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3.8 out of 5 stars14
3.8 out of 5 stars
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TOP 100 REVIEWERon 27 June 2011
It was good to see a vegetarian section, even if Ramsay spoils it by saying in the introduction to one recipe that "there is usually a vegetarian lurking somewhere" in a slightly disparaging tone. Some of the dishes, though, seemed to me to be accompaniments rather than main meals (e.g. baked pumpkin and an excellent tomato, onion & potato gratin). There is a really good soufflé recipe which produces reliable results. There is also an unusual baked asparagus & parmesan loaf and a more earthy dish of braised lentils with swiss chard, turnips & parsley ravioli.

There are some good soups - pumpkin & parmesan, roasted pepper gazpacho, smoked haddock. In the fish section, by way of example, there is sea bream with roasted fennel, olives, clams, garlic & thyme; poached sea trout with asparagus and mint hollandaise; dover sole; fillet of halibut; roast skate with beetroot & parmesan; Jerusalem artichoke risotto with scallops; daube of squid. From the meat chapter there is a good stuffed loin of suckling pig, lamb shanks with parsnip purée; poached chicken legs with herb dumplings & turnips, plus cottage pie, his interpretation of lasagne (an elegant presentation which does not include the usual cheese sauce), lamb stew, bang bang chicken & burgers.

It has to be said the puds are fantastic, probably the best part of the book. I am partial to crème brulée so the mint version offered here was right up my street. Other recipes include chocolate & toffee fondant, banana sticky toffee pudding (another favourite), apple & cardamom tarte tatin with cardamom ice-cream, cold chocolate mousse with lavender ice cream (the ice-cream on its own is fine by me and it works well with marinated strawberries too).
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on 24 October 2006
...complete with the occasional 'X'-rated word, in the narrative!

'Over 100 brand new recipes'.

From the back cover:

'......'Hellishly good' heat
Ramsay's Kitchen Nightmares presented viewers with a vision of culinary hell. Now Britain's foremost chef shares the secrets of how it should be done - and allows us a glimpse of kitchen heaven.'

For the large part this is a useful recipe and reference book where 'tweaked' old favourites e.g. 'Burger and Chips' & 'Black Forest Gateau' mingle with the lesser well-known, perhaps, such as 'Puff Pastry Pizza', 'Smoked Haddock Soup with Quail's Eggs' & 'Pheasant baked with Crêpes'.

A pensive GR on the front cover, which opens to 255 high quality, shiny pages split over main chapters:

1. Salads
2. Things on Toast
3. Vegetarian
4. Soups
5. Fish
6. Meat
7. Puddings
8. Vinaigrettes & Dressings
9. Sauces, Stocks & Basics

sandwiched between an introduction, 'Essential Techniques' including:

♦ How to Poach an Egg
♦ How to Dry Salad Leaves
♦ How to Fillet, Pin-bone and Skin Fish'

and a two-page glossary plus concise index.

Each chapter opens with a helpful tip, e.g.:

~ Salads:
'The thing to remember with salads is not to fuss over them too much and always use the best, freshest ingredients you can get hold of...and GR's experiences from the TV programmes:
'Caesar Salad' is a great test for any chef to make properly as it really doesn't need much messing with......After seeing the mess they made at '...', I gave the chef this recipe, which is my interpretation.'
A recipe for the 'Ultimate Caesar Salad' follows.
Opening the 'Vegetarian' chapter is a quote, with the typical GR attitude we have come to either love or hate:

~ 'I was mis-quoted a few years ago, so I want to set the record straight: I absolutely love vegetarians, adore them, and enjoy eating vegetarian food myself......'

or ........ahead of the 'Cottage Pie' recipe:

~This has to be my all-time favourite comfort food dish. My wife, Tana, and I go out and have dinner once a week, by ourselves. We usually go to The Ivy and I always order the same thing - 'Caesar Salad' and 'Cottage Pie'. The waiters there think I am boring because I always have the same, but I just love it. I'll sit there with a dinky bottle of ketchup and one of Worcestershire sauce and that is just it for me. Nothing more, nothing else, just my cottage pie...'
...and GR goes on to recommend using Desirée potatoes in his version.

Throughout the book, each recipe is clearly laid out with the title and list of ingredients in a dark red type, followed by the method, in black.
Each also has a relevant opening note.

Photography throughout, with a fair number on-location, and some of the dishes, but not all.

The book is interspersed with the aforementioned 'narrative sections', entitled:

◊ Being a Waiter
◊ Turning Your Restaurant Nightmare into a Dream
◊ Putting Chefs on the Spot
◊ Too Much Sleep
◊ Making Mistakes

Other recipes include:

* Smoked Salmon & Cream Cheese Croque Monsieur
* Baked Asparagus and Parmesan Loaf
* Crispy Duck Salad
* Warm Oriental Marinated Chicken with King Prawns and Posh Prawn Toasts
* Daube of Squid
* Venison Pie
* Baked Pumpkin
* Minestrone
* Grilled Lobster and Chips
* Marinated Duck Breasts
* Turnip, Marrow and Potato Soup
* Whisky Bread and Butter Pudding
* Lemon Confit
* Taramasalata
* Brown Chicken Stock
* Calvados Rice Pudding with Caramelized Apples

My favourite recipe, to date, tried and tasted, is:

* 'Braised Shank of Lamb with Parsnip Purée', from page 148/149

The recipe is an easy and relatively cheap dish to replicate, benefitting from a long slow cook on the hob and gives my oven a well-deserved rest for a night! The purée makes a sweet and pleasant change to potatoes and I serve with some steamed greens, for a colourful presentation.
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on 24 May 2004
This is a fantastic book for lovers of Gordon Ramsay and for people who just love good food. I've really enjoyed watching Gordon on his Kitchen Nightmares series so I was fascinated to see if his perfectionism could help me out in the kitchen - and it has. It's not quite as good as having him there to shout at me but so far I've made 4 dishes and my wife and friends loved them all (and they can't quite believe their eyes that I'm in there cooking). This is a f***ing good book as Gordon might say.
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on 26 May 2004
A thoroughly enjoyable book to accompany the excellent series.
The recipes are 'something for everyone', including a vegetarian section with easy to follow recipes so no vegetarian guest would accuse you of not caring!
There are some nice, amusing comments throughout the book from the Top Man, which make flicking through, selecting a meal an absolute pleasure.
Gordon may seem an ogre in the kitchen, but he appreciates food and what you can do with good, fresh produce, His love of creating wonderful dishes shines through and makes you understand how important it is to do your very best and you will eat the very best.
There are none of his infamous expletives in the book, so even your nan would appreciate unwrapping this one on Christmas day.
Fabulous!
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on 30 August 2015
Great price, fantastic quality, recommend to anyone
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on 6 February 2005
This is an interesting (if not a bit light on content) cookbook. A short word of warning though to less-than-confident cooks. Many of the recipes assume a reasonable level of culinary skill which may have some starters a bit lost - Delia Smith it ain't!
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on 10 November 2004
As one might now expect from Ramsay this is more than just a cookbook. Full of inspirational recipes to lure the reader to the hob; meat, fish and vegetarian dishes, aswell as a selection of sauces, puddings and things on toast.
Some amusing anecdotes, such as the kitchen porter with a fish phobia, who thought Ramsay's mackerel on toast was, 'the best thing he'd ever eaten'.
And the way to treat vegetarians? Stuffed courgette flowers and braised lentils with Swiss chard. Thats the way.
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on 16 November 2004
Ramsay may be one of my favorite chefs, but this book really isn't worth the stretch. It dazzles you with fantastic pictures and interesting prose, but seems to be lacking on the recipe front. When I rate a cookery book I always have Nigella Lawsons "How to Eat" in the back of my mind. Not sure what Nigella offers in the cost per recipe ratio, but Ramsay falls well short of what I'd expect these days.
His restaurants are great though!!
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on 19 January 2015
great book
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on 22 January 2014
This a proper recipe book, not dumbed down for the masses. Its the kind of book that a competent cook or chef can pick up and enjoy without loosing any self respect. The recipes are well laid out, solid and most importantly delicious.
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