Top critical review
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I love Bill, but this isn't his best
on 13 January 2008
Bill Granger's recipes are very simple to follow and often produce divine results. He has a knack for combining fresh flavours for stunning results. My favourite of his recipe books is "Sydney Food" - so often I buy recipe books and only ever cook a handful of the recipes (if that!) but I've probably made and enjoyed about a third of that book. Unfortunately "Everyday" has not become a staple for me.
For starters, the concept seems forced. Most of Bill's other books are broken into dayparts - breakfast ideas, morning tea, lunch etc. "Everyday" is divided by day of the week. This probably seemed like a great idea when it was first proposed. For example, "Sunday" includes big breakfasts, sunday roasts and soup suppers. Monday kicks off with energizing breakfasts and friends come for dinner on Thursdays. However all too quickly it becomes a matter of "where can we put glam salads?" and "easy weekday dinners?". If you're looking for ideas for dinner, they can be anywhere. Thankfully the index is well laid out, because that's what I end up browsing through for ideas.
The recipes that we have cooked have been fine - delicious even - but they feel like variations on recipes that I have seen from Bill before. There are a few standouts that we've loved and will cook again: the fragrant chicken and spinach curry is great, stir fried chicken with peanuts and cucumber was also good and the flavours in the haloumi open sandwich are superb. But others disappointed: his caramel salmon recipe is okay but nowhere near as divinely delicious as the one written by Jill Dupleix in "Simple Food". Berry hotcakes are okay, but a poor second to the ricotta hotcakes with honeycomb butter from "Sydney Food".
What I do really like about this book is the suggestions that Bill makes for entertaining, grouping several recipes together under a theme, such as a summer dinner party or a chinese dinner party.
One comment: Bill's children are far more adventurous eaters than mine - and probably than the average child. There was little in the kids' meals section that worked for my family, only the baked tomato and mozzarella pasta (which was fine, but very bland and expensive to make, for what it is).