Time seems to be the missing ingredient in many kitchens these days, no matter how many people you're cooking for. As a popular cookbook author, food writer and cooking show host, Justine Schofield hears the same questions from her readers and viewers time and time again: How do I get dinner on the table quickly and easily without sacrificing flavour? What can I do on the weekend to streamline my cooking for the week ahead?
Simple Every Day is designed to make life easier in the kitchen, giving you more time to enjoy both the preparation and the delicious results. There are quick and tasty mid-week dinners, such as easy ramen, mozzarella-stuffed meatballs and lamb skewers with watermelon tabbouleh; Sunday slow cooks to batch up for the week ahead, such as eggplant parmigiana and the ultimate pea and ham soup; and easy bakes for breakfasts and lunch boxes, including peanut butter spiced granola, broccoli pesto scrolls and carrot cake slice.
And, of course, everyone needs a few simple dessert recipes on standby, such as fruit in sticky red wine syrup or dark chocolate brûlée. Start making the food you want to eat, and having fun while you do it! Keep it simple; keep it every day.
Justine Schofield has made a career of inspiring home cooks around the country, from her TV debut on the first series of MasterChef Australia to her long-running role as host of Channel Ten's Everyday Gourmet. Justine also runs a boutique catering company and is a regular columnist for taste.com.au. Her first cookbook, Dinner with Justine, was published in 2016.
Author: Justine Schofield
Mussels are one of the easiest and most inexpensive types of seafood to prepare. Many of us love to order them when we are out but are not so inclined to prepare them at home. We need to change that. Most fi shmongers and some supermarkets stock cleaned, pot-ready Australian mussels. They usually come in 1 kg bags and are at their best in winter and spring. In this recipe, I've given them an Italian twist.
REP: 10 minutes
COOK: 30 minutes
Quick and easy
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 long red chilli, roughly chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 anchovy fillets, roughly chopped
185 ml white wine (such as chardonnay or sauvignon blanc)
3 thyme sprigs
1 x 400 g can whole peeled tomatoes, crushed
2 kg debearded and scrubbed black mussels
salt flakes and freshly ground black pepper
4 slices of sourdough bread, chargrilled
Heat a very large saucepan over medium heat. Add the oil, chilli, garlic and anchovies and cook, stirring often, for 4 minutes until the garlic just starts to change colour. Add the wine and thyme and bring to the boil. Reduce by half, then stir in the tomatoes. Cover with the lid, turn the heat to low and simmer for 15–20 minutes until a thick and rich sauce develops.
Bring the sauce to the boil again and add the mussels. Cover with a lid and simmer, shaking the pan a few times to help the mussels cook evenly, for 2–3 minutes until the mussels open.
Transfer the mussels and tomato sauce to a large bowl, season with salt and pepper, and serve in the middle of the table with the chargrilled bread
This is what I love to call -the show-stopper cake'. It has everything you want in a dessert, because it's a cross between a lumberjack cake (minced fruit and coconut cake), sticky date pudding and tarte tatin. Serve this with a dollop of whipped cream or vanilla ice cream and you will be sure to blow your guests away!
PREP: 15 minutes
COOK: 50 minutes, plus 10 minutes resting
270 g pitted dates
250 ml boiling water
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
100 g butter, at room temperature
140 g brown sugar
125 g self-raising flour
115 g caster sugar
3 granny smith apples, peeled, cored and quartered
15 g (¼ cup) shredded coconut
Preheat the oven to 180°C.
Combine the dates, boiling water and bicarbonate of soda in a bowl and set aside for 5 minutes.
Place the date mixture in a food processor and whiz until smooth. Add the butter, brown sugar and eggs and process to combine. Transfer the mixture to a large bowl and fold in the flour to form a smooth batter.
For the topping, place the caster sugar and 125 ml of water in a large, deep-sided, ovenproof frying pan and cook over high heat for 8–10 minutes until a pale caramel forms. Remove the pan from the heat. The caramel will continue cooking off the heat and will turn a deep golden colour. Being very careful, as the caramel is hot, arrange the apple quarters, peeled-side down, in the pan, nestling them into the caramel. Sprinkle over the shredded coconut and allow the topping to cool for 10 minutes before pouring over the batter. Bake for 30–35 minutes until the cake springs back when touched. Rest on the bench for 10 minutes to allow the caramel to sink into the cake.
To turn out the cake, while still warm, place a large plate over the pan and, with one hand on the plate and the other holding the pan, carefully flip over. If the cake has cooled too much and the caramel is sticking, place the pan over low heat briefly to warm up, then carefully turn out.
Author: Justine Schofield