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Cornwall, United Kingdom
A married Cornishman who still doesn't know what he wants to be when he grows up. I currently work for a charity and am trying to expand my horizons. [See bottom of page for Blog Archive and Links.]

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Tuesday, October 03, 2006

From my kitchen to yours...

...nothing but delicious flavours.

I always take a turn as cook when we come out to the Med. The last few years I have grown a little book of easy recipes, you know the sort, short on steps and long on taste. The recipes have come from a range of sources, as I had never found one book that had the range I was looking for.

You've guessed it, I've now found a book; well, two actually, (yes, just like buses you wait ages for one then two come along at once).

First off is the one that we have already cooked from, BBC GoodFood Magazine's 101 One-Pot Dishes (BBC Books ISBN: 0 563 52291 7). I have read one pot books before but this one stands out. I wondered at first if it was the colour photos that lie on the page opposite each recipe or maybe the inconvenience of a book that I can stick in my pocket when going ingredient shopping. [That is the hardest part of cooking for me, getting organised enough to go out and shop ahead for recipes].

After cooking some of the recipes, such as Speedy Salmon and Leeks, which involves salmon cooked on a bed of leeks and tomatoes in a olive oil, mustard, honey and lemon sauce, I knew it was the food that made the book a winner. Each of the things we cooked took a maximum of 4 steps and was ready well in the time stated for the dish; in our case we chose partly according to the time factor, so that we could eat soon after getting home from work.

The second book we have only skimmed through and not cooked from yet. This book was a find as Cathy got it free with She magazine this month, bought ostensibly as airport/plane reading. Real Fast Food (Penguin Books ISBN-10: 978-0-141-02980-1 ISBN-10: 0-141-02980-3) is a book by Nigel Slater, a well known food writer/critic in the UK. Funnily enough, we were properly introduced to his work via his book Toast a couple of years back, while staying with the same friends as now only on a different, Greek island. Toast is a book of reminiscences of his life seem through his experiences with food, being of a similar age it was quite a nostalgia trip for us.

Again the recipes are simple but with a couple of pages of reflection at the start of each section e.g. on Pasta or Fish, or on a particular ingredient e.g. Trout. The style is informative while keeping the recipes clear so that one can get on and cook without having to weed out the author's impressions from within the cooking instructions.

I thoroughly recommend these books to the house.

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