Top positive review
14 people found this helpful
What's in the fridge/cupboard today?
on 8 October 2012
I think it would be fair to say that this isn't the most innovative cookbook around, and there are recipes which are variations on a well-known or commonplace dish. The layout is good, separated into chapters based on a key ingredient (e.g. chicken, steak, rice potatoes, beans, cheese, etc) which makes it easy to pick up something in the shop, like a pork chop or chicken breast, and then make it a bit more interesting. Frequently, once you have the fresh ingredients - meat, fish or veg - the recipe uses store cupboard items. Although the recipes are simple to prepare, you do need to watch the overall timings. Whilst some recipes could be on the table within thirty minutes, others involve reasonably lengthy prep and cooking times.
I think the book may encourage people to vary a standard recipe with different ingredients or flavourings or even to try something new. For example, there is a baked potato & coleslaw recipe - hardly revolutionary - but in this case the coleslaw is based on kohlrabi. I happened to see some in my local farmshop, never having tried it before, inspired to do so by reading the book. I have also tried the preceding recipe for potato, courgette & mozzarella fritters (very more-ish and will become a staple in our house).
On the day the book arrived, I had a pork chop in the fridge for my husband, and some leftover sour cream. Flicking through the book I came across a recipe for braised chops with leek & mustard and gave it a go. My husband certainly enjoyed his meal and it required little or no effort. Another recipe I tried did require a longer prep/cooking time: this was a chick pea, tomato & spinach cottage pie. Apart from the fact that there was too much mash for the topping, this was a lovely recipe - I had reservations about teaming chickpeas and mash but it was fine, nicely spiced with ras al hanout. Another recipe I can recommend is paprika & coriander roasted chicken (the recipe called for chicken legs but I only had chicken thighs which worked fine). The method is simple and although the preparation and cooking take over an hour the involvement of the cook is minimal as for half the time the chicken is sitting in a marinade that takes about thirty seconds to prepare, and the rest of the time it is in the oven. Finally, there is a really nice white bean soup which is quick and easy which I made entirely from store cupboard/freezer.
Whilst this isn't a book to set the culinary world alight, I have found plenty of recipes to try - next up a shortcrust cheese tart, Indian spiced potatoes with fried egg, fontina tartiflette and cinnamon chocolate mousse!