Tag Archives: Seafood recipes

FRIDAY FEAST with Cathryn Hein

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Hello food and book lovers, and welcome to another joyous edition of Friday Feast. This week’s guest is me. In fact, lucky devils that you are, you’ll have me for the next few weeks. It’s going to be fun! This week I’m going to share my celebrity crush. And no, it’s not Chris Hemsworth, although he is very tasty. Very, very tasty…


Cathryn Hein golfer!As always, before we get to that you must suffer through Us Heins Weren’t Meant To Play Golf. You may recall my excitement last week about my return to form, but that I was careful to temper that excitement with the knowledge that such good play was unlikely to last. I was right. Two weeks of glory and it’s back to normal. I swear there is a fault in my genes that causes half my problems. I stand over the ball, look at it, think: that ball is too far back in your stance, and instead of walking away like a smart person would, what do I do? I think: nah, it’ll be all right, and hit the bloody thing anyway. Usually straight into a water hazard. If I weren’t so used to it, I’d cry. Oh, well. Such is the Hein golfing life.

As with all Friday Feasts, guest authors get to feature a book and, anal retentive that I am, I like to keep things neat and tidy, which means I’m going to feature my books too. This week, take a gander at my latest release, The Falls.


Cover of The Falls by Cathryn HeinWill losing the home she loves mean finding the place she belongs?

For as long as she can remember, Teagan Bliss has wanted to manage her family’s property. She’s invested everything in the farm, knowing that when her parents retire she’ll be ready to take the reins. But when a family betrayal leaves her reeling, Teagan is forced to rethink her entire future.

Heartbroken, Teagan flees to her aunt’s property in the idyllic Falls Valley. Vanessa is warm and welcoming and a favourite of the locals who drop in regularly for cocktail hour. Teagan soon catches the attention of sexy local farrier Lucas Knight, and with a new job, new friends and the prospect of a new relationship, she slowly begins to open up again.

But the village is a hotbed of gossip and division and when Teagan gets caught up in town politics, Lucas and Vanessa become concerned. As the tension in town escalates, Teagan must decide who to trust. But when she realises those close to her have been keeping secrets, the fallout may split Teagan apart forever.

The Falls is an uplifting story of healing and hope from the author of Promises, Heart of the Valley, Heartland, and Rocking Horse Hill.

This is a heart-warming book about village life and finding happiness when it seems impossible, and you can have it now with just a few clicks. Try Booktopia, Bookworld, Angus & Robertson, Amazon, Kobo, iBooks, Google Play, JB Hi-Fi or your favourite book store or e-tailer.

Now let me tell you aaaaaaaall about my celebrity crush.

For The Love of Rick

My collection of cookbooks is pretty scary-huge. I read cookbooks and cooking magazines for recreation. I like to stroke the pages, gawp at the photos, mull over whether a recipe will actually work, smile at my scribbles in the margins and try to solve food splatter puzzles. One thing I don’t do is get over-excited about the authors themselves. Except for one man.

That man is Rick Stein.

The cover of my copy of Taste of the Sea by Rick SteinMy adoration for all things Rick began back in the 90s with the release of his first television series A Taste of the Sea. As a seafood lover, I adored his celebration the ocean, of fishing, of Cornwall and all the sea’s abundance. I loved what he did with his produce too. Recipes like Skate with Black Butter (which you’ll also find in French Odyssey) and Baked Red Bream and Fennel with Orange and Provencal Herbs seemed very glamorous to me. Naturally I bought the book and though I’ve never made a thing out of it, I still drag it out as comfort read.

Fruits of the Sea followed. Loved the TV series, loved the book. Did I cook out of it? I did. One recipe only: Escalopes of Salmon with Champagne and Chive Sauce. But I have about 8 others marked as to-try.

My copy of Fruits of the Sea by Rick SteinSee, this is my dilemma with Rick’s seafood tomes. I adore seafood. My other half doesn’t. He’s pretty good on shellfish –  prawns, mud crab, bugs and the like – but fish? No. He’ll eat it but it’s under sufferance, which makes cooking fish problematic (although I’ve had pretty good success with Matt Moran’s Black Bream with a Beurre Noisette, probably because it’s so damn tasty).

That hasn’t stopped me buying seafood cookbooks, mind, and dreaming of all the lovely things I could make. Which means, of course, that I couldn’t go past Rick’s Seafood Odyssey when it came out. Nor could I resist the chance to… gasp… meet him in person!

When my girlfriend Carol, who also loves good food, heard Rick would be coming to the Vital Ingredient in South Melbourne to promote his new book, she was on the phone to me straight away. I was living in Newcastle at the time, but distance is nothing when it comes to me and Rick.

He was wonderful, just as erudite and charming as on the telly, and he cooked and fed us recipes from the book. I can still recall the garlicky goodness that was the Chickpea, Parsley and Salt Cod Stew. By the end of the session I was so full I could have rolly-pollyed out. Instead, I stood in line with my precious copy of Seafood Odyssey to have it signed by the man himself. I was so star-struck that when Rick asked me my name so he could make it out personally that I giggled. Not just giggled, but giggled inanely while blushing like a schoolgirl who’d just been smiled at by her teenage crush. Meanwhile, back in the aisles, Carol was being incredibly supportive and wetting her pants with laughter.

Embarrassing, but I don’t care. Rick signed my book!

Me with my personally signed Seafood Odyssey

I didn’t buy the Seafood Lovers or Food Heroes books although I watched the series avidly. I guess I was sick of buying books I didn’t cook anything out of, and I was having trouble finding shelf space. But with the advent of Mediterranean Escapes I was back on the bandwagon. I love that book. LOVE IT. It’s the book I’ve cooked out of most. The Tzatsiki is fab, so is Pollo alla Diavola. Our version of LahmacunHis Lahmacun (like little lamb pizzas) is gobsmackingly tasty and has become a household favourite. We serve it as two big pizzas, eating one while the other is cooking, so Jim and I can enjoy it together. They’re the best recipes so far but I’ve also made the Seared Swordfish Steaks with Salmoriglio, Lamb Tagine with Prunes and Almonds, and Pastitsio, with plenty more I want to try.

I have Far Eastern Odyssey and drag it out quite often for a looksie, but never cooked out of it. Same with India. Probably because I already have loads of Asian and Indian cookbooks, and a collection of tried and true recipes I adore.

My copy of Rick Stein's SpainSpain, on the other hand,  is another treasured book. If there’s one recipe you should make from that one, it’s the Pot-Roasted Chicken with Chorizo, Leeks and Cider. I can’t express how much I love that recipe. The chicken turns out tender, moist and tasty, and the chorizo and vegetable mix is sublime. Plus it’s dead easy. We make it often. I’ve also made the Pork in Almond Sauce. I swear that one day I’ll make the Clams with Garlic and Nut Picada, even if I have to eat the lot myself.

Having lived in France you’d think my favourite book would be French Odyssey, but it’s not. We have the DVD of the series and will happily watch an episode, spending our time joyfully waving fingers at the screen and yelling, Been there! Eaten that! but of the cookbook I’m not so keen. Again, probably because I have an enormous collection of French recipe books already. But if you’re looking for a truly beautiful casserole, try Rick’s Ragoût of Lamb. Magnificent.

My new copy of From Venice to IstanbulNow there’s a new Rick kid on the block. Last week I picked up my copy of From Venice to Istanbul and I can already tell it’s going to give Mediterranean Escapes a major run for its money. I have about fifteen recipes earmarked already and last weekend we made the Lamb Kleftiko (using shoulder instead of leg) and it was beautiful. Next time we’re going to try it on the Weber.

One day I’ll go on pilgrimage to his restaurant, Bannisters, at Mollymook, NSW. I’ve already made the journey to Padstow in Cornwall (or Padstein as the locals have branded it) and eaten at his The Seafood Restaurant there.

Even though it was twelve years ago I still have my souvenired menu, can tell you that our meal cost ₤110, that I ate Linguini with Crab Meat, Chilli, Garlic and Parsley followed by Fillet of Turbot and Jim had Salt and Pepper Squid Tempura with Coriander, Chilli, Watercress and Beansprouts followed by Monkfish Vindaloo, and that, despite booking three months in advance, we were seated in what would probably be classed as the worst table in the restaurant. It was right next to the swing doors into the kitchen and I was as happy as Larry about it because every time that door opened I got to see the chefs at work and every dish that was carried past. Good times! Except for the rain. But we were in Cornwall, so hardly unexpected.

Me at The Seafood Restaurant in Padstow

It’d be nice to meet him again. I’d quite like to make up for my stuttering, blushing idiocy from last time and ask him something intelligent like, Can I hug you? But I fear this may never happen. Oh well, I’ll just keep watching my DVDs, reading his books and cooking his recipes. And maybe, just maybe, I’ll put him in a book of my own. Cast him as a noble, poetry-quoting chef hero who falls madly for a freckle-faced horse-mad blonde. Charming fellow that he is, I’m sure Rick would appreciate that.

Wouldn’t he?


So ‘fess up, Feasties. Who is your celebrity crush?

If you’d like to learn more about me and my books, please feel free to explore my website. There’s lots of cool stuff on here. You can also connect via Facebook, Twitter using @CathrynHein, Google+, Goodreads and Pinterest.

For all the latest news, plus giveaways and more, not to mention secretly blown kisses from me, please sign up to my newsletter. It’s a blast!

Friday Feast recipe index link.


FRIDAY FEAST with Anna Campbell

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Now this is an exciting Friday. Not only do we have a most awesome author as guest, with all sorts of indulgent delights and a giveaway, it’s also Book Expo Australia weekend and the final round of the AFL season (for international visitors, that’s our beloved Australian Rules Football).

All happening!

But first, AFL. Have you seen where my darling Sydney Swans are perched? Yes, there they are at the top of the ladder looking magnificent. With the finals just around the corner I’m gathering all my lucky Swans charms, including my knitted octopus and gnome, and rubbing their bellies for luck to ensure we suffer no injuries before the finals. And that we win against Richmond Saturday night, of course!

Author Anna Campbell

Photo courtesy of Robyn Hills www.robyngraphs.com.au

If you’re in Sydney on Saturday and Sunday, take a trip out to the showgrounds for Book Expo Australia where you’ll find panels, talks, the Australian Romance Readers Association stand and more. I’m on two romance panels on Sunday, at 10-30am and 3-45pm, as well as feature author on the ARRA stand from 2-30 to 3-30pm. Come say hello.

And now to one of my favourite Friday Feast guests ever, Anna Campbell, also known affectionately as the Romance Queen for her multiple ARR Awards and other accolades. And let’s not forget brilliant Regency romances. Anna’s latest has just hit the shelves and as a total fan girl I cannot wait to get stuck in. Take a look…


Cover of What a Duke Dares by Anna CampbellA reputation at risk

What woman in her right mind would say no to marrying the dashing Duke of Sedgemoor? Miss Penelope Thorne, that’s who. She’s known Camden Rothermere since they were children – and she also knows she’d bring nothing but scandal to his name.

Cam can hardly believe Penelope turned down his proposal. But if she wants to run off to the Continent and set the rumor mill ablaze, he can’t stop her. Then her brother’s dying request sends him to bring home the one woman he thought he’d finally gotten over.

The only way they’ll both get back to London without their reputations in tatters is to pretend they’re married during the journey. That means kissing like they mean it and even sharing a bed – until it becomes hard to tell where the game ends and true desire begins…

Oh, oh, oh. Don’t you just WANT IT NOW! Of course you do, and What a Duke Dares can be yours with just a few simple clicks. Try Booktopia, Bookworld, Book Depository, Amazon, Kobo, iBooks, Google Play, JB Hi-Fi, Barnes & Noble or your favourite book store.

Not sure? Then why not read an excerpt to see what wonders awaits.

Now let’s go dancing with Anna.

Having a Ball with the Duke!

Cathryn, it’s always a pleasure to be here to do a Friday Feast post and to talk about my latest release. Thank you again for inviting me!

My new book (out 26th August from HarperCollins Australia and Grand Central Forever in North America) WHAT A DUKE DARES starts out as a road-trip romance as the Duke of Sedgemoor (the daring duke of the title) reluctantly escorts his childhood bugbear Penelope Thorne back to England from Italy. But most of the book takes place in England, allowing me to have fun with high society life during the glittering London Season.

Rogue from GCP siteNot only that, I get to talk about clothes (my heroine’s dress sense plays quite a large part in this story) and sparkling jewels and dancing the night away in the arms of a handsome rake or two. I haven’t had the chance to go wild in society since MIDNIGHT’S WILD PASSION. The two earlier Sons of Sin books, SEVEN NIGHTS IN A ROGUE’S BED and A RAKE’S MIDNIGHT KISS, take place out in the English countryside so nobody gets to go to the ball.

I always loved reading the ball scenes in Georgette Heyer when I was a girl (still do). There’s something so glamorous about the gleam of candlelight and an orchestra playing a waltz, which at this stage was still considered a touch scandalous, and ladies dressed up to the nines in silks and satins. Not to mention all those elegant gentlemen in their black and white.

Rake AmazonDuring the London season, most balls didn’t start until 10pm, giving guests the chance to have dinner first. In fact, being invited to dinner at the hostess’s home before the larger entertainment was considered a signal mark of honor. Then the party would continue until around 3am. No wonder those Regency girls all slept in so late!

Around midnight, a lavish supper would be served in a separate room (you needed a big house to do this properly!). Wine and champagne would flow, and also punch and popular Regency drinks like ratafia and orgeat. Webster’s defines ratafia as “a liqueur made from an infusion of macerated fruit or fruit juice in a liquor (as brandy) and often flavored with almonds.” Orgeat (which was pronounced or-zha, think Zsa-Zsa Gabor) is another almond concoction made with an enormous amount of sugar.

Pardon me, but I think both of these sound quite revolting and I’ll stick to the champagne. At the famous Almack’s rooms, they only served lukewarm lemonade! Something many a Regency hero complains about when he needs to seek a wife in that temple of the aristocratic marriage mart.

The Great Lobster CookbookThe food for supper was a mixture of sweet and savory and there was usually vast amounts of it, including quite substantial items like roast chicken or lamb, pies, seafood, and vegetables. Something that has intrigued me ever since my first Georgette Heyer was the lobster patties that her heroines nibble on. Partly because they sounded scrumptious.

So today I went on the hunt for a lobster patty recipe. This, with some tweaks, is the best one I found. It sounds like a lobster-filled vol-au-vent, which makes sense if you’re in your good clothes, I suppose, although I’d always imagined something a little more like a Thai fish cake.

I hope if you hold a ball and serve these luscious delicacies that you’ll remember to invite me!

Lobster Patties


8 oz. (225g) flaky pastry

8 oz. (225g) cooked lobster meat

quarter pint (125ml) thick white sauce

1 tbsp. cream

pinch of paprika

1 tsp. chopped parsley

salt and pepper

beaten egg to glaze

squeeze of lemon juice

Cooking Instructions:

Pre-heat oven to 450F/230C ,Gas Mark 7.

Roll pastry thinly and cut into 3 inch (7.5 cm.) rounds.

Line some fairly deep patty tins with half the rounds.

Add the chopped lobster to the white sauce, cream, lemon juice, seasonings and parsley.

Put a spoonful of the mixture into each patty case, moisten the edge of the pastry and put another round on top, pressing the edges well together.

Crimp the edges and make a hole in the top of each patty with a skewer and brush over with a little beaten egg.

Bake for about 20 minutes in the pre-heated oven.


Don’t those sound delicious? No wonder Regency heroines can’t get enough of them! I can’t offer anyone today a lobster patty in the mail – I suspect food poisoning might be an issue. Or perhaps hungry postmen! But if you comment on this post, you’ll go in the draw to win a signed print copy of WHAT A DUKE DARES.

Did you hear that, Feasty lovelies? Darling Anna is offering a…


But as always you’ll have to do a little smidgin of work and answer this simple question from Anna:

Lobster patties sound pretty delicious and decadent to me. What’s the most deliciously decadent thing you’ve ever eaten and where did you eat it?

Ooh! Decadent food, where to start! I was lucky enough to dine with friends at a two-star Michelin restaurant in France. We were so spoiled! We even had our own water waiter, with a choice of waters. The canapés were amazing, the veal I ate sublime. It was all very indulgent, and wallet draining, but we couldn’t help it. We were in France! Sometimes you have to do these things!

So what about you? Perhaps you’ve scoffed truffles in Tuscany, or caviar while dining alongside the Caspian sea. Maybe it was prawns in Australia’s top end. Or the seriously naughty chocolate cake your mum made for your birthday one year. As long as it’s indulgent and special, anything goes!

Giveaway closes midnight Tuesday AEST, 2nd September 2014. Open internationally. Rah!

If you’d like to learn more about Anna and her truly wonderful books, please visit her website. You can also connect via Facebook, Twitter using @AnnaCampbellOz and Goodreads.

This giveaway has now closed. Congratulations to Pintip, who has won a copy of Anna’s What a Duke Dares and is in for some fabulous reading. Thanks to everyone who joined in the Friday Feast fun and shared their beautiful and indulgent experiences. You made us all very hungry!