Top positive review
27 people found this helpful
Box of everyday delights
on 5 October 2010
Completely great, just like her other books, but for slightly different reasons. Gyngell is a restaurant chef and sometimes her dishes are slightly too complicated for (my) normal everyday cooking. Consequently I don't end up cooking from her other books as much as I'd like. This book aims to plug that gap, with sections on the ordinary day : breakfast, sunday lunch, outdoor food, afternoon tea, simple weekday dinners, late night suppers and special occasions.
Some readers get annoyed with recipe books that offer them yet another recipe for ratatouille / dauphinoise / scrambled egg / marmalade, saying "I already know how to make that, offer me something new". They think that means they have wasted their money. I am in the other camp, absolutely delighting when a great chef offers me their own take on a familiar recipe, so I can see how they interpret and make it their own.
If you are in the former group, this book might be best avoided, as it does definitely err on the side of simple dishes (though there are some DELICIOUS original things like Creme Caramel with Ximenez sherry, for example, that you still might not be able to live without). On the other hand, if you are like me you will delight in this book. Enjoy being reminded to cook shortbread, or how to make the best ever potato salad, corn on the cob, or bread and butter pudding. Gyngell is a great and creative chef and her tips alone are worth having, let alone the actual recipes.
If I have any criticisms at all its that I could have lived without the rather glib non-recipe bits which I suspect have been written to her publisher's orders to make it more supermarket friendly or something - "Cutlery and crockery need not be matching - sometimes they are more charming if they are not", etc.
Panzanella, steak and mashed potato, tomato salad, baked vacherin, citrus tart, cucumber sandwiches, meringues, roast chicken, christmas pud and bouillabaisse - tons of usable recipes. A book which will be splashed with food within weeks: high recommendation.