Globe and Mail columnist Lucy Waverman invites us into her kitchen to learn the secrets to being a great cook.
Lucy Waverman is one of the best-known food writers in the country. Her popular, long-running column in the Saturday Globe and Mail and her contributions to Food & Drink magazine have gained her a huge, faithful audience who rely on her recipes because they are foolproof. Lucy spent many years running a highly successful cooking school, giving her an innate understanding of people’s needs in the kitchen. Based on the questions her Globe readers ask, she started to realize that there was an entire generation (or two) of food-savvy people out there who hadn’t learned to cook the same way their mothers had. For whatever reason, some of us have missed out on learning the basics of great cooking – details that can turn a meal into something memorable.
We’re not talking about the secret to an impressive soufflé or lobster bisque – save that for later. But everyone should know how to fold in an egg white, stir a risotto, and roast the perfect chicken, and Lucy’s Kitchen will show you how. Accented by renowned food photographer Rob Fiocca’s beautiful full-colour imagery throughout, this is the book we’ve all been waiting for.
In the casual yet elegant style she’s known for, Lucy applies her incredible teaching skills to showing us how easy it is to create fantastic meals, whether they be for a simple evening for two or a night of entertaining a crowd. Seamlessly woven into the more than 250 impossible-to-resist recipes are the tips, techniques and information on ingredients you need to feel confident whipping up such wonders as Smoked Salmon Nori Roll, Lemon-Scented Roasted Lamb, Smashed Red Potatoes with Garlic Chips or a Chocolate Mousse with Saffron Foam.
In Lucy’s Kitchen you will blossom into the fabulous cook you always knew you could be.
About the author
LUCY WAVERMAN is a leading Canadian food writer. Author of eight cookbooks, she has won numerous culinary book awards and honours. She is the food editor of the popular Liquor Control Board of Ontario magazine, Food and Drink (600,000 readership), and writes a weekly column for The Globe and Mail’s Life section and a bi-weekly columnin its Style section.
FACEBOOK: Lucy Waverman ’s Kitchen
BEPPI CROSARIOL has been The Globe and Mail’s wine and spirits columnist for twelve years. His columns regularly cause a rush on liquor stores across Canada as avid readers run to buy up his recommendations. His readership is broad, covering both the establishment and younger urban drinkers who want guidance on wine and great tips on less expensive bottlings, served up with candour and humour.
- Short-listed, Cuisine Canada Culinary Book Awards -- Best Cookbook
Excerpt: Lucy's Kitchen: Signature Recipes and Culinary Secrets (by (author) Lucy Waverman)
Pasta with Goat Cheese and Mushrooms
Rigatoni or other tube-like pastas are excellent with this sauce, but you could also use fettuccine or tagliatelle. Freestyle baked pasta dishes like this one are less fussy and labour-intensive than lasagna. Use your favourite combination of fresh mushrooms; I like a mix of shiitake, oyster and brown (cremini) mushrooms.
1 oz (30 g) dried porcini mushrooms
1 lb (500 g) rigatoni
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 cups milk
2 cups soft goat cheese
Salt and freshly ground pepper
3 tbsp olive oil
1 cup chopped onions
1 lb (500 g) mixed mushrooms, sliced
1 tsp chopped fresh thyme, or pinch dried
1 tbsp chopped garlic
1/4 cup chopped parsley
2 tbsp lemon juice
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
SERVES 6 to 8
SOAK dried mushrooms in 1 cup hot water for 20 minutes. Strain, reserving soaking liquid. Rinse mushrooms.
PREHEAT oven to 350 F.
COOK pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water for 10 minutes, or until al dente. Drain well and return to pot.
PREPARE sauce while pasta is cooking by heating butter in a pot over medium-high heat. Whisk in flour and cook for 1 minute. Pour in milk. Bring to a boil, whisking constantly to prevent lumps. Reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Stir in goat cheese and season with salt and pepper.
HEAT oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add onions and sauté for 2 minutes, or until softened. Add fresh mushrooms and thyme and cook for about 2 minutes, or until mushrooms begin to release liquid.
ADD garlic, dried mushrooms and mushroom-soaking liquid to skillet. Bring to a boil and cook for 1 minute. Stir in parsley and lemon juice and season with salt and pepper.
STIR cheese sauce and mushrooms into noodles along with 1/2 cup Parmesan. Spoon into a large oiled baking dish and sprinkle with remaining 1/2 cup Parmesan. Bake for 25 minutes, or until heated through and browned.
* * * * *
Seared Scallop Ceviche
Ceviche is usually fresh raw fish that is “cooked” in lime juice. My version sears the scallops first to add texture and flavour to the dish. Don’t leave the scallops in the marinade for more than four hours, though, or they will overcook!
2 tbsp olive oil
1 lb (500 g) sea scallops
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1/4 cup orange juice
1/2 cup lime juice
3/4 cup chopped red peppers
3/4 cup chopped red onions
2 tsp finely chopped jalapeño
3 tbsp chopped fresh coriander
HEAT oil in a large non-stick skillet over high heat. Add scallops and sauté for 1 minute per side, or until seared. Season with salt and pepper and cut into quarters.
COMBINE orange juice, lime juice, red peppers, onions, jalapeño, coriander and scallops in a bowl. Marinate for 1 to 4 hours, refrigerated, before serving.
Serve the scallops sprinkled with a little marinade on Boston lettuce.
Scallops actually grow in the beautiful fan-shaped shells that are often used for
serving. In Europe scallops are sold in the shell with the roe attached; the roe is a real
delicacy, and it’s a shame our scallops are not sold the same way. However, even shelled scallops usually include the muscle that attaches the scallop to the shell, and this muscle should be removed before cooking, as it is tough. You can easily pull it off with your fingers.
Scallops, like shrimp, come in many different sizes. Bay scallops are tiny and often tasteless. Other scallops are graded by size (the largest come about 6—10 to a pound).
Scallops should be shiny, bright and dry when you buy them.
* * * * *
This recipe makes twice the amount of dressing that you need, but it is a great creamy oil-free, low-calorie dressing to have on hand, and it keeps for about a week in the refrigerator.
Use your favourite winter lettuces in this salad.
4 cups watercress or torn escarole
1 cup torn radicchio
1 Belgian endive, sliced
1/2 cup chopped red onions
Low-Fat Dill and Garlic Dressing
1/2 tsp minced garlic
1/2 cup light sour cream
1/4 cup buttermilk
2 tbsp lemon juice
2 tbsp chopped fresh dill
Salt and fresh ground pepper
COMBINE watercress, radicchio, Belgian endive and onions in a bowl.
WHISK garlic, sour cream, buttermilk, lemon juice, dill, salt and pepper in a bowl. Taste and adjust seasonings, adding lemon juice and dill if necessary.
TOSS greens with about 1/2 cup dressing.
Elongated and elegant, Belgian endive is grown in dark storage rooms to keep it white. Its slight bitterness makes it a good match with other assertive lettuces such
as radicchio and watercress. It becomes sweet when cooked, especially braised in a little stock with a bit of butter and sugar. It is grown from the chicory root–originally grown to be roasted and ground as a coffee substitute.
* * * * *
Chocolate Mousse with Saffron Foam
This is the ultimate chocolate mousse. It’s a takeoff on a chocolate dessert I had in Paris that was served with saffron foam. The saffron highlights the chocolate and adds a beautiful colour, but you could also serve the mousse with whipped cream.
8 oz (250 g) bittersweet chocolate, chopped
1 cup whipping cream
1/4 cup granulated sugar
Pinch saffron threads
1/2 cup whipping cream
2 tbsp granulated sugar
HEAT chocolate and cream in a heavy pot over low heat, stirring until chocolate melts and mixture is smooth. Remove from heat.
COMBINE eggs and sugar in a metal bowl over simmering water (basically a big homemade double boiler) and beat with an electric mixer for 5 minutes, or until mixture is pale yellow and when you lift beaters, mixture forms a ribbon that takes 5 seconds to dissipate. Remove bowl from heat.
FOLD chocolate mixture into egg mixture. Mixture will be quite runny. Refrigerate for 4 hours or overnight. Mousse will thicken.
PREPARE saffron foam by heating saffron and 2 tbsp whipping cream in a small pot over low heat until cream is an orangey colour. Combine saffron cream with remaining cream and sugar. Beat until slightly airy and thick enough to coat a spoon.
SCOOP mousse onto a plate or glass serving dish and surround with foam.
* * * * *
My kitchen is the centre of my home – a nerve centre of warmth, good feelings and contentment. When friends and family come to visit, they invariably gravitate there for food and conversation. It isn’t a big kitchen, but it is inviting, colourful and comfortable.
My kitchen has become a part of other people’s lives, too, through my columns and features in the Globe and Mail and Food & Drink magazine. So I thought it would be a good idea to make my kitchen the focus of this new book. It is where I cook every day to create recipes and feed my family. It is both my work place and where my heart is.
When I was growing up, the kitchen was the pulse of the entire house – the place where I did my homework, where we all ate together, where family and close friends gathered. It took the place of today’s family room. But today many kitchens are not much more than showpieces, and buying prepared foods, ordering in and eating out have taken the place of home cooking.
Now things are changing. People are coming back into the kitchen. They want to learn more about cooking and to make it a pleasurable part of their lives. I see this trend in the feedback I receive from my readers, who are asking lots of questions about cooking techniques and ingredients. They also want to eat healthier food and maintain control over what goes into their mouths. Cooking school enrolments are rising, as are television shows that include “cooking school” segments.
So, in this book, in addition to recipes, I have included short explanations of techniques and ingredients to help make cooking easier and more enjoyable. If you were never sure what it meant to fold eggs, you’ll find out how in this book. Never sliced a bulb of fennel? Don’t know how to clean a leek? What to do with a roast that is still underdone in the middle? These questions and many more are answered here. (At the back of this book there is a general index as well as indexes of the culinary skills and ingredients that are explained throughout the book.)
I like to create easy, foolproof recipes that have a taste twist or that provide an unusual take on a traditional favourite. I travel a lot, so there are influences from India, Asia, South America, Europe and, always, my beloved Scotland. You’ll find everything from a very quick chicken curry to my latest favourites – tagliatelle with scallops infused with lemon and a cross-cuisine Malaysian beef stir-fry – to old standbys like a classic roast beef, the definitive Scottish oatmeal biscuit and the best-ever peach pie.
This book is a real reflection of my personal tastes, so you’ll find lots of the foods I love best – potatoes, mushrooms, green vegetables, meat and fish. You won’t find yeast breads or fussy and complicated desserts; though I was classically trained as a cook, running a cooking school, raising a family, writing books and columns and finding time for seven tiny grandchildren means I do not have the time or inclination to keep four kinds of homemade stock on hand (I only make chicken stock), I’m not at all opposed to using good commercial products (storebought meringues and lemon curd), and I’m always looking for shortcuts (from cookie-crumb dessert crusts to one of my favourite tricks – the chef technique of searing the main ingredient in an ovenproof skillet and sticking the pan straight into the oven to finish the cooking).
Time is always a factor for me, whether it involves cooking, cleanup or shopping. So almost all the ingredients in my recipes can be found at your local supermarket or health food store, and I’ve included readily available substitutes.
To bring you even further into my kitchen, all the photographs for this book were shot there, too, using my own serving dishes and equipment. The pictures are not necessarily what we call “beauty shots” in the profession – dishes prepared in professional kitchens with the help of food stylists and prop stylists and gussied up to look beautiful without much hope that a normal cook can recreate them in the home kitchen. The pictures in this book show exactly how the food looks in the pan or on the plate. Your food can look the same.
I consider it an honour to reach so many people through my recipes, and to receive feedback from readers through my website. I hope this book will help you gain the confidence and pleasure that come with cooking and eating well.
“This is a compilation of Lucy’s favourite recipes, tips, techniques and hints that will help beginner cooks look accomplished and savvy cooks become better.”
–Bonnie Stern, The National Post
“None of the recipes here are complicated — some are sublimely simple. . .but each one has a sophistication born of years of being a hands-on cook.”
–The Province (Vancouver)
“Lucy’s Kitchen. . .will be a boon for everyone from the absolute beginner to the savvy home chef”
–Times Colonist (Victoria)
“Known for her wonderful knack with flavours and user-friendly recipes, she has written a lovely combination of classics and cutting-edge creations…. Long-time fans of Waverman’s, new and experienced cooks alike will be equally delighted with this latest collection of tantalizing recipes.”
“Lucy’s Kitchen is a combination of simple recipes that cooks of all levels will easily be able to create in their homes. A variety of ingredients and cooking techniques, combined with helpful tips and hints, means this cookbook earns a place in your kitchen.”
“Lucy’s home cooking is a magical blend of the simple and sophisticated, informed by her love of international travel and her Scottish roots. In what is probably her most personal book, Lucy celebrates the kitchen as the heart of her home. She also embraces another part of her past — as a cooking teacher — in highlighting the various techniques and ingredients integral to bringing meals to the table quickly and tastefully every day. Rob Fiocca’s glorious photography adds another element of pleasure to a book we will reach for again and again.”
–The Cook Book Store website
Other titles by Lucy Waverman
The Flavour Principle Low Price Edition
Enticing Your Senses with Food and Drink
A Matter Of Taste
Inspired Seasonal Menus with Wines and Spirits to Match
The Flavour Principal Iba
Enticing Your Senses With Food and Drink
The Flavour Principle
Enticing Your Senses With Food and Drink
A Year in Lucy's Kitchen
Seasonal Recipes and Memorable Meals
Matter Of Taste
Home for Dinner
Fresh Tastes, Quick Techniques, Easy Cooking
200 Fast And Fresh Mealtime Solutions