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Cook Simple: Effortless cooking every day Paperback – 2 Aug 2010

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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: 20.1 x 1.2 x 25.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (59 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 12,409 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)

See all Product Description

Inside This Book

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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

20 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Marand TOP 100 REVIEWER on 27 Nov. 2009
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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53 of 55 people found the following review helpful By eejaybee on 30 Nov. 2007
Format: Hardcover
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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46 of 48 people found the following review helpful By Pompom VINE VOICE on 31 Aug. 2008
Format: Hardcover
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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49 of 51 people found the following review helpful By Mrs. A. Booth-Clibborn on 19 Nov. 2007
Format: Hardcover
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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23 of 25 people found the following review helpful By victoria sponge on 6 May 2008
Format: Hardcover
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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