Inside we find old favourites such as 'Chicken Curry', 'Vegetarian Lasagne' and 'Treacle Tart' mingling with the lesser well-known 'Leek and Sweetcorn Roulade', 'Crock of Mussels in Thai Cream Broth' and 'Roasted Saddle of Rabbit with Chicken and Mushroom Filling', along with some 'tweaks' - generally with a 'secret' ingredient - such as is found in Kevin's version of 'Prawn Cocktail' and his 'Classic Italian Meatballs with Spaghetti and Tomato Sauce'.
From the back cover:-
'Chef and father of three, Kevin Dundon shares the secrets of his favourite family meals. His mouth-watering recipes and straightforward instruction will show you and your family that great, home-cooked food need never be a chore.'
Kevin also runs 'Dunbrody House' in County Wexford, Ireland along with the 'Dunbrody Cookery School' and is also a regular cookery writer, so great credentials to turn such talent into a first class cookery book!
Durable hardboard covers, with dust-jacket, open to 190 shiny quality pages, split over main chapters:-
1. One-pot wonders (pg 8-31)
2. Quick & easy suppers (pg 34-71)
3. Roasts & family meals (pg 76-104)
4. Leftovers (pg 108-126)
5. Accompaniments (pg 130-140)
6. Desserts (pg 145-183)
sandwiched between an introduction and 4-page index which is enhanced to indicate illustrations.
Also included is a useful UK/US glossary.
Each chapter simply opens in a 2-page spread with relevant snapshot pictures on one page and a short relevant paragraph on the other.
Then it is straight into the unpretentious recipes which are clearly laid out with the title, an opening note, the number of servings, the list/s of ingredients (metric, imperial and cups) and a numbered method. Tips and variations are included, if applicable, and a 'health note' if the recipe uses raw eggs. Vegetarian dishes are clearly indicated above the number of servings on applicable recipes, but this doesn't carry through to the index which might be a useful addition in future editions.
Overall this is a great book, but I was particularly impressed with the 'leftover' section, and can strongly recommend both the 'Fish Pie' and 'Lamb and Rosemary Pie', the latter usefully using up the remaining meat from our Sunday roasts. Enhanced by fresh rosemary sprigs and some red wine, this dish is topped simply with mashed potato and delicious is an understatement!
To finish off, 'Strawberry and Passion Fruit Pavlova' truly hits the mark:-
'Crisp on the outside, soft and light on the inside, piled high with sweet strawberries and freshly whipped cream - what could be more delicious than pavlova?......'
Perhaps Kevin's recipe for 'death by chocolate', aka 'Dark Chocolate Marquise', which I'm off to try next!
Super book, super recipes - a refreshing change!
A small taste of the other recipes contained within:-
* Hearty Fish Stew
* Traditional Risotto
* Irish Stew with Pearl Barley
* Cream of Asparagus Soup
* Linguine with Mushrooms and Seafood
* Crunchy Chicken and Bacon Bun
* Mini Spiced Lamb Burgers
* Baked Salmon Fillet
* Spatchcock Chicken
* Bacon and Cheddar Cheese Scones
* Orange Marmalade
* Zesty Corn-on-the Cob
* Braised Red Cabbage
* Traditional Champ
* Classic Sherry Trifle
* Steamed Lemon Curd Pudding
* Apple Charlotte
including some with a seasonal theme, e.g.:-
* Easter Bunny Gāteau
* Baked Pumpkin Cheesecake
* Perfect Christmas Turkey with Sage & Onion Stuffing
* Plum Pudding
Super photography throughout from Noel Murphy but a lot are family and 'on-location' shots, with relatively few of the finished dishes, which may not appeal to all.
Having said that, this chosen balance reflects the overall aim of the book which is simply 'great family food' and coming from an obviously passionate Dad and husband, it is very easy to forgive and doesn't warrant the dropping of a whole star, in my opinion.