Top positive review
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A colourful compilation - spiral bound with the main part 'sliced-in-3' recipe pages!
on 21 September 2010
To complement his new TV series, GR has selected his favourite dishes from the world's cuisine, mixing in his favourite seasonal choices.
From the inner back cover page:-
'Some of recipes in this compilation have been previously published in the following books from the F Word series: Sunday Lunch, Fast Food and Healthy Appetite.'
From the back cover:-
* Tie-in to 'Ramsay's Best Restaurant' - Gordon's new Channel 4 TV series
* A fantastic collection of 52 menus one for every week of the year which can be reconfigured to create an incredible 140,000 different menu choices
* Menus cleverly displayed on sliced pages so you can mix and match then have all three recipes on one page as you cook
* Menus reflect the range of cuisines on the TV series, plus additional seasonal menus
Italian, French, Spanish, British, Chinese, Thai, SE Asian, Indian, Moroccan, Mexican and Middle Eastern cuisines - they are all here, featuring the best-loved menus from each. The 52 menus on the 'sliced pages' have a starter, main, and a dessert.
All the menus serve four (unless otherwise stated) e.g. cheesecake, etc... but GR states that it is simple to scale up for more or halve if required.
'Designed to make the most of produce at its seasonal best, the recipes are essentially easy to follow and straightforward to prepare. Every menu is stunningly photographed and however the menus mix and match as the pages are turned, a photograph of each course will always be shown. A tempting selection of accompaniments and essentials basics completes the book, providing the reader with no less than 190 superb recipes in total.'
The book opens with simple instructions on how to use the book, followed by the menus index preceded by an introduction, store-cupboard basics, and notes.
So does it work in practice?
Well...yes it does, in my opinion!
The spiral bound format, encased in a strong binder like cover, measures in at around 31 cm x 23.5 cm and usefully lies flat on the kitchen worktop, regardless of the page you are on. The pages are of a high quality and, given the format, are likely to stand the test of time. The recipes are clearly laid out and not the least bit crammed in as you might expect.
The menu index starts the book and shows all of the dishes featured, in full-colour, each with the three menu numbers that are appropriate from 1-156 - the latter form the main part of the book and are 'sliced' into 3 (fixed) recipe 'card'-type format, with the starter and puds measuring c 21.5 cm (including perforations) x 9 cm and the main course section slightly wider at 11.5 cm.
Menus 157 - 190 inclusive are still in the 'trio format' but without the 'slices' - and no photography - offer a good selection of 'accompaniments' and 'basic' recipes. The last page before the concise index has a smiling GR, weighing up a couple of melons! The 3-page index quotes the relevant menu numbers, as the publication does not have general page numbers.
The introduction is also 'sliced' and stresses the importance and influence of seasonal cooking with top ingredients, as is the norm for the GR restaurants. Within this section you get the option to mix and match the pictures of our chef too - (rather like a game I recall from years ago, called 'Misfits', I think!). So you can have GR with a handful of pasta, kitchenalia, or some strategically placed veg......depending on the section you are reading through, i.e. store-cupboard basics or the notes & advice sections.
The various cuisines are interspersed in the 'sliced pages' by the seasonal options. Section titles are colour-coded, featuring the cuisine type along with the relevant season, just the season or all year, e.g. French Spring, British Summer, Indian All Year, Autumn, Italian Autumn Winter, Middle Eastern Summer, Moroccan All Year.......
Flicking through, I was first drawn to the picture on the left hand page for 069, 'Baguette and Butter Pudding', in the puds - on the right hand page is the recipe with the method on the left, the list of ingredients on the right along with some serving suggestions, and a guide of 4-6 servings. On the far right is Autumn/Winter, this being this particular menu choice section title.
It is easy to find the original menu choices for each recommended trio by looking for the section colour in the same thickness of the book, and the consecutive menu numbers, in this case - 068 'Quail with Kohlrabi & Butternut Squash' and 067 - 'Rocket, Watercress, Fennel & Pear Salad'. However, on this occasion, I did choose two completely different dishes to go with that aforementioned pud, which, incidentally, is simply delicious served with the recommended cream and (optional) Cointreau!
A small taste of the other recipes contained within (in no particular order!):-
* Prawn Pilau
* Lime Mousse
* Stuffed Beef Tomatoes
* Asparagus with Herb Butter
* Broccoli Soup
* Duck Breast with Dried Cherry & Port Sauce
* Quick Summer Fruit Trifles
* Pain Perdu with Raspberries & Ricotta
* Beef Wellington
* Salmon Ceviche
* Spring Garden Soup
* Beetroor, Goat's Cheese & Apple Salad
* Poached Pears in Mulled Wine
* Guinea Fowl with Pea & Lettuce Fricassée
* Calf's Liver & Caramelised Onions with Lemon Polenta
* Spinach with Chickpeas and Cumin
* Sautéed Brussel Sprouts with Almonds
* Pea and Mint Soup with Parma Ham
* Sicilian Caponata
* Braised Pork with leeks & Pak Choi
* Stir-Fried Beef with Peppers & Egg Noodles
* Lemon Posset
* Roast Beef with Yorkshire Pudding
* Passion Fruit & Banana Soufflé
* Barnsley Chop with Garlic & Herb Butter
* Gordon's Italian Meatballs
* Pumpkin Risotto with Parmesan
* Wilted Baby Gem Lettuce
* Pommes Purée
* Fragrant Steamed Rice
* Shortcrust Pastry
* Crème Anglaise