THE average Australian might not be able to break bread with Canberra politicians in the style of Annabel Crabb but, thanks to journalist and foodie Crabb’s new publishing collaboration, anyone can enjoy the sweet treats that star in her ABC TV interview series Kitchen Cabinet.
For Special Delivery Crabb teams up with childhood friend and now colleague Wendy Sharpe to present a suite of recipes with a twist: every dish is designed to withstand travel.
In this season of carpark picnics, and with Christmas, New Year and Australia Day on the near horizon, the task of moving prepared food from one location to another can be challenging. Crabb and Sharpe have elevated the standard cookbook to a newly practical level with their inclusion of packing and finishing instructions to enable home cooks to transport culinary offerings without fear or stress.
Although Crabb is best known for Kitchen Cabinet’s cakes and slices, Special Delivery covers the full spectrum of dishes, extending from savoury mains through desserts and snacks to festive drinks.
Standouts include a cheesy, pesto-garnished take on the traditional bread-and-butter pudding; a stonefruit-layered breakfast focaccia; a tabbouleh of coriander, fennel and pomegranate seeds; a beetroot, goat cheese and lemon thyme ‘tarte tatin’; a vegetarian version of France’s meat-laden cassoulet; a Turkish-themed moussaka; a roasted strawberry ginger cheesecake; a macadamia, mango and lemon myrtle trifle; and cakes in combinations such as honey and fig semifreddo, and blueberry and orange with a syrup of Lady Grey tea. Simple bottled gift items (quince-and-chai-tea jelly, and passionfruit curd) are included, as are party tipples and nibbles (rhubarb and rose cordial, Brazilian cheese puffs, and walnut and red pepper dip).
Special Delivery’s recipes vary in complexity, ranging from a nutty quince crumble based on several hours of simmering to incredibly simple Mexican almond wedding biscuits made with only four ingredients.