The Really Helpful Cookbook Hardcover – 5 Oct 2000
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In a crowded marketplace, facing competition from Nigella, Nigel and Jamie, media superstars all, cookery books are having to signal their virtues ever more desperately. Waving vigorously from the lists is Ruth Watson's The Really Helpful Cookbook, a volume hoping to be the one that the hesitant, reluctant or novice cook reaches for when fate requires them to take their place at the stove. They could do a great deal worse, though the bleak reality is that under the circumstances it will probably be Delia. Ruth Watson is an experienced chef, restaurateur and food writer with more than her fair share of attitude: she has produced a collection of stylish, eclectic, practical recipes designed to fit into busy lives. It deserves to do well, as it is chock full of wonderful things. Refreshingly, and unlike almost every other cookery writer, she divides her year only into winter and summer, giving for each a selection of starters, main courses, puddings, lunches and suppers. Here, for example, is a dish at once achingly fashionable yet comforting--Cod with Saffron Mash and Gremolata. Or what about Scallops with Sauce Vierge and Crisp Pancetta? Or Poached Strawberries with Five-Pepper Ice-Cream? These are seriously good things to eat. There is nothing difficult here, nothing pretentious, just fine eating. Ruth Watson's commentary is also to be relished, by turns wise, sporty and licentious. --Robin Davidson
Her recipes are a sensual delight. Nigel Slater"See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
The recipes here are not 'real fast food'. They are not simple one-pot dishes. Most involve very fresh and/or seasonal ingredients, seafood, deep-frying, advance prep of multiple components etc. Ms Watson writes from a restaunteur's perspective; each recipe has a few really helpful lines describing precisely how long things can be prepped in advance, and how they should be stored and put together at the last minute.
None of the techniques demanded are 'Heston Blumenthal', but your culinary skills will need to be comfortably past the 'can't boil an egg' phase. What we have here are wittily described and carefully tested recipes mostly aimed at making an impressive meal for 2-6 between Saturday lunchtime (shop for the seafood in the morning) through to Sunday dinner. The dishes are divided seasonally, and into lunch, dinner, and puddings, so the book is an ideal accompaniment to Nigel Slater's 'The Kitchen Diaries'.
If you live near a good fishmonger, are serious about cooking, happy to spend a few quid on good food, and will make the time to potter away to make something well above average over the weekend, buy this book.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
One of my favourite cookbooks. Have recommended it to friends. The helpful hints are REALLY helpful. It is also a good read, and made me laugh several times. Read morePublished 17 months ago by DG
I love cooking, I love Ruth Watson so this is right up my street! Her recipes are gorgeous and inspiring, I love her haddock chowder and her penne with pancetta and kale. Read morePublished on 8 Jan. 2009 by Amazon Customer
Only some 100 recepies which is what I get in a monthly cook book magazine for £2. This contains a lot of fish recepies including 2 for cooking lobster (putting live fish in... Read morePublished on 10 Jan. 2001 by firstname.lastname@example.org
At last a cookbook written with a sense of humour and an honest approach to food , a well balanced selection of recipes for everyday and special occasions . Read morePublished on 21 Dec. 2000 by mr michael l altman