This cookbook is old. I think it might have come from my grandmother’s collection, or perhaps my mother’s. It dates from the late 70s to early 80s, there isn’t a date inside to indicate exactly when it was published, but it was a whole $2.95 at the time for 200 recipes.
The Best of New Idea Cooking is definitely not one for vegetarians. The majority of the book focuses on meat dishes, with extra meat dishes. It avoids the worst of 60s and 70s food, and it was hard to choose dishes to cook because many of them look tasty, though there are a few that will stay on the “do not cook, that looks terrible” pile. The recipes are fairly clear and straightforward, and very very tasty. Overall I give this 3.5 out of 5 stars.
- 1 x 1.5kg – 2kg dressed chicken
- salt and pepper
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 12 small white onions
- 2 cloves garlic, crushed
- 1 green pepper, seeded and sliced
- 3 tomatoes, peeled and chopped
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 125ml dry white wine
- 1 bouquet garni
- 250ml chicken stock
- 1/2 cup black olives
- chopped parsley to garnish
- Wash chicken in cold running water and pat dry with paper towels.
- Sprinkle chicken, inside and out with salt and pepper.
- Heat oil in a large frying pan or saute pan and fry the chicken until browned on all sides. Place chicken in a chicken brick or a casserole.
- Add onions to pan and fry until browned on all sides. Add garlic, and green pepper and fry for 2 minutes. Add tomatoes, tomato paste, wine, bouquet garni and stock and bring to the boil, stirring continuously. Simmer for 5 minutes, then season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Pour mixture around the chicken, cover and cook in a moderate oven at 180C for 1 – 1 1/2 hours or until chicken is tender.
- To serve, remove bouquet garni and skim fat from surface. Add olives to sauce and serve chicken in the chicken brick, sprinkled with chopped parsley and accompanied by saffon rice.
Notes on this recipe:
- I cooked mine in my Romatoff clay oven, and the chicken came out so deliciously tender that it pretty much fell off the bone.
- Everyone who ate this loved it and went back for seconds.
Potato Lattice Pie
- 1 kg potatoes
- 125g butter
- 4 tablespoons cream
- salt and white pepper
- 125 mushrooms, buttons or caps
- 4 hard boiled eggs
- 30g butter
- 30g plain flour
- 300ml milk
- 60g grated cheddar cheese
- salt and pepper to taste
- Peel potatoes and cook in a pan of boiling, salted water until tender. Drain potatoes well, return to pan and dry off over the heat, then remove from heat and mash well until very smooth.
- Add half butter, cream, and salt and pepper to taste, and beat well until creamy.
- Place half creamed potatoes in a layer over the bottom of a ovenproof serving dish or casserole. Fry mushrooms in remaining butter. Place fried mushrooms and quartered hard boiled eggs on top of creamed potatoes.
- CHEESE SAUCE: Place all ingredients in a saucepan and whisk continuously with a balloon-shaped whisk over a medium heat until sauce boils and thickens, then simmer for 2 minutes.
- TO FINISH: Pour cheese sauce over mushrooms and eggs. Place remaining creamed potato in a piping bag with 1 cm star pipe and pipe a lattice design on top of sauce and rosettes around the edge of the dish.
- Brown pie under a hot grill or in a moderately hot oven at 190C for 20 – 30 minutes. Serve hot.
Notes on this recipe:
- After peeling the potatoes, chop them into small pieces, around 1 – 2 cms square, and they’ll take about 20 minutes to cook.
- This recipe should have specified the size of the oven proof dish so that mine was more like a pie and less like something that looks like it’s trying but failing to be a pie.
- If I made this again, I’d slice up the mushrooms so they’d be a layer and not a few whole mushrooms in the dish.
- 90g butter, melted
- 90g brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 185g fresh, white breadcrumbs
- 1 x 825g can apricots, drained (liquid reserved)
- Mix melted butter, brown sugar, cinnamon and breadcrumbs all together until crumbs have absorbed all butter.
- Place a layer of breadcrumb-mixture over the bottom of a greased 750ml pie dish. Cover with a layer of apricots. Continue with alternate layers of crumbs and apricots, finishing with a layer of crumbs on top.
- Bake towards the top of a moderately hot oven at 190C for 20 – 25 minutes or until top is crisp and golden.
- Serve hot with custard and reserved heated apricot juice.
Notes on this recipe:
- I’m not sure how big a 750ml pie dish is, but it’s smaller than the one I used. So I only had the one layer of apricot. It was still quite tasty.
- Using fresh breadcrumbs is vital in this recipe. Mine were too fresh, so when I put the bread in the food processor, it just turned the bread into chunks, not crumbs. You should be able to get fresh breadcrumbs from your local bakery.
- I’d also recommend mashing the apricot pieces a bit so they spread out a bit more.
- This dish also disappeared, it was quite popular.