This week Gwyneth Paltrow's perky new cookbook, Notes From My Kitchen Table, landed on my desk. I could barely contain my excitement. As we all know, Gwynnie and hubby Chris Martin are super-squeaky clean (apparently they don't do red meat, alcohol, gluten or dairy) so how could a cookbook by Ms P be terribly exciting? OK I have to admit, I do read her blog Goop and secretly harbour a desire to live her life (some days anyhow) so I couldn't wait to pour over the glossies pics of her slaving (as if) in the kitchen. The book features a selection of Red Magazine-style piccies of Paltrow in a seletion of floaty, summery outfits and the occasional picture of her gorgeous children, Apple and Moses. Of course, there are plenty of her musings on food too: 'Oddly, some of the most exhilarating creative moments I experience take place when I stand in the kitchen faced with the task of making dinner when I wasn't expecting to.' Ultimately, it's a tribute to her food-loving father, Bruce Paltrow. 'I have always loved food, being around it, preparing it, and of course eating it. This adoration was instilled in me by my incredible father, a supreme gourmand with a deep love for great food and wine.' The biggest shock? There are some scrummy meat recipes included such as the cheesy stuffed burgers and duck cassoulet but it's the delicious, healthy, light summer suppers - vegetable paella and stuffed artichokes for example - which make this cook book worth forking out for. Thankfully it's not too virtuous either - I for one can't wait to try the pancake recipe from her late father below. Evie and I are raring to go!
Gwyneth Paltrow: Notes From My Kitchen Table, £20 (Boxtree) Currently available for £10 on Amazon
bruce paltrow ’s
Now if there is one image of my father that is the most ‘him’ – that
is to say encapsulates all of his elements and delivers them in one picture – it
would be him over his cast-iron griddles making his world-famous pancakes.
These things have been legendary in our house for decades. He first got the
recipe out of the Joy of Cooking and adapted it over the years to utter perfection.
The recipe below is so truthful to his pancakes that it’s almost hard for me to
eat them, I keep expecting him to walk into the kitchen.
350g unbleached plain flour
75g granulated sugar
31/2 teaspoons baking
2 teaspoons fine salt
75g unsalted butter,
melted and cooled,
plus more butter for
6 organic large eggs
Up to 250ml milk, as
needed to thin batter
Real Vermont maple
syrup, warmed, for
Whisk the dry ingredients together in a large bowl. Whisk the buttermilk,
butter and eggs together in another bowl. Add the wet ingredients to the dry
ingredients, whisking just enough to combine (small lumps are okay). Let
the batter sit, covered, overnight. The next morning, heat up your griddle or
favourite non-stick pan and slick it with a little butter. Add enough milk to the
batter to thin it to the right consistency – the thicker the batter, the thicker
and heavier your pancakes; the thinner the batter, the more delicate your
pancakes – neither is wrong. Cook the pancakes on the griddle, flipping
them after bubbles appear on the surface of the uncooked side. Let cook
2–3 minutes more, then remove and eat with lots of warm maple syrup.
yield: 3 dozen 12.5cm pancakes • active preparation time: 20 minutes
total preparation time: 20 minutes plus overnight resting