Are you firing up the engines for Christmas presents? What to get for who, what to give?
Well, I just ran across a fabulous cookbook that is soooo good it's for Uncle, Grandson, son, daughter, and YOU.
It's all serendipity. I suddenly have television,after 8 years without, and saw his tv show on the BBC. Then I went to Amazon and read the reviews of his newest cookbook. Then I went to Borders and bought it for my son. Now I'm reading it and realizing I need to get another copy - for me!
I could've saved three and a half years of cooking in a restaurant just by reading this cookbook. True enough. He begins with a gentle rant about people not caring where ( and how) their food is grown, and the general decline of kitchen and cooking knowledge among young, middle, older people. And then......
Beautiful, simple photographs of plated food - not only giving you a good idea of how to serve the dish, but how it's put together. Breezy, earthy writing, easy type, and a passion for cooking all shine through this cookbook. His scope of information is really astonishing: clear guides to cuts of beef, lamb, pork: a guide to choosing fish ( and here you do notice the fact the book is British - John Dory and red mullet are featured in recipes).
The recipes are inviting and joyous: Green Side Salad, All Day Breakfast Salad, Warm Grilled Peach and Frisee Salad, Mushroom Risotto, Herby Gnocchi with arugula and butter sauce, Crab Linguine, Chargrilled Tuna with oregano oil, Steamed Broccoli with soy and ginger, Blooming' Easy Vanilla Cheesecake, Fruit Meringue with Vanilla Cream, hazelnuts, and caramel, Simple sauteed zucchini with chili and lemon, Roasted Chicken Breast four ways: leeks and thyme, cherry tomatoes and asparagus, squash and chili, and with lemony Bombay potatoes, Baked Potatoes with bacon, anchovies, and sage, Black Forest Swiss chocolate roll, Floating Island, meringues, Pear Tarte Tatin, Steamed Thai style sea bass and rice, Rib Roast of Beef with Beetroot and horseradish, Fillet Steak with white beans and leeks......crab crostini.... onion gratin.
There are wonderful sections explaining herbs and choosing the freshest vegetables, as well as meats, fishes, shellfish, chicken.
This is just a wonderful cookbook for everyone - experienced or not. The plating photographs give me tons of ideas for serving, as well as exciting but simple recipes. I urge anyone interested in cooking to check it out - and for those looking for a good cookbook for friends and family for Christmas, this could well be the one.
A tip: at Borders, it's $37.50 but featured at 20% off this week. At Amazon, last I looked, it was quite a bit less. Take a look!