Best of Bill Hardcover – 5 Sep 2011
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About the Author
With his uncomplicated approach to food and laid-back Sydney style, chef Bill Granger has changed the face of contemporary Australian dining. Opening his first restaurant, bills, in 1993, it wasn't long before Sydneysiders were clamouring for his signature scrambled eggs and ricotta hotcakes with banana and honeycomb butter. Since then he has opened two more restaurants in Sydney and two in Japan. In that time he has published a range of best-selling cookbooks including bills Sydney food, bills food, bills open kitchen, Simply Bill, Every Day, Holiday and Feed Me Now! He is a regular contributor to newspapers and magazines, both in Australia and overseas, and his TV series, bill's food and bill's holiday have screened in Australia, the UK and over 30 other countries.
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Split into: Breakfast; Lunch; Tea; Dinner and Desserts (see, nice straightforward meals again) you get a collection of roughly 20-25 recipes in each. Many are basics done well. He's not adverse to giving us a couple of pages on "Bill's Eggs" (well, technically they are the chicken's eggs I suppose) where he tells you how to do the basics right. More ambitious and experienced cooks might feel this is beneath them - but this is not an ambitious cook book. In fact, while each recipe is tempting, it's hardly the most innovative. Mostly they are things you have heard of.
If you already have a shelf full of Granger books, this also might not be for you - it's like a "greatest hits" collection rather than new recipes. But to have all the basics in one book is excellent. He's a bit like a cool Delia in that regard.
I've tried several of the recipes and the quantities and timings are all spot on. The Coconut and Lime Macadamia cake is fantastic as was the Honey Cheesecake. Most of the main courses feed four - but some feed two (well they all feed two, it's just that there's seconds if the recipe's for four). The Lamb Biryani was fab as was the Spaghetti with Garlic and Spinach (there are some veggie recipes - but he is Australian so don't expect too many vegetation-based offerings).
If you are looking for an inspirational cook book, this might not be the first choice but if you want a relatively basic cookery book that you will return to again and again - this fits the Bill (sorry!).
Here we have `Fusion' cookery, I am told; relying on the freshest of fruits, meats and cheeses; perhaps more coconut, apricot and buttermilk than we are used to here. An open, un-crowded page for the directions and a bright big page for the photograph, all set in a relaxed coastal, arty, friendly and light background.
Cooking for family and friends, mates and kids, no fuss - that is as long as you have been shopping earlier for the required ingredients and have a well-stocked dry larder full of cashews, macadamia, flaked almonds, pistachios and...rosewater!
When you are required to do something a little different there are helpful no nonsense explanations offered.
Basic cookery with a quirky twist, some exciting touches - flaked salt over the chocolate caramel squares, coconut creeping into unexpected places. I liked the use of Zucchini in fritters and soup, as they are plentiful at present. The fritters, served with yoghurt were especially tasty, not something you could normally say about a courgette recipe.
Breakfast is a big issue with Bill; great reading as I was chewing on boring old toast and leafing through his suggestions of buttermilk pancakes, mushrooms on toast, French toast with fresh berry sauces (later that shows up enveloping chocolate too!).
Excellent value, a book you may be inspired to work your way through - those around your kitchen table would surely be most appreciative.