I never knew you could do so much with potatoes! This book is really interesting. Firstly it dispels the myth that potatoes are ‘nothing but carbohydrates’ and it points out that civilisations lived healthily on a main crop of potatoes for centuries. It provides not only information on the nutritional benefit of potatoes however but the history of potatoes, different types available and what they are best used for. The recipes are really original – from sweet potato bread to potato pizza. There is something for everyone here too – vegetarian meals, potatoes with meat, fish and potato salads. It shows the reader how to make potato croquettes (a favourite with my husband), and even describes how to make the perfect roast potato or crispy potato skins. It’s not all simple recipes though (although the perfect roast potatoes beat any I’ve made previously) but there are much more unusual and complicated recipes also. I agree with the title that this is the ‘definitive guide to potatoes and potato cooking’ and with more than 150 recipes you will be cooking potatoes for weeks!
A huge, glossy book on high-quality paper and crammed with photographs. After a brief introductory chapter on the history of potato growing from pre-Columbian South America on, there is a very brief (ie one page) guide to growing them. Then we have extremely detailed pages on the various ways of storing, preparing and cooking spuds, with step-by-step photos. This is followed by lavishly-illustrated (and largely pointless) pages on peelers, knives, graters, mashers, large wire baskets for cooking chips, and on and on; there are 6 pages on cooking equipment to compare with one on growing.
The second section is an alphabetical list of varieties from Accent to Yukon Gold; 35 pages in all, covering all the better known varieties plus a lot I've never seen for sale either as vegetables or in seed catalogues. Among the details given are the flavour and cooking qualities. Unfortunately, though, some varieties which are now commonly seen in supermarkets eg. "Lady Balfour", "Majesty", "Osprey" and "VDZ", do not feature at all. The details seem to have been lifted wholesale from a trade directory I remember using when I was in the nursery trade.
The vast bulk of the book is composed of recipes, and there are a lot of very imaginative ideas both savoury and sweet, including recipes from other parts of the world, that I will enjoy trying. Especially intriguing is a "Potato Pastry" recipe which uses only 4oz of fat to 1lb flour and 1lb mashed potato. The recipes are clearly laid out and illustrated with step-by step photos. However, there are some surprising omissions. "Boxty", an Irish classic, does appear - as "Irish Griddle Scones", but Colcannon is missing and I cannot find any recipe for Pommes Dauphinoise, or "Dauphinee Potatoes", a classic potato dish and one of the most popular.
This is a useful book for a beginner cook or student, as it assumes you know little. From my point of view I felt the book was unnecessarily large and unwieldy, making it hard to fit on a work surface. A lot of the photos were simply padding (the 8 slightly differing kinds of spud masher for instance) and few of us need a step-by-step photo showing us how to put potatoes into a saucepan. However, the book is saved by the range of recipes and I suspect it will earn its keep in time.
If you use lots of potatoes (whether you grow your own or not) this book helps break the monotony of potatoes as an accompaniment. Lots of ideas and variations on classics, plus many more fancy recipes. Posh nosh from a cheap staple!
A friend has this book, and I wanted a copy. It's not a new print, so Amazon came to mind. It was delivered very quickly and in good order. This book has some old ideas and new ones too. Potato - cheap to buy and easy to make into a snack or meal. For the price it's a must have.
this is a great book if, like me, you know that potatoes are good for you and pretty cheap but can't come up with any ideas beyond baking them in their skins. loads of recipes from starters, mains, veggie, meat or fish to baked goods and even a cake, most very healthy with the odd cheesy/creamy treat. definitely one if you want to slash your food bills. allotment growers will find the spud variety listings in the front useful. also lots of preparation information that i hadnt come across before.
An excellent book. Starting with pictures and descriptions of the 150 world wide varieties; including maori potatoes. Ending with a mouth watering range of recipes, vegetarian and otherwise, buy the book and drool. Knocking plain old chips into a 'cocked hat.'
A friend loaned me her copy and at first I was indifferent but then I read the recipes and there are so many simple ideas which I should have thought of and hadn't. My special favourite is the spicy west african soup. Not spicy but yummy and no fat for the weight conscious. It is even better on the second day reheated.