This is a brilliant cookbook - all the recipes are really easy to make as they use a maximum of 5 spices each, so you don't have to spend hours shopping beforehand as the chances are that you'll already have most of what you need in the storecupboard and, if you do need something, there are no ingredients that can't be found in your local supermarket. Everything I've made so far - Golden Temple Lamb Curry, Cambodian Coconut and Ginger Aubergine, Mayan Hot Chocolate, Asparagus, Green Bean and Wasabi Salad and Prawn and Lemongrass Rice Noodle Salad - has been absolutely delicious and very simple to make - lots of the recipes can be done in advance so you can relax as your guests arrive, ideally with one of the spicy cocktails that are also found in the book - Lemongrass & Ginger Rum Cocktail is FANTASTIC!
Another great thing about Mighty Spice Cookbook is that the recipes are inspired from all over the world - there are alot of Asian dishes, as you'd expect, but also South American, Mexican, Moroccan and Middle Eastern recipes too...
I cannot recommend this highly enough, especially to those who would like to expand their repertoire to include some exotic, really tasty dishes that will seriously impress your dinner guests!
John Gregory Smith, the author of Mighty Spice is a seasoned traveller, and as he has travelled the world he has also cooked, eaten and collected many recipes. Mighty Spice is the result of his globe trotting, containing over 100 recipes inspired by his travels, but crucially adapted for the British kitchen (and supermarket shopper) by using no more than 5 spices per recipe and easily available ingredients.
By using 5 or fewer spices per recipe, each flavour used can shine and the resultant dishes have a clear distinct and fresh flavour. On a practical note, the use of 5 spices at a time gives you a chance to slowly build up your collection if you do not already have them, and learn the flavour and uses of every new spice you acquire.
The booked is divided into 8 chapters; soups & salads, poultry, meat, fish & seafood, vegetarian, rice & noodles and a mouth-watering desserts & drinks chapters. The book is prefaced by an evocative introduction by John, which has me reaching for my passport and wanting to pack my bag, which describes his travels around the world where he cooked, ate and collected recipes.
Interspersed throughout the book are spice "profiles" and there is a spice directory (which inexplicably is not alphabetical) that runs through the 30 spices used in the book (25 dried and 5 fresh).
I was slightly concerned that by imposing a limit of 5 spices (this includes fresh garlic too) that some of the recipes might be a little flat. But the dishes I have cooked have been full of flavour and freshness. The recipes are easy to follow and comprehensive cross referencing links each dish to two or three others hat it goes well with.
It is global book covering Asia, North Africa, South America and the Middle East. Dishes I want to cook include a Chinese tiger salad, Vietnamese chicken with chilli & lemongrass, sticky Szechuan pork with sesame seeds and some chocolate, clove and cinnamon brownies.
About half the recipes have a full-page colour photos and a similar number have an introduction to them, about their origin and inspirations.
I enjoyed this book, it would also make an excellent present for anyone who is looking to broaden their culinary horizons and start cooking different world cuisines but who does not want to buy lots of different country specific books.
Having just come to terms with the fact I am gluten intolerant and what this means for my regular destressing bake-off at the weekends (tried to do gluten free bread - not even greedy spouse and dog would eat it), I was given this book for christmas as a gift (no pasta/no breads) from said lovey greedy spouse. I went to my local International food store and bought all the needed spices and for a very reasonable sum, I suggest you do the same as supermarket would have cost 3 x as much and helping local traders is much better idea.... and saw some vegetables that I'm not even sure what they are.... I see a future foodie adventure ahead :D Anyway first recipe I tried was Gung Bao Chicken and just some plain boiled rice..... Oh my days - it's heaven, spicy,fragrant moreish; heaven, and if this is what lies ahead for the other vast colourful dishes then I would say this is the best christmas present ever. And added bonus is healthier than a take-away and probably faster :P Highly recommend for any level cook who likes tasty food (but for those non-chilliheads - go easy on the quantities as Mr Smith likes it hot.....)
Wow, I'm absolutely bowled over by this book. Really exciting, innovative recipes that are easy to make and don't use an impossible array of ingredients. I love that every recipe uses 5 spices or less and there are great sections that look in depth at different spices, explaining the difference between fresh and dried, the advantages of dry frying etc.
The recipes come from cuisines all over the world and I can't emphasize enough how vibrant, unusual and utterly delicious they are. Goodbye tired old Tikka Masala and Beef in Oyster Sauce and hello Malay Yellow Mussel Curry, Chinese Tiger Salad and Pueblan Almond Duck. Delicious!
I had seen John's clips on YouTube so I was looking forward to getting his book. What stood out to me when I flicked through was the vibrancy of the recipes and photography - and the idea that I will only need a maximum of 5 spices per recipe. (I'm fed up with recipes that have a long list of ingredients, especially spices - and invariably I don't have or can't get some of them.) I'm going to make the Lebanese Pizza tonight and then impress my wife with Grilled Thai Sea Bass with Chilli, Mint and Roasted Peanuts. Congratulations John - this book is a winner!
This book is exactly what you need when you want a tasty curry but you dont feel like blending and pasting 20 different spices. Every recipe i've cooked has been so straightforward and extremely tasty, the book is great value for money and our weekly favourites now include several recipes from inside this book. Its great! Try it!
This is a great looking cookbook, filled with an exciting mix of recipes from all over the world, linked through the love of wonderful spices. The recipes are all very approachable, particularly with only a limited number of esoteric spices in each recipe. The ceviche, was delicious, and I am really looking forward to cooking the middle Eastern and Mediterranean dishes. The descriptions of spices, with their history and advice on their use and storage, is useful also. John's passion for the food really comes out, and makes you want to try more from the book. The great strength of this book, rather than other books on Asian/spicy cuisine, is that this book does not confine itself to a particular country or region, but draws on a whole world of flavours, which means there really is a recipe for every occasion and every palate. I'm very happy with my purchase!
This is the most amazing new cookbook - if you are going to buy one cookbook this year - make it this one - the dishes I have made so far have been so easy, required no extra complicated ingredients from random shops and took no time at all. But mainly they are delicious! John writes in a clear and easy to follow style, and his enthusiasm for spicy food shines through on every page. The book is beautifully put together, with stunning photography and John's introduction about how he came to write this book is a pleasure to read. BUY IT NOW!