I’ve recently started buying more cookbooks. Previously I tended to just work with the recipes from the existing books I had already, or I reasoned with myself that I could look them up online; why on earth would I need to clutter up my bookshelf with more books that I barely opened?
Well, because cookbooks have such pretty pictures. Gorgeously styled photos that just beg for you to lick the paper itself and you feel that you can almost smell and taste the food, or hear it cooking. One of my favourite cookbooks for its pretty pictures (and not to mention amazingly simple, fast and easy yet impressive recipes) is Delicious by Valli Little. I would buy the ABC magazine every month if I knew it wouldn’t become a serious addiction, so I make do with the books. I was therefore over the moon when I was invited to the launch of Valli Little’s new book, Love to Cook, at Bondi’s Williams-Sonoma.
Sipping on a glass of champagne while Valli floated around the kitchen making us a late lunch was quite surreal. She made us two recipes from her new book: Salmon with Mexican Flavours and an intensely good Chocolate Cheesecake in a Jar.
After scoffing down this beautiful meal, the event was made even sweeter when each attendee was gifted a “showbag” of not only a “Love to Cook” apron and a brand-spanking-new copy of the book, but also all of the ingredients for one of the recipes for us to make at home ourselves. Oh, the recipe only called for 80ml of white wine? Well, we got the whole bottle of Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc anyway 😛
I’ve recently tried to cut out as much pasta as I can from my diet, and I’ve realised that once I’ve cut it out for a while, I start to find it too heavy and my body doesn’t really appreciate the richness of the pasta. However this recipe is quite light with the fragrant addition of fresh dill, and it can be easily served between six instead of the stipulated four for smaller, entree-sized portions.
You will need:
- 400g orecchiette or other short dried pasta;
- 1/3 cup (80ml) white wine;
- 1/3 cup (80ml) white wine vinegar;
- 2 eschalots, finely chopped;
- 175g chilled unsalted butter, chopped;
- 1 cup (120g) frozen peas;
- 250g hot-smoked salmon or trout fillets, skin removed, flaked;
- 2 tablespoons thickened cream;
- 2 tablespoons chopped dill, plus extra sprigs to serve.
Cook the pasta in a saucepan of boiling salted water according to packet instructions. Drain, reserving 1/4 cup (60ml) of the pasta water.
Meanwhile, to make the beurre blanc sauce, place wine, vinegar and eschalot in a saucepan over medium-low heat. Cook for 3-4 minutes until liquid is reduced to 1 tablespoon.
Whisking constantly, add the butter, one piece at a time, until the mixture is thick. Remove from heat and cover to keep warm.
Blanch the peas in boiling salted water for one minute. Refresh under cold running water, then drain. Combine pasta with the beurre blanc sauce in a serving bowl, adding a little of the reserved cooking liquid to loosen if necessary. Add peas, salmon, cream and dill, and gently toss to combine. Serve with the extra sprigs of dill.
Looking through the book, there are just so many recipes I can’t wait to try! I can’t wait until the holidays begin and I can do a bit of entertaining 🙂 xx