Thursday, February 1, 2018

Excerpt: Comfort Food by Julia Chen

Comfort Food
by Julia Chen
-Food, Recipes
Release date: February 13, 2018

There's nothing quite like Comfort Food to put a smile on your face and a feeling of contentment in your stomach.

Chef Julia Chen is passionate about feeding people; from the students in her university kitchen to guests and family at home.

From recipes that are as simple as a sandwich to as technical as a fruit cake, she knows the importance of creating delicious meals that are full of flavour and which always have budget in mind.

Her recipes include easy to make classics and mouth-watering family favourites, using easy to find products that are fresh and economical.

Fun, fast, indulgent and nurturing, there's a time and a place for Comfort Food in every kitchen.


Chicken Stir Fry with Cashew Nuts

I got this idea simply from seeing an advert of children asking their father for a takeaway dinner. Instead the father cooks up a dish similar to this recipe but pretends it’s takeaway food by slamming the front door and presenting it in take away containers. The children are fooled, saying: “Thanks for the takeaways, Dad.” But he tells them, “Actually I cooked it myself.” This is simple, quick, delicious and cheap to make.


2 chicken breast fillets
150g button mushrooms
150g young corn
100g sugar snap peas
1 red pepper
2 tablespoons hoisin sauce
2 tablespoons dark soy sauce
½ cup roasted cashews
Serves 4 to 6.

In a wok or a deep fry pan place about 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil. Dice the chicken into small cubes or strips, thinly slice the mushrooms and also slice the pepper into thin strips. Heat the oil and add the chicken. Cook the chicken until it is a golden colour. Then add the mushrooms and the peppers. Add the sauces. Then stir in together until the mushrooms are cooked and the pepper is al dente. Then add the sugar snap peas and the corn and stir until they are warmed through but still retain their colour. Finally add the cashews just before serving.
Serve with steamed rice.

Caramel Cookies

I am a devil for punishment when it comes to caramel-flavoured things. So when I came across the idea of caramel-flavoured cookies I went weak at the knees. These cookies are just delicious and one is just not enough in a sitting.


4oz butter
4oz sugar
1 dessertspoon golden syrup
2 tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
8oz plain flour
½ cup sultanas or raisins
Pinch salt
½ teaspoon vanilla essence

Melt the butter over a low heat, with sugar, syrup and milk. Once butter has melted and sugar dissolved, add the soda. Do not boil but allow to fizz.
In a bowl place the flour, fruit, salt and vanilla, and add to cooled wet mixture.
Place in small teaspoonfuls on a tray on top of baking paper. Press lightly with a fork and bake in a moderate oven for 10-15 minutes or until golden.
Allow to cool on a cooling rack. Store in an airtight container.

About the author:
Growing up in Wellington, New Zealand, British born Julia Bettelheim enjoyed an early start in the catering industry and as a teenager took lessons from a private chef. Her family then moved to Melbourne, Australia where she lived for the next twenty-two years and worked as a tupperware sales representative travelling the city providing cookery demonstrations and sharing recipes that were suitable for storing. After her divorce in 2008, Julia moved back to England where she now lives in Chatham, Kent and works as a chef in the kitchen of the cafe at UCL in London.


* courtesy of book tour
Imagination Designs
Images from: Lovelytocu