Recipes2019-08-09T17:31:14+10:00

RECIPES

Tastebuds piqued? Find our recipes here.

Remember me avocado, prawn and fennel cocktail

Portrait of a recipe
We chose to kick off our 1970s menu with Richard Glover and Debra Oswald with a prawn avocado and fennel cocktail, because it was the universal starter at restaurants around the world during the decade. Its popularity proved its downfall and these days it is considered incredibly retro, despite being a wonderful, classic dish. It tastes best served with champagne, so of course we found it irresistible. According to the website loveFood, it owes its origins to a California miner, although this is hotly disputed.

Richard Glover’s oh-so-70s Steak Diane

Portrait of a recipe
We are having a 1970s and Auguste Escoffier double this episode. Not only did the chef Escoffier invent the Peach Melba, which we featured for Debra Oswald's novel The Whole Bright Year, he was also the first chef to mention sauce a la Diane in 1907, which we are featuring here to celebrate Richard Glover's book The Land Before Avocado. The dish of Steak Diane derives from the myth of Diana, the Roman goddess of the hunt, and hence its designated pairing with meat. Its modern incarnation is believed to have its genesis in the United States, and it was a very popular dish in restaurants in the 1970s.

Debra Oswald’s scrumptious Peach Melba Eton mess

Portrait of a recipe
Given Debra Oswald's novel The Whole Bright Year is set on a peach farm in Australia, and given Dame Nellie Melba was such an Australian icon, we settled on a Peach Melba Eton mess as our dessert. After all, what could be more peachy, or Australian, than a Peach Melba, right? As it turns out, the Peach Melba was actually invented by a French chef in the 1890s named Auguste Escoffier at the Savoy Hotel, in honour of Australia's great soprano; and Eton mess, is a traditional English dessert - but there was a method to our madness!

Ian Fleming’s Bond beauty Bearnaise sauce

Iconic literary food moments
"Shaken not stirred". How many people have heard these three immortal words from Ian Fleming's James Bond novels? They speak of adventure, danger, sex, snobbery, desire, pleasure, daring, free rein, humour, fun and elitism, just to name a few. And when it comes to literary food moments, they may well top the lot in terms of sheer international recognition. Yet it is only one of the many food references that Fleming scatters through his Bond novels, a fact that has caused many reviewers to cast Commander Bond as the foodie prototype.

Christine Wells’ perfect picnic quiche

Portrait of a recipe
Christine Wells' novel The Juliet Code is set in wartime France, a period when everyone was on rations and food was hard to come by. It also features a picnic. That made your standard lavish meal a tad unsuitable. So after cracking our heads we settled upon a quiche because you can make quiche out of just about any leftovers in the fridge (which is great when you are short of food), it's French, it's easy, and it's perfect for a picnic. Enjoy!

ANZAC biscuits – the commemorative cookie

History of a humble cookie
ANZAC Day is nearly upon us and we couldn't resist just popping up a quick ANZAC biscuit recipe. The idea of lounging around with a cup of tea, reading Pamela Hart's The Desert Nurse and nibbling on freshly baked ANZAC cookies was impossible to resist. My paternal grandmother was a magnificent cook and worked in Brisbane's iconic Breakfast Creek Hotel back in its hey day. She would bake ANZAC cookies all year around and they were a family favourite. So I did a bit of research on the birth of the ANZAC cookie and it appears those upstart Kiwis are trying to claim it as their own.

Pamela Hart’s lovely slow-cooked Egyptian lamb

Portrait of a recipe
To celebrate Pamela Hart's fabulous war-time setting in North Africa, we settled upon this absolutely delicious roast lamb in pomegranate molasses with flatbread. Lamb is, of course, typical Mediterranean fare in both Europe and Africa, which made it the perfect meal over which to discuss The Desert Nurse. This dish was surprisingly simple and really packed some bang for buck. It's great for crowds and family weekends and would be perfect fare for an ANZAC weekend.

Charlotte Smith’s high tea with scones and jam

Portrait of a recipe
Charlotte Smith lives in the Blue Mountains, which is famous for the high tea served at the stunning art-deco hotel The Hydro Majestic. So we thought a high tea would be the perfect accompaniment to an episode focused on fashion, and to honour Charlotte's British heritage. These fluffy English scones accompanied classic cucumber sandwiches (Kate charmed the recipe out of the chef at the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford) and chicken, rocket and mayonnaise sandwiches. These fluffy English style scones are light and rise like the sun! Enjoy!

Daphne du Maurier’s Christmas feast in Cornwall

Iconic literary food moments
One of our recommended reads for the Josephine Moon episode was Daphne du Maurier's My Cousin Rachel - suspense on steroids. The book is full of food, herbs and tisannes, which in the hands of the irresistible Rachel are weapons of power - rituals that lift the world from the mundane to the sublime. The Christmas dinner is one of the most memorable scenes in the book, highlighting how life can shift around a dinner table; and to honour the mix of Italian and Cornish influences, we have created a pasty bolognaise.

Josephine Moon’s terrifically tasty Tuscan bean soup

Portrait of a recipe
Josephine Moon prefers gluten-free and dairy free dining - which is a bit of a challenge when dining Italian. So we settled on this simple, elegant and oh-so satisfying Tuscan Bean Soup, with Parmesan cheese on the side. This is perfect dining in warm Autumnal weather. Pair it with a delicious glass of wine, good company and a beautiful table-setting and you will be transported to the golden, rolling hills of Italy. It's so easy to prepare, it's become a staple on our repertoire of soups.

Natasha Lester’s fabulously fun Sidecar follies

Cocktail concoctions
Word of Mouth TV went to town (or should we say Paris) for the Natasha Lester episode, launching the evening with the oh-so-French cocktail, the Sidecar. The origin of the Sidecar cocktail is disputed but it is believed to have been invented towards the end of World War 1 in either London or Paris. It was, of course, named after the motorcycle sidecar,  a-la Two Fat Ladies, and the Ritz Hotel in Paris claims to be the drink's birthplace. 

Natasha Lester’s lobster and salmon mousse

Portrait of a recipe
Natasha Lester's novel, The Paris Seamstress, is a gorgeous romantic story of intrigue, danger and love set in France and in the USA during WWII. In the book, her heroine Estella Bissette flies back to Paris on a dangerous mission in a boat plane on which she enjoys an amazing meal of piping hot soup, lobster and smoked salmon. That was all the inspiration we needed to concoct this delicious lobster and salmon mousse - with caviar of course! And champagne!!

Load More Posts

Word of Mouth TV is the first series to combine food, books and wine. Your hosts, Kate and Sarah will be interviewing and cooking with top authors from Australia and around the world.

BUY THE BOOKS
WATCH EPISODES
GIVEAWAYS
JOIN NEWSLETTER