And may I present the Australian Women’s Weekly Cooking Class Cookbook. I suspect that this cookbook was published before the AWW ensured their recipes were all triple tested, because there are some very odd instructions here, and some very weird page layout decisions. Also, the photography dates from the late 70s early 80s, so the reds are super saturated and the blues are non-existent, giving the book a very unrealistic look – but that’s what photos were like back then. So generally I’m going to give this book 3 out of 5 stars because it isn’t up to AWW standards and could be so much better.
Coq au Vin
- 2 x 1kg chickens, or 2 kgs chicken pieces
- 125g butter
- 125g bacon
- 12 tiny onions
- salt, pepper
- 250g mushrooms
- 1 clove garlic
- 1/2 cup flouer
- 2 chicken stock cubes
- 2 1/2 cups water
- 1/3 cup brandy
- 1 1/2 cup dry red wine
- 1/4 teaspoon thyme
- 1/2 teaspoon mixed herbs
- 1 bayleaf
- Joint chickens, cut into large serving sized pieces. Heat 60g of the butter in a heavy, shallow pan. Add peeled whole onions and diced bacon. Cook until onions are lightly browned. Remove from pan. Add chicken pieces to pan drippings. Cook until well browned on all sides. Remove from pan. If pan is small, brown chicken a few at a time. Add sliced mushrooms and crushed garlic to pan. Cook gently until mushrooms are wilted. Remove from pan.
- Add remaining butter to pan drippings. When butter has melted, stir in flour. Stir until golden brown, do not allow to burn. Remove from heat. Add crumbled stock cubes, gradually stir in water. Blend well. Sit over heat until sauce boils and thickens. Ad brandy, wine, thyme, herbs and bayleaf.
- Transfer chicken, all vegetables and sauce to a deep pan. Cover, bring to boil. Reduce heat, simmer 30 minutes or until chicken is tender. Season with salt and pepper. Remove bayleaf. Coq au Vin can also be baked in moderate (180C) oven, covered, for 40 minutes or until chicken is tender. Serve with hot garlic bread and tossed greed salad.
Notes on this recipe:
- 1 clove of garlic? Oh AWW you daring recipe book you. Seriously, double or even triple the amount of garlic in this. 1 clove doesn’t do any of this justice.
- I’m not sure what was meant by “tiny onions” but shallots are not it. I’m guessing pickled onion sized onions, which are hard to find. If you can’t find small onions either, I suggest roasting them for a while before hand so they’re mostly cooked.
- We tried the baking in moderate oven option of this, and it was far too watery. If you are going to bake it, cut back on the water, or use a stove and oven friendly pot so you can simmer it a bit longer to reduce the liquid.
- Yes, it is a bit purple. I wasn’t really a fan of this recipe, I’m glad it’s done.
- 4 cups plain flour
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 23g compressed yeast (or two teaspoons dry yeast)
- 3 tablespoons sugar
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1 egg yolk
- 3 tablespoons oil
- 1 egg yolk, extra
- 1 tablespoon water, extra
- poppy seeds or sesame seeds
- If using compressed yeast – combine yeast with 1 tablespoon of the sugar. Add 1/4 of the lukewarm water, stand covered in warm place until mixture bubbles, approximately 10 – 15 minutes.
- Sift flour, salt, and remaining sugar into a bowl. Combine lukewarm milk, (remaining, if using compressed yeast) lukewarm water, egg yolk and oil. Add to dry ingredients with yeast (or yeast mixture), mix to a stiff dough; add up to an extra 1/4 cup of lukewarm water, if necessary. Turn dough out on to floured board, knead well. Put into a lightly oiled bowl, cover, stand in warm place until doubled in bulk, approximately 1 hour.
- Punch dough down, knead again, divide dough into 15 portions. Roll each portion into rope shape approximately 20cm long. COil rope to make a ring, moistening ends and overlapping them, squeeze lightly to seal. Put on greased tray, allow to stand in warm place 10 minutes.
- Slide a few bagels at at time into a large saucepan of boiling water (do not let them overlap). Turn after one minutes and remove with slotted spoon after boiling for one more minute.
- Put bagels onto greased oven tray, brush well with combined beaten extra egg yolk and water, sprinkle with poppy seeds or sesame seeds. Bake in hot oven (200C) for 15 – 20 minutes.
Notes on this recipe:
- This is the worst formatted AWW recipe I have ever had the misfortune to cook from. Logically the recipe reads, thanks to the way it is set out on the page, steps 1, 2, 4, 3, 5
- At no point during the recipe are you told to preheat your oven – this is bad form
- At no point in this recipe is kneading explained, nor how long you should “knead well” for. To save you the pain and agony, you knead for 10 minutes. See my instruction page for details on how to knead. In the second set of kneading, you probably only knead for a couple of minutes – but you wouldn’t know that from the recipe.
- Who thought that dividing something into 15 was going to be easy? I made 16 because that’s an easy number to get to.
- Despite the bad formatting, and terrible instructions, these were really good – but then I have a lot of experience making bread and bagels, and had it been someone’s first time with this recipe, it may have been a disaster.
Lemon Meringue Pie
- 2 cups plain flour
- pinch salt
- 1 tablespoons icing sugar
- 185g butter
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 – 2 tablespoons water
- 4 tablespoons plain flour
- 4 tablespoons cornflour
- 2 tablespoons grated lemon rind
- 3/4 cup lemon juice
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 1/4 cup water
- 90g butter
- 4 egg yolks
- 4 egg whites
- 2 tablespoons water
- pinch salt
- 3/4 cup castor sugar
- Sift flour, salt and icing sugar into basin; chop butter roughly, add to dry ingredients, rub in until mixture resembles coarse breadcrumbs. Add lemon juice and enough water to mix into firm dough. Refrigerate 30 minutes. Roll pastry on lightly floured surface to fit 23cm pie plate. Using rolling pin to lift pastry onto pie plate. (Alternatively use a food processor to do you mixing for you, as it is far easier to mix short crust pastry using a food processor, than using your hands).
- Trim and decorate edges. Prick base and sides of pastry with fork. Bake in moderately hot oven (190C) 10 – 15 minutes or until lightly browned. Allow to cool.
- Combine sifted flours, lemon rind, lemon juice and sugar in a saucepan. Add water, blend until smooth, stir over heat until mixture boils and thickens; this i important, the mixture must boil. Reduce heat, stir a further 2 minutes. Remove from heat, stir in butter and lightly beaten egg yolks, stir until butter has melted. Cool
- Spread cold lemon filling evenly into pastry case. Combine egg whites, water and salt in a small bowl of electric mixer. Beat on high speed until soft peaks form. Gradually add sugar, beat well until sugar has dissolved. Spoon on top of lemon filling, spreading meringue to edges of pie to seal; peak meringue decoratively with knife. Bake in moderate oven (180C) 5 – 10 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool, then refrigerate.
Notes on this recipe:
- Again AWW doesn’t suggest preheating the oven at any of the stages for which it would be required for this recipe
- This pie is also super sweet, far sweeter than I imagined it would be.
- The pastry gets a little soggy from the filling, this may have been because I didn’t let everything get cold at any point, because I wanted my meringue pie.