REVIEW: THE BAY TREE HOME DELI RECIPES

THE BAY TREE HOME DELI RECIPES

Author: Emma MacDonald
Duncan Baird RRP $35
Review: Monique Mulligan 

Home Deli RecipesWhen I moved to Western Australia I was horrified to find that what people called a “deli” was more like what I called a “fish and chip shop” or corner store. The “delis” were not what I had grown up with – a treasure trove of cheeses, sausages, cured meats, condiments and more. I’m always excited when I find a real deli here (and on a recent trip to Belconnen Farmer’s Markets in the ACT, I couldn’t resist nudging Blue Eyes and saying “Now that’s a deli”). When I saw The Bay Tree Home Deli Recipes I was keen to review it, because making my own “home-produced delicacies” is something my family knows I can’t resist doing. I was excited when I made butter (on purpose) the other day and I’m planning to pickle some home-grown beets on the weekend … so you get the picture.

Divided into seven sections – Meat & Poultry, Fish & Shellfish, Cheese & Dairy, Bread, Vegetables, Fruit, and Dressings, Rubs & Sauces – the book as well stocked with recipes as any deli worth its salt. Some are easy, others will take a little more commitment. The idea is to use a combination of deli-bought and home-prepared deli treats to mix and match recipes. For example, you can learn how to make buttermilk and then use it to make Buttermilk Roast Chicken. Or splash out on pomegranate molasses, and use it to transform a Chargrilled Halloumi Salad into a dish popping with flavour.

McDonald is a trained chef and founder of The Bay Tree. From making jams and chutneys at her mother’s kitchen table, her fame has grown, and she now her her brand is one of he top providers of pickles, relishes, jams, marinades and chutneys in the UK. In The Bay Tree Home Deli Recipes she shares her secrets, including recipes, techniques and tips. I like the overall look of the book and I can see myself delving into it for rainy-day cooking. Want to know how to cure bacon? Find out on p22. Want to know about the different types of mozzarella cheese? Check out p74. The styling and photography has a rustic look befitting home cooking and the recipes are well laid out; the pages without pictures do look a bit wordy at times though. Some recipes are on the long side, as well. This is not fast food.

Whenever I get a new cookbook I spend a while looking through it, mentally noting the recipes I want to try (or using sticky notes if they are on hand). Here are a few that caught my eye:

  • Blackened Fish with Couscous & Fresh Coconut Relish
  • Buttermilk Roast Chicken – our next Sunday roast
  • Lebanese Chicken with Spiced Lemon Oil
  • Poached Peaches in Lemongrass & Ginger Syrup
  • Cranberry & Pistachio Biscotti
  • Simple Raspberry & Apple Jam
  • Panforte
  • Spiced Baklava

Hmm. Looks like I’m going to be busy …

Available from good bookstores. This copy was courtesy of Simon & Schuster.

Bookish treat: See my list above.