Monday, November 4, 2013

Annabel Langbein Makes Summer Simple

Star New Zealand cookbook author Annabel Langbein is back with a summer annual that will make holiday cooking and entertaining a breeze.
Whether you’re spending summer at the beach or at home, Annabel Langbein:
A Free Range Life 
is your essential holiday companion with its special empahasis on salads and barbecue meals.
Annabel says the summer annual evolved from a need she identified in her own busy life. “In the jiggle-juggle of my year I found myself seeking ideas that would make our family summer feel more relaxed and fun and help me rediscover the sense of connection we all crave. And so this project was born.”
With more than 150 recipes, plus menu ideas for every occasion and endless inspiration for everything from breakfasts to barbecues and from fancy finger foods to fuss-free family meals, it contains what you need for a terrific summer.
A mix-and-match Christmas celebration menu designed to be as affordable or extravagant as your budget allows is followed by recipes for using up all that leftover turkey and ham in those lazy days between Christmas and New Year.
And of course it’s liberally peppered throughout with Annabel’s trademark tips and tricks for getting it right first time, every time.
Annabel Langbein: A Free Range Life is available at  bookstores and food retailers everywhere. At just $19.95, (an absolute bargain), it’s an affordable gift or treat for yourself.
And the publishers have kindly allowed me to reproduce one of the recipes I have already tried with great success:
Annabel Langbein’s Coconut Slaw
Prep time   15 mins
Serves       6

2 cups finely shredded green cabbage
2 cups finely shredded red cabbage
1 cup shaved or thread coconut
½ carrot, peeled and grated
½-1 fresh green chilli, finely chopped
1 tbsp finely chopped coriander leaves
Lemony Dressing
finely grated zest of 1 lemon

3 tbsp lemon juice
2 tbsp
white wine vinegar

1 tbsp caster sugar

1 tsp salt

a pinch of white pepper

Place shredded cabbage in a large mixing bowl and work it between your fingers to soften it slightly. Toast coconut in a frypan over a medium heat until very lightly golden (about 2-3 minutes). Allow to cool.
To make Lemony Dressing, combine all ingredients in a small jar and shake to combine. Up to 1 hour before serving, toss together cabbage, coconut, carrot, chilli, coriander and Lemony Dressing in a serving bowl. 

For more great Annabel Langbein recipes see


And I thought this half page in the new publication might be a useful check-list for folk before they head off for the summer break:

Don’t leave home without...

Whether you’re staying in a bach, a tent, or just holidaying at home, having a few essential utensils at hand makes all the difference to your cooking pleasure.

Good knives
I always travel with at least two – a sharp chopping knife
(I don’t like anything bigger than 20cm) and a little paring knife to deal with vegetables and fruit.

A microplane zester
This is your tool for lemon zest, crushed garlic, grated ginger, lemon grass and chilli, fine parmesan shavings and much,
much more. I love them so much I sell them on my website

A chopping board
Choose a large wooden board that also doubles as a serving platter for cheeses, antipasti or grilled meats. Can’t go past it.

A stovetop espresso maker

When there’s no café close enough for a morning stroll, this is an absolute lifesaver. Warm the milk in a pot and fluff it with a whisk.

A big pot and a big pan
Essential when you’re cooking for a crowd – be it pasta, risotto, a big soup or a haul of shellfish. And you can bet your bottom dollar there won’t be one waiting for you at the holiday house.

A hand-wand mixer
For making my Miracle Mayo (see page 58), pesto, dressings, pancake batters and much, much more.

Iceblock moulds
Away from it all and no ice for a cocktail! I don’t think so. Once frozen, snap it out into a plastic bag so you can build up a stash.

Decent teatowels
Does any holiday house ever have good teatowels? Often as not there won’t be a dishwasher so they become a must-have.

And don’t forget the tongs, wooden spoon, fish slice, whisk, can opener, vegetable peeler, an expandable slice tray, a big strainer, baking paper, skewers – I could go on…

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