This book is tremendous, Real recipes for real British food, while all the others flap about giving us their renditions of food from over the channel Brian concentrates on giving us the food of our yesteryear - Steak & Kidney Pudding,Cabinet Pudding, Spotted Dick, Braised Pigeons, champ,and many many more..... all foods we can make from readily available British ingredients without making a huge carbon footprint, every recipe works, how many other authors can you say that about!!!!!
Simple, straightforward recipes for traditional British cooking with not a hint of fusion cooking in sight, thank goodness.
Each recipe has a short introduction putting it in context, clear list of ingredients and concise instructions. A big plus is that all the recipes use readily available ingredients,most of which one would have at home, and most do not have a lot of ingredients so are not expensive to make. What one gets is plenty of tasty recipes for comfort food: Cream of Mushroom Soup, Glamorgan Sausages(heavenly), Steak and Kidney Pudding(much better than pie), heartwarming Lancashire Hotpot, the best Potato Salad, Cauliflower Cheese, Bakewell Tart, Sticky Toffee Pudding and a Rice Puddding that remeinds me of my Grandma's. There is a short section on baking with such homely stalwarts as Drop Scones, Gingerbread, Hot Cross Buns and Victoria Sponge. The final section gives such simple recipes for Horseradish Sauce, Mint Sauce, Sage and Onion Stuffing that there is no excuse not to make your own.
Some of the recipes are interesting revivals of retro or older dishes such as Prawn Cocktail and Mulligatawny Soup, Pease Pudding, Potted Shrimp, Cabinet Pudding and Brown Bread Icecream. Cheese Pudding, a sort of savoury bread and butter pudding was new to me but lovely to eat. In fact what struck me in reading this collection of recipes is how economical they really are and how suitable in the present economic downturn.
In short Brian Turner provides some of the most delicious versions of British cooking I have ever tasted and if only the weather here were colder I'd have cooked the recipes from cover to cover. Highly recommended.
pack the pages of 'Brian Turner's Favourite British Recipes - Classic Dishes from Yorkshire Pudding to Spotted Dick', to give the book its full title.
From the d/j inner flap:-
'Brian Turner may be a classically trained chef but he has never lost sight of his culinary roots. British food is what he grew up with and what he still likes to cook at home. In over 120 recipes, he pays homage to the rich, diverse heritage of food and cooking in Britain's various countries and regions. He celebrates the superb quality of British produce - from Scottish beef and English asparagus to Welsh lamb - and the many classic dishes that have become famous the world over. As well as traditional meat roasts, puds, stews and pies, his personal favourites include dishes that reflect the influences of Britain's colonial past. In comparison with its continental counterparts, British cooking is uncomplicated, and the recipes in this book are straightforward ideas from a chef who reveals his affection for seasonal food and the customs and vagaries of his native cuisine in every sentence. With his snippets of history (national and personal), and his quirky humour, Brian has created a classic cookbook in tribute to the Great British way of eating.'
With that aforementioned Yorkshire Pud. helping to adorn the cover, this super book opens to 224 high quality shiny pages, split over 9 chapters:-
Soups Eggs, Cheese and Savouries Fish and Shellfish Meat and Offal Poultry and Game Vegetables Puddings Bread, Cakes and Baking Preserves, Sauces and Accompaniments
sandwiched between an introduction and a full index.
Each recipe is well laid out with the title in dark red, an appropriate opening note (often with a hint of history), the number of servings, the list of ingredients and a numbered method, with some footnotes, if applicable. Some recipes span more than one page and some have two versions to try, e.g. 'Baked Eggs', opening with typical B.T. banter:-
'I've given you two versions of baked eggs here. The first is the equivalent of 'oeufs sur le plat', but I'm sure we have been preparing eggs like this for far longer than the French...(It's also known as 'shirred' eggs, which suggests 'scrambling' to me.) The second is slightly posher, more like an egg pudding or unrisen soufflé.'
The missing ingredient in this book, however, is the photography...... which is on the light side and may prove negative to those of us who like to see what we are aiming for on the plate! Having said that, there are some handy step-by step mini-photos for the harder jobs, such as how to skin the fish fillets for the delicious 'Fish Pie' (pages 56 & 57), serving 8, and how to shape a 'Cornish Pasty', aka a 'Tiddy Oggy', pages 84-86 inc.
A small taste of the recipes within:-
Scotch Eggs Glamorgan Sausages Welsh Rarebit Devils on Horseback Grilled Dover Sole Yorkshire Fishcakes Kedgeree Prawn Cocktail Roast Beef and Yorkshire Pudding Toad in the Hole Steak and Kidney Pudding Mutton Pies Roast Loin of Pork with Crackling Game Pie Baked Beans Bashed Neeps Laverbread with Bacon Bakewell Tart Lemon Meringue Pie Snowdon Pudding Queen of Puddings Bara Brith Irish Soda Bread Chelsea Buns Parkin Oatcakes Tomato Ketchup Mincemeat
'Cumberland Sauce' 'It was Elizabeth David who suggested that this sauce might have been named after Queen Victoria's uncle, the Duke of Cumberland. As the sauce is very German in feel, and he was the last independent ruler of Hanover, this could be correct. The recipe also first appeared in cookery books during Victoria's reign and became a vital accompaniment to game dishes. We serve it with ham mostly now, but it's good with any cold meat.......'