....from 'Waitrose Food Illustrated'.
I have to be honest, I am not normally drawn to this sort of 'cookbook', but, intrigued by the title, I am so glad I was and peeked inside!
'The title of this book was chosen simply because it had a friendly ring to it, and I hope that it sounds inviting and uncomplicated. I also happen to enjoy roasting a chicken almost more than anything.......'
A good friend and colleague described this book as a 'grown-up' cookery book, and I now understand what he meant!
Along with its companion, Second Helpings of Roast Chicken
, in its pale blue guise, the two volumes are ...... well....refreshingly different!
Within the dark blue covers of Roast Chicken and other stories
are not the oodles of colour photos that would normally encourage one to flick through. In fact the only illustrations there are...are subtle and simple....and limited to the opening of each new chapter, and at the base of the odd page on a seemingly ad hoc basis. But, strangely enough, that is all that is required.
Additionally, any book that quotes the great Elizabeth David, is sure to find a place on my kitchen bookshelf:
.....'Some continental classics would not be the same without anchovy. Take 'anchoiade' - this Provençal staple combines garlic, olive oil, a little vinegar and some pounded anchovies. It is then spread on to thick slices of toast according to Elizabeth David. She goes on to say: 'This is not so much an hors d'oeuvre as the sort of thing to get ready quickly any time you are hungry and want something to go with a glass of wine....'
From the back cover:
Simon Hopkinson is not just one of Britain's top chefs, he is also a superb natural cook. Roast Chicken and other stories
takes Simon's favourite ingredients as its starting point - 40 of them, from anchovy and asparagus through lamb and leeks to tripe and veal.
Many of the recipes are drawn from classic French and British cooking, but ideas from elsewhere (notably South East Asia, the Unites States, Spain, Italy and Australia) are also incorporated.
Winner of both the 1994 'André Simon' and 1995 'Glenfiddich' awards, this acclaimed book will inspire anyone who delights in getting the best out of good ingredients and who enjoys sharing the ideas of a truly creative book.'
The simply illustrated paperback covers open to 230 high quality pages sandwiched between an introduction, and a full index.
The content's list shows the chapters - the 40 'ingredients' chosen for this volume along with their recipes, so this is an easy book to find what you need in a hurry!
An added bonus, for me:
'Chocolate' is included with the most delicious recipes:
1. Chocolate Tart
2. Saint-Émillion au Chocolat
3. Milk Chocolate Malt Ice Cream
4. Chocolate Pithiviers
5. Chocolate Bavarois
6. Petit Pot au Chocolat
headed up by typical SH banter, e.g.:
'I agree with the late Roald Dahl that the British chocolate bar is the best in the world. There is nothing to beat the gorgeous sickliness of a Mars Bar, and, as a boy, I was seduced by the honeycomb centre of a Crunchie. (I'm sure I wasn't alone in trying to make a deep hole in the honeycomb with my tongue, before the chocolate collapsed around it.)
And I remember the effortlessness of eating a Milky Way or an Aero, and of being repeatedly surprised by the alarming speed with which one could consume a packet of Munchies, or one of those small, strangely shaped bars called Toffee Cup.......'
Each chapter opens with narrative re the 'ingredient'.
Most of the following recipes open with a relevant comment or serving tip and are followed by the list of ingredients, and a clear method.
A taste of some of the other recipes contained within:
* Asparagus Soup
* Cervelles au beurre noir
* Roast Chicken
* Deep-Fried Cod
* Crab Tart
* Crème Chantilly
* Custard Sauce
* Eggs Florentine
* Creamed Endives
* Fillet of Hake with Herb Crust
* Roast Best End of Lamb with Aubergine & Basil Cream Sauce
* Red Pepper Tart
* Saffron Cream Dressing
* Salmon in Pastry with Currants & Ginger
* Omelette Arnold Bennett
* Spinach Dumplings
* Steak au Poivre
* Creamed Tomatoes on Toast
* Roast Shin of Veal