Prepped is a fantastic new concept - make double of a recipe or component and use it in another dish, for example a soup base also becomes a pie filling. Every recipe is linked to another.
This linked cooking allows you to save time and to produce wonderful food with far less effort. Being a busy mother of 3 with a demanding job Vanessa started to link her cooking and then realised it would be an excellent concept for a book and so gave up her job to write Prepped.
Vanessa is a trained chef with an alchemist's skill for mixing basic flavours into something heavenly. The book is visually stunning, with over 200 colour photos with a full page photo for each recipe. Each recipe is introduced by Vanessa, her words of passion and enthusiasm spill off the page enticing you to make the dish immediately. Most recipes come with some of Vanessa's tips, which help you on your way, vary the dish or save even more time. the one overriding word to describe this book is "happy", everything is a celebration, from the pink cover, photos, flavours and Vanessa's words. This is a book for people who love to cook, love food, love to eat and enjoy life.
The book is organised into 11 chapters by flavours which are loosely listed seasonally, starting off with elderflower of late spring, moving to rhubarb, lavender and lemon. Summer is packed with vanilla, tomato & plum. Then autumn and winter are represented with caraway, chocolate, cardamom and orange & clove.
The elderflower chapter starts with a recipe for homemade syrup which is then used in cocktails, salad dressing, puddings, a stunning baked trout, macarons and cupcakes.
In the rhubarb chapter there is a recipe for rhubarb and mackerel pate (which also doubles as a pasta sauce) a pairing that I would have never thought of, but instantly realise will be insanely delicious. The 100 mph rhubarb and cardamom cake can be thrown together ready for the oven in a mere 6 minutes, perfect for unexpected guests and time pressed cooks.
The book abounds with delicious pairings, a spicy vanilla and mango pork, a modern twist on the traditional plum crumble by adding cardamom. Very simple, but adding another layer of delicious flavour.
I cannot wait to try the savoury chocolate biscuits with some Cheddar, and my love for meringue has me salivating at the chocolate & almond Pavlova cake.
Rarely do I want to want to cook more than one or two recipes from a cookbook. I imagine I will be making nearly everything in Prepped over the coming year.