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Recipes to Know by Heart [Hardcover]

Xanthe Clay
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)

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Book Description

15 Sep 2008
The way we shop has changed. We shop seasonally. We buy fruit and veg boxes. So we end up with lots of produce and we want to use it to make our favourite recipes - say a tart, or savoury pancakes; a gratin or a casserole; and, an ice-cream or a cake. But most cookbooks are very specific, so you have to wade through book after book to find a recipe that uses what you have. "Recipes to Know by Heart" features classic dishes with seasonal variations. A recipe for a meat pie also has suggestions for using game and autumn veg or chicken and summer veg. And a recipe for creamy risotto also includes variations using spring's asparagus and green beans through summer's courgettes and leaves to autumn's pumpkin and mushroom to winter's leeks and nuts.An ice-cream can be made with everything from winter spice through autumn's blackcurrants and blackberries to summer's strawberries and peaches. Braises, souffles, meat pies, vegetable pies, soups, creamy pasta sauces, fish pies, roast lamb, fruit tarts, meringues, sponge puddings - they are all here! And for those who wish to delve deeper, there are short pieces on technique, such as making pastry or understanding why different season's veg require slightly different cooking methods.


Product details

  • Hardcover: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Mitchell Beazley; 1st Edition edition (15 Sep 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1845333586
  • ISBN-13: 978-1845333584
  • Product Dimensions: 24.9 x 19.3 x 2.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 318,744 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

More About the Author

Xanthe Clay studied at Leiths School of Food and Wine before setting up and running the kitchen in Bath's fashionable Raincheck Bar. She is the main food columnist for The Daily Telegraph and is a contributor to Olive and Good Food magazines.

Twitter @XantheClay

Product Description

About the Author

Xanthe Clay is a talented chef and the main food columnist for The Saturday Telegraph. Xanthe's former Saturday Telegraph column, Reader's Recipes (a short, single column weekly piece), ran for 8 years. It was the inspiration behind her previous book, It's Raining Plums, which was voted one of the most useful cookbooks of all time by Waitrose Food Monthly.

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

4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not comprehensive, but... 31 Oct 2008
Format:Hardcover
An attractively presented, pleasantly written book that does what it claims to: namely, offering a limited selection of basic recipes and tips and ideas on how to adapt them. It is not a comprehensive beginner's guide, but nor was the not-entirely dissimilar 'Appetite' by Nigel Slater, which was extremely well-received. Of the two, I personally prefer this. The principally Anglo-French selection of recipes is more to my taste and I find the recipes to be better written, offering solid advice without being dictatorial.

There are a few typos, notably in the baking section, but nothing that the application of common sense won't sort out.

I must take objection to the reviewer who objected to the given cooking temperatures: maybe it's just my (admittedly dubious) oven, but 325 F for a sponge cake is accurate in my opinion.

Overall, then, a highly useable, comprehensible book. It may not be the flashiest or most exciting on the shelf but for basic technique and some useful recipes, it's excellent.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My new favourite cook book 30 Dec 2008
By Shaish
Format:Hardcover
I don't buy a lot of cook books, and so I can't speak with as much authority as some of the other reviewers.

However, having heard the piece on Radio 4 some time ago, I bought two copies - one for my sister and one for my boyfriend for Christmas. As people who don't cook regularly they both absolutely love it and find it full of useful information, including a summary of meat cooking times. I also found it useful to re-affirm some of the recipes I thought I knew!

The style is easy to read without being patronising, and her approach (suggesting what can be added to basic recipes to make other dishes) makes cooking seem much more accessible than a book full of individual and convoluted recipes.

There may well be other books on the market that do something similar, however I would highly recommend this book for either a beginner, or for someone wanting to build up their confidence in the kitchen.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent 15 Dec 2008
Format:Hardcover
An excellent book , just like Xanthe Clay's previous books of readers recipes where her introductions and advice were as useful as the recipes themselves.

Now she has had a chance to show her true cooking colours so to speak and does so adopting a practical and confidence inducing approach yet with delicious results rather than through glossy nonsense and cheffy twaddle .

I agree with the previous reviewer that her Anglo French approach is much more my thing than Appetite was and her style much more ingratiating than Slater's rather coy and arch writing.

Five stars
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good basis for experimentation! 14 Feb 2012
By JGC
Format:Hardcover
This is only my third book review on Amazon (one of the others is Ten Minutes to Table), but I couldn't believe how few reviews there were for Xanthe's books, so I thought I'd do something about it! My mum bought me this one for Christmas a couple years ago. I had hardly ever cooked anything beyond the basics, despite doing a lot of baking, so this book was great. It gives you enough of a structure to start experimenting with your cooking, even if you haven't been doing it for years. I have a lot of cookbooks now, but the two Xanthe Clay ones are the two I use most!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Recipes to know 3 May 2010
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Heard Xanthe on radio as part of book promotion. Pleased with recipes, layout makes access easy. explains the how to, what to look for, errors you might make, all in all a good buy. I wanted to be able to cook from memory instead of always referring to a recipe. you could use this as a first time cook book as it is simple enough to follow. The recipes are successful- good variety. You will be complimented on results.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent - well received 12 Jan 2009
Format:Hardcover
This wonderful book has replaced other cook books on my kitchen shelf because I don't need them anymore. These recipes are simple and easily understood. Having described the basics, Xanthe takes the reader onto more interesting recipes with scope for new ideas. It is perfect for those of us who are put off by long lists of ingredients and complicated instructions. The photos are very good, but there aren't enough. A great book for those of us who aren't professional cooks but need to know basic quantities and times and want to experiment further.
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