My Kitchen Paperback – 20 Jan 2011
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• ‘The cheeky chappie of cooks is back with a stunning selection of down to earth, easy to follow recipes of dishes he makes for his own family on his days off! Another brilliantly illustrated, perfectly presented, well written book […] James is funny, gracious, professional, expert, trustworthy…’ – Books Monthly's Nonfiction Choice for February
About the Author
James Martin is the much-loved presenter of BBC 1's hugely successful Saturday Kitchen and BBC 2's Eating with the Enemy. In 2006 he wowed fans with his skills on the dance floor in Strictly Come Dancing (BBC1). James has written successful cookbooks ranging from traditional British fare to international desserts and also writes a regular motoring column for the Mail on Sunday. James lives in Hampshire with his dog Fudge and a garage full of stunning vintage cars.
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Top Customer Reviews
If you're more of a beginner, building your repertoire and your cookbook library, then this might well find a place. The recipes are organised by season, and cooking with seasonal produce is what we all need to do nowadays. The recipes are well presented, clearly written and explained. I also like that it has a very British feel
All in all though this book fails one test. It's not the type of cookbook you want to read in bed - it's just not inspiring enough or evocative enough in its language. But in the kitchen, it's easy to follow and will do the job.
The book is advertised as 'the recipes James Cooks when he's not in front of the camera'. If that's true can't have a minute to spare to wash those cars he brags about. Generally the recipes aren't the type you can just throw together from what's in the cupboards, you'll need a shopping list and time to plan ahead (unless things like Japanese Panko beadcrumbs, Peroche goats cheese and cod cheeks are on your weekly shop).
On the plus side, the recipes by season layout is lovely (but not as lovely as the The River Cottage Year), and the recipes do re-invigorate some routine dishes. Admittedly the recipes I've tried so far have come out a little wonky (generally a bit watery or unset, and I've needed much longer cooking times), but this has been the case with all his later books. Use the recipes as ideas rather than concrete guidelines.
NB For me James Martin always uses way too much cream, but I've found using only half the amount (and sometimes substituting for soya cream)doesn't adversely affect the dish.
If you are a fan, or need to give a gift to someone who is, then this book might be worth buying but otherwise I think there are plenty of more inspiring food writers out there.
There is a heavy emphasis on using seasonal produce (the book being divided into four chapters named 'Winter', 'Spring', 'Autumn' and 'Summer'). The winter recipes include obvious festive fare such as figgy pudding, Christmas pudding ice-cream, and breaded turkey with honeyed parsnips. The summer ones are more of a surprise, oddly incorporating a number of hot soups, such as Little Gem lettuce soup, and sweetcorn and crab.
Overall, my favourite bits are probably the desserts (James Martin is renowned for these, as you will know if you've caught the TV show 'Sweet') - and in addition to the dishes mentioned earlier, you can also find the recipes for such delights as coffee cake with pistachio cream filling, Welsh cakes with poached pears, and good old-fashioned baked custard tart.
The book is printed on heavyweight matt paper, with a matt cover and has a quality feel. I would find it hard to think of a cook book that better exemplifies the cuisine of Britain, so it gets an extra half star just for that 8-)
The book is beautifully presented and contains, as is essential in this day and age, sumptuous and mouth-watering photographs of the end product. The cooking instructions themselves are clear and direct, and while grouping recipes together by their seasonality is not novel nowadays, it's still a good idea.
I had expected the book to contain a collection of simple, hearty, traditional fare associated with Martin's Yorkshire roots, and those ideas are definitely there, but in the minority and often combined with hard-to-source additional tweaks, which could put many readers off. The problem that the casual cook has with using recipes like these is that you are often left with a jar of esoteric spice flavouring that you have no idea what to do with next.
There's little in the way of straightforward meals in this collection which is a pity, as the simpler suggestions are seriously tasty but require a significant investment of time. This, combined with the rarity of some of the ingredients spoils what would otherwise be an excellent recipe book with results as pleasing to the palette as any other top TV chef's.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Brilliant service. Ordered one day and delivered the next. Cant get much better than that. Another great book from James Martin. Easy to follow and achievable recipes.Published 3 months ago by Amazon Customer
Excellent condition very pleased, will enjoy trying recipes outPublished 5 months ago by Mrs. Christine Wilkins