COOKBOOK REVIEW: TAKING YOU HOME BY HELENA & VIKKI MOURSELLAS #MKR

TAKING YOU HOME: SIMPLE GREEK FOOD

Author: Helena & Vikki Moursellas
Hachette Australia RRP $39.99
Review: Monique Mulligan

I’m yet to visit Greece, but I fell in love with Greek food back in 2011 when I interviewed a Greek couple for the local newspaper. Peter and Olga grew their own grapes and made their own red wine in suburban, coastal Perth. I left the interview with grocery bags laden with fresh fruit and vegetables, olives, a bottle of wine (and two glasses) and an invite for the family to come to dinner. They’ve since moved away, but I was reminded of them when watching the twins, Helena and Vikki Moursellas, on My Kitchen Rules in 2014. I got the sense that not only did the twins love food, they loved the whole “good wine, good food, good company” philosophy. As do I!

The twins went on to be finalists in the 2014 series and have just released their first cookbook, Taking You Home. It’s all about the simple Greek food they love to eat with friends and family, and the book is peppered with snapshots of the twins and their family, both in Australia and Greece. It has a warm, inviting feel, as if you were sitting at their family table. Home cooks will find loads of recipes that deliver the Greek eating experience, from tzatziki and marinated olives, through to a beautifully slow-roasted pork belly and a twist on a classic Greek dessert like Sticky Baklava Fingers. Each recipe is accompanied by a beautifully styled photo (in addition to the snapshots) of the finished dish, and little notes about the recipe’s meaning to the twins.

Whenever I review a cookbook I test out a couple of recipes, firstly, because I love cooking and eating food, but secondly, to see how easy the instructions are to follow. The first one I cooked was Rosewater Rice Pudding (Rizogalo) – a comfort food. The end result was creamy, but I would like to experiment with the flavouring a little.

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My version of Helena and Vikki’s rice pudding – I even made the candied rose petals.

 

The second recipe I tried out was Almond and Walnut Kataifi. This was delicious, but the kataifi pastry takes some getting used to. I wish Olga was still living nearby so I could get lessons! It lasts for days after making and tastes like baklava. Yum!

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Kataifi with Almonds and Walnuts

 

I’d like to see preparation and cooking times in the book – it makes it easier choosing a recipe if you have some idea how long it takes to cook (and kataifi takes ages).

This book is bound to be well used in my home – I’ve marked a lot of recipes for future menus, including Goats Cheese Cheesecake with Blueberries, Sticky Baklava Fingers, Bougatsa Parcels, the pork belly, Creamy Potatoes in the Oven, Dolmades, and Christine’s Lemon and Oregano Chicken Wings.

Available from good bookstores and Hachette Australia. My copy was courtesy of Hachette.