Top positive review
23 people found this helpful
on 27 November 2009
A wonderful book with lots of tasty, easy to make recipes, particularly valuable for those with limited time. The aim is for easy preparation; even if the cooking takes longer, it generally isn't necessary to tie yourself to the cooker for hours and so the recipes are perfect for after-work suppers but will also work for informal dinner or lunch parties. I like that I can do a generalised shop without having anything particular in mind and then find something in the book to produce a lovely meal. For example, if you have pork chops then, with a fairly basic store cupboard, you could try Smothered Pork Chops with Mustard & Thyme Butter, Pork Chops Lyonnaise, Thai-spiced Pork Chops with a lime dipping sauce, chops Italian-style with fennel seeds or Spanish chops with orange, amongst others. The same applies to chicken, sausages (Vine-grower' Sausages, Gascon sausages & beans, baked sausages with leeks, cider & apples to name just a few), lamb, etc.. There is a lovely chapter on spring & summer vegetables followed by one devoted to autumn & winter veg.. Similarly, there are chapters on summer and winter puddings. I am not very confident with puddings & cakes but all the recipes I have tried from the book have turned out exactly as described. The first one I tried was a baked lime & passion fruit pudding - the idea was that a layer of sauce would form under the sponge and, much to my surprise, it worked perfectly and my guests loved the zesty flavours. The summer desserts are wonderfully simple but full of flavour e.g. Grilled Apricots with blackberries & mascarpone, peaches in rose syrup, Swedish baked peaches with raspberries & almonds, plus a great summer fruit brulee.
I like the fact that this book enables me to pick whatever meat, fish, veg, etc is available and come home knowing I can produce something a little more interesting without having to spend hours in the kitchen.