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Flash Cooking: Fit Fast Flavours for Busy People
Flash Cooking: Fit Fast Flavours for Busy People
by Laura Santtini
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £20.00

3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars My husband has just fallen in love, and it's not with me..., 1 Dec 2011
My husband has just fallen in love, and it's not with me. I'm trying to decide whether I feel jealous, but actually I think I just feel a bit excited. Like I know things aren't going to be the same around here anymore. There's going to be a bit more fun. That's because the object of his affection is a recipe book called Flash Cooking by Laura Santtini published by Quadrille and not a woman. If it was a woman I'd be really annoyed.
The subtitle of the book is Fit Fast Flavours for Busy People, and this is why my husband loves it so much. Everything is fresh, healthy, low in fat but high in umami flavour. All his favourite things.
Recipes for Flash Ma(yonnaise)-Yo(ghurt) crusted salmon, or broccoli and lemon soup are accompanied by recipes for "flavour bombs"; salsas, marinades, seasonings, glazes or pastes. These are combinations of herbs, spices and sauces which can be added to the recipes to ramp up their intensity. For example I made the Western rubinade yesterday, a pesto of onion, garlic, sage and rosemary which I rubbed over a chicken which I then roasted. There's enough left over for me to use it as the base pesto in an open tart today. Her recipes for "finishing yoghurts" sound fantastic and would pep up any soup or casserole. The Indian one is a combination of turmeric, coriader leaves and mango chutney. Yum. The Middle Eastern one is harissa, lemon zest, mint and optional crushed rose petals, all added to a large dollop of Greek yoghurt. What wouldn't taste better with a load of that stirred in?
If you wanted to, this book could really take you to culinary new places and teach you how to cook in a very flavourful new way. However, it's also great if you just want to follow a recipe.
Who to buy it for? This is the perfect present for people who love food, who are confident in the kitchen and want to broaden their repertoire or get out of a culinary rut. They like to eat well and eat healthily, are happy to experiment a bit with different ingredients and flavours. They keep meat to the recommended two or three times a week which means they eat a lot of vegetables and want exciting recipes for them. At the risk of sounding sexist, I think a lot of this criteria is quite female, so this is definitely one for the ladies. And my husband.

The Good Table: Adventures in and Around My Kitchen
The Good Table: Adventures in and Around My Kitchen
by Valentine Warner
Edition: Hardcover

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Cheese on toast with mayo - are you sure?, 28 Nov 2011
A stylish but slightly downbeat front cover hides a good-looking book. Earthily shot and beautifully written, it's a great read. Each recipe comes with a story - lively travel tales of where he came across the recipe, whether it's a Sri Lankan poacher, English trucker in Spain, or Mexican bank robbers (that last one's a joke, but you get the idea).
It's quite a macho recipe book with lots of tales of huntin' and shootin', fishin' for mackerel or campin' in -43 degrees. Despite that, many of the recipes feel do-able and don't rely on tricksy ingredients or having a spare week to prepare. However, it is a "foodie" book, and there are some recipes where the ingredients are hard to get hold of, or you may not have heard of them. But I don't mind that, I think it's a good way of educating us. If we didn't have chefs extolling the virtues of mackerel and pollock, we'd all still be eating ever-diminishing amounts of cod. He talks about herring milts (roes), which sound lovely ("The Russians may have caviar on blinis, we have milts on hot toast") which has inspired me,
It's quite a meaty book, but the veg recipes are surprisingly good too - endive in cream sauce with breadcrumbs sounds delicious, I'm more suspicious of the raw kale salad... I've already made one of his recipes, the easiest, of course. Cheese on toast. But this is cheese on toast with mustard, anchovy, worcester sauce and mayonnaise. (I know, mayonnaise. Crazy. But it worked).
I spent an hour lovingly going through the book on Friday, salivating. I then spent half an hour going through it thinking, "yes but what shall I cook for Sunday lunch with the kids?" and nothing jumped out. It was all a little bit too fiddly, or too challenging. So maybe not perfect for family food, but pretty good for everything else.

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