Top positive review
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A useful book with something for everyone - typically Dorling-Kindersley (DK) - simply delivered.
on 6 May 2011
*** To avoid possible duplication it may be useful to note that this book is:-
'Based on content previously published in 'The Cooking Book' (2008) & 'Cook Express' (2009)' ***
Dinner in the Freezer is an attractive book with a good balance of home-and-away recipes in which we find old familiars such as 'Shepherd's Pie', 'Fish Fingers with chunky Tartare Sauce', 'Pizza' and 'Coq au Vin' mingling with the, perhaps, less common 'Sauerbraten', 'Albóndigas' and 'Chicken Schnitzels'.
From the back cover:-
'Fill up the freezer with everyday favourites to get ahead with the week's family cooking. One-pot dishes, hearty soups, pies and tarts, and sweet treats.
* How to cook in bulk, batch, and freeze
* Ready-to-reheat-and-eat recipes for every day and for every occasion
* Step-by-sep instructions ensure fast and failsafe results
The appealing 'Beef Stew with Orange and Bay Leaves', from pages 98 & 99, adorns the durable front hardboard cover which opens up to 224 high quality, split over main chapters:-
1. Hearty Soups (pg 24-43)
2. Casseroles & Curries (pg 45-105)
3. Pan-fries & Grills (pg 108-131)
4. Oven Bakes (pg 134-153)
5. Pizzas, Pies & Tarts (pg 156-191)
6. Sauces (pg 194-202)
7. Instant Desserts (pg 206-221)
sandwiched between notes for batching/freezing & freezer packaging, along with 10 pages of 'recipe choosers', and a guide to the symbols used in the recipes, with the index at the very back.
The inside cover pages have, as usual, the handy tables for volume and weight equivalents, oven temperatures and fridge and freezer storage guidelines which are also replicated on the inner back cover pages for quick and easy reference.
Each chapter opens simply with an appropriate double-page photographic spread and the chapter title and is generally followed by another double page spread of handy step-by-step instructions of any required techniques, e.g.:-
* making a stock,
* deseeding and cutting chillies
* lining a tart tin
* baking pastry blind
* making ice cream (with or without a machine)
Each recipe is clearly laid out with the title, description, the list/s of ingredients and a numbered method, along with a serving suggestion and a paragraph of freezing instructions.
The symbol guide offers extra information, e.g.:-
* the number of servings and preparation & cook times
and can also include, for example:-
* Healthy Option
* Specialist equipment requirement (e.g. large flameproof casserole or food processor)
* Pre-preparation requirement (e.g. soaking beans overnight)
Each of the recipes has an enticing full-page colour illustration from a selection of photographers.
My favourite chapter is 'Oven Bakes' which has such a variety that it is very hard to choose the first one to try out!
'Aubergine Parmigiana' from pages 134 & 135, along with 'Shepherdless Pie', from pages 150 & 151 eventually won and proved to be excellent choices for a fast moving vegetarian evening.
Last night I tried the tasty 'Shin of Beef with Marsala', from pages 76 & 77, serving 8, which went down very well simply served with a chunk of warm crusty bread.
A taste of the other recipes contained within:-
* Thick Vegetable Soup
* Black Bean and Coconut Soup
* Couscous Royale
* Vegetable Curry
* Braised Turkey with Vegetables
* Caribbean Stew with Allspice and Ginger
* Chicken Korma
* Pork Goulash
* Game Stew
* Lamb and Mint Burgers
* Coquilles St. Jacques
* Vegetarian Leek and Mushroom Lasagne
* Pizza Dough
* Shortcrust Pastry
* Swiss Chard and Gruyère Cheese Tart
* Spicy Beef Pies
* Mixed Mushroom and Walnut Tart
* Beef Ragù
* Rich Tomato Sauce
* Double Chocolate Ice Cream
* Orange Sorbet
* Zesty Lemon Granita
My only criticism is that the dessert section is on the short and sweet side!
Overall, a useful book, one of the 'everyDay easy' series from DK which currently also includes:-
30 Minute Suppers
Cakes & Cupcakes