FRIDAY FEAST with Cathryn Hein

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Hello Feasters! Yes, it’s ME on Friday Feast today, all ready to spoil you with something deliciously bad for you but perfect for winter. However, I know you’re itching to hear the latest Us Heins Weren’t Meant To Play Golf news. Much to our shock, after combining well last week Jim and I headed into the second round our club’s foursomes championships as the nett score leaders. Alas, the curse struck. We were poo. Collapsed in screaming heap of three putts and duffed shots. My darling Swannies, however, did not, beating Richmond by 11 points and leaving them in third behind the Hawks only on percentage. Rah! Now, the second half of this year is rather exciting for me. Not only will The French Prize release in September, my debut rural romance Promises is re-releasing at the end of August in the smaller and cheaper ‘B’ format with a new cover (which I can’t show you just yet). This is a lovely book with a gorgeous story, a courageous heroine and a hero torn by his past. Truly sigh-worthy (if I do say so myself!). Plus lots of funny horses. Take a look.

PROMISES

Promises by Cathryn HeinA father with something to hide, a jockey with a taste for blackmail, a man with an agonising secret… and a young woman in love, defying them all. Sophie Dixon is determined to leave her tragic past behind and forge a bright future on her beloved farm. While looking to buy a new horse, she is drawn into her neighbour Aaron Laidlaw’s orbit, despite the bad blood between their families. As the racing season unfolds, Sophie and Aaron’s feelings for each other deepen. But Aaron is torn, haunted by a dark secret he fears can never be forgiven – especially by Sophie. Sophie believes herself strong, but the truth behind her mother’s death will test her strength, and her love, to the limit. She’s been broken once. No one wants to see her broken again. Least of all the man who has grown to love her. You can buy Promises right now with just a few clicks. Try Booktopia, Bookworld, Amazon, Kobo, iBooks, JB Hi-Fi, Google Play, QBD The Bookshop, Angus & Robertson, or direct from the publisher Penguin.

Winter Nesting

Ah, comfort food. From thick, vege laden soups through to slow-cooked casseroles and fantastically fattening desserts, there is nothing quite like loading up on rich food in the winter. There’s something so warm and homely about a house that smells of good food when it’s miserable outside. We call it “nesting” in the Hein house. Kind of like date night but without going out. Usually there’ll be some sort of casserole, tagine or curry burbling away in the oven or on the stovetop. Something that requires a long, slow cook like spicy lamb shanks, beef in beer, our awesome goat tagine recipe, or even one of our favourite curries (of which we have many). While that’s cooking, we’ll have the stereo going, maybe a Guinness will be cracked, and I’ll be working on some sort of tasty dessert that we won’t need but we’ll eat anyway. The house will smell wonderful and feel cosy and we’ll be all snug and happy. Seriously, if it weren’t for the cold, winter would be my favourite season simply because of the food. It’s 11 degrees and raining as I write this. Last Friday I finished the 2nd draft of The Falls, my 2015 rural romance, which means I’m having a little holiday before knuckling down to my next romantic adventure. Time to indulge in recipes like the one I’m about to share. Something that has winter and nesting written all over it. It’s luscious, beautiful tasting and not terribly healthy. But who cares? You can exercise it off in the spring.

Braised French Green Lentils with Sausages

2 tablespoons duck fat 1 onion, finely diced 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped 150 g mild pancetta, finely dicedMcKenzies French Style Green Lentils 2 celery stalks, finely diced 1 small carrot, finely diced 150 ml dry white wine 185 g French green lentils 3 sprigs thyme 2 bay leaves 1 litre beef stock 6 Toulouse sausages (or any other good quality pork sausage) Melt the duck fat over a medium heat in a heavy casserole. Add onion and garlic and cook, stirring, until soft. Add pancetta, celery and carrot and cook for 5 minutes or so. Add wine, lentils, thyme, bay leaves and stock. Bring to the boil then lower to a simmer. Cover and cook for approximately 1 hour or until lentils are tender. Taste and season with salt and pepper as necessary. When lentils are ready, grill the sausages. When they’re nicely done, spoon lentils onto plates and top with sausages. Enjoy!   Okay, my Feasty lovelies, what’s your favourite naughty winter indulgence? Is it super-fattening chocolate pudding? Maybe pints of Guinness are more your go. Perhaps you like nestling down in your local pub or club or booking yourself into a day spa for some pampering. Or maybe, most excellent and discerning person that you are, you hang around bookshops, stocking up on goodies. Share and give us all ideas on how to make our winter special. Want to find out more about me than my love of naughty wintery comfort food? Check out my website. You can also find me playing around on Facebook, Twitter and Google+. And while you’re exploring, take a minute to sign up to my newsletter. All the news and releases and special things direct to your inbox. Sign up at the bottom of my Home page or via my Contact page.

10 thoughts on “FRIDAY FEAST with Cathryn Hein

  1. AvatarLouise Reynolds

    That’s a fab recipe, Cathryn, and I make something similar. But I have never used duck fat which I will try (since there’s a pot in the fridge). The lentils are still yummy the next day at room temperature – at which time I jig them up with a splash of white wine vinegar.
    Winter’s definitely about food and fires in this household. We’re almost through our first tonne of wood and it’s only just ticking into July! We try not to get into the puddings too much but rich casseroles, curries and soups with a nice bottle of red really go down a treat.

    1. Cathryn HeinCathryn Hein Post author

      Anything benefits from duck fat, Louise! Had some beautifully done duck fat roast potatoes at the Merrijig Inn in Port Fairy last week. Perfect for the woolly weather. Love your idea of zinging them up the next day with a bit of vinegar. I’ll have to try that.

      Winter is such a fantastic eating (and wine-ing) season. I’m jealous of your wood fire!

  2. AvatarAnnie West

    Cathryn, as I read this the chill has hit with the temps plummeting with the icy southerly change. Your post was just right for this wintry night.
    Like you we love winter foods here – lots of casseroles and slow cooking. One of my current favourites is a a vegetable casserole with lots of Middle Eastern spice that I devised last year, but beef in red wine is up there too, as is an amazing pork, bean and garlic French casserole that my husband makes. Yuum.
    So looking forward to your next release!

    1. Cathryn HeinCathryn Hein Post author

      Ooooh! I’m so interested in your husband’s pork recipe, Annie! I love pulses, especially in the winter. They’re so perfectly filling and warming. And good for you! The veg one sounds delicious too but I’d never hear the end of it if I tried to serve vegetarian on a weekend. Sigh. The man does love his meat.

      Lovely of you to drop by!

  3. AvatarSue Gerhardt Griffiths

    Great recipe Cathryn, never heard of duck fat though. We don’t like winter but it is a great time of year to get all cosy on the lounge in front of the fire and watch all our favourite shows without feeling too guilty sitting around not doing anything.
    We’ve invested in a slow cooker I can’t believe we’ve never owned one, it is amazing. I love making a leg of lamb in it. You just throw it in and voila! 6 hours later a leg of lamb cooked to perfection!

    1. Cathryn HeinCathryn Hein Post author

      What, Sue? Not heard of duck fat, the most delicious fat there is (well almost – goose fat is even more awesome)? Oh! Hie thee down to the shops and buy duck fat immediately. Then plonk a roasting tray in a hot oven with a good dollop or two of fat, and when it’s melted toss through some partially boiled spuds. Roast and let the magic begin!

      I have slow cooker but rarely use it but I know loads of people who swear by them. Easy to mix everything up in the morning and set it for the day then come evening dinner is all done. I’ve been mucking around more with our pressure cooker and finding that really handy. It scared me for a while because I remember Mum’s exploding when I was a kid and destroying the stove top. Not to mention spraying the walls and ceiling with steaming dog food.

      And you have a fire too. Jealous!

      1. AvatarSue Gerhardt Griffiths

        Nope never ever heard of duck fat lol. Is it available in supermarkets? If it’s easy to find might just have to give those potatoes a go they do sound delish.

        Yep can’t live without the wood fire, we have a gas heater but it’s just not the same.

        Haha steaming dog food landing on the walls and ceiling, too funny Cathryn! But not the cooker exploding that would’ve have been scary. A few years ago my brand new stove top exploded while i was cooking, glass went everywhere I was so shocked I couldn’t stop crying all day. To this day I can’t believe it missed my eyes and face, I was one lucky person!

        1. Cathryn HeinCathryn Hein Post author

          You must buy some! I think some Woolies stores carry it. IGAs do. Otherwise you can get it at the Vital Ingredient.

          The pressure cooker exploding was actually terrifying. The stove was one of those glass ones at it shattered like a car windscreen. The noise was unreal. Then the replacement shattered spontaneously a couple of months later. Scared the bejeesus out of us!

          I can understand completely why you’d be shocked. That’s so dangerous the glass going everywhere. Awful. Ours shattered and then collapsed inward. That was bad enough!

          1. AvatarSue Gerhardt Griffiths

            Ours was a glass one too, the one I have now is glass also but a different style, I didn’t want to take the risk of having another of the same style in case it exploded again. The noise was quite deafening wouldn’t want to go through that again.

            We have an IGA somewhere around our area so I will check that out sometime next week. Hubby and I will go hunting for it.

            I’m learning lots of new things on your Friday Feast. I absolutely love it!

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