thermo cooker fresh favourites introduction
There’s nothing I’m surer of than the importance of home cooking using real, fresh ingredients. The benefits to individuals, families, community, environment, farmers and animal welfare are vast, but in today’s busy society cooking is often the first thing we outsource. While some may argue this makes economic sense, the cost and benefit of doing so cannot be measured in dollars alone. To my mind, the only way forward is to keep cooking easy and fuss-free, relying on simple and satisfying combinations of fresh ingredients that anyone can do at home. And that’s exactly why I wrote Thermo Cooker Fresh Favourites.
This book is the food I eat at my table, the food I cook for my friends and family. And I hope this is the food that you enjoy and come to share with your loved ones also. This isn’t an aspirational coffee table book, this is a real cookbook, a helping hand to partner you in the kitchen. These are achievable recipes, made without fancy technique or dexterity. I don’t profess to create Heston masterpieces or have cheffy skill, and nor would I want to. Who better to understand the desires and limitations of the home cook than the home cook herself? Because life is complicated enough – cooking doesn’t have to be.
While I certainly don’t believe a thermo cooker is essential to cooking delicious and nutritious food, boy it makes it quicker, easier and vastly more enjoyable! In turn, I can cook more than I ever could without it, in a whole lot less time. I truly believe that, regardless of skill level or time constraints, anyone with a thermo cooker can cook nourishing and delicious food they are proud to serve and share. And that excites me! For there is so much to be gained, and in today’s busy world we could all do with a little help.
Fresh cooking is a celebration of produce, centering the dish on whatever’s at it’s seasonal best. It’s about real ingredients – foods that cultures have relied on for years that don’t necessitate long ingredient lists. Fresh is uncomplicated, because quality ingredients brought together simply is all you need. For me, cooking almost always starts with the produce itself – how to make the most of my heirloom tomatoes straight from the garden, a beautiful peach from the market or the leftover bits and pieces in the veggie draw. That’s why I’ve made fresh produce the heart of this cookbook, celebrating all that nature has to offer.
I may be all about fresh, but boy am I all about flavour! No rabbit food in this cookbook. I’ve got pizzas, pastas, curries, cakes, sorbets, soups, salads, breads, burgers, bagels, dips, drinks, dumplings, tarts and more, all with fresh twists and all sure to satisfy. I’ve got recipes to cover you for breakfast, lunch, dinner, dessert and everything in between, 365 days of the year. Included are freezer friendly meals, hearty dinners, fermenting recipes, baked goods, ways to use up leftovers, snacks on the go, preserving recipes, refreshing sweet treats, warming breakfasts and much, much more. All the sections of this book contain a diverse range of dishes – some perfect to whip up quickly mid-week, others a little more special. Important to me is having a mix of recipes that need to be prepared on the spot and recipes that can be made in advance. When you’ve got a little extra time you can prepare and stockpile, and when you don’t, you’re still only 15 or 20 minutes from something delicious and nutritious. Many recipes cater to a wide variety of dietary requirements, including vegetarian, vegan, dairy free, gluten free, nut free and refined-sugar free, with others containing variations to adapt to such preferences.
I’ve loosely themed this book and the recipes in it into the four seasons – the freshest and best produce is always going to be what’s in season, so to me a fresh cookbook evokes a seasonal motif. But by no means are you limited to only a quarter of the book at any one time! Most recipes span over multiple seasons, and some across the whole year. It’s merely a way for you to start thinking about fresh produce and connecting with your food. I’ve also included my ‘what’s in the fridge’ recipe guides that transcend seasons and shopping lists, showing you how to make a delicious and nutritious meal using only what you’ve already got in the pantry and fridge. Not sure what’s in season in your area? I’ve included seasonal lists throughout this book, but your best bet is to head to a farmers market - whatever people are selling in abundance is what’s going to be at it’s seasonal peak and freshest. If you’re shopping in a supermarket look for produce grown in your home country, and usually whatever’s at its seasonal best is also at it’s cheapest (which is convenient!).
And with that, I pass the baton to you. To cook these recipes, to draw inspiration from my ideas and ultimately make them your own, for you and your family to enjoy. To cook more often, cook from scratch, and become a more proficient thermo cook along the way. For this book is only as successful as the the oil spatters and grubby finger prints it is marked with, and the smiles it brings.
Lots of love from my kitchen to yours,