Top critical review
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Cute and comforting traditional British food x
on 5 July 2012
Lisa was my favourite contestant on Celebrity Masterchef so I was excited to discover she had a book coming out. When I first got hold of the book, I was actually quite disappointed at the recipes, they are all pretty traditional foods which I already know how to cook (for example, toad in the hole, chicken masala, tarragon chicken and the like. There's even a recipe for mince!) I think most people know how to cook these. However after I read the book all the way through, I earmarked several recipes and proceeded to make them.
The book is based around seasons of the year so all of the recipes are in chapters spring, summer, autumn and winter. In autumn and winter you can find hearty winter fare such as stews, casseroles and Christmas cookies and in the warmer months there are lighter dishes like fish and pasta.
The first recipe I tried was the rice kris pie chicken. I've been making my own homemade chicken nuggets for years but never thought of using rice kris pies to coat them(although I have used cornflakes). Furthermore, the method of using mayo to coat the chicken is brilliant, I've always dipped in flour, egg and breadcrumbs but Lisa's method is easier and keeps the chicken incredibly moist. Not surprisingly they were a big hit with the kids and also made great sandwich fillers!
Next I tried the spinach, tomato and cream cheese quiche which also worked beautifully, although a tad too cream cheesy for me(not a major criticism, just a matter of personal taste) it was still good though!
The children made the sausage rolls and scones and they were good although you can't really go wrong with sausage rolls can you?
The only recipe from the book (so far) which really bombed was the spaghetti carbonara. Lisa suggests using cottage cheese instead of eggs but it totally does not work, the texture is gross and the whole thing just tastes like cottage cheese which is so not good. My children who will eat anything if served with pasta ate it all though so not a complete waste of time.
So, the recipes are in fact quite good but there's nothing new or inventive here. If like me, you are quite experimental and adventurous in the kitchen, you may find this quite boring. It would make a great gift for a novice however.
The main reason for reading this book in my opinion is to read about Lisa herself. She comes across as incredibly sweet and charming and has put a lot of love into this book. Every recipe has a background story which comes from the heart and I really like that. Yes, it is cloyingly cute so if you don't like cloyingly cute or traditional British food then put this book down now, it's not for you!