real family friendly book. It is a great crowd pleaser for Sunday lunches and kids favourites like her homemade pizzas”.
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From the iconic spaghetti moment in Lady and the Tramp to the sexy scene between Kim Basinger and Mickey Rourke in 9 1/2 Weeks, sharing food has always been considered an act of love.
If you’re looking for some great dishes to share with your loved one this Valentine’s Day, we’ve come up with some suggestions for some seriously swoon-worthy desserts to delight and impress.
• G’NOSH Chocolate & Beetroot Cake
Award-winning chef and friend of G’NOSH, Will Torrent, designed this decadent dessert especially using G’NOSH Beetroot & Mint dip, for a dense cake with depth of flavour and a stunning dark purple ganache. You can find the full recipe here: http://www.gnosh.co.uk/2012/12/20/will-torrents-beetroot-chocolate-cake/
• Grilled Bananas with Passionfruit & Yoghurt
Use ripe bananas, slice lengthways and top with brown sugar and a little butter. Pop under the grill until bubbling and top with yoghurt and the flesh of passion fruit. Serve immediately.
• Mango & Chilli Tequila Ices
These are truly grown-up desserts with the added aphrodisiac spice of the chilli – best served with a shot of tequila on the side! Cube two mangoes – blend one with a touch of agave (or sugar) syrup, half a cup of water and some very finely chopped red chilli to taste. Add the second cubed mango to the mixture, and pour into ice lolly moulds and freeze for three to four hours.
• Chocolate Fondue
Perhaps the ultimate romantic sharing dish, chocolate fondue can be really easy to make: simply melt a little dark chocolate with double cream and add the same amount of Nutella (as cream). Keep heated in a fondue dish over a tea light, and dip in chopped strawberries on skewers, mango slices, crystallised ginger, marshmallows and amaretto biscuits.
Share your Valentine’s Day foodie creations with us on Twitter @gnoshers or on Facebook http://www.facebook.com/Gnoshers — we’d love to see your pictures!
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Whether it’s simply fresh roasted, raw, added into warm winter salads, blended into soups and juices or used in innovative ways to add colour to canapés, or as an unusual element to a classic chocolate cake – we’re big fans of beetroot at G’NOSH HQ!
Our fresh Beetroot & Mint dip is a favourite amongst foodies for its huge versatility, and we’re always discovering new ways to incorporate it into different dishes and recipes.
So to celebrate this wholesome vegetable in all its purple glory, we wanted to share some delicious beetroot recipes by our favourite chefs and foodies.
Here’s three recipes that we recommend you try:
Tom Aikens’ Pickled Beetroot & Feta Salad
6 baby beetroots
300ml of water
200ml of beetroot juice
200ml of white wine vinegar
200ml of olive oil
40g of caster sugar
1 pinch of salt
4 tbsp of pine nuts
4 handfuls of baby mixed salad leaves
200g of feta, cut into chunks
1. Peel all of the raw beetroots and slice into cubes. Put the white wine vinegar, olive oil, beetroot juice, caster sugar and salt into a large pan, and bring to a simmer
2. Place the beetroot cubes into the pickling liquor and cook for 3-4 minutes before removing from the heat and allowing to cool in the liquor
3. Add the pickled beetroot cubes to a small dish along with some salad leaves, chunks of feta and pine nuts
Nigel Slater’s Beetroot Fritters, Gravlax
Makes 6, enough for 2 or 3 people
350g Red or golden beetroot
2 tbsp Plain flour
1 egg , beaten
Oil for cooking
500g gravlax or smoked salmon
Make the dressing by gently whisking together (or shaking in a tightly lidded jar) the mustards, chopped dill, oil and water. Set aside.
Scrub the beetroots thoroughly, then grate them coarsely. The medium grater on a food processor may be best to get thin, long shreds. Peel the onion and slice it finely, stirring it into the beetroot. Season, then stir in the flour and egg.
Warm a shallow film of oil in a non-stick frying pan. Carefully drop generous spoonfuls of the mixture into the oil, flattening them down with the back of the spoon as you go. Leave them to cook over a moderate heat for a couple of minutes until just starting to crisp a little, then with the help of a palette knife or fish slice, turn them over quickly and cook the other side. Remove from the pan and drain on kitchen paper.
Cut the gravlax into large slices and divide among the fritters. Spoon over some of the dill dressing.
(Source: Nigel Slater for The Observer)
Stella McCartney’s Beetroot, Red Onion & Endive Salad
3 tbsp Walnut oil
1 tsp Dijon mustard, rounded
Salt & freshly ground pepper
1. Preheat the oven to 180oC. Place a large piece of foil in a small roasting tin, tip the beets into the middle, season with salt and pepper, then drizzle with half the oil and the vinegar. Wrap the foil around the beets and seal tightly. Roast the beetroot for an hour or until tender when tested with a sharp knife. Remove from the roasting tin and leave to cool.
2. Tip the pecans into the roasting tin and drizzle with the honey. Stir to coat, then roast for about 10 minutes until sticky and glazed. Remove from the roasting tin and cool the nuts on a plate.
3. Tip the onion into a baking dish, add the garlic cloves (whole and unpeeled), drizzle with the remaining oil, then roast for about 30 minutes until tender and starting to caramelise.
4. To make the dressing, squeeze the roasted garlic cloves from their skins into a small bowl, add the remaining ingredients and the juice of one lemon and gently whisk until just combined.
5. Peel the beets and cut into wedges. In a large bowl layer the beetroot, onion, pears (quartered, cored and sliced), endive (trimmed into separate leaves), rocket, feta and pecans. Generously drizzle with dressing and serve immediately.
(Source: Stella McCartney for Meat Free Mondays)