09 December 2009

The Vicar’s Wife’s Cook Book

In 2007, Waitrose Food Illustrated magazine and Fourth Estate publishing ran a recipe competition. The winner would win a book contract. Nigel Slater wrote the article calling on cooks to give him a run for his money.

The winner was Elisa Beynon, a mother of two and the wife of a Vicar. Nigel Slater is running!

Beynon says:

“If you don’t like being around food, it isn’t the best idea in the world to marry a vicar…”

Beynon admits she wasn’t much of a cook as a young girl, but once she married the vicar, she found the kitchen to be a place of wonder. Her food is easy to make and familiar without being tired and rehashed. She lacks any pretense and still provides the goods in such recipes as Welsh Girl’s Sausages or My Hairdressers Pasta. Elisa Beynon is the real deal. She may have written this book as the winner of a contest, but I am sure that more will follow. She’s a kinder, gentler, poorer Nigella Lawson.

Turnips and Leeks with Honey, Coriander and Soy

2 tablespoons olive oil
30 g. butter
12 large turnips, cut into 2 cm cubes
2 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
2 teaspoons coriander seeds, crushed
3 leeks, cleaned and chopped into 2 cm lengths
2 tablespoons light soy sauce
1 tablespoon runny honey
salt and pepper

Heat the oil and butter in a large pan and toss in the turnips, stirring so that they are evenly coated in the hot fat. Cook the turnips for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, then add the garlic and coriander seeds. When the turnips are virtually soft, add the leeks and put a lid on the pan.

Cook for around 8 minutes more – you want the leeks to be soft, not crispy. Finally, add the soy sauce and honey and stir to coat the vegetables. Season, but don’t go wild with the salt, as the soy sauce is quite salty anyway.

Make these tasty turnips and track down a copy of The Vicar’s Wife’s Cook Book.

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