James Martin's Great British Dinners Hardcover – 14 Aug 2003
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British food, yes. British dinners, yes again. But British cuisine, no. There is something about what we, the British, call British food that rests uneasily in a broader context of, for example, European cookery. As if roast beef and Yorkshire pudding give food a bad name. British food, orthodox opinion has it, is just an embarrassment to the rest of Europe. Even Americans laugh at British food. There can be no escaping the strong negative connotations of British heritage cookery, but James Martin here makes the most of some very simple dishes and recipes, not all of them British (there is more to British dinners than British food). Food nostalgia is popular and there is some evidence that traditional British food is fashionable, perhaps with a younger demographic.
With his gutsy, straightforward and traditional approach to cooking, James Martin presents over 100 recipes of Britain's favourite foods. Packed with reassuringly simple recipes, made from staple ingredients, James Martin's food is simple, affordable and perfect for family cooking. No chef is as well loved by the public for his classic British cooking as James. James is the current presenter of Saturday Kitchen, which attracts 1.6 million viewers. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.See all Product description
Top customer reviews
'...This may not all be 'traditional' British food, but it's what we ate as kids, and who could get more traditional than that?...'
which justifies the inclusion of the likes of:-
'Quick Chicken Tikka Masala', on page 71
'They say that this is Britain's favourite dish - which is exactly why it is here'!
James stresses that the selection is not aimed to be 'poncey', in fact, quite the opposite - this is cooking with simple aims from a young man reliving his own memories of food. As a result, a fair percentage of the recipes are inspired by family members.
Paperback covers open to 144 quality glossy pages, split over 8 chapters:-
* All Day Breakfasts (pg 8-25)
* Soups, Tarts & Terrines (pg 26-35)
* Roasts, Pies & Bakes (pg 36-57)
* Stews, Pots & Spicy Foods (pg 58-71)
* Fish & Seafood (pg 72-93)
* Vegetables & Extras (pg 94-105)
* Puddings (pg 106-127)
* Cakes (pg 128-142)
sandwiched between an introduction and a 2-page index.
Each chapter opens with a double page spread with the title on one side and a picture on the other. Each chapter has a different coloured theme which is carried through into the recipe titles, which is a nice extra touch.
Each recipe has the title at the top, an opening paragraph, the number of servings, the list/s of ingredients and a clear method. Some pages have more than one recipe. The pages are interspersed with appetising, full-colour photography from Jean Cazals, but it is on the light side, in my opinion, and could prove disappointing to some especially as a few pages look a little bare, (including that aforementioned 'CTM'!).
The notes which open the recipes include useful tips peppered with the typical JM banter, often laced with a bit of humour, e.g.:-
1. 'Shepherd's Pie - Why is it that people get confused about which meat goes in cottage pie and which goes in shepherd's pie? I will never know. Do you see many shepherds with a herd of cows in a field?'
2. 'Chocolate Cornflake Cakes - I don't care what all my cheffy mates think of me for putting this in a British book. Frosties, Cornflakes or Rice Krispies, whichever you choose, I bet these little cakes won't even be able to set in the fridge before they're eaten. I love them made either with a chocolate bar or a Mars Bar.'
Well, the latter would be a first for me - but I am happy to give it a go next time I need a batch of 12!
My favourite recipe, to date, is the 'Traditional Lancashire Hot Pot', from pages 60/61, but, tonight, I am going to have my very first attempt at a 'Pork Pie', from pages 48/49, (without the embellishment that JM had to have for 16 years!)
A taste of the other recipes included within:-
* Bacon Buttie
* My Dad's Cheese on Toast
* Chunky Strawberry Jam
* Quiche Lorraine
* Roast Sirloin of Beef
* Spiced Pot-Roasted Chicken
* Steak and Kidney Pie
* Corned Beef Hash
* Beef Stew and Dumplings
* Macaroni Cheese
* Spaghetti Bolognese
* Grandad's Poached Haddock with Mustard
* Prawn Cocktail
* Jacket Potatoes
* Garlic Mushrooms
* Mushy Peas
* Béarnaise Sauce
* Mum's Gravy
* Apple Charlotte
* Baked Rice Pudding
* Rhubarb and Ginger Crumble
* Sherry Trifle with Raspberries
* Black Forest Gâteau
* Granny's Victoria Sponge
* Auntie's Sponge
* Chocolate Roulade
* Yorkshire Pudding under the recipe for 'Toad in the Hole', on pages 56/57.
'.....Well if I can't make Yorkshire Puddings I shouldn't be writing this book.......'
This book is full of popular British recipes - things we all know and love, with his own little twists. I've just made the Chicken and Leek Pie - it was delicious. Oven roasting the shallots, rather than just frying them made all the difference to the finished product.
Great illustrations and easily followed step by step instructions.
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thank you, do not like shabby books.
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