Book review: Our Family Table by Julie Goodwin

First up: I’ll be honest. I was Team Poh the whole way. I thought she made some really creative and interesting dishes. Julie, although made a lot of beautiful looking stuff, seemed just like a home cook. That said, her description of the cookbook she would produce if she won sounded fantastic.

So the day it was released I trudged along down to Big W to find the book, but it was already sold out. For a few weeks I continued this pattern, until finally, about a week ago, they had the book in stock. (For $23 too!)

I bought it and sat at home reading through the recipes. The first thing that struck me about the book? Beautiful photography and lovely stories about the significance of each recipe. But sadly, I was quite dissapointed in the recipes. Many of them are things I don’t need a recipe for: fried rice, spaghetti bolognese, roasts and so on. I know it was family favourites, but still I had hoped for a few things different that I could try.

Perhaps the biggest winner of a chapter for me is the breakfast one, with tips on how to make hollandaise sauce and how to poach the perfect egg.

Verdict? Not worth the $50 price tag, but if you can find it on a good sale, it is worth a look. Beautiful book, but doesn’t really tell us anything new.

Oh, and I can’t review without posting a recipe I have tried:

Potato Rosti – By Julie Goodwin

8 large potatoes (desiree, coliban or a similar waxy varierty)
Vegetable oil or canola oil, for shallow frying
salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

1. Peel the potatoes and grate into a colander. Take handfulls of potato and wring out excess moisture over sink or bowl.

2. Heat about 5mm of oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. The oil needs to be hot enough to produce a crisp golden shell without burning, while allowing the inside of the rosti to cook.

3. Place about three 1/2 cups of potato mixture into the frying pan. Use a spatula or egg flip to flatten the potato into discs about 8-10cm round. Fry about 3 minutes on each side, until golden brown and crispy. Drain on paper towels and repeat until all the mixture has been used.

The result? Very cripsy, yummy rosti! The boy definately appreciated the Sunday breakfast I made him and the rosti was really quick and simple to make.

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6 responses to “Book review: Our Family Table by Julie Goodwin

  1. I was on Team Poh the whole time too! I have no interest in Julie’s book -while I realise it’s probably more approachable to the typical, home cook/Mom-types it’s not something I need. If I need to learn roasts or spag bol I’ll turn to a classic like Gourmet etc. but they’re pretty basic recipes.

    I assume you’re watching this season? So far I’m a huge fan of Alvin, but we’ll see how it goes obviously!

    • I am watching the new season – big fan of Alvin too, and the rest I am just waiting to see who starts to shine. We havent seen much of their cooking as yet! I do not like the chicken potato bake girl, Kate? She just seems so ill prepared skill wise!

  2. I guess it’s for those who are just beginning to learn to cook. I could give it to my sister-in-law. She doesn’t know how to cook.

  3. Good to know! I haven’t seen her new book but yes I suspect I don’t really need guidance on some of those. Was the poached egg method the one with the cling film?

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