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Waste not, want not - "let's get in the kitch!"
on 12 August 2009
This book goes with the TV show on BBC2, which aims to create delicious meals that cost LOADS less. Paul Merrett is a chef I've seen before on TV, very accomplished and knowledgeable about food, but his co-author Allegra McEvedy is my favourite of the two. Tall, blonde, and a bit 'jolly hockey sticks', she shortens all her words, exclaiming "let's get in the kitch!" when she wants to start cooking. She just makes it all seem easy and fun.
There are a hundred recipes in the book, balanced between Merrett's, which are slightly more ambitious and restaurant-y, and McEvedy's which are tasty, tasty, tasty. (I'm not sure macaroni cheese with added artichokes is ever really going to make a truly 'cheap' meal, artichokes are just too pricey, but it tastes amazing.) She is the founding chef of London's LEON restaurant chain which specialise in really cheap delicious 'fast food', so she's great at knowing how to do things.
Most of the money-saving ideas are really good, and I'm impressed by the totting up of how much various households saved switching over to Merrett and McEvedy's system. Totally avoiding food waste is the most important element, with bits and pieces being used up to make stock, flavour soups and so on. And also they are great at sneaking illicit vegetables into dishes for kids who refuse to eat them normally.
This would be an okay book if it just put forward the system, but the recipes from these two fine chefs make it a must-have. Brilliant!
PS you can check out some of the recipes on the Guardian website, google Guardian and Economy Gastronomy and you should get four ways of cooking salmon.