5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
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This review is from: The New English Table: Over 200 Recipes That Will Not Cost The Earth (Hardcover)
I first came across Rose Prince with her book 'The Savvy Shopper', a very interesting and extremely useful guide to understanding food provenance and buying and sourcing high quality food. This approach continues in 'New English Table'. The book provides an alphabetical listing of foodstuffs e.g. asparagus, broccoli, beef, pheasant, partridges, each chapter containing a small selection of recipes for the particular ingredient, and in most cases with a few tips for extending or enhancing the dish, plus recipes for leftovers. Whilst the author is undoubtedly very focused on food provenance, and certainly advocates using high quality ingredients which are often quite expensive (grass-fed beef for example) it would be wrong to assume that she is interested only in expensive food for those with money to spare. She is happy to buy expensive grass-fed beef but does not see this as an everyday event: "What matters is to recognise that these are not cuts that should be eaten every day, even if your means make them affordable. ......For every fillet in a beef side there's an awful lot of much less valuable meat that is a hard job for the butcher to sell. It's not really acceptable for someone who says they love beef to eat only the fillet or sirloin." She makes similar points in relation to lamb and pork - use cheaper cuts for economical everyday family meals. The inclusion of chapters for things like partridge and pheasant is not indicative of extravagance either. I am fortunate enough to live in an area where both are plentiful and the pheasant that our local butcher sells is cheaper than even the cheapest intensively reared chicken supplied by a supermarket!
There is a wide selection of recipes, none of which are complicated to prepare, although given that Prince advocates cheaper cuts, cooking times can be longer. I like that there are some interesting suggestions - for example there is a wonderful recipe for pearl barley with turmeric, lemon & black cardamom as an alternative to lemon rice with curry (for which there are several recipes - page numbers handily noted at the end of the recipe to make things easier). Examples of meals using cheaper cuts of meat include pork chump chops with braised lentils, cider and cream; potted pork with basil (using belly pork).
Vegetarians will find plenty to please too - for example brown lentils with red wine, carrots & thyme which can form the basis for a vegetarian main meal and serve as an accompaniment for meat dishes (I am vegetarian but my family are not so I find these sorts of recipes very handy). There are also useful sections on beans & chickpeas and individual sections on certain vegetables (for example, a fab suggestion of crisped cauliflower with breadcrumbs and garlic to use up leftover cauliflower, or alternatively cauliflower soup flavoured with mustard). In the section on tomatoes, apart from freezing tomato sauce, there are a couple of soups which I will shortly be putting to good use to deal with the glut of tomatoes that I have growing in pots on my patio - tomato & spelt soup and a lovely chilled tomato, lime, basil & lemon grass soup which I have tried before and which makes an unusual alternative to gazpacho.
There are also some recipes for pickles, breads, drinks (home-made barley water with a suggestion for using the leftover barley; damson gin).
A lovely book.