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Flash Cooking: Fit Fast Flavours for Busy People Hardcover – Illustrated, 17 Oct 2011

4.1 out of 5 stars 30 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 176 pages
  • Publisher: Quadrille Publishing Ltd; 1st edition (17 Oct. 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1844009955
  • ISBN-13: 978-1844009954
  • Product Dimensions: 18.7 x 2.3 x 24.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 273,215 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description


'This book will change your approach to food.' --- Richard Johnson, BBC Radio London

'From the flurry of cookery books published...all of them vying for the Christmas bestseller list, I pick out Flash Cooking by Laura Santtini. Highlighting fast, easy-to-prepare, nutritious and flavour-packed food, the recipes are carbohydrate-free but indulgently spiced and sauced. I love it' --- --Rose Prince

'It's not often that you come across someone with a fresh way of thinking about food, but Laura Santtini is one of them.' --- Lucas Hollweg, Sunday Times Style

'A foodie apothecary of flavours [her] spice rack will revolutionize your kitchen.' --- Stylist magazine

'Her food is a daring mix of unexpected ingredients that surprises and delights at every turn.' -------- LivingEtc

'The Domestic goddess is so last season, this is the year of the Domestic Alchemist!' -- The Culinary Guide

About the Author

Laura Santtini is half Italian, a quarter Persian with a pinch of Sephardic and the rest an English-Irish mix; she's the self-confessed genetic equivalent of a Molotov cocktail. Acclaimed as the 'Mistress of Flavour', food is in Laura's DNA and much of her passion for it came from her family, as her parents founded the renowned Italian restaurant Santini in London's Belgravia, which Laura ran for several years. She later established herself as the world's first gastro-therapist while writing for Waitrose Food Illustrated. Her first book, Easy Tasty Italian won the Guild of Food Writers Jeremy Round Award for Best First Book in 2010. In the same year she translated her intense flavour combinations central to the book into an innovative and hugely internationally successful range of food products, Laura Santtini's Spellbinding Flavours, including her phenomenally popular Taste #5 Umami Paste. Laura is currently providing her bitter-sweet gastro therapy/agony aunt advice for AOL's Mydaily. She lives in South West London with her husband and two children.

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Format: Hardcover
WARNING! This Book May Change Your Life aka 'Flash Cooking, Fit Fast Flavours for Busy People' by Laura Santtini

To be honest, I didn't think this would be my kind of book. We always ate healthily (and frugally) when I was growing up, I was a vegetarian for 15 years, and deep fried food, creamy sauces, cheeses and fatty cuts of meat just wasn't how I ate. I wasn't any kind of health obsessive, but I just wasn't interested in eating those kinds of foods.

Until I became obsessed with food, and cooking. Perhaps post-recession there's been a resurgence of interest in traditional, hearty, seasonal and fresh British cooking, championed by my favourite cookery writers Hugh, Nigel et al. Maybe it was due to being in a new relationship and that old adage 'The way to a man's heart...' Whatever. Slowly, double cream crept onto my shopping list as I experimented with Pommes Dauphinoise and beetroot gratins. We gorged on raclette, reblochon and roquefort. I made cakes! And slow roasted belly pork with crackling! And it was all delicious, but in addition to that sluggish feeling that comes with eating and drinking too well, two of my very favourite people have recently been battling with heart issues. When eating rich and calorie-laden/artery-clogging foods had started to become the norm, this book could not have arrived at a better time. I'm not saying that succelent, fatty cuts of meat, real butter and artisan cheeses will not have a place in our house, but I hope that now they will be an occasional treat, to be savoured.

You may be familiar with Laura Santtini - I remember her Taste No. 5 Umami paste being released to great acclaim in Selfridges a year or two ago.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The reviews to date do a good job of describing the positive aspects of this book, so I thought I'd chip in with some "constructive criticism"...

The book is very well laid out and easy on the eye, with a clear style. I bought it on the strength of some recipes reproduced in one of the weekend papers: the umami steak "handkerchiefs" were exceptional, as was the cauliflower "steak" with feta. As someone with a well-stocked spice cupboard, it's great to be able to dive in and throw some exotic things together quickly for a change, rather than say, knocking up a whole curry from scratch. "Fusion food" can be a bit of a tricky boat to steer well, but clearly the author has a great palate and knows when to stop, so I look forward to more tasty revelations to come. The principle of knocking up various pastes and rubs etc & using them interchangeably definitely has potential, especially if time is short.

Having now had chance to read a fair bit of the book, some things definitely grate on me though:

1. I personally take offence at seeing low-fat yoghurt and creme fraiche specified in recipes. It is not described as a "low fat" cookbook, so just say yoghurt or creme fraiche, and leave the choice to the reader. The current science strongly suggests that it's carbohydrates and not naturally-occurring fats which "make you fat". And even "full fat yoghurt" (about 4%) is still technically a low-fat food.

2. The Fish chapter is prefaced with a nice little plea to always buy sustainable to "keep the motion in the ocean". It's therefore extremely disappointing to carry on and find recipes using tuna, king prawns, monkfish, Dover sole, salmon & halibut. Some types of which are anything but sustainable. Why not at least specify "wild salmon" if you like details?
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Format: Hardcover
'Flash Cooking', has been written by Laura Santtini (her second book) and the notion behind the book is not what you think from the title. This book advocates a healthy, tasty and nutritious eating style, and provides recipes to support this. It's not about a punishing lack lustre diet, but it is about a sensible eating philosophy based on 'whats on your plate should equal protein the size of an iphone accompanied by leafy vegetables' AND should be full of a delicious mix of flavours.

The key to the book is the range of flavours that can be created to accompany this philosophy of 'iphone size protein + leafy vegetables'. Put together at the start of the book are recipes, mixes and blends for 'flash flavours'; these are, seasonings, glazes, rubinades, pastes, finishing salts, finishing yoghurts, props and dressings that can be used to top/garnish all manner of fish/meat or vegetable dishes.The second part of the book covers a series of 'flash recipes' for everything from fish to breakfasts.

The recipes are easy to follow and some accompanied by photographs, I was surprised that I could quite easily make most of the recipes in this book for the 'flash flavours' from my own store cupboard ingredients, and I don't claim to be anything like an alchemist in the kitchen. 'Flash cooking' claims to be easy and fast, this soup certainly was. The recipes are protein or vegetable based in the main or use wheat free or complex carbs.

If you have a need to look at your diet this book will be invaluable in showing you how to add interest and flavour to your foods. If you are lucky enough not to need to, or want to significantly change what you eat, then this book will give you lots of ideas to add delicious and imaginative flavours to your cooking without a great impact on your time.

Definitely a book for new year (or any time) dieters who get bored of eating the same foods.
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