No Happy Cows by John Robbins – ISBN: 1573245755 [free books to read]

  • Full Title: No Happy Cows: Dispatches from the Frontlines of the Food Revolution
  • Autor: John Robbins
  • Print Length: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Conari Press; 1 edition
  • Publication Date: April 1, 2012
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1573245755
  • ISBN-13: 978-1573245753
  • Download File Format | Size: epub | 889,72 Kb
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Internationally known vegan and bestselling author John Robbins has continued his observations and investigations into food politics and food-related issues of the day in his popular HuffingtonPost column,

No Happy Cows collects these recent observations along with never before published material for the first time in book form. Robbins shares his dispatches from the frontlines of the food revolution: From his undercover investigations of feed lots and slaughterhouses, to the rise of food contamination, the slave trade behind chocolate and coffee, what he calls the sham of “Vitamin Water,” and the effects of hormones on animals and animal products.

Topics include:

  • The skinny on grassfed beef
  • Greed and salmonella
  • Junk food marketing to kids
  • Soy and Alzheimer’s
  • Hormones in our milk
  • Plus many more.

Robbin’s trenchant and provocative observations into the relationships between animals and the humans who raise them remind us of the importance of working for a more compassionate and environmentally responsible world.


Editorial Reviews


“John Robbins is the leading voice in the world for restoring humanity to its proper relationship with food, the Earth, and health.” ―Paul Hawken, author of Natural Capitalism

“John Robbins has inspired a revolution, plain and simple. He saw things that were wrong in the food industry long before any of us did, and with his brilliant research and compelling insight, caused a seismic shift in the way we Americans behold our dinner plates. This book is not only clarifying in terms of the physical, environmental, and spiritual effects of food, but it is inspiring enough to cause material change.” –Kathy Freston, New York Times bestselling author of Quantum Wellness and Veganist

“This compilation of previously published essays, along with some new material, by best-selling author Robbins (The Food Revolution: How Your Diet Can Help Save Your Life and Our World) examines the physical, social, economical, and environmental effects of industrialized food production. While a longtime promoter of a varied, plant-based diet, Robbins acknowledges that many people also want to eat animal products; for that audience, he espouses the benefits of supporting humane, natural farming practices that promote sustainability while providing nutritious, affordable food for everyone. The book’s title derives from Robbins’s lawsuit with PETA against the California Milk Board’s “Happy Cows Come from California” advertising campaign. He discusses large-scale agribusinesses, misleading advertisements, food labeling, and government regulations of agriculture, all while providing information for his claims and deftly avoiding steamrolling readers with technical language or invective.

Verdict: Robbins sounds like a close friend who is very passionate about his cause. Like a good pal, he encourages readers to make informed choices about what they consume and how they spend their money. He believes even small steps can have big impacts if more people join his food revolution.” ―Meagan Storey, Virginia Beach, Library Journal, May 4, 2012

“Every so often, I come across a book of substance ― a masterpiece that enriches all aspects of my life. It’s rare, but when it happens, I am over the moon. John’s new book, No Happy Cows, is that kind of book, which I am highly recommending in my work and books. If you wish to upgrade your diet, lose weight, reboot your health, and enhance your life physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually, No Happy Cows will be your godsend. Every page of this book is filled with food for thought. I encourage you to get several extra copies to keep on hand and give for gifts. It’s a must-read for anyone interested in vibrant health from an outstanding author who writes from the heart. Kudos to John Robbins for another life-changing book!” –Susan Smith Jones, PhD, author of The Joy Factor and Walking on Air

“A person who leads me to eat in a way that cultivates spiritual awareness is my kind of prophet. John Robbins gives me a light at the end of the tunnel as well as providing a moral compass. The truth has few allies these days. I have deep and abiding respect for John Robbins.” ―Woody Harrelson, actor and activist

“With his singular talent for telling us what we need to know in a way that makes us want to hear it, John Robbins gives us No Happy Cows–as engaging as it is informative, and more important than you’ll know until you’ve read it.” –Victoria Moran, author, Main Street Vegan

“In this comprehensive yet highly accessible book, John Robbins puts to rest many of the most hotly debated and pressing issues of the times regarding our food choices. With his characteristic grace, compassion, and wisdom, Robbins debunks the myths that have confounded consumers, causing them to act against their own interests and the interests of the planet. This book is a must-read for anyone who cares about their own wellbeing and the wellbeing of the world.” ―Melanie Joy, PhD, EdM, author of Why We Love Dogs, Eat Pigs, and Wear Cows: An Introduction to Carnism

“John Robbins is one of the most important voices in America today, and the most powerfully sane man I know. He cuts through nonsense like no one else does. He delivers crucial information like no one else does. He gives hope like no one else does. His words are lifelines for the mind, heart, body and soul. When the going gets rough, Robbins’ wisdom is what people need to see them through.” ―Marianne Williamson, author of A Return to Love and A Woman’s Worth

About the Author

John Robbins is the author of The Food Revolution and Diet for a New America. Groomed to follow in the footsteps of his father, founder of the Baskin-Robbins ice cream empire, he chose a different, more authentic path for himself. He lives with his family in the Santa Cruz Mountains. Visit him at:



hs copyright © 2017 by Johnny Miller

All rights reserved.

Published in the United States by Clarkson Potter/Publishers,

an imprint of the Crown Publishing Group, a division of Penguin Random House LLC, New York.

CLARKSON POTTER is a trademark and POTTER with colophon is a registered trademark of Penguin Random House LLC.

Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data

Names: Guarnaschelli, Alex, 1969– author.

Title: The home cook: recipes to know by heart / Alex Guarnaschelli.

Description: New York: Clarkson Potter/Publishers, 2017 | Includes index.

Identifiers: LCCN 2016045628 (print) | LCCN 2016047577 (ebook) ISBN 9780307956583 (hardcover) | ISBN 9780307956590 (ebook)

Subjects: LCSH: Cooking, American. | LCGFT: Cookbooks.

Classification: LCC TX715 .G9138 2017 (print) | LCC TX715 (ebook) DDC 641.5973—dc23

LC record available at

ISBN 9780307956583

Ebook ISBN 9780307956590

Cover photography by Johnny Miller



This is for my dad’s authentic lemon chicken, Cantonese pork with tofu, and classic Italian tomato sauce mixed with my mom’s cheese soufflés, oysters Rockefeller, and strawberry trifles. That glorious celebration of culture through food definitely made me become a chef and pen this book.



Snacks & Appetizers

Dips, Crudités & Pickled Vegetables

Soups to Start

Soup for Dinner

Italian American Pastas & Classics

New Chicken Classics

Stand-Alone Main Courses

One-Pot & Slow-Cooked Meals

Root Vegetables

Supermarket Mushrooms Made Sexy

The Onion Family

Sauces & Dressings

Salads for Every Season

Salad for Dinner

Grain & Bean Side Dishes

Italian American Cookies

Berries & Juicy Fruits


Pies, Tarts & Crisps

Quick Breads

Jams & Fruit Condiments





I think this book began in my head around the summer of 1992. I was cooking at Larry Forgione’s restaurant, An American Place, in New York City—my first restaurant job. Someone was making a batch of Parker House rolls, a staple of the bread basket. I remember trays of buttery rolls that made my mouth water. That afternoon, I sat down for the predinner family meal and tore open one of the rolls, still hot from the oven. It tasted like pure butter and salt and yeast all at once. I knew I had to learn how to make it, how to preserve the moment, how to re-create that flavor. When something excites the appetite to that level, it has to be a part of a collection of recipes to know by heart.

When I was growing up, my mother cooked avidly from books. To this day, she retains a voracious appetite for recipes both new and classic alike. But there were always certain books in a category of their own, a small special subset of her whole collection, that she would turn to again and again. We called them by their authors’ names: Fannie Farmer. Julia Child. Dione Lucas. James Beard. Craig Claiborne. Diana Kennedy. Marcella Hazan. And, of course, The Silver Palate Cookbook. I’d ask her to make cornbread or perhaps some gnocchi and she would reach for a book on this shelf. It was her go-to place for perfect recipes that would deliver on their simple promise. My mother pulls out an encyclopedia of knowledge, experience, and recipes every time she steps into the kitchen. As if that weren’t enough, my dad has his own separate bag of tricks in the kitchen, too. Intimidating. Sometimes I think I became a chef just to keep up with my family!

My Parker House roll moment was the first of hundreds of such instances where I began compiling my own go-to recipes for a cookbook to fit on that special shelf, a book that might stop you from flipping through five others to find the recipe you want, a book with reliable recipes for every need and craving: a house vinaigrette for everyday green salads, a whole roasted chicken, a luscious vegetarian main course, a layer cake for your best friend’s birthday, a the-bake-sale-is-tomorrow? treat that you can get into the oven in minutes with ingredients you most likely already have on hand. Whether you want a recipe that’s fast or slow, casual or impressive, healthy or indulgent, hot or cold, winter or summer, day or night—or some combination—you’ll find a match in these almost three hundred tried-and-true recipes.

I eventually moved to Paris to cook for a number of years, then back to New York, then on to California before settling in my hometown. This recipe collection has been a constant companion to me throughout my career. To this day, twenty-five years after that first cooking job, I still keep a tiny notebook and pen in my back pocket. When a Parker House roll moment hits, I jot it down, filing away the smells, flavors, and textures to re-create them later. Often a recipe leads me some
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ds but don’t get out to harvest them. Perhaps a neighbor or relative drops by with a brace of mallards, bag of morel mushrooms, panfish fillets, or a venison roast—now you’ll know exactly what to do. And for those who prefer to get their wildfoods by making a trip to the store, clicking a mouse, or calling on the telephone, I’ve provided a list of fish, game, and wildfood vendors.

I said that I included my best fish and game recipes. This is true. But just as you need many hands to build a house, you need a bunch of outdoors friends to write a fish and game cookbook. These are the guys who go out with you to field and stream and beyond—following bird dogs through thigh-deep snow, standing in lakes that are freezing up, dragging deer out of the brambles with a tractor, hunting squirrel behind the farm, stalking spring creeks for wild trout, or hauling a canoe into the Wisconsin River. I’m lucky to count as compadres Steve Miller, Sam Diman, Dan O’Brien, Robert Pallitto, Bradley Czachor, Erik Seeman, Craig Amacker, Clarene Ditsch, and Canisius Johnson.

On the home front, my wife, Kerry Motoviloff, and daughter, Anne Motoviloff, kept things running smoothly so I could go out on wild goose chases. They were also the “tasting crew,” praising me when deserved and telling me to start again when I missed the mark.

Lots of other folks helped with recipes and cooking tips. Thanks to Denny Weiss and Bill Kalishek of the Iowa DNR; Pat Rivers of the Minnesota DNR; George Wilkes of the Angry Trout Café in Grand Marais, Minnesota; Mike Valley of Valley Fish and Cheese in Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin; and the Peterson family of Hancock, Michigan. Dan O—I’ve got to thank you here again! To the Johnson clan of Soldiers Grove, Wisconsin, many thanks for a home away from home.

Raphael Kadushin, Matthew Crosby, Adam Mehring, Scott Lenz, and other University of Wisconsin Press staff members provided invaluable insight, guidance, and help. Thanks to the Press’s reviewers for thoughtful feedback that helped make this a better book.

To Kathryn Motoviloff, Ellen Miller, and my late grandparents Michael and Anna Motoviloff, I owe a great debt of gratitude for instilling in me a love of Slavic food and culture. Thanks also to the rest of my family, who provided ample encouragement. If I’ve forgotten anyone, it’s only because so many have helped.


Whether pushing through swaths of prairie grass with a pair of bird dogs, jigging for whitefish on frozen Green Bay, or rumbling along sandy Northwoods roads in search of a secret berry patch, the Upper Midwest presents today’s hunter-gatherer with a wide range of wildfoods and an array of landscapes in which to pursue them. This book is your guide to making the most of these treasurers. Staples for generations of Native Americans and then for the European settlers who came after them, these foods continue to provide healthy, local eating. What’s more, many of these delicacies can now be purchased in person or online from a variety of vendors—from MacFarlane Pheasant Farm in southern Wisconsin to commercial fishermen on Lake Superior and a host of farmers’ markets and specialty vendors in between.

Big game populations in our region remain strong. Whitetail deer are abundant. Black bear populations are holding stable. Wild pig populations have sprung up in some Midwest states. Thanks to careful Department of Natural Resources management of herds and a lottery system for licenses, Michigan hunters have the opportunity to hunt elk and Minnesota hunters have the opportunity to hunt moose.

Gamebird populations are, for the most part, alive and well. North American duck populations are well above the fifty-year average. Good goose and dove flights—and locally abundant pheasant and grouse—sweeten the wingshooter’s pot. Wild turkeys have been reintroduced in much of the Upper Midwest; their numbers are strong and their range expanding northward. If woodcock, quail, and sharptail grouse numbers are spottier, this is offset by the abundance of other birds. Whether it’s rich fruit-roasted duck or ruffed grouse cooked gently with forest mushrooms, Northern Tier wingshooters have plenty of birds to pursue—not to mention rabbit, snowshoe hare, and squirrel.

The culinary and sporting rewards of fish are no less thrilling. These can be familiar favorites, such as walleye taken right from the live basket to the cottage stovetop, trout from a cold spring creek poached to perfection, or fat panfish from a reedy lake fried up in a black skillet. There are also long-forgotten classics such as snapping turtle soup and upcoming foods such as whitefish caviar—highly sought after in coastal and European restaurants. Spread it on some black bread and you’ll understand what all the fuss is about. We’ll learn how to bread up and deep fry a batch of smelt, and to serve up rough fish like sheepshead or carp so your frien
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t be there forever but the quality continues under Roy’s sure hand and the dedication of a fantastic team of bakers who worked with me for so many years.

There is a strong thread linking my first shop and my last. In retrospect I realise that I developed my own food language. Notwithstanding the size of the business, bread is made the same way as when this journey began in Walton Street.

Despite the fact that until fairly recently most Londoners had no easy access to real bread, they recognised it when they saw it. I believe we are programmed with the love of bread in our DNA.

This book is about much more than bread. I hope, that the abiding idea everyone takes away from reading this book is how not to follow recipes. The thread that runs through it is that nobody will take care of our wellbeing more seriously than us.

Working through these recipes will involve trials and errors and practicing on your friends and family will undoubtedly make you the most popular person on the block. This book reflects a labour of love over many years; I hope you enjoy the journey as much as I have.

Gail Mejia



In a world of email signatures and funny job titles, I’m happy to say I bake for a living.

I wasn’t always a baker – I wasn’t even trained as one – but baking found me and I’m grateful to have discovered something I love doing. Waking up early, going to say hello to my doughs and sourdough starters, firing up the ovens before other people’s days have even begun – this is my idea of heaven. When you take something beautiful and delicious out of the oven at 6 a.m., you know that the rest of your day can’t possibly go wrong.

But then I set to work on this book – and I realised that it was the one thing I had no recipe for. Writing this book has turned out to be one of the most difficult things I’ve ever done, even though baking and writing a cookbook are more similar than I’d realised. You write a book with an audience in mind, just like you bake a cake – because you want someone to eat it. In both cases, you’re putting a piece of yourself out there, and hoping that someone, somewhere, will appreciate it. Becoming a good baker is having the confidence to bring yourself to the bowl and the table. Some people will tell you that the most important ingredient is time, while I think that the most precious one is you.

I’m lucky to have had the chance to write this book, not least because the writing process has helped me become a better baker. It has made me question everything we do at GAIL’s – Why this? Is this worth including? Is this necessary? It has meant taking knowledge that is born of years of trial and error, habit and experience – things that a baker knows instinctively and almost on an unconscious level – and figuring out how to transmit that knowledge to another person. It’s like telling a story. When I understood that, things became slightly easier. It was a breakthrough.

There’s still a lot of silly, intimidating language that surrounds baking, so the sooner you can forget it, the better. Some people will try to tell you that baking is a science. Ignore them. Humans have been baking for thousands of years, long before modern science existed. If people could bake sourdough loaves 2,000 years ago then, honestly, you’ll manage just fine in your twenty-first-century kitchen with all the mod cons. Others say it’s an art: it isn’t, and it isn’t magic or alchemy either.

Baking is a simple craft and I honestly believe that learning to bake involves rediscovering how to use a part of our body and brain – a reflex that we’ve neglected and forgotten about, but that we all have. It’s our human need to create: to take two things, put them together and see if we can make something totally new out of them. The world we live in doesn’t always allow us many ways to express ourselves, but baking is a humble but very beautiful way to do so. Baking will help you discover your intuition and those latent muscles. It’s all there; you only need to bring it back to life. When you knead and work the dough, you’ll be performing an action that connects you to thousands of years of tradition.

GAIL’s is an artisan bakery. It’s all about craftsmanship and the human element. The recipes I’ve gathered here are not just scaled-back versions of what I bake for our customers at GAIL’s every day. Instead I completely rethought and re-imagined them for the home baker and kitchen. I put them through a rigorous and uncompromising process of testing to make them suitable for that. I might be an expert in making a baker’s dozen of loaves, but when I went to bake just one it was a total failure. I had to retrain myself and go right back to basics. Then, once we’d got our recipes right, we insisted on testing them all with the most commonplace equipment we could get hold of. It turns out there’s nothing like a mediocre oven and a broken spat
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, die zum Scheitern verurteilt ist.

Ich wollte eine Strategie finden, die sich für die Reduktion von Gewicht und Körperfett besser eignet. Also fragte ich mich: Was wäre, wenn es die Möglichkeit gäbe, eine Minuskalorienbilanz zu erzeugen, ohne dass man dabei die Kalorien reduziert, sondern so viel isst, wie man mag?

Nun, wie sich herausstellte, ist so etwas tatsächlich möglich – und das Geheimnis liegt im Verzehr natürlicher Vollwertkost. Nahrung mit Minuskalorien.

Also, ich bin wirklich kein Kalorienfanatiker – ich werde Ihnen niemals vorschlagen, jede Kalorie, die Sie zu sich nehmen, zu zählen oder Buch darüber zu führen. Dennoch sind Kalorien ein sinnvolles Maß, wenn es um die Frage geht, wie sich Nahrung auf die Gewichtszunahme oder -abnahme auswirkt. Was ist eigentlich eine Kalorie? Rein technisch betrachtet ist eine Kalorie eine Maßeinheit, die angibt, wie viel Wärme (Energie) ungefähr benötigt wird, um ein Gramm Wasser um ein Grad Celsius zu erwärmen. Nach dieser Definition ist eine Kalorie immer dasselbe, egal, ob sie nun aus Fett, Eiweiß oder Kohlenhydraten stammt. Das mag in der Theorie richtig sein – aber ist es wirklich so, dass der Körper alle Kalorien auf die gleiche Weise verarbeitet?

Nehmen wir einmal als Beispiel eine große Orange. Sie hat etwa 100 Kalorien, etwa so viel wie ein kleiner Schokoriegel. Wirken sich diese beiden Nahrungsmittel aber auch in gleicher Weise auf Ihr Gewicht aus? Nein! Der Schokoriegel besitzt keine Nährwerte und wird vom Körper in Form von Fett gespeichert, während in der Orange Vitamine und Mineralien enthalten sind sowie Ballaststoffe, die sich günstig auf die Gewichtsregulation auswirken können.

Aus eigener Erfahrung weiß ich, dass ich an Gewicht zulege, wenn ich am Abend regelmäßig ein fettiges Stück Pizza verschlinge; nehme ich hingegen gesündere Mahlzeiten zu mir, die fast dieselbe Zahl an Kalorien besitzen – zum Beispiel ein großes Stück gegrillten Thunfisch mit etwas Gemüse –, ändert sich mein Gewicht nicht. Man muss kein Ernährungsexperte sein, um festzustellen, dass – was die Nahrungsverwertung angeht – ein großer Unterschied darin besteht, ob man Pizza oder Fisch zum Abendessen isst. Es kommt also nicht darauf an, wie viele Kalorien Sie essen (also auf die Quantität), sondern darauf, welche Art von Kalorien Sie essen (also auf die Qualität).

Vermutlich war der Genuss von Lebensmitteln mit Minuskalorien für mich der erste Schritt, um dauerhaft schlank zu bleiben. Nein, ich muss mich korrigieren – der erste Schritt bestand darin, dass ich es leid war, immer wieder 10 Pfund zuzulegen und dann wieder abzuspecken, und das etwa eine Million Mal in den letzten Jahren. Würde man all die Pfunde, die ich abgenommen habe, zusammenrechnen, käme wahrscheinlich eine ganz Person dabei heraus, vielleicht sogar zwei!


Durch die Aufnahme hochqualitativer Kalorien wird Ihr Stoffwechsel angekurbelt, was dem Körper beim Verbrennen von Fett zugutekommt; sogenannte leere Kalorien hingegen werden in Zusammenhang gebracht mit Gewichtszunahme und schlechter Gesundheit. Doch verlassen Sie sich in diesem Zusammenhang nicht allein auf meine Aussage – zur Untermauerung dieser Behauptung gibt es eine ganze Reihe wissenschaftlicher Beweise! Hier nur einige Beispiele:

Forscher der University of Connecticut verglichen zwei Diätgruppen miteinander: Die eine Gruppe aß hochwertige Nahrungsmittel wie etwa Gemüse, Salat, Nüsse, Samen, mageres Rindfleisch, Hühnchen und anderes Geflügel; die andere nahm weniger hochwertiges Essen wie Brot, Pasta, Fruchtsäfte und Milchprodukte zu sich. Die Diäthalter in der Gruppe mit dem hochqualitativen Essen nahmen pro Tag 300 Kalorien mehr zu sich als die Gruppe mit der weniger hochwertigen Nahrung, verbrannte aber trotzdem mehr Körperfett! Diese Studie, die 2004 in der Zeitschrift Nutrition and Metabolism veröffentlicht wurde, zeigt, dass qualitativ hochwertige Kalorien (auch in hoher Zahl) für den Stoffwechsel vorteilhaft sind, wenn es darum geht abzuspecken.

Forscher der University of Pennsylvania wiesen die Studienteilnehmer jeweils einer von zwei Gruppen zu: In der einen Gruppe wurden hochqualitative Lebensmittel wie frisches Obst und Gemüse verzehrt, die von Natur aus reich an Ballaststoffen waren; in der anderen Gruppe durften die Diätteilnehmer eine Reihe verschiedener Nahrungsmittel zu sich nehmen, unter anderem täglich fünf bis sechs Portionen mit Lebensmitteln wie Brot und Brötchen, Pasta, Bagels, Müsli, ungesalzene Brezeln und Popcorn – also mit weniger hochwertige Kalorien. Im Verlauf der sechsmonatigen Studie aßen die Teilnehmer aus der Gruppe mit den hochwertigen Kalorien insgesamt 9.500 Kalorien mehr als die Versuchspersonen der anderen Gruppe, verloren dabei jedoch 200 Prozent mehr an Gewicht als die anderen!

Forscher verglichen zwölf Wochen lang die Ergebnisse von Probanden, die eine fettarme Diät machten (welche typischerweise auch Produkte mit weniger hochwertigen K
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ansfer to a plate to cool completely before using.

Heat the remaining olive oil in the same frying pan over medium heat. Add the silverbeet, and cook until all the moisture from the leaves has evaporated. Transfer to a colander, and allow to drain. Cool completely, then squeeze out any excess moisture.

Combine the prosciutto, eggs, ricotta, mozzarella, parmesan, parsley, cooled sausage mixture and wilted silverbeet in a large mixing bowl. Add pepper to taste. Fold gently to combine, or mix with clean hands.

Preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F) fan-forced. Have a 24–26 cm (9½–10½ inch) springform tin on stand-by.

On a lightly floured work surface, roll out each disc of pastry into circles 3–4 mm (1/8–3/16 inch) thick. The larger one should be enough to line the bottom and side of the springform tin, but still have about 2 cm (¾ inch) of overhang. Sprinkle the bottom of the pastry with the breadcrumbs (to soak up any excess moisture), then top up with the cooled filling. Carefully place the smaller circle of pastry on top, then crimp or fold the edges over to seal the pie. Brush the top lavishly with the egg wash, sprinkle with a little extra parmesan, then use a paring knife to stab a few holes into the lid to allow the steam to escape.

Bake for 10 minutes, then reduce the heat to 180°C (350°F) fan-forced and bake for a further 45 minutes until beautifully golden on top. Allow to rest for 30 minutes before serving.

Salmon, Mussel & Cider Pie

This is inspired by an old Gary Rhodes recipe I’ve made many times over the years. It’s such a lovely, comforting way to eat seafood, in a pie, but we don’t seem to do it much here in Australia. This is a wonderful dish to make for dinner parties because it’s old-school sophistication and comfort all in one.



400 g (14 oz) salmon fillets OR any firm-fleshed white fish, skin off

½ quantity Rough Puff Pastry

25 g (1 oz) butter

4 leeks, halved lengthways, sliced 5 mm (¼ inch) thick

1 large handful flat-leaf (Italian) parsley, roughly chopped


2 kg (4 lb 8 oz) black mussels, debearded & cleaned

25 g (1 oz) butter

2 brown onions, sliced

3 garlic cloves, sliced

12 sprigs of thyme

600 ml (21 fl oz) cider, beer OR dry white wine

1 litre (35 fl oz/4 cups) water


50 g (1¾ oz) butter

75 g (2½ oz/½ cup) plain (all-purpose) flour

170 ml (5½ fl oz/2/3 cup) thin (pouring) cream

Finely grated zest & juice of 1 lemon

Salt & freshly ground black pepper


To prepare the mussels, melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the onions, garlic and thyme, and sweat until fragrant but not coloured. Pour in the cider and water, and bring to the boil, then add the mussels and cover. When the mussels have opened, remove all the cooked flesh and discard the shells. Place the mussel meat in a bowl, and ladle some of the cooking liquid over the top to keep it moist. Set aside.

Strain the stock through a fine-meshed sieve to catch any shell or grit, then return it to the saucepan. Simmer until reduced in volume by one-quarter. Set aside.

Preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F) fan-forced.

To cook the fish, place the fillets in an ovenproof dish with 125 ml (4 fl oz/½ cup) of the mussel stock, and cover with foil. Bake for about 5 minutes until the salmon is ever so slightly pink in the middle. Flake the fish into large pieces. Set aside.

Turn the oven down to 190°C (375°F) fan-forced. Roll out the puff on a lightly floured work surface until 5 mm (¼ inch) thick, then cut into four 10 cm (4 inch) circles with a pastry cutter. Place these on a tray lined with baking paper, and bake for about 25 minutes or until a deep golden brown. Remove from the oven and set aside.

To make the roux, melt the butter in a medium non-stick saucepan over medium heat. Add the flour, stirring vigorously with a wooden spoon, and cook for about 4 minutes or until a pale brown colour. Add the stock one ladle at a time, whisking until well combined before adding more. Repeat until all the stock is used up. Add the cream, and whisk to combine, then mix in the lemon zest and juice. Add salt and pepper to taste.

To start pulling it all together, pop the puff pastry circles in a 100°C (200°F) fan-forced oven to reheat. Meanwhile, melt the remaining 25 g (1 oz) butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the leeks and cook until soft. Add the parsley, mussels, flaked salmon and half of the roux mixture, then very gently fold it together. If you feel the mixture needs more sauce, fold in more roux.

To serve, spoon the mixture into four dishes, and top with the pastry.

Baked Camembert with Thyme, Garlic & Red Wine

If you are having a winter dinner party and would like to wow your guests with something remarkably simple but utterly delicious, you really need to try this little gem of an ide
bánbhianna, or “white meats”—the collective name given to

Irish White House.) Whether the average citizen realizes it

an immense range of milk products, including fresh milk, sour

or not, this close connection to the soil is one of the island’s

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greatest cultural strengths, and it helps give great promise to

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the future of Irish cuisine.

Successive waves of invaders added to the larder:

At the same time, perhaps no other nation in Europe

The Vikings, who first raided Ireland in a.d. 795 and went

has heard its food so consistently maligned—often for good

on to found Waterford, Wexford, Limerick, Cork, and

reason. More than one reader must have nodded in agree-

Dublin, had a well-developed trade with the Mediterranean,

ment when the Dublin physician F. R. Cruise observed, back

and brought in olive oil and wine. In the twelfth century, the

in 1896, that “while God supplies the provisions, very often

Anglo-Normans improved agricultural methods and intro-

another, and unmentionable being, sends the cook!” Three

duced pulses and other vegetables previously unknown to

generations later, in the 1960s, while attending a horse fair

the island, as well as spices and a taste for sweet-and-sour

in Buttevant, County Cork, the County Tipperary writer

flavors. The English, who first settled in Ireland in significant

and horse breeder Marjorie Quarton was subjected to a meal

numbers in the sixteenth century, gave the country still more

at a local hotel that was probably all too typical at the time:

new foods, everything from turkeys to (possibly) potatoes.

“[W]ashing-up-water soup . . . boiled whatever-it-is . . . raw

The latter changed Irish life forever, in ways both positive and

potatoes . . . liquid grey cabbage and melting, onion-flavoured

negative, and so did the English themselves. The history of the

ice cream. . . . Even the tea was undrinkable, resembling liquid

English in Ireland is a violent, complicated tale, controversial

in interpretation even to this day, and this is not the place

Gerald of Wales, called it “the most temperate of all countries”),

to attempt to retell it. Suffice it to say, in the words of the

and it boasts vast expanses of mineral-rich farmland conducive

County Tipperary archeologist and food historian Caiman

to growing things, above all grass and the animals that feed on

O’Brien, that “Ireland’s indigenous food culture disappeared

it. Ireland also has more than 3,500 miles/5,600 kilometers

when the Irish lords lost their land.”

of coastline, washed by unpolluted waters and teeming with

Today, a new indigenous Irish food culture is being born.

fish and shellfish of the highest quality. (I’ve never before been

in a country where so much freshly, locally landed seafood is

There are countless Irish saints, kings, and mythological

available, in small towns as well as big cities—even though the

figures called Colman, and I can trace a branch of my father’s

Irish still take comparatively little advantage of it.) The island

family back to counties Tyrone and Donegal in the eigh-

also has a living tradition of small farms, an increasing number

teenth and early nineteenth centuries (the names involved

of them organic or nearly so. (As the Irish-American author

were mostly Scots-Irish or English ones like Hardy, Stewart,

J. P. Donleavy once put it, the Irishman “has held up his hand

Craig, Creswell, Patton, Porter, and Whitehill). But my

to object to the poisonous residues which grant nations their

mother named me after Ronald Colman—she’d been an inge-

badge of honor as they progress.”) There is relatively little

nue in a movie with him—and I visited Ireland for the first

soulless agribusiness in Ireland, and there’s an active campaign

time only in 2002. I was invited that year by the Bord Bía, or

against genetically modified crops and livestock. The scale of

Irish Food Board, to speak at a specialty food symposium in

production in much of the country makes sustainability and

Kinsale, County Cork, the putative food capital of the coun-

traceability endemic; “farm-to-table” isn’t just a catch-phrase—

try (see page 61). I didn’t exactly have a culinary epiphany at

it’s a description of real distribution practices, at least in more

the event, but I did get my first taste of some excellent arti-

enlightened quarters. Ireland is green in more ways than one.

sanal Irish cheeses. More important, it was there that I met

It’s also red-hot. All over Ireland, from the artisanal

County Tipperary grocer Peter Ward (see page 301), who was

ateliers of West Cork to the lush market gardens of


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