Who hasn't wanted a step-by-step guide in the kitchen to create much loved meals and turn clever ideas into firm favourites of your cooking repertoire.
The latest cookbook from Donna Hay, a cook's guide, is a compilation of the very best from the How To Cook section of donna hay magazine. This handy resource is filled with classic recipes, basic cooking techniques and essentials that should be in every cook's repertoire, from simple roast dinners to timeless desserts. Filled with detailed step-by-step recipes, accompanying photographs and recipe variations and tips, this is a definitive go-to guide for the home cook, whether you're a beginner or just need a good handle on the basics in one easy book.
Donna is known for her fuss-free meal ideas and time-saving shortcuts, now it's even easier to achieve the best-possible results with meal ideas, in an easy-to-follow format.
This chapter features those classic recipes that are essential for every home kitchen, from roast beef, lamb and pork to risotto and chicken soup. As well as step-by-step photographs, you'll also find handy cooking techniques, such as butterflying chicken and filleting a whole fish.
From basic tomato sauce and fool-proof gravy to curry paste from scratch and onion relish, this chapter covers off all those condiments and sauces that are handy for quick meals and fast flavour. There's also a collection of entertaining essentials, such as pate, terrines and baked flatbread.
Whether it's sweet shortcrust pastry, feather-light sponge cake, fluffy scones or crisp shortbread, this chapter is filled with age-old favourtites and how to perfect them. With useful tips, tricks and recipe notes, as well as flavour variations, you'll be sure to achieve a good result every time.
There are many desserts that have stood the test of time, and this chapter features some of the best. There are thorough tips on perfecting pavlova and panna cotta, plus sure-fire steps to making souffle, as well as comforting childhood classics such as baked custard and fruit crumble. The perfect complement to any cook, a cook's guide is essential for every kitchen, be it a beginner starting their cooking journey through to a seasoned home cook looking to vary their approach.
1.2kg pork belly, bones removed
sea salt flakes
olive oil, for brushing
1 tablespoon dried chilli flakes
1 tablespoon fennel seeds
8 small pears, halved
step 1 Using a small sharp knife, score the pork skin at 1cm intervals.
step 2 Rub the skin with salt and refrigerate, uncovered, overnight. This will draw the moisture out of the skin and produce a better crackling.
step 3 Preheat oven to 180°C. Brush the salt from the skin and pat dry with absorbent paper to remove any excess moisture. Brush the skin with oil and rub with more salt, chilli and the fennel, making sure to rub into the cuts. Place the pork, skin-side down, in a roasting tray and roast for 1 hour. Turn the pork and roast for a further 1 hour or until the skin is golden and crunchy. Brush the pears with oil and add to the tray in the final 20-25 minutes of cooking. Serve the pork with the pears, steamed green beans and a shaved fennel salad, if desired.
2 cups (500ml) chicken stock
1 1/2 cups (375ml) milk
1 cup (170g) instant polenta
30g butter, chopped
1/4 cup (20g) finely grated parmesan
sea salt and cracked black pepper
2 tablespoons chopped basil leaves
1 chorizo, sliced
¼ cup (20g) pitted green olives, sliced
50g feta, crumbled
2 bocconcini, roughly torn
150g truss cherry tomatoes
step 1 Place the stock and milk into a large saucepan over medium heat and bring to the boil.
step 2 Gradually whisk the polenta into the milk and stock mixture. Cook, stirring, for 2-3 minutes, or until thickened.
step 3 Remove from heat, add the butter, parmesan, salt and pepper, and stir to combine.
step 4 Add the basil and spoon into a 20cm frying pan with an ovenproof handle, top with the chorizo, olives, feta, bocconcini and tomatoes. Grill under a preheated hot grill for 8 minutes or until top is golden and cheese is melted.
1 cup (150g) plain flour, sifted
1/2 cup (40g) desiccated coconut
1/2 cup (90g) brown sugar
125g butter, melted
1/3 cup (115g) golden syrup
125g butter, chopped
2 x 395g cans sweetened condensed milk
200g dark chocolate, chopped
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
step 1 Preheat oven to 180°C (350°F). Place the flour, coconut, sugar and butter in a bowl and mix well to combine. Using the back of a spoon, press into the base of a lightly greased 20cm x 30cm tin lined with non-stick baking paper and bake for 20-25 minutes or until golden.
step 2 While the base is cooking, make the caramel filling. Place the golden syrup, butter and condensed milk in a saucepan over low heat and cook for 6-7 minutes, stirring continuously, or until butter has melted and caramel has thickened slightly. Pour over the cooked base and bake for 20 minutes or until golden. Refrigerate until cold.
step 3 To make the chocolate topping, place the chocolate and oil in a heatproof bowl over a saucepan of simmering water and stir until melted and smooth. Pour over the caramel mixture and refrigerate for 30 minutes or until firm.
At the age of eight, Donna Hay skipped into a kitchen, picked up a mixing bowl and never looked back. She later moved to the world of magazine test kitchens and publishing, where she established her trademark style of simple, smart and seasonal recipes all beautifully put together and photographed. It is food for every cook, every food lover, every day and every occasion.
Her unique style turned her into an international food-publishing phenomenon as a best-selling author of 19 cookbooks, publisher of the bi-monthly donna hay magazine, weekly newspaper columnist, creator of premium homewares and a food range, and shop owner of her general store in Sydney, Australia. Donna is a working mum to two beautiful boys.
Donna's first television series, Donna Hay - fast, fresh, simple., premiered in Australia in March 2011 and is soon to be seen around the world. The 13-part series brings her approach to food and the pages of her iconic books and magazine to life.
Books by Donna Hay include: fast, fresh simple., Seasons, no time to cook, off the shelf, modern classics,the instant cook, instant entertaining, the simple essentials collection and the marie claire cooking series.
Donna Hay A Cook's Guide
Harper Collins Australia
Author: Donna Hay