“Easy” – our verdict

Anna: I don’t think this is my favourite Bill book.

Kirstin: I think we’ve been spoilt with his previous books. I’m still using the Asian Everyday book every week. I even blogged about it for the photography.

Anna: I think that I love the layout, the design and the photography. But I just don’t think the premise stacks up. The recipes aren’t any easier than any of the other recipes.

Kirstin: But they were yummy!

Anna: Yes, they were yummy. But I didn’t save any time. And some of the recipes are actually more convoluted than recipes in his other books. I guess my expectations weren’t realised.

Kirstin: I know I will be back here as the months change, trying out more of these recipes. I loved all the ones I made. Thank you Bill!

Overall Grade (A- F): A from Kirstin, B from Anna
Best recipes: Goulash (Anna), Salmon (Kirstin).
Grade for Photography (A-F): A.
Any disasters? No.
Bookshelf or Charity Shop Donation? Bookshelf, for sure.

“Easy” – our verdict

An Autumnal Feast from “Easy”.

Anna: To start let me tempt your tastebuds with white bean crostini. Would you like a trowel to serve this with?

Kirstin: It tastes deslish with the salsa verde though, don’t you think?

Anna. But without the salsa verde it would just be white bean cement. I don’t why I persevere with these white bean recipes. They always turn out the same.

Kirstin: Well look at my disastrous focaccia! Ho hum!

Continue reading “An Autumnal Feast from “Easy”.”

An Autumnal Feast from “Easy”.

“White Bean Soup” from “Easy”

Peter: Oh look. Another meal with cannellini beans. Have we turned vegan?

Anna: That’s what comes of a chapter entitled ‘Tin of Beans”.

Peter: It’s certainly filling. And it seems like it could be a sensible store-cupboard soup. Can it be rustled up quickly?

Anna: Yes, it was pretty quick. It tastes a bit meh to me though. What it’s crying out for is some chilli, or pancetta, or both. But it does what it says on the tin. It’s a white bean soup!

“White Bean Soup” from “Easy”

“Light Butter Chicken” from “Easy”

Despite turning my dining room upside down trying to find the dialogue for this curry recipe from Bill Granger, I couldn’t find it. To summarise: everyone liked it, even the boys.

When I expressed surprise that I made a curry recipe that they actually liked, they pointed out there were others that they liked too. So I trolled through the Cookbook a Month archives, and sure enough, there were other curries that they liked.

In fact, the other curry that they liked was from “Bill’s Everyday Asian” and it was remarkably similar to this one. However, I do think that this version is slightly superior if only because you don’t need to make the curry paste yourself. You just take what you need out of the already made tandoori paste.

In my case, as I couldn’t find tandoori paste, I used tikka masala curry paste. Just so you know, I did a fair amount of time on the internet and reading other cookbooks to see if that was a fair substitution. In the end, the website of Patak’s, who make most of the curry paste in this country, said it was fine, so I went for it.

Continue reading ““Light Butter Chicken” from “Easy””

“Light Butter Chicken” from “Easy”

“Roasted Sausages with Peppers and Onions” from “Easy”

Tom: This is fantastic! Sausages, burnt onions, peppers, bread and red wine. Yum!

Ella: Is there something different about the sausages?

Kirstin: They’re yummy Italian sausages! Do you like them?

Ella: I prefer the normal ones, but yeah, these are OK.

Miles: This is the second best bread.

Tom: Which is the best bread then Miles?

Miles: The bread mummy made today.

Kirstin: Ah yes. That will be the fruity bread my new bread maker made for us then.

Miles: In Moshi Monsters, can you become a member forever?

Tom: You would have to keep paying forever. What tends to happen is that people play games for a while and then when they grow up a little bit, they decide they want to play something else instead, like Minecraft.

Ella: I play Moshi Monsters still!

“Roasted Sausages with Peppers and Onions” from “Easy”

“Yellow Fish Curry + Coconut Rice” from “Easy”

Peter: What is this that we’re eating?

Anna: Thai yellow curry. I made the paste from scratch.

Peter: Good curry paste. Is there any leftover?

Anna: Yes, it’s in the fridge.

Peter: We should freeze it.

Anna: Bill doesn’t say whether that’s possible in the recipe but we may as well try. It’s just going to go off in the fridge otherwise.

Peter: I like fish curry and this is nice. Not too soupy. Probably could have been hotter, but that’s just me. I’m sure you can change the paste for next time.

Anna: It was pretty easy to make but this recipe would have been super quick with shop-bought paste. I may just do that short-cut in future so I don’t have to fuss with washing up the food processor, or getting it out of the back of the cupboard for that matter. What did you think of the coconut rice?

Peter: I didn’t notice. I thought the sauce had the coconut milk in it.

Anna: They both did. Coconut cream is a little too indulgent for me. If you didn’t even notice it then there’s no reason not to do normal rice next time!

“Yellow Fish Curry + Coconut Rice” from “Easy”

“Baked Fish with Capers, Potatoes and Lemon” from “Easy”

Miles: Why does food have to be so complicated?

Kirstin: This wasn’t very complicated. Just a little trickier without any gas to boil the potatoes. But I got there in the end. And think of the toasty boiler system we’ll have up and running soon!

Georgia: This is so yummy!

Continue reading ““Baked Fish with Capers, Potatoes and Lemon” from “Easy””

“Baked Fish with Capers, Potatoes and Lemon” from “Easy”

“Chicken Paillard with Spring Onions and Prosciutto” from “Easy”

Peter: This is very filling.

Anna: To be honest, I took some liberties with the quantities because I didn’t want half a packet of prosciutto kicking around the fridge.

Peter: I don’t know what to make of this, it seems to be unstructured. I’m not sure which bit to eat first.

Anna: It’s not the sort of dish I would normally cook really. It’s French. Paillard means escalope. Bashing out chicken and making creamy sauces isn’t in my usual repertoire. That’s why I thought I’d give it a go. But honestly, it was just a little too much effort for me. Too many little annoying things to have to do to get it on the plate.

Peter: So was it ‘unEasy’?

Anna: No. It wouldn’t be fair to say it was difficult. Just a little bit bitty for me. Which is why I don’t normally make things like this. But to be fair, I did it in stages because you’ve been out racing tonight. It was yummy, but I don’t think I’ll be making it again.


“Chicken Paillard with Spring Onions and Prosciutto” from “Easy”

“Merguez Sausages with Lentils and Cavolo Nero” from “Easy”

Anna: You had to make a special trip to Waitrose to get the cavolo for this. And lovely Kirstin got us the merguez from Drings. So it is a special supper.

Peter: I had to spell ‘cavolo nero’ on the phone to Waitrose and explain what it was in order to find out if they had it. Is there some alternative that you can use if this evasive vegetable isn’t available?

Anna: Normally you can get it from Ocado if it’s in season. But they don’t seem to be selling it at the moment. I usually substitute kale. Which is why we have a big bag of it in the fridge. I forgot to take it off the order. Minestrone next week I think.

Peter:This is a nice autumn supper.

Anna: I agree. It tastes like Christmas to me. I do love merguez, and lentils, and cavolo. But I think we might be having some wind issues tomorrow….

Peter: The forecast is for gusts!

“Merguez Sausages with Lentils and Cavolo Nero” from “Easy”

“Pasta Puttanesca” from “Easy”

Anna: This is very Bill. Very Australian. A deconstructed Puttanesca sauce.

Peter: I prefer this to our regular Puttanesca.

Anna: Why?

Peter: It tasted much fresher. Would it be the tomatoes?

Anna: Probably. He uses cherry tomatoes instead of tinned. And green olives instead of black. And, controversially he adds parmesan shavings at the end. I don’t think the Italians would approve.

Peter: I don’t mind. I liked it. Nevermind the Italians.

Anna: It’s a very Bill thing to do fresh, chunky pasta sauces like this with penne. I think it makes it a little difficult to eat. You end up chasing bits of olives around the bowl. I enjoyed this but, unlike you, not as much as the original.

“Pasta Puttanesca” from “Easy”