Last week I popped along to Cook the Books for a little green inspiration by way of Alan Fong from The Fresh Grower. I have long been a fan of there little baby cos lettuce, just beautifully fresh & crisp. Alan also grows a number of Asian greens...Shanghai pak choi, baby white Guangzhou pak choi alongside snow peas, beans, sugar snap peas, spinach & my favourite bellaverde; sweet stem broccoli. Not to mention the most gorgeous coriander that no one wanted to buy!!!
Alan’s family have been growing vegetables down in Pukekohe for 3 generations. Allan’s mission is to bring fresh bright greens to our dinner tables that look & taste delicious. The evening was packed pull of fresh, bright, simple flavours that can we whipped up for a speedy weeknight supper.
To start sweet chilli chicken baby cos canapes. Chicken is marinated in cayenne, garlic, soy & vodka, yes vodka just a little. Then simply stir fry the chicken & pile in in to baby cos leaves topped with a few crispy noodles for crunch. Bright, fresh & terribly moreish.
Next up the belleverde, even the name is beautiful. I love broccoli & I love these tender little stems even more. The belleverde was quickly steamed & then plunged in to ice cold water to keep its vibrant green hue. It was then stir fried with a little garlic & just a splash of gin or vodka, just to stop it sticking & topped with a little soy before being piled atop some sizzling steak. This one has since made a couple of appearances on my dinner table as quick & light supper.
One of my favourite dishes of the evening, I think everyone’s actually as the platters had barely a morsel left on them was the stir fry pork mince with baby white pack choi & crispy noodles . Quite an achievement actually, as you never ever go hungry at Cook the Books, the portions are generous, to say the least!
I am assuming you notice the word crispy noodles, who doesn’t love a crispy noodle? Well these are quite a treat & they are quite the healthy crispy noodle too. Boiled & then tossed with just a little oil they are baked in the oven before being topped with the pork that has been mixed with garlic, ginger, soy & of course just a splash of vodka & the baby white pak choi. This is one of those dishes that left in front of you, you just can’t help but go back for a little more & a little more....
As if all that wasn’t enough, like I said you never go hungry at Cook the Books, we finished off with some stir fried rice with kailaan, a Chinese broccoli. This one too has made a few appearances for dinner & lunch. Quick to whip up & there is just something wonderfully comforting & satisfying about a bowl of egg fried rice.
For more cooking inspiration & lots of cook books check out Cook the Books.
Cook The Books
139 Richmond Road (corner Norfolk St)
OPEN 7 DAYS A WEEK:
Monday to Friday – 10am to 6pm
Saturday and Sunday – 10am to 4pm