on 26 January 2012
I have had this book for nearly 14 years now and I have just picked it up to get some more Australasia inspiration again and as ever never lets me down...
A significant part of the book is devoted to explaining the produce and products that are important to the flavours and textures Perry is devoted to. In the mid-nineties when this book was released, many of these ingredients were unfamiliar to Australia's amateur cooks.
The book is then mainly divided into a section devoted to Asian cooking and another section devoted to traditional western cooking.
The Asian section starts with a dish of steamed whole fish that is steamed until nearly cooked and then finished off with hot oil poured over it to add crispness to the skin.
He then moves through recipes devoted to roasting, to a discussion of poaching. Here he gives his recipe for master stock chicken - a great dish that is simple to prepare and can be used to start a perpetual master stock that can be kept for years and years getting more complex as it gets older. He also gives a recipe for a dish that we love in Chinese restaurants - cold chicken and jellyfish salad.
He also delves into the techniques of Thai and Vietnamese cooking with a lovely recipe for nuoc cham - the popular dipping sauce from Vietnam which he uses in a tripe and chilli salad.
When he reaches the Western section you will find recipes for roast chicken, roast lamb, roasted blue-eye cod with sea urchin butter, his famous spanner crab ravioli with oxtail and rosemary jus and then his frozen espresso cake.
This is one of those books that you will keep going back to for inspiration. The recipes are clearly explained and the techniques are not daunting.
on 15 June 1999
This is an amazing cookbook from one of Australia's best chefs, showcasing cuisine that is amongst the best in the world. Perry is a master of cooking seafood and demonstrates why Australian cuisine has a growing reputation worldwide for cooking which fuses the very best ingredients with techniques from many different cultures. This is a beautifully designed book that can be read for the pure enjoyment of it.