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4.3 out of 5 stars
62
4.3 out of 5 stars
Format: Hardcover|Change
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on 19 March 2013
Got this about 3 weeks ago to help/teach myself basic cooking- I'm just out of college and decided it was about time to learn how to cook properly! Its an amazing book for those who aren't sure about cooking-it goes from the basics and guides you through until your actually cooking proper food! The first few pages show kitchen cupboard essentials which you should have like sauces, oil, flour, etc. It then goes on and describes different types of meat you can get (Beef, lamb, chicken), what part of the animal they are from and what the cuts look like. It also describes different types of fish/seafood, what fresh fish should be like and how to cut/de-bone them. The rest of the book is then recipes (I think its nearly 200) for everything from soups, pasta, to cakes and desserts. The recipes are very easy to follow-they describe very simply all the ingredients you need, how to mix them and how to cook them. A lot of other cook books seem to have great recipes but are very complicated and use fancy ingredients-this one seems to use things you can actually buy in the shop! I have tried a few recipes was actually able to make a carrot cake from one of the recipes for my mum for mother's day and I know nothing about cooking! All in all it seems like a great book for those who are learning/starting cooking and also for more experienced cooks as there is more challenging recipes near the end of the book. Would recommend.
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on 6 April 2013
I was extremely excited to find the Kindle edition of this book for £1.99 and I bought it so quickly that my typing finger burned!

But, don't be fooled........ This is not a Kindle edition of the Masterchef Cookery Course. It is, at best, a charged for sampler with only 30 recipes instead of 120. I am an enthusiastic and long standing Amazon customer and, in the main, I really love them. I don't even visit ebay anymore! But, the blurb quite clearly states that the saving is £24.01 for this edition and it does show the original £26.00 price crossed out as with any 'real' offer. This is, at best, misleading and at the worst, could be construed differently.

Come on Amazon, you're better than this.
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This cookery course was a pleasant surprise. There are many cookery courses aimed at the beginner or inexperienced cook. So many miss the mark. This one hit things straight on the bullseye.

Split into fairly logical units of Getting Started, Building Blocks, The Recipes, Make It Your Own and Taking Notes, there are many sub-chapters beneath each section. Nothing is taken as assumed, the reader is given without being patronised, a full and basic grounding from what might be found in a perfect store cupboard and how to select meat, fruit and vegetables. The text was sympathetically written without talking down to the reader, yet those who feel themselves more experienced in the kitchen could still skim through the "basics" and possibly learn something.

It is unfortunate that many potential readers who probably benefit from this book won't ever see it, as they will just see "cookery course" and assume since that they know everything why would they want it. That is a great shame. Many of those things that we are assumed to know, such as what exactly is stewing and braising and how is that different to poaching, are covered in plain, simple terms. Techniques are explained with the help of many great photographs and reinforced with actual recipes so you can see step-by-step what is going on and how and why things are done in a certain way.

Despite this book being designed in a modular fashion so that you can pick and choose what you look at, you really should consider a sequential read and attempt to try, over time, all of the recipes. Sure, you might wonder why you need to make a certain sauce, for example, but you will see certain techniques being used that can applied to other forms of cooking. You may scoff, perhaps, at being told how to make a salad, yet once you read the tips and the "perfect technique" can you honestly say that you knew all of that stuff? There are so many things in life we think we know and understand, yet our understanding can often be rather superficial.

Once you get past the educative part of the book then it is recipe after recipe after recipe, each with a great photograph that draws you in and will probably make you want to try things you would never have considered if you had just read the text alone. Of course, the education doesn't stop here as there are various hints and tips dotted around each recipe for good measure. The recipes are perfectly laid out, easy to follow and contain everything you would want to know. There is even an estimation of the typical preparation and cooking time, a small thing so often overlooked, that can make a difference when you are short on time and inspiration.

The end of the book also features some typical menu suggestions for key events and holidays that you can make yourself. There is even some space to write your own notes down for things that you have learned, although it seemed a bit counterintuitive to put them at the end, way past the relevant sections. This reviewer couldn't imagine using this but it was an inoffensive element that might be of use to many. A great double page of essential information with key timings and conversion charts follows for those who wish to convert back from metric units. And a great index rounds things off, allowing you to dig into this book through so many ways.

The book has enlisted the help of two MasterChef hosts to produce this book, yet it is so "ego free" that this author didn't draw the connection so tight at first glance. This is the way to go. A great book that should not be restricted just for the beginner. Even wise old dogs can learn new tricks.
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on 30 May 2013
I like the way in which the recipes are set out , the fact that grams and ounces are used. The pictures are great, and helpful, as are the shopping lists. I find all the information very interesting, and I'm delighted I bought the book.
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on 14 August 2014
This is the best cook book i have ever brought. I have so many other books where the recipes just don't work. However with this I'm on my 8th recipe and everyone has turned out well. They are not overly complex and require ingredients that are easily accesable :) our favourites so far have been beef and mushroom pie and chicken tikka masala. This book has made cooking a passion for me !
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on 3 January 2014
This was bought as a Christmas present for my darling daughter. She is a very dedicated staff nurse with a passion for cooking and makes the most incredible Victoria sponge cakes which are my basic diet. The book was warmly accepted and is in use at this time for a belated b'day party, it was her b'day yesterday but she worked.
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on 2 June 2014
This is the one book we look at together with the Master Chef bible when we want to learn about flavour combinations, what goes with what and how to cook meat and fish really well. Excellent book.
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on 23 December 2014
This is probably one of the best cooking guides I have ever read. It is a true cookery course covering all the basics and showing you in a very clear and concise manner exactly how to get the basics right first and how to choose ingredients and make the most of what's in season. It gives you the essential building blocks to build up your repertoire in the kitchen and then the recipes use the skills you've just learned well. I'd recommend it to anyone. 5 stars
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on 22 July 2015
Love the programme and love this book, I've not made all the recipes but the ones I have tried have turned out nicely! What more could I want!? Great pictures and instructions. Arrived quickly and in perfect condition. Got it at a great price too!
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on 12 May 2013
This is a great book and already a favourite amongst the loads I already own. The recipes are easy to follow and the three I've made have turned out great. The Chocolate Brownies were lovely. It is a typical Dorling Kindersley book with the detailed way everything is set out. The only slight criticism is that apart from some comments from Gregg and John at the end of some recipes at the back of the book, you wouldn't know it was connected with Masterchef.
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