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Cooking without Recipes [Paperback]

Philip Dundas
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
Price: 9.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Book Description

30 Sep 2011
Do you envy people who seem to be able to cook with effortless ease? Have you ever wanted to cook like your mother, bringing an endless variety of meals to the table without ever looking at a recipe book? Do you want to be inspired in the kitchen again, and just by opening the fridge door concoct a feast from nothing but a few leftovers, a squeeze of lemon and some fresh air?

Then look no further. Cooking without Recipes will show you how. Using the right implements, shopping with confidence, and stocking up on essential ingredients you will acquire the instinct needed to prepare your favourite dishes from your own creativity and imagination.


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Product details

  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Spring Hill (30 Sep 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1905862814
  • ISBN-13: 978-1905862818
  • Product Dimensions: 14.9 x 20.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 316,038 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

More About the Author

Philip Dundas was a BBC Producer until 2007, when he decided to follow two of his greatest passions: writing and cooking. Since then he has written a food blog called www.PipsDish.co.uk where he explores ideas about food and cooking.

Philip was brought up on a farm in Scotland by his adopted parents, where he preferred to snare rabbits and shoot pheasants with a catapult than learn his latin verbs.

His first book 'Cooking without Recipes' was inspired by teaching his elderly widowed father to cook his favourite dishes.

Philip runs a pop-up restaurant called PipsDish where he sources the best ingredients and serves up dinners in unusual venues - currently a disused car repair garage in London.

Philip is also the co-founder of a social enterprise called Agency East dedicated to helping young people facing unemployment and disadvantage. He campaigns against food inequality and poverty in the UK through the charities Magic Breakfast and FoodCycle, both of which seek to change the lives of people by getting access to nutritious food.

Product Description

Review

'Cooking without Recipes liberates you from the tyranny of someone else's culinary imagination. Do your own thing, it says; listen to the food, listen to your stomach and your palate; let cooking become second nature. It is the book my grandmother would have written if she had known how to frame a sentence, which Philip Dundas certainly does. Read, inwardly digest, then throw the book away. This is the first day of the rest of your life in the kitchen.' --From the foreword by Simon Callow

From the Author

Cooking without Recipes is about helping people to achieve their simplest ambitions in the kitchen. The premise is to encourage the self-confidence to make the dishes you want with ingredients which have been a pleasure to buy. Having helped you think about what, when and how you eat, the book shows how it's possible to cook with both information and inspiration. By evaluating what to buy at the supermarket and when at the local market, we'll begin to apply the need to the right outlet, rather than resentfully lumbering home with a car boot full of the usual or a carrier bag of over-priced unusable delicacies from the market.

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

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Understanding Food and How to Cook it 16 Oct 2011
Format:Paperback
At a time when obesity is reaching epic proportions and culinary expertise amounts to little more than ordering a take-away or piercing the plastic film on a ready meal this book offers up a solution to problems plaguing British culinary expertise and understanding of the simple basic foods we eat. What it does successfully is re-introduce and re-acquaint the reader with basic knowledge about simple foods and the different ways in which they can be adapted and utilised in creating wholesome healthy meals. It is exactly what it promises on the cover i.e. cooking without recipes as recipes are a bit like diets in that they function best as guidelines that the individual can then embellish or tailor to their own specifications. What really emerges from this book however is the necessary understanding of food in creating a successful, tasty and healthy diet.
Concentrating on the basics such as different types of vegetables, meat, fish, seafood, salads, pastas, rice and various fruits Dundas explains, confirms and debunks certain myths that surround each of these staples and ways to make them more interesting. A section on which potatoes are best for mashing, boiling, roasting or baking-skin on or peeled?- may initially seem unnecessary but proves itself informative about this most basic of foods. Who really knows which type of potato is best for each of these different methods really? Although I am no slouch in the kitchen myself I must admit I have always been slightly wary of artichokes and usually resort to buying them in jars and dripping in oil just to avoid any potential mishaps or culinary disasters. After reading Dundas' appraisal of them however I am now more than willing to try my hand at preparing them myself in future.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Cooking without Recipes 7 Nov 2011
Format:Paperback
This is a cookery book with a difference and it is the cookery book I have always been looking for! What a great find. It offers expert advice and tips in way that rather than make you feel fearful and overwhelmed, makes you want to get working in the kitchen straight away. If you are prone to cooking the same food, in the same way and wish you were adventurous enough to try doing it differently then this is the book for you too! What I also love about the book is the way that it combines very personal associations with food through anecdotes and stories which are sometimes funny and sometimes poignant. I would recommend this book to all those who love reading cookery books and who want to feel more confident with ingredients and less fearful of trying things out.
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12 of 15 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Inspiration not instruction. 12 Sep 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Despite other glowing reviews, I was dissapointed with this book.
The book makes repeated efforts to get us to just feel the ingredients and go with the flow. I actually got a bit cross with it.
Here is what I took away from the book...
1) Just experiment and play with ingredients (even if you haven't a clue what flavours go well-some are suggested)
2) Pick up speciality products: only the best rarest certain whatever, from a little village in somewhere will do. (I'm fed up of being told that only certain salt is ok....and who has an artisanal bakery and cheese shop locally?)
3) Never mind if your expensive meal messes up you can do it different next time.(I'm not going to experiment and play about with a meal that costs half of the wekly shopping budget-if a 30 leg of lamb ended in disaster I would cry)
4) hints at ingredients or methods that might go well together-a mish mash of "ooh this might be a good idea" But no actual solid instruction. Ladies and gentleman this is how marmite scrambled egg happens.
5) You should buy lots of foodie/celeb recipe books and read them-then try it yourself. :( I kid you not-this was an overwhelmingly dissapointing flavour throughout the book and why I was so dissapointed. I was after all trying to move away from recipe books-that's why I bought a book that claimed it could help me to cook without one.

What was I expecting? Well really some frameworks. Basic recipe types that could be endlessly adapted. This was hinted at by a mere suggestion of how to make a basic white sauce and other very vague recipe ideas.

My advice.
1) Buy beginner cookbooks or just a plethora of cookbooks. Look on youtube too for techniques and preparation of unfamiliar veg etc.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Warning - This Book Will Change Your Life! 29 Oct 2011
Format:Paperback
Whether you love cooking, love food, or just love another human being and want to create new, physical manifestations of your love, this book will change your life for the better! Described by Simon Callow in his glowing foreword as 'The equivalent of a culinary bra burning', author and cook Philip Dundas takes on the awesome challenge of saying something new about food and cooking among the plethora of titles currently pouring out of publishing houses, normally adding to the fame and fortune of myriad 'celebrity chefs'. And, while I like most people have my favourites in the culinary galaxy, and gamely attempt to emulate their achievements via my own selection of flour-and-olive-oil-stained recipe books, reading 'Cooking Without Recipes' really does feel like a fresh start.

Why? Because, as Philip writes, 'It aims to do all the bits that most cookery books overlook by consigning the most useful information to a few pages at the beginning or between chapters'. For this book tells you about the essence of food and cooking - describing in his elegant yet down-to-earth style what food actually IS. For example, why meat is a far more complex proposition to cook than fish - and yet, Philip's sections on Roasting Birds, Roasting Meat and Stews make these scary undertakings seem not only doable, but eminently exciting to contemplate. No more believing I should emulate my mother and rise at 5am on Christmas morning to start roasting the turkey! In typically liberating style Philip confirms that 'For all the things you can do to prepare meat and poultry for cooking, sometimes nothing makes any difference at all and your expensive joint ends up looking like a dried up leather satchel or a deep-fried alien.' In what other cookery book would you read that sentence, or sentiment!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Useful for beginners
If you're an inexperienced cook wanting to extend yourself beyond restrictive recipe books and have some fun, this book might be for you; if you cook a lot and want inspiration or... Read more
Published 4 days ago by Brian Yates
3.0 out of 5 stars Not for me
Sadly I'm not the sort of person who can trawl through their fridge & store cupbords & produce a delicious meal out of whatever they find. I need a recipe. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Daisy Daisy
2.0 out of 5 stars Dissapointing - so, after all, you do might need recipes
I must say that I looked forward to receive and to read this book, I really did. My expectations were high - while I consider myself an amateur cook and a avid reader of food... Read more
Published 14 months ago by Javier Leal Olivas
4.0 out of 5 stars Fun book for a reasonable cook in a cooking rut
I'm a reasonable cook who nearly always 'cooks without receipes' and even when I follow one I feel obliged to add or change something.
So why did I buy this book? Read more
Published 24 months ago by Wolfblass
5.0 out of 5 stars Confidence inspiring
This book has given me the confidence to experiment and have fun in the kitchen, which along with a little patience has revolutionsed the way I cook. Read more
Published 24 months ago by Kins-e
4.0 out of 5 stars Really helpful
I found this book really helpful and it made me want to start cooking again after not being keen for some time.
Published on 10 Feb 2012 by Medjool
5.0 out of 5 stars Cookability
I wasn't sure what to expect from this book when a friend who knows I love the idea of cooking but rarely get round to it gave me it as a present at my recent attempt at a burns... Read more
Published on 7 Feb 2012 by Readerwrites
4.0 out of 5 stars The book I will give to each of my children the day they leave home
To be honest I am astonished after reading about this book in the telegraph and such great reviews in the papers that there are, so far, just a few reviews. Read more
Published on 2 Feb 2012 by Vanessa Kimbell
4.0 out of 5 stars Great book, interesting information
This book has a lot of useful information on how to make delicious food without working about spoons or cups. Takes the fear out of cooking.
Published on 1 Jan 2012 by Toria
2.0 out of 5 stars For an absolute beginner, but won't help
This book tries to make an absolute beginner into a decent cook without following any recipes. I can admire this aspiration, but will it work? I don't think so. Read more
Published on 17 Nov 2011 by Jackal
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