Ode to Donna Hay

September 9th, 2013 § 5 comments

Photo of Pumpkin Cheese Scones, Butternut Squash Chorizo Fritatta, Apple Celery Root Salad-inspried by Donna Hay

I have admired Donna Hay’s work for many years.  For those who don’t know her, she’s the Australian Martha Stewart.  I don’t know who started publishing first but they both have similar styles.  Clean uncluttered magazines with fabulous pictures.  What Donna Hay has over Martha is very simple recipes and her magazines are entirely food focused, she doesn’t spend a lot of  time on other crafts.  Every time I buy one of her magazines I end up keeping it because there are so many good ideas in it.  She’s a prodigious cook book author as well; one of my favorites is Donna Hay: Off the Shelf.  Unlike other cooks who suggest using prepared foods to augment recipes, her recipes are tasteful and appetizing.

With some time to spend in Barns and Noble while Claire was trying on clothes next door at Urban Outfitters I picked up the latest Donna Hay. This issue focused on pumpkin and flourless cakes.  I invited some people over for dinner on Saturday and tried three of the recipes from the current magazine and they were all delicious.

First, I chose the flourless cake that was the cover shot.  Two layers of hazelnut coffee meringue filled with a mocha mousse.  I made the meringues the night before since the cake has to sit for four  hours before being served.  It is outstanding.  Fudgy, chewy, with a touch of crunch from the meringue.  I served it with a dollop of whipped cream.  Layers of hazelnut meringue filled with a coffee mousse inspired by Donna Hay

The next thing that captivated me was the Pumpkin Scones with a ricotta mozzarella filling.  Since the scones are substantial I wanted something on the lighter side to go with them, so I made the Pumpkin Kale Frittata.  The weather has been hotter than hot lately and I wanted something cold and crunchy to finish off the menu so I threw together an Apple, Celery Root, and Parsley Salad.  This recipe is my own and I will include it in this post.

The pumpkin scones are made by making dough with pumpkin, flour, parmesan cheese, caraway, and a touch of buttermilk.  The dough is divided and each half is rolled into a disk.  Place one disk of dough on a parchment lined cookie sheet and dot with ricotta and mozzarella, top with the remaining disk of dough, brush with an egg wash, and sprinkle with pumpkin seeds and caraway seeds, and bake until golden.  The recipe is good but next time I make it I would omit the caraway seeds and sprinkle some salt over the cheese layer before I top it with the final layer of dough.

The frittata was super simple and super delicious.   You place cubes of winter squash (I used butternut) on the bottom of a pie plate and crumble chorizo over the squash, drizzle oil over the squash and meat, mix to coat the pieces in oil, season with salt and pepper and place in a 375 oven until the squash is tender.  Then mound washed kale leaves that have been coarsely chopped (I cheated and bought cleaned baby kale leaves), top with caramelized onions, and pour an egg custard over and bake for about 35 minutes.  The recipe in the magazine calls for goat cheese but I felt that the cream in the custard and the chorizo made the dish rich enough. Since one of my guests is a vegetarian I made a ramekin of the frittata without the chorizo and added goat cheese to that.  This technique of roasting the ingredients in the same pan as I make the frittata in is so simple that this will be how I make them from now on.

If you find yourself with some time to kill at a Barnes and Noble, I highly recommend picking up a copy of Donna Hay.



Apple, Celery Root, and Parsley Salad

2 apples, peeled, cored, and cubed ( I used one granny smith and one honeycrisp)

1 stalk celery, washed, sliced thin

1 small celery root, peeled and cut into cubes

2 T chopped Italian parsley

4 washed romaine leaves, chopped

2 T Dijon mustard

2 T mayonnaise

2 T olive oil

1 T chopped chives

Salt and pepper to taste

Combine the first five ingredients in a medium bowl.  Whisk together the remaining four ingredients and combine with the apples and celery, season to taste with salt and pepper.  Keep covered and chilled until ready to serve.  Serves 4

Filed under: Desserts and Baked Goods, Entree's, Salads

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