Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Cooking The Books - Bill Granger's Holiday

Following on from our ultra enjoyable Cooking The Books - Jamie's America session, we had another cooking the books, which again was organised by the wonderful Kat and generously held for free at The Cooking Space.

Joining Kat and myself were Emma, Michele & Hamish, April & Laik and newcomers Celeste & David, Agnes & Alastair.

This time, the book we were cooking from was Bill Granger's Holiday. I've never made anything from Bill's books before but had flicked thought they looked quite simple. AS it turns out, this was the case. Some recipes worked, while others were nice but not super delicious.

To make up for my atrocious efforts last time, I decided to make two dishes. The first I made was a Soy and Mirin Chicken Wings. It was very easy to make and I liked the added mirin flavour. I would add more marinate next time so I could further reduce down the marinate and pour more of it over the wings to cook.

Kat made a Morrocan Spiced Leg of Lamb, while April made a Beef in Red Wine Stew. The lamb had a bit of a kick to it, and was cooked nicely, but I didn't really like the flavour combinations. Same too went for the beef stew. Again, it was cooked well, but lacked flavour for me.

Michele made meatballs again. The Jamie meatballs previously were my favourite dish of the day. The Bill Meatballs in Coconut Milk didn't really do it for me. However, Michele's Sausage Rolls were super delicious, and apparently easy to make. I must try making it one day. Sausage rolls and pies are one of those iconic Australian food items that I eat so often but always think are too hard to make so never attempt them at home. This year, I shall try making both.

This time, my favourite dish of the day was Agnes' Mini Chicken Burgers. They were super cute with the little buns she made. The patty had good flavour and paired with the amazing chilli sauce that Agnes made, it was sensational. Take note Michael, another source of great chilli sauce, although you might have to beg Agnes to give you a jar.

Wisely, Celeste decided to make something a bit healthier. There was a lot of brown on that table. The Ratatouille was a welcome and refreshing relief to the heavy heavy meal we were having.

Some confusion ensued between myself and Emma when we both thought we were making the same cake. It turned out we were talking about different things, but it all worked out for the best. So Emma made a beautiful Macadamia, Mango and Lime Trifle, with layers of cream, macadamia cake, fresh mango and lime syrup. Extra delicious. Instead of making a mango cake, I made the Flourless Hazelnut Cake, which too was excellent. It is super super rich and a thin slice is enough. But boy, is it decadence on a plate. It so rich, and is something you would find at a restaurant served with a dollop of thick cream or some berry sauce. I love this cake and will suerely make it again.

And that, my friends was another excellent day of cooking and eating. I discovered a few good Bill Granger recipes. In fact, from that day, I browsed the book a bit more and have made Bill's Passionfruit Yoyos 4 times. Everyone, including myself, love them, and they are so easy to make and keep really well.

Thanks again to Kat for organising the cookup, and to everyone that attended and brought such delicious food. Thanks Agnes for the jar of chilli sauce, I love it. Until the next session, keep cooking and eat up.


  1. This could be a pre-reunion dinner. Between food bloggers of course!

  2. wowser! Check out that leg of lamb! And all those wings..

  3. Love the cook ups! So much food....:D

  4. I have the book too and so far only tried a few recipes. Will try the passionfruit yoyos soon. Thanks for the review!

  5. man i really should do my post on this, I swear I even edited the photos.. although i think i wasn't too impressed with them :P

    Great post, looking forward to the next one :)

  6. Ah, I still have this post sitting in drafts - you ended up being the first! Have you finished your jar of chilli sauce yet?

  7. Michelle, haha a pre-reunion all about food, I like it.

    Adrian, heaven will be filled with legs of lamb and wings. That's what I think anyway.

    Penny, love cook ups too.

    Liz, the yoyos are super easy and ultra delicious. Give them a try, you won't regret it. Well, maybe your waistline may regret it, but your mouth won't.

    Michele, can't believe I posted first. That is amazing. Do you like my photos? I forgot to write in the post, but I did a few IronChefShellie style half cropped photos, especially the cakes.

    Agnes, I'm seriously shocked that I wrote this up first. The jar of chilli half eaten, but not finished. Can't eat it too fast or there'll be none left. And I'm too lazy to make another jar....for now.

  8. Cute burgers are cute. ^.^

  9. Chia, the burgers are super cute aren't they.

  10. lol yes, I love your ICS style photos :P

  11. Michele, glad you liked my photo homage to you. I shall be using this technique more in future, and seeing as you haven't patented it, I don't have to pay royalties.