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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.
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on 31 December 2011
I was given this for Christmas and it is a beautiful book full of tempting and unusual recipes. I may be unlucky but the first two I have tried seem to have some problems with quantities. The quinoa lavash (and I make bread including lavash regularly) doesn't specify whether the weight is before or after cooking and it ends up with a lose batter which took at least three times as long to cook as the recipe said although the flavour was excellent. I have just also made the chorizo quails scotch eggs and the quantity of - delicious - sausage meat barely covered 16 eggs rather than the 24 specified. So I do recommend this but have been irritated by lack of user friendliness and accuracy so far.
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on 20 May 2012
I really wanted to like this book. It has beautiful presentation and I love the concept. It's definitely a book for the serious 'foodie'; I guess that for most of us, the book doesn't contain the kinds of dishes we'll be cooking every day! Although there's a helpful list of suppliers in the back, I'm sure that most of us would find difficulty in obtaining at least one ingredient in each recipe which is a shame. I love the whole concept of the book, and indeed The Modern Pantry itself. For me, it's just a bit too 'way out' for the home cook.
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on 14 March 2015
Full of really interesting recipes that I am working my way through. Those tried so far are really easy to follow and work well. Very pleased with it.
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on 18 March 2015
Everything was laid out with love and enthusiasm in a clear and functional way and has a very good list hard to get spices
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on 19 April 2015
I have no doubt that this is a great cookbook but as I am a beginning cook I just feel it is not yet for me. The recipes seem to lack family appeal but if you are avant garde with you menus then you will love this book.
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Whilst most people think of food as fuel these days and don't like to take their time to enjoy it, for me food is a celebration of life and one of the few remaining pleasures that we're allowed to have, so as such I feel we should enjoy it to the max with a whole set of spices, herbs and of course complimentary ingredients.

Here in this title by Anna Hansen, is a book that brings together some unusual combinations that not only work but do so on a level to take the humble basics and turn them into a magical concoction that works. Such as pickled watermelon rind which works with cold cuts and salads and makes use of an ingredient that most people would have usually binned. Add to this a whole host of flavours from a variety of styles and it's a book that really will generate something unique in your own kitchen as well as the table. That for me is good cooking in a nutshell, something special out of easy to find ingredients that work not only on their own but together create something unique.

Finally add to this an easy to follow set of instructions, wonderfully set out sections so you can find what you want and the flair of someone who's not afraid to experiment and it's a book that may well surprise as well as give you something that you'd never thought would have tasted so good.
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on 23 May 2015
Absolute bargain too - a lot of the recipes are things I've eaten in the actual restaurant and its great you can make em in your own home
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on 4 March 2016
Serious shopping going on for the more unusual ingredients.I am so looking forward to using some of these recipes
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on 27 June 2016
I loved reading it. But have found I've not cooked from it. hmmm
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