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Cook Simple: Effortless cooking every day [Paperback]

Diana Henry
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (44 customer reviews)
RRP: £14.99
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Book Description

2 Aug 2010
Diana dedicates a chapter to each of 12 everyday ingredient groups: chicken, chops, sausages, leg of lamb, fish, leaves, summer veg, winter veg, pasta, summer fruit, winter fruit, and flour and eggs. There are more than 120 recipes, from a wide variety of countries, and each takes only minutes to prepare. Spice rubs, marinades, and flavoured butters feature heavily in the book's many roasts and bakes, but there are lots of other ideas for quick cooking, too.

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Frequently Bought Together

Cook Simple: Effortless cooking every day + A Change of Appetite: where delicious meets healthy + Food From Plenty: Good food made from the plentiful, the seasonal and the leftover.  With over 300 recipes, none of them extravagant
Price For All Three: £48.49

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Product details

  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Mitchell Beazley (2 Aug 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1845335740
  • ISBN-13: 978-1845335748
  • Product Dimensions: 20.3 x 25.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (44 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 20,020 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

More About the Author

"A new Diana Henry book is an occasion... Henry has perfect pitch when it comes to cooking - her recipes are never less than delicious." The Spectator

If your kitchen doesn't yet include a Diana Henry title - you don't yet know what you're missing. Her first book 'Crazy Water, Pickled Lemons' (first published in 2002) set the tone for the genre. Her passion for food is undeniable and her amazing writing makes even the most exotic of recipes simple to make and understand.

Best known as the food writer for the Sunday Telegraph, Diana Henry has twice been named Cookery Writer of the Year by the Guild of Food Writers in 2007 and 2009. She is the author of six books including the much acclaimed 'Crazy Water, Pickled Lemons' which was shortlisted for a Glenfiddich Award for best cookbook. Her other titles include 'Roast Figs, Sugar Snow', 'The Gastropub Cookbook', 'Cook Simple', 'Crazy Water, Pickled Lemons' and 'Food from Plenty' which has been shortlisted for Food book of the Year by the Andre Simon Awards. She is a contributor to many magazines including Red, House and Garden, Sainsbury's Magazine and Waitrose Kitchen.

Product Description

Amazon Review

Diana Henry's Cook Simple is subtitled Effortless Cooking Every Day, and for some of us, the latter concept may be a little hopeful (if, that is, cooking is not one of our natural abilities). But it has to be said that Diana Henry has the ability to lead us by the hand through basic -- and more advanced -- cookery to produce results that might even be as satisfying as the recipes displayed here. The secret is transforming everyday ingredients into something more special -- with a minimum of effort. Often, when such claims are made, a little stretching of the truth is necessary -- but that's definitely not the case here. Diana Henry begins with just the basic things you’ll find in most cupboards -- from tuna steak, to vegetables and sausages -- and make of them something surprisingly ambitious. If this weren't enough, we are even promised free time to do other things during the cooking process -- who could ask for more? There are over 150 recipes here (gleaned by the author on her world travels), and if you’re tempted by Hot and Sweet Roast Mediterranean Vegetables with Tahini Dressing -- or Baked Lime and Passion Fruit Pudding -- the wherewithal to prepare them with a minimum of fuss can be found in these pages. The photography (by Jonathan Lovekin) matches the appeal of the food, and if you can look at the latter’s shot of Penne with Roasted Onions, Gorgonzola and Walnuts without instantly wanting to (a) cook it, and (b) consume it, then you're made of stern stuff. There are also useful side notes for preparing other items similar to those presented in the main menus. --Barry Forshaw --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


'Superbly illustrated, the design of the book is clear and uncluttered' The Good Book Guide (Review for Crazy Water, Pickled Lemons)

Diana Henry performs alchemy on ordinary ingredients, turning the ho-hum into the yum-yum.


Diana Henry's easy, oven-ready recipes will bowl you over with their hearty, feel-good factor.

The Lady

Diana Henry's secret is to take simple, everyday ingredients and transform them into something special - the minimum of effort for the maximum effect.

Food & Travel

If you are contemplating buying Nigella Express, get this instead.

Culture (supplement to the Sunday Times)

Inside This Book (Learn More)
Browse Sample Pages
Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
41 of 42 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Accessible, Unfussy Recipes - Everyday Cooking! 31 Aug 2008
Another stunning book by Diana Henry. Based around simple ingredients and some store cupboard essentials, Diana has created a book which allows you to easily create something delicious. Recipes aren't long winded or complicated - they are equally suitable for a dinner party of a mid week dinner. All the recipes I've tried have turned out beautifully - and I've repeated them time and again! I can't wait for more from this author.

Recipes include:

Chicken baked with red onions, potatoes and rosemary
Pork Chops with plums and chinese spices
Italian sausages with purple-sprouting broccoli, chilli and penne
Roast leg of lamb with anchovy cream
Lamb stuffed with goat cheese, blush tomatoes and basil
Sea bream with lebanese herb sauce
Spaghetti with bacon, egg and smoked cheese
Goat cheese and fig salad
Warm potatoes with beans and avocado
Courgettes with ricotta, mint and basil
Scandinavian potatoes in sour cream
Peaches in rose syrup
All-in-one chocolate cake
Rhubarb cakeD
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Just wonderful 27 Nov 2009
By Marand TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
A wonderful book with lots of tasty, easy to make recipes, particularly valuable for those with limited time. The aim is for easy preparation; even if the cooking takes longer, it generally isn't necessary to tie yourself to the cooker for hours and so the recipes are perfect for after-work suppers but will also work for informal dinner or lunch parties. I like that I can do a generalised shop without having anything particular in mind and then find something in the book to produce a lovely meal. For example, if you have pork chops then, with a fairly basic store cupboard, you could try Smothered Pork Chops with Mustard & Thyme Butter, Pork Chops Lyonnaise, Thai-spiced Pork Chops with a lime dipping sauce, chops Italian-style with fennel seeds or Spanish chops with orange, amongst others. The same applies to chicken, sausages (Vine-grower' Sausages, Gascon sausages & beans, baked sausages with leeks, cider & apples to name just a few), lamb, etc.. There is a lovely chapter on spring & summer vegetables followed by one devoted to autumn & winter veg.. Similarly, there are chapters on summer and winter puddings. I am not very confident with puddings & cakes but all the recipes I have tried from the book have turned out exactly as described. The first one I tried was a baked lime & passion fruit pudding - the idea was that a layer of sauce would form under the sponge and, much to my surprise, it worked perfectly and my guests loved the zesty flavours. The summer desserts are wonderfully simple but full of flavour e.g. Grilled Apricots with blackberries & mascarpone, peaches in rose syrup, Swedish baked peaches with raspberries & almonds, plus a great summer fruit brulee.

I like the fact that this book enables me to pick whatever meat, fish, veg, etc is available and come home knowing I can produce something a little more interesting without having to spend hours in the kitchen.
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49 of 51 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars If you only buy one cookbook, buy this! 30 Nov 2007
At last, a book for people who don't have hours to spend in the kitchen making fresh pasta, or the money to buy weird and wonderful ingredients. Diana Henry transforms "everyday" ingredients (sausages etc) into something special. I particularly like the "variations" that she offers for many of the dishes, and the international twist to the recipes, as well as their simplicity. It's fantastic to be able to put something in the oven, put the kids to bed and then come back to a delicious meal. My only slight niggles with the book are a) the penchant for chilli- not great when cooking for young children, but easily adapted b)the slightly illogical index- which lists all the individual sausage dishes, but lumps all the chicken recipes together.
The main ingredients of each recipe are easily available, although I've had trouble getting hold of some of the minor ingredients. The book does contain website addresses for specialist suppliers and the author recommends Waitrose-unfortunately my nearest branch is an hour and a half away! Don't let this put you off though- there are still plenty of recipes with ordinary, everyday ingredients, and the book suffers less from "Londonitis" (the "pop down to your local Japanese deli" syndrome)than others. A great book, and excellent value, especially on Amazon.
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48 of 50 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars i have been waiting for this book all my life! 19 Nov 2007
I bought this book a couple of weeks ago and i am using it all the time, for dinner parties, for children's teas and for tired husbands. It really work for me having the chapters grouped around ingredients that I always have (or can easily get) like sausages, chicken etc. I would highly recommend it.
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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
Yum, yum, yum. Diana Henry was the name that always appeared at the bottom of the recipes that I just had to cut out and try in the Telegraph. I was never tempted by any of their other writers, but her delicious sounding recipes always hit the mark instantly with enticing dishes that said This Woman Understands Yum.

What's more, she understands what it is to be a busy person who loves food but hasn't got time to spend hours in the kitchen and who is most likely to get home tired from work and quickly have to cobble something together from what they can find in the fridge or store cupboard.

Well, if you've got a pack of sausages in the fridge and some grapes in the fruitbowl you can cook the unctuous 'vine growers' sausages'. Bit of blue cheese left? Why not try penne with roasted onions, gorgonzola and walnuts? This woman's recipes have such a high hit rate! You want to try all of them - and probably will because they are definitely good enough to serve to friends at the weekend but also easy enough to cook midweek for the family.

Diana Henry deserves a much, much higher profile, although if she did you'd probably end up eating nothing else as all your friends would serve you Diana Henry all the time too.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
It works!
Published 2 months ago by taffy
5.0 out of 5 stars Most used cook book
I'm an enthusiastic cook and have a shelf laden under the weight of numerous cook books but this is one I come back to time and time again. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Ruth Hogg
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Simplistic recipes that are very tasty and so easy to follow.
Published 3 months ago by Amanda Bruce
5.0 out of 5 stars An early Diana Henry cook book
I have many of Diana Henry's cook books and many of her recipes are absolute family favourites. I noticed this title when placing an order on Amazon for her new book A Change of... Read more
Published 5 months ago by An old bag from Kent
4.0 out of 5 stars Lots of different recipes
Not the normal recipes you find in most cook books,varied,using different ingredients,easy to follow,a definite to add to your collection of Cook books
Published 6 months ago by Tana07
5.0 out of 5 stars Tasty food
I always thoroughly enjoy Diana Henry's recipes in the Sunday Telegraph Stella magazine. Good to get these in the book, can now throw away the pages I tore out from the magazine. Read more
Published 6 months ago by Ginny May
3.0 out of 5 stars Difficult to use
It was a mistake to buy this as the Kindle edition. Although the recipes look great there is no way of navigating through the book other than by going through all the recipes one... Read more
Published 7 months ago by MJH
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting Recipes.
This is the first time I've purchased a book by a chef unknown to me, and I'm not disappointed because there are some really good recipes. Read more
Published 11 months ago by ReshmiZulphay
4.0 out of 5 stars Marvellous recipes but no index!
After reading my sister's paper edition of this book I decided to buy the Kindle version. Unfortunately this has no index for specific recipes and it is very irritating to have to... Read more
Published 12 months ago by Ruth
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant
I was attracted to this because it has simple in the title and promises effortless cooking every day. Read more
Published 13 months ago by Davina
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