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The Prawn Cocktail Years Hardcover – 2 Nov 2006

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Michael Joseph (2 Nov 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0718149807
  • ISBN-13: 978-0718149802
  • Product Dimensions: 19.8 x 2.3 x 25.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 55,655 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Amazon Review

Here they all are, fresh as paint, as if they'd never been away. Why did we let them go? Neglected, derided, dismissed as hopelessly naff, in what dismal Midlands eateries have they been waiting out the years of shame? No matter, they're back. Prawn Cocktail, Steak and Chips and Black Forest Gateau are the signature dishes of The Prawn Cocktail Years, a bravura collection of favourite restaurant dishes from the Fifties, Sixties and Seventies--years when Britain was learning to eat out. How evocative the recipe titles are (the authors describe a Proustian moment when the memories came pouring out): Coquilles St-Jacques, Sole Veronique, Beef Stroganoff, Mixed Grill, Swedish Meatballs, Wiener Schnitzel, Chicken Maryland, Crepes Suzette, Peach Melba and Profiteroles. Simon Hopkinson and Lindsey Bareham remind us firmly that although these may not chime with present food fashions (or prejudices), they were loved in their time and should be again, because when well made they are very good dishes indeed. They need no apology or special pleading.

The time machine of The Prawn Cocktail Years visits a number of favourite establishments over the years: the Fifties Hotel Dining Room, the Gentleman's Club, the Continental Restaurant. It looks into the coffee-bar madness that was Expresso Bongo (unexpectedly, perhaps, offering Cornish Pasty and Sausage Rolls for refreshment here), the Sixties Bistro, the Tratt-Era and Chez Gourmet; and returns us to the present burning to throw out our sun-dried tomatoes and lemon-grass and get down to making a good Fish Pie and Brown Bread Ice-Cream. Readers of a certain age, as they say, will be thrilled to see these old friends again; younger readers may care to discover what we ate before cooking became the new rock 'n' roll. --Robin Davidson --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Simon Hopkinson was born in Bury in Lancashire where his love of good eating was established at the kitchen table. He left school at seventeen to begin a career as a chef and by the age of 21, he had started his own restaurant. In 1987, he opened Bibendum in London with Sir Terence Conran where he worked for 8 years before retiring to concentrate on writing. He has since written columns for the Independent, The Sunday Times and Sainsbury's Magazine and is the author of four books, including the bestselling Roast Chicken and Other Stories.

Lindsey Bareham is best known for her daily after-after work recipe column in the Evening Standard, which she wrote for eight years. Currently she writes the weekly 'Cheat's Dinner Party' column in the Sunday Telegraph Stella magazine and contributes a monthly recipe column to Saga magazine. She has written ten cookery books, including In Praise of the Potato, A Celebration of Soup, The Big Red Book of Tomatoes and Just One Pot. Her most recent book, The Fish Store, is a collection of recipes and stories, inspired by her holiday home in a Cornish fishing village.

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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

189 of 194 people found the following review helpful By Alice Barnett on 7 Sep 2006
Format: Hardcover
This is the only cookery book I have worn out through repeated use (the first edition). I looked for a replacement a while ago and a second hand one was going for £50 - that's how unwilling people who own this book are to part with it!

Every recipe merits it's own 10 page rave - from the unashamedly posh Savoy Hotel's Omlette Arnold Bennet, the Tournedos Rossini with it's foie gras and black truffle fit for royalty, the Victorian breakfast kedgeree right out of the last days days of the Raj, Jam Roly Poly 'Dead man's leg' pudding beloved of public schoolboys (and lords) everywhere, real cornwall cornish paasty, and the rather eccentric sounding brown bread ice cream.

The real icing on the cake (pardon the pun) though is the writers' style - this is a book to read even when you are nowhere near the kitchen, even when you're eating a big mac. Each recipe has as its introduction a brief but fascinating history of where it originated, how it became 'British', and how it won its place in the canon of culinary history.

The recipes are listed by the establishments that made them famous - The fifties hotel dining room, the Gentleman's club, the Italianate 'Espresso Bongo' coffee bars the cropped up in Soho in the 60's and many others - giving you the choice to dine like a lord, a cornish miner, or a mod or rocker.

This is the cookbook of Britain - if you're not a native Brit it's time to treat your tastebuds in a way you never thought possible coming from these isles. If you are a Brit - it's time for a journey through your culinary birthright.
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Format: Hardcover
I have read many reviews and this one has a good selection, Thank You Alice and Toodle Pip who say pretty much all, as do the other 5 star reviewers. Why add to good reviews, well why not, I bought this as I loved reading The Evening Standard and Lyndsay was the Cookery Writer then, her recipes worked and I have the yellow cuttings safely scanned these days... Oops sorry ... this book was published and I got my copy straightaway and read it on the train home that night and no it was not a late train and I didnt need a Big Mac but I laughed at the comment in review above, thank you.... my poor family suffered the Do you remember your First BFG? and you can guess the rest, it was a dinner party discussion point of months the "Do you remember your first Prawn Cocktail, Steak Garneeee (sic) and BFG ?" I loved the memories it evoked for me of meals out as a child with my Parents at a local Taverna in Newbury I was no more than 8 and its those memories of having Canelloni and Lasagne and Crepes Suzettes, and at home I remember Consomme (which was not quite me at 8) and Sole Veronique, Tomato Salad and Vinagrette Veg with dreaded chopped egg and ruddy parsley and gorgeous Oranges in Caramel; these are all here along with a favourite of today Saltimbocca pork is gorgeous escalloped if you prefer not to use or simply dont like (Rose)Veal its a book of memories, beautifully written, today it would lack photos for some, but I have those photos in other books and magazines from the time so I enjoy the read....I am going to get a bottom drawer copy for my God Daughter, she loves reading and cooking and Calamari Fritti, and Gammon and Pineapple probably my fault.Read more ›
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29 of 33 people found the following review helpful By A Customer of AMAZON-UK! on 28 Feb 2007
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Prawn Cocktail, Steak and Chips & Black Forest Gâteau.........back in fashion, and on the menu!

Simon Hopkinson and Lindsey Bareham have written several individual books between them, but this one has that.....well.....je ne sais quoi!
It just beckons one to open the seductive looking black cover and reveal the collection of favourite restaurant dishes from the 50s, 60s and 70s, revisited with nostalgia and a fair bit of pride.

For me the book arrived at a time when I was desperately seeking, dare I say a new 'shop-bought', 'Marie Rose Sauce', as my favourite had been given an up-to-date 'tweak' with the addition of pink peppercorns! (Yuck)!
As I sampled the vast array available, most were too lemony, too mayonnaisey or simply too bland.......so the answer....well.... good old DIY.

And with the help of the 'Prawn Cocktail Years', it is actually incredibly easy to achieve just the right balance for your own sauce.
The mouth-watering 'Prawn Cocktail' photograph on page 15, and in the images above, is enticement enough to encourage the purchase of this marvellous book, which opens up to a wealth of forgotten or 'not culinary correct' recipes.

272 shiny high quality pages, split over chapters:

1. The Great British Meal Out
2. The 50s Hotel Dining Room
3. The Gentleman's Club
4. The Continental Restaurant
5. Expresso Bongo
6. The 60s Bistro
7. The Tart-era
8. Chez Gourmet

with introductions for the September 2006 edition as well as the original in February 1997, plus a recipe index and a general index.
Each chapter opens with text, often humorous, as does the narrative within the recipes, e.g.
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