No need to get complicated

Stephane Reynaud: "I like to set myself a challenge in each of my books." Photo: supplied
Stephane Reynaud: "I like to set myself a challenge in each of my books." Photo: supplied

The title of French chef Stephane Reynaud's latest cookbook means what it says: One Knife, One Pot, One Dish.

One Knife, One Pot, One Dish: Simple French Cooking at Home, by Stephane Reynaud, published by Murdoch Books, distributed by Allen & Unwin, NZ $45.
One Knife, One Pot, One Dish: Simple French Cooking at Home, by Stephane Reynaud, published by Murdoch Books, distributed by Allen & Unwin, NZ $45.
It is a book born out of frustration with his friends who often tell him cooking is too complicated to invite him over for dinner.

This book sets out to prove it is not too complicated - you can just throw everything in one pot.

It is a departure from his first book Pork and Sons, which won the Grand Prix de la Gastronomie Francaise, and harked back to his family heritage - he comes from a family of butchers and pig farmers in the Ardeche region of France.

In the magazine France Today, Reynaud, who recently sold his Parisian restaurant Villa9Trois to open his first British venture TraTra at the Boundary in East London, admitted he had grown fond of tofu.

So fond, he had incorporated a couple of recipes in his new book, such as peas with tofu and wonton and tofu with Thai vegetables.

''I like to set myself a challenge in each of my books and tofu was my challenge this time. I have a tendency to put on weight, so I ate quite a lot of tofu to lose some. I don't rule out anything. Everything people eat, want to eat, interests me.''

Tofu does not dominate the book though - there are plenty of dishes for the meat lover, especially those who like pork.

The book is broken up into chapters covering dishes for pre-dinner, meat, veggies, fish, a few eggs and desserts.

It also has a whole chapter on cheese, with everything from different ways to serve cheeses such as Roquefort with butter and celery to what cheeses to serve on platters for different occasions, including ''desk time'', ''bedtime'' and ''friends time''.

 

Photos: SUpplied
Photos: SUpplied
Cod with coconut and lemon

Serves 4

Ingredients
1 lemon
1 zucchini (courgette)
1 bunch of 4 spring carrots
250 ml coconut milk
4 cod fillets
1 tsp fennel seeds

Salt and pepper
2 sprigs dill
1 flameproof casserole dish
1 chopping board

Low heat
Preparation time 10 minutes
Cooking time 15 minutes

Method

Zest and juice the lemon.
Cut the zucchini into sticks. Peel the carrots, keeping a little of the tops, and cut them in four. Mix the coconut milk with the lemon juice.

Lay the cod fillets in a flameproof casserole dish, add the vegetables and zest, cover with the lemon coconut milk, add the fennel seeds, and season with salt and pepper.

Cover and cook for 15 minutes over low heat. Scatter with dill before serving.

 

Coq au vin

Serves 4

Ingredients
150g mushrooms
4 garlic cloves
4 French shallots
2 carrots
3 Tbsp olive oil
1 free-range chicken, cut into pieces
100g thick-cut smoked bacon, cut into lardons
1 Tbsp flour
50ml cognac
1 tsp herbes de Provence (mixed dried herbs)
500ml Rhine valley red wine
400ml brown veal stock
Salt and pepper
1 flameproof casserole dish
1 chopping board

Low heat
Preparation time 20 minutes
Cooking time 1 hour 50 minutes

Method
Quarter the mushrooms. Peel and crush the garlic. Cut the shallots in half without peeling. Peel and slice the carrots into rounds.

Heat the oil in a flameproof casserole dish and brown the chicken pieces and bacon. Add the shallots and garlic, then the flour and cook for 5 minutes.

Add the cognac and flambe. Add the vegetables and herbs, pour in the red wine and veal stock and cook over low heat for 1 hour 30 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

 

Vege lentils

Serves 4

Ingredients
3 French shallots
2 garlic cloves
2 carrots
1 zucchini (courgette)
3 ripe tomatoes
200g blue-green Puy lentils
1 bunch flat-leaf (Italian) parsley
750ml vegetable stock
50g pitted green olives
50g pitted dry black olives
1 Tbsp tomato paste (concentrated)
Salt and pepper
1 flameproof casserole dish
1 chopping board

Low heat
Preparation time 10 minutes
Cooking time 20 minutes

Method
Peel and finely slice the shallots and garlic. Peel and cut the carrots into cubes. Cut the zucchini and tomatoes into cubes.

Rinse the lentils. Chop the parsley.

Put all of the ingredients in a flameproof casserole dish, pour in the vegetable stock and cook over low heat for 20 minutes.

Season with salt and pepper.

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