Introduction

Introduction

By
Margaret Fulton
Contains
0 recipes
Published by
Hardie Grant Books
ISBN
9781740669269
Photographer
Geoff Lung

I have always believed that good food and good cooking are part of all that is best in life, all that is warm, friendly and rewarding; and that love is as essential an ingredient to a good meal as it is to a good marriage.

The most vivid memories of my youth are linked with my mother’s kitchen – coming home to the warmth of a log fire and good food, lovingly prepared. The highlight of each day was the evening meal, when the family gathered to share not only the food, but the day’s happenings. A trying day never seemed so bad at the end of that meal and a good day turned into a celebration.

Cookery is now accepted as one of the creative arts and one by which a person can express their own individuality. Never look on this book as a set of rigid rules, but rather as a starting point. Once a dish has been mastered, be adventurous – give it the stamp of your personality by adding your favourite flavours or your choice of garnish.

As a guide for beginner cooks I have used a system to indicate the simplicity of each recipe:

A simple and quick recipe that a beginner could accomplish with ease.

Dishes for the average cook with a knowledge of basic techniques, but requiring a little more time.

A special dish, requiring more skill and probably taking some time to prepare.

Beginners should not be discouraged from trying out 3-star recipes – just be prepared to give them more time and concentration.

Happy cooking.

It was while my mother was writing The Margaret Fulton Cookbook that I too began to cook seriously. Still a teenager, I cooked simple grills and salads at first, but learned that the griller must be heated first, the salad greens must be carefully prepared and that the oil and vinegar dressing should be added last. Then I experimented by testing her recipe for Indian ghee rice and was thrilled at how successful it was. Her communication of that recipe gave me the sort of incentive I needed to take off to London and do the Diploma course at the Cordon Bleu School of Cookery.

Thirty years later I was chatting with my close friend, Jannie Brown, with whom I had flatted all those years ago. We both agreed that the new generation of cooks interested in the quality, freshness and goodness of food would also respond with confidence to the very essence of The Margaret Fulton Cookbook. Margaret’s unique approach and ability to communicate to the home cook, makes her recipes accessible and achievable.

So, with Margaret’s blessing, Jannie and I set to work to create this update of Margaret’s original book.

Margaret has inspired generations of Australian cooks. We hope this book will introduce future generations to her simple philosophy of eating well, in a loving environment. With my daughters Kate and Louise representing the younger generation, we have continued the work my mother started.

First-course dishes

When a first course is called for, it is hard to improve on a savoury tart served warm. Onion and olive tart is equally at home at a cocktail party, a lunch or at the dinner table. Some of the best first-course dishes are usually the simplest.

Oysters au naturel: The flavour of oysters is so delicate that they are best served with just a squeeze of lemon juice, a grinding of black pepper, and a little salt and buttered brown bread. Serve well chilled. They may also be served with a cocktail sauce.

Cocktail sauce: Mix 1 tablespoon tomato ketchup, a dash of Tabasco, a squeeze of lemon juice and 4 tablespoons thick mayonnaise or cream. Season with salt and pepper and a dash of Worcestershire sauce. I use Lea & Perrins. Grated horseradish or onion may be added.

Seafood cocktail: For each serving allow 2 chilled oysters and 1/3 cup cooked prawns, crabmeat or lobster. Place in cocktail glasses on shredded lettuce and drizzle with cocktail sauce.

Smoked salmon: Allow 60 g per person and serve on a chilled plate with quarters of lemon and brown bread and butter. Capers, chopped egg and chopped onion are sometimes arranged in little mounds at the side of the plate. Freshly ground black pepper, straight from the mill, is essential.

Pâté : Allow 60 g per person, serve with toast or melba toast. Some people like cornichons or something crisp to nibble added to the plate.

Melon and ham: Thinly sliced prosciutto or braesola or any of the specialty hams go very well with melon. Set 1 or 2 peeled melon wedges on a plate and arrange wafer-thin slices of ham over the melon or at the side.

Avocado with seafood: Halve a chilled avocado. Combine shellfish such as prawns, diced crayfish or flaked crabmeat with a little mayonnaise or oil and vinegar dressing. Fill avocado with chilled seafood. Serves 2.

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