Top positive review
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Simon Hopkinson - one-time chef appeals equally to professional and home cooks.
on 23 October 2007
His new book, Week In Week Out is a collection of 52 `seasonal stories'. It kicks off in winter with such dishes as Devilled Whitebait and Grilled Veal Kidneys with Creamed Onions and Sage. Spring offers Tomatoes stuffed with Crab & Basil, Summer makes the most of Broad Beans with Cream & Mint while for autumn he suggests Scallops with Verjuice & Chives. These recipes echo Simon's philosophy of `cooking for pleasure, rather than slavishness towards fashion'.
This book is not just for the complicated. Check out what he says about something as simple and foolproof as boiling new potatoes. Apparently it's just not good enough to plop them into boiling water, skin intact, as I always do. Oh no, you should take the trouble to scrape them all over which results in potatoes "of another texture". And do you know - he's right.
Simon is dismissive of modern food fads. A lot of restaurants, he feels, serve food to please the chef's ego rather than the customer. His `classic' recipes will stand the test of time simply because they make good - even the best - eating. It's worth remembering that his Roast Chicken and Other Stories, published in 1994, was recently voted the most useful cookery book of all time by Waitrose Food Illustrated.
Good cooking, clear concise recipes and strong flavours will out. And what makes Simon one of the greats is his attention to detail, his loving and understanding approach and, above all, the fantastic food that every home cook can create simply by following his instructions.