Sunday, July 8

Cook My Books Challenge Two- new voices in food

For Cook My Books challenge two I have selected a really delicious book by young English chef Alice Hart. Alice is a chef, and was the youngest food editor at Waitrose Food Illustrated, as well as running a successful pop up "The Hart & Fuggle"............and she is still in her 20's! 
Her book, Alice's Cookbook is full of tempting recipes, sorted into categories such as simple wintry dinner, autumn film night, springtime camper van buy the sea.....the recipes are influenced by Alice's travels, and represent a variety of cuisines, all fairly simple with intriguing flavours. 

This book is one of a small series from Quadrille called New Voices in Food,  I am keen to get the other books in the series once the Cookbook Buying Ban expires! The layout is clear, and I love the matt finish to the cover and photos. Bear in mind there are not pictures for every recipe. This does not bother me at all, the pictures that are included are beautifully styled, with a real feel of the young hip author Alice is. This book would be particularly good for a younger person getting into cooking, the recipe are clear and easy for follow, with results that will encourage more cooking .

The first recipe I have chosen is a simple Chicken and Sweet Potato Curry. Actually where I come from this would be Chicken and Kumara Curry, but I wont confuse the issue.....Quick to prepare, this is the perfect midweek supper, full of flavour and goodness.

Vietnamese Chicken and Sweet Potato Curry (adapted from Alice's Cookbook)

Serves 4 

6-8 chicken thighs, skinned and boned
1 ½ tbsp medium curry powder
2 tsp palm sugar/light brown sugar
1 tbsp plain oil, I use canola
2 shallots, chopped (or 1/2 small onion)
1 garlic clove, chopped
1 lemongrass stalk, 
½ tsp chilli flakes (to taste, add more if you like more zip)
1 tbsp Thai fish sauce
1 large sweet potato, peeled and cubed
400 ml can coconut milk
coriander leaves, to serve

Mix half the curry powder, sugar and a pinch of salt in a bowl. Coat the chicken in the mixture and set aside.

Heat the oil in a large pan or wok, and add the onion, garlic and lemongrass.I don't chop up my lemongrass,  but cut it into a couple of large chunks & bash with a rolling pin to release the flavour. I cant abide tiny bits of lemongrass in my teeth!  Cook for a couple of minutes, without burning the garlic, then add the curry powder, chilli flakes and chicken and cook for five more minutes. 

Add the sweet potato, 1 tbsp of fish sauce, coconut milk and 1/3 of the coconut can of water. Bring to the boil, and then simmer for 20 minutes, until the chicken and sweet potato are cooked through. Taste and add more fish sauce if required. I also added a big squeeze of lime, but that's up to you

Serve with steamed rice and a sprinkling of coriander. Or as it would be in Vietnam, with baguette .
This is really tasty, savoury, sweet and salty, and I like the use of curry powder, which apparently is what they use in Saigon. I have never been so I defer to Alice on this one.

Alice's Cookbook
Quadrille Publishing 2010
New Voices in Food series


  1. Delicious & what a lovely little book :)

  2. This cookbook sounds truly unique & heaps of fun . For more recipes books also check this Food and Recipe books .

  3. Yes a very cute boook ideed - I made her very garlicky roast chicken tonight - delicious. Have you tried the best-ever brownies? Have read a few raves about them so they're next on my list, as well as this curry. Great challenge idea, keep meaning to do the same to justify my cookbook hoard too...


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