Rockpool Bar & Grill by Neil Perry [amazon books]

  • Full Title : Rockpool Bar & Grill
  • Autor: Neil Perry
  • Print Length: 456 pages
  • Publisher: Murdoch Books
  • Publication Date: October 1, 2011
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1741968291
  • ISBN-13: 978-1741968293
  • Download File Format: azw3


When Neil Perry set out to open a steakhouse, it wasn’t going to be just any steakhouse. It had to showcase not only Australia’s best beef but also the best seafood—the best of everything. In his latest book, Neil shares the trials and tribulations of opening the ultimate steakhouse, Rockpool Bar & Grill, first in Melbourne, then Sydney and Perth. This is a book about the life of a restaurant and all the people who contribute to it, from the graziers to the scallop divers to the oyster whisperers. Tales from the restaurant and from his producers intersperse Neil’s collection of 150 recipes that bring his restaurant into your home. His advice on handling seafood, how to cook the perfect steak, how to build a wood-fired barbecue, plus his signature condiments, side dishes and desserts, make this an indispensable and inspirational kitchen companion.




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xican Tomato Soup

Part IV : From the Main Course to the Finish Line

Chapter 13: Chicken

Handling Chicken

Cooking Chicken

Down-Home Barbecued Chicken

Chinese-Spiced Baked Chicken

Grilled Lime-Cumin Chicken Cutlets

Gingered Roast Chicken

Mediterranean-Spiced Chicken with Olives

Jerk Chicken


Southeast Asian Chicken Saté

Thai Chicken Curry

Indian Chicken Curry

Tandoori Chicken Cutlets

Chapter 14: Meat

Meat Matters

Steak au Poivre

Southwestern Flank Steak

Beef and Bean Chili

Indonesian Beef Saté

Brazilian Picadillo

Coriander-Spiced Burgers

Cape Malay Bobotie

Tex-Mex Meatloaf

Beef or Pork Stew with Juniper and Chile Powder

Beef or Pork Adobo

Spicy Roast Pork

Fragrantly Spiced Maple Spareribs

Hot and Spicy Roasted Ribs

Spice Islands Lamb Stew

Curried Lamb Kebabs

Indian Rogan Josh

Hungarian Veal Goulash with Mushrooms

Chapter 15: Seafood

Fish Facts

Tuna or Salmon Teriyaki

Fish Veracruz

Southeast Asian Fried Flounder or Sole

Roasted Moroccan Monkfish

Spicy Crab Cakes with Cilantro Sauce

Masala Fish


Shrimp in Chile Adobo Sauce

Shrimp Curry

Shrimp in West African Peanut Sauce

Chapter 16: Vegetables and Legumes

Veggie Basics

Prepping Veggies

Spiced Roasted Vegetables

Braised Cumin-Coriander Carrots

Spicy Green Beans

Garlicky Broccoli Stir-Fry

Gingered Zucchini or Summer Squash

Mashed Spiced Butternut

Braised Red Cabbage with Caraway, Apples and Bacon

Greens with Mustard Seeds, Onions, and Tomatoes

Fragrantly Spiced Spinach

Spiced Lemony Lentils

Vegetarian Bean Chili

Chapter 17: Pasta, Potatoes, and Grains

Using Your Noodles

Quick Fixes

Cold Spiced Noodles with Sesame Oil and Vegetables

Pasta Puttanesca

Indonesian Peanut Noodles with Vegetables

Spiced Couscous with Currants

Mashed Vanilla-Scented Sweet Potatoes

Roasted Potatoes with Garlic and Cumin

Curried Barley Pilaf

Spiced Rice with Almonds

Chapter 18: Quick Breads and Sweets

Baking Know-How

Caraway, Cheese, and Bacon Beer Bread

Cumin-Chile Corn Muffins

Cinnamon Coffee Cake

Chocolate Cinnamon Sauce

Old-Fashioned Gingerbread

Spiced Chocolate Loaf

Spiced Apple Cake

Nut Biscotti with Anise

Vanilla Sauce

Spiced Poached Fruit

Chapter 19: Beverages

Drink It Up

Mulled Red Wine

Hot Spiced Apple Cider

Mexican Hot Chocolate

New Orleans Café Brulot

Spiced Iced Tea

Bloody Mary Mix

Part V : The Part of Tens

Chapter 20: Ten Spicy Presentations

Garnishing Basics

Ten Spicy Garnishes

Chapter 21: Ten Spicy Sources

Chile Today-Hot Tamale

Dean and Deluca

Earthy Delights

The Great American Spice Company

McCormick & Company Inc.


Mo Hotta-Mo Betta


Spice Hunter

Vanns Spices

Appendix A: Metric Conversion Guide

Appendix B: Glossary of Cooking Terms

Appendix C: Spice Quantity Guide

Dried Spices

Fresh Spices and Aromatics

: Color Insert


T hough commonplace for centuries in the East, spices were the prized culinary treasures of royalty and the wealthy merchant class in the Western world until the nineteenth century. Fortunately for us, they are now widely available at a relatively low cost. Their scent today graces most kitchens worldwide. Spices give food depth, character, aroma, and above all, taste. Used in both savory and sweet dishes, spices offer you wide range of flavors to choose from and experiment with.

In this book, you discover that cooking with spices is easy and fun. Cooking with Spices For Dummies is divided into five parts that guide you through the world of spices so that you know how to make the most of the spices that are available to you. From historical tidbits to down-to-earth tips, you find out how to buy, prepare, combine, and cook with spices. You also discover some of the world’s most-loved dishes and some exciting new recipes.

How to Use This Book

The world of spices is at your fingertips; you can discover it in this book. Embark on a culinary tour and discover the commodity that incited nations into wars.

This book takes a practical and modern approach to cooking so that you can create healthy and delicious meals without having special skills or spending a great deal of time in the kitchen. The featured recipes range from simple spice mixtures to sauces, soups, dips, main dishes, curries, chiles, grilled food, salads, vegetables, breads, sweets, and beverages. Recipes include healthier renditions of traditional favorites to delicious cultural specialties to sensational modern fare. All use spices in traditional or innovative combinations to create delectable dishes. And I even include a helpful rating for how spicy the dish is.

But before I jump into the recipes, I give you information on what spices are and how to use and combine them. You discover what equipment you need; how to buy, store, and prepare spices for cooking; and basic techniques to make spice blends, rubs, spiced oils, vinegars, and butters. With this knowledge, you’ll be ready to cook and savor the flavors of spices from around the globe. Enjoy!

What I Assume about You

You don’t need to have any prior cooking knowledge to use this book. The spices and recipes are fully explained, as are general cooking concepts that come up here and there. Just make sure that you have the right equipment and ingredients, and you’ll be cooking with spices in no time. Even if you know a lot about cooking, you’ll still find this book to be incredibly useful; not only for the recipes, but also for the spicy info and tips I’ve peppered throughout the book.

How This Book Is Organized

Cooking with Spices For Dummies is divided into five parts that guide you through every aspect of cooking with spices. It’s filled with fascinating information, practical advice, and helpful cooking tips. The book takes you on a journey that spans the globe. Starting on the spice route, you discover what spices are and how they’re used, what special equipment you might need, and how you, in your own kitchen, can take full advantage of spices. Then I present recipes that really spice up your cooking. Have fun and feel free to skip around. If you just want to look up the recipe for, say, Indian Chicken Curry, you can find it in the Index at the back of the book or in the Recipes at a Glance in the front of the book and get cooking.

The majority of the recipes are very easy to make, although a few are more challenging. To guide you, ballpark preparation and cooking times are given for every recipe. Additionally for each dish, you’ll find a spice meter reading, from mild to hot and spicy, to let you know how spicy the dish really is.

Part I: Taking the Spice Route

In this part, you discover what spices actually are and their place in history. You’re introduced to individual spices, from the most widely used to the more exotic and unusual spices, in both fresh and dried forms. You find out their characteristics, how to buy and store them, and how to use up spices that are no longer fresh and potent. You also find out what tools you need (and what tools you don’t need) to cook effectively and efficiently with spices.

Part II: Spicy Skills

This part gives you the treasured secrets of cooking with spices. I show you the basic techniques of cooking with spices — how to toast or dry roast spices and how to make spice blends, spice pastes, spiced oils, spiced vinegars, spiced butters, and seasoned flours. You also find out how to handle spices, avoid common spice-related mistakes, and fix a few cooking mistakes. You also discover what spices and ingredient combinations are key to many culture’s cuisines. You then move on to menu planning and learn some kitchen strategies that make cooking easier and more enjoyable.

Part III: On the Starting Line

In this part, you find recipes for spice blends and rubs, marinades and sauces, salads, and light fare such as starters, soups, and snacks.

Part IV: From the Main Course to the Finish Line

This part presents spicy recipes for chicken, meat, seafood, vegetables, potatoes, grains, pasta, quick breads, sweets, and beverages.

Part V: The Part of Tens

Every For Dummies book ends with top-ten lists, and this one is no exception. I give you ten ways to present and garnish meals and ten Internet and mail-order sources for spices and unusual ingredients.

Icons Used in This Book

Look for these icons next to tidbits of useful information:

When you see this icon, expect to find interesting tidbits, lore, and information about a particular spice, recipe, or piece of equipment.

Here you find culinary tips and common-sense hints to make your cooking easier, more productive, and more enjoyable.

I use this icon when I want to give you an alternative recipe that can be made with a few simple changes to the main one.

I place this icon next to information that will help you prevent mistakes or when I want to warn you against doing things that may potentially cause a problem.

Part I

Taking the Spice Route

In this part . . .

I introduce you to individual spices, from the most widely used to the more exotic and unusual spices, in both fresh and dried forms. You find out their characteristics, how to buy and store them, and how to use up spices that are no longer fresh and potent. You also find out what tools you need (and what tools you don’t need) to cook effectively and efficiently with spices.

Chapter 1

A Spicy Tale

In This Chapter

Finding out what spices are

Getting a bird’s eye view of the history of the spices

Discovering a few nonculinary uses of spices

E xotic, fragrant, inviting, alluring, delicate, sultry, delicious, flavorful — these are some of the words that you may associate with spices. Widespread travel and migration have exposed us to a variety of cultures and their respective cuisines. We’ve discovered the culinary secrets of how different people cook with once precious spices. Yet, these now commonplace ingredients have a spicy past. This chapter presents their story in brief.

Spicy Definitions

Sometimes you may wonder if a particular substance is an herb or a spice. It’s not always an easy question to answer. Spices are seeds, fruit, berries, bark, roots, and Rhizomes (an underground stem that produces knobby roots) of plants. For example, cloves are buds; allspice and peppercorns are berries; chile peppers are fruit; cardamom and cumin are seeds; ginger and turmeric are Rhizomes; cinnamon is a bark. Sometimes a single plant provides both an herb and a spice. Take coriander, for example. The spice coriander is the seed of the plant that brings us the pungent leaves cilantro that are considered an herb. But there are a few tricks to help you distinguish between spices and herbs, both of which are generally found in the “spice” section of supermarkets.

Generally speaking, spices grow in the tropics and don’t thrive in a home patio garden. Herbs, however, can be successfully grown at home in pots or in the ground. Thyme, oregano, and basil are herbs, whereas cinnamon, cloves, and vanilla are spices. There are some gray areas. Chiles, members of the capsicum family, are peppers that can be successfully grown at home or in the tropics and are considered a spice.

Cinnamon was burned as an incense along with sandalwood and myrrh in ancient religious ceremonies and rites.

Exploring the Use of Spices

Today, spices are taken for granted. Their relatively inexpensive price and widespread availability is a fact of modern life. We now see them as a source of pleasure, one that tantalizes our palates and enlivens our sense of smell. We use them liberally in food, perfume, extracts, alcohol, medicines, candles, and incense. Yet it wasn’t so long ago that spices were such a valuable commodity in the West that only nobility and the very rich could afford them. Spices were a form of currency that were given as gifts to kings in the Middle East and in Europe and used as a form of payment for taxes and debt in England and Rome. The wealthy cooked with spices not only for taste, but also as a means to display their financial success. Spices were a symbol of honor and power.

Cloves were an ingredient in Greek, Roman, and Arabic love potions.

Today spices are mainly used for fragrance and taste. You’ll find them in a range of products (perfumes, soaps, remedies, lotions, potpourri, scented oils, aromatherapy products, and candles, among others), but their primary use is in cooking and baking. Spices can be prime players in nearly every kind of dish — sauces, soups, stews, meatloaf, burgers, one-pot meals, dips, marinades, spice rubs and blends such as curry powder, barbecues, bread, desserts, and beverages. Sometimes only a single spice is featured, such as pepper in the classic French dish Steak au Poivre (Chapter 14). Most often, however, spices are combined to provide layers of flavor, like in dishes such as Beef and Bean Chili (Chapter 14) and Tandoori Chicken Cutlets (Chapter 13). From breakfast breads, such as Cinnamon Coffee Cake (Chapter 18) to the fancy dessert coffee New Orleans Café Brulot (Chapter 19), modern cooks and diners enjoy spices in a variety of dishes that are served throughout the day.

A Little Spicy History

Throughout the centuries, spices have played an important role in the economies of many nations. Most spices originated in the East — India, the Spice Islands (now known as the Moluccas, a part of Indonesia), and the Malaysian archipelago. Spices made their way westward via land on camel caravans through what is now the Middle East. Routes also took spices through northern and eastern Africa. The first written chronicle to confirm that Middle Eastern merchants controlled the flow of spices is the Bible. In the Bible, it’s said that King Solomon derived much of his wealth from the spice trade and through the gifts of spices that he received. The Queen of Sheba brought King Solomon presents, including spices, in an effort to prevent any threat to the trade routes that she ruled.

Middle Eastern traders maintained their monopoly for centuries. Throughout the region, spices were sold in large open-air bazaars. Tales of danger and death — that spices grew in snake-infested forests, for example — circulated to prevent customers and fortune seekers from heading to the East on their own.

Even today, the custom of selling spices in bulk in outdoor and indoor spice bazaars continues in India, Indonesia, Africa, and the Middle East.

During the Roman Empire, the Romans, aided by their powerful sailing fleet, fought Middle Eastern traders for control of the spice trade. The Romans were the next power to acquire dominance and maintained control of the spice trade until the fall of their empire. A limited amount of spices were grown in European monasteries after the fall of Rome and the Arabic world regained its former stature in the spice trade. Along came the crusades to the Middle Eastand the European interest in spices was revived. Caravans returned to Europe with silks, jewels, and spices.

In the thirteenth century, Marco Polo, the son of a jewel merchant, traveled east to China. His book detailing his adventures included accounts of the groves of spices that he saw. His chronicle caused others to set sail in search of the treasures in the East. Genoa and Venice gained control of the trade routes to the East and of the commodities of the East, including spices. It was during this century that spices were first used by the middle classes. Figure 1-1 shows the old spice route.

Spices weren’t just for cooking. They were used in place of money for rent payments and governments began to tax them. As European powers parried for economic dominance, spices became a much sought-after commodity. An ounce of cardamom was a common laborer’s annual wage; a sheep was valued at five ounces of mace.

Spices’ nonculinary uses include perfumes, traditional medicines, and dyes. Ginger, for example, has been prescribed as a digestive aid, and cloves were used as a soothing agent for toothaches.

Figure 1-1: The spice route.

Voyages to the East were difficult. Pirates, hijackings, and tempestuous storms were all threats, but the prospect of huge profits was a strong motivator. Men risked their lives and their fortunes in search of spices. Spain sponsored Christopher Columbus’s attempt to find a new route to the East Indies, but, as we all know, he landed in America, bringing home to Europe chiles, vanilla, and allspice. The Portuguese were the first to find a direct sailing route to the East, although it was considered a highly dangerous passage. Vasco de Gama, passing the unpredictably and stormy Cape of Good Hope, returned from his journey to the Spice Islands with a cargo of spices. By the early seventeenth century, the Portuguese had lost their role as leading spice merchants to the Dutch. The Dutch East Indies Company used Cape Town, South Africa, as a stopover point on the route. The British entered into a bitter and bloody conflict with the Dutch, and eventually succeeded in colonizing India and Sri Lanka, leaving the Dutch with only Java and Sumatra.

In the eighteenth century the United States entered the spice trade, using ports in Massachusetts and New York as the starting points for these perilous sea journeys. Today, the United States is the largest importer of spices in the world.

Presently, spices are grown outside their native areas; ginger thrives in Jamaica as well as in its native lands of Asia, for example. Until the twentieth century, spices were a catalyst of economic development. Today, formerly precious spices are grown by farmers in developing nations as extra cash crops, bringing only small profits that supplement the farmers’ meager incomes. Yet, spices are no less valuable to the cooks who use them. To the trained culinary artist, the spices shown in Figure 1-2 are worth more than gold.

Figure 1-2: Spices galore!

Chapter 2

The Spice Rack: A Guide to Dried Spices

In This Chapter

Individual dried spices and their uses

Spices in condiments

T oday’s food is bursting with flavor — kitchens are filled with the fragrance of spices. An ever-increasing variety of spices are available to the home cook. In this chapter, I cover the most common spices, as well as some more exotic spices that you may have passed by. You get the facts about individual spices as well as commonly used spice blends and discover their culinary uses.

Many of the spices that are used in cooking and baking are dried. You may choose to buy them in their whole form or you may opt for the convenience of preground spices and blends.

If you’d like to get an idea of the taste of a particular spice, open the jar and smell its aroma. Or if you’re dealing with a whole spice, rub a little between your fingers to release the oils and aroma.

Some spices need to be toasted in order to fully release their flavor. See Chapter 5 fo


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