Top positive review
16 people found this helpful
on 11 December 2011
I spotted this pretty book in a local bookstore, did not buy it then, but one of the recipes stuck in my mind and I just had to buy it. I was initially slightly wary of revisiting 'fusion' cooking - memories of needing to buy too many expensive ingredients to make one dish and pretentious restaurants that under-delivered. But if anyone can pull off fusion cooking it's antipodeans - people like Peter Gordon - because their worlds have multicultural influences. New zealander Anna Hansen's recipes prove that she really understands flavours, textures and the technical aspects of how to recreate superb food. Her recipes have taken me on a flavour journey - as an experimental home cook I think it helped to have some cooking experience before tackling some of the recipes - but some would be fun for children to make - the cakes/cookies for example.
I've found some of the quantities of pastes and relishes are generous - enough for repeating the recipes several times. Which means I've made the wonderful pandan leaf and duck curry and the sugar-cured prawn omelette several times and I'm perfecting my recreations each time. I've tried a fair number of the recipes in the book so far all with great results and glowing feedback from family and friends. Matcha tea scones worked brilliantly, even people who dont like sweet potatoes like them when cooked with fenugreek, thr ginger crunch was lovely but too sweet for me although others devoured it, cod with chorizo and clams is great, chocolate macadamia and cardamom cookies looked very professional with crackly tops with great taste and texture. My husband demands the prawn omelette now every week. There is a good mix of indulgent and healthy recipes and the flavours and ingredients are surprising and it's best to follow the techniques and quantities closely to get the best results.
I'm impressed that the recipes are hearty and all about flavour and not overly cheffy to recreate at home - they are assessible without being dumbed-down for the general public. The book would make a lovely gift for anyone who loves cooking and good food. Looking at the menu on The Modern Pantry website I see the recipes in the book appear on the menu and I look forward to compare my recreations and sample more from this amazing chef. I hope this book will be the first of many - it's a treat.