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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 28 October 2015
This review is for the latest 2015 edition.

I have collected quite a few cooking books over the years and this one is a great addition. Plenty of great Christmas dishes. Some classics with modern twists and some completely new ones for me. The book is very beautifully presented with lots of mouth-watering pictures and clear, detailed preparation instructions. Typically for Gordon you get some very fancy and complicated dishes that take time and some skill to prepare. However, there is also plenty for the occasional inexperienced cook. What I like is that there are complete Christmas menus to choose from with dishes that go together very well. Each menu has a planning section to help you prepare ahead and organise your time efficiently. Again, typically for Gordon there isn't much faffing about just straight to the point to get things done. Just how a cooking book should be.

Very happy with my purchase and I cannot wait to try some of the recipes so Christmas might come early this year.

Here is the list of sections and recipes from this book:

PARTY FOOD:
-Dry-roasted spiced nuts
-Smoked salmon-witch avocado and horseradish mousse on pumpernickel
-Pumpkin tartlets with sage and thyme
-Marinated beef skewers with garlic and rosemary
-Paprika chicken with aioli
-Stilton gougeres
-Stuffed dates with honey and pistachio marzipan

CHRISTMAS MENUS:

ROAST TURKEY MENU:
-Roast turkey with lemon, parsley and garlic
-Turkey gravy with cider and walnuts
-Pork, apricot and pistachio stuffing
-Caramelised cranberry and apple sauce
-Roast potatoes with chilli and turmeric
-Brussels sprouts with pancetta and chestnuts
-Light steamed pudding with whiskey cream

BEEF WELLINGTON MENU:
-Pan-fried scallops with caper, raisin and olive vinaigrette
-Christmas beef Wellington
-Watercress purée
-Truffle mashed potatoes
-Pannacotta with pomegranate glaze

GLAZZED HAM MENU
-Cream of cauliflower soup with truffle oil and croutons
-Haney glazed ham
-Pear and saffron chutney
-Parsnip purée
-Creamed cabbage with thyme
-Ricotta cake with caramelised clementines and star anise

SEA BASS MENU:
-Smoked duck breast salad with pomegranate vinaigrette
-Pan-fried sea bass with lemongrass veloute
-Potato and celeriac dauphinoise
-Broccoli and sugar snap peas
-Sherry-glazed figs with pine nut brittle

ROAST GOOSE MENU:
-Roast goose with five spice and honey
-Redcurrant and red wine sauce
-Braised red cabbage and apple
-Honey glazed carrots and parsnip
-Passion fruit parfait

BREAKFAST & BRUNCH:
-Christmas muesli
-Chestnut muffins
-Scrambled eggs and smoked salmon on toasted croissants
-Ham and potato cakes
-Cinnamon pancakes with caramelised apples
-Provencal Christmas bread

LUNCHES & SUPPERS
-Pumpkin soup with wild mushrooms
-Linguine with mushrooms and truffle
-Ideas for smoked salmon:
*Potted salmon with harissa
*Smoked salmon chowder
*Farfalle with smoked salmon and peas
*Smoked salmon and char-grilled potato salad
-Poached side of salmon with a light tarragon mayonnaise
-Salmon salad nicoise with coddled eggs
-Ideas for cooked turkey:
*Soba noodles and turkey in miso broth
*Turkey, cranberry and wild rice pilaf
*Turkey curry
*Turkey, chorizo and bean stew
-Pan-fried duck breast with spiced orange and cranberry sauce
-Shallot tart tatin with roasted tomatoes and goat's cheese
-Ideas for cooked ham:
*Pea and ham soup with minted crème fraiche
*Spaghetti 'carbonara'
*Glazed ham salad with roquefort dressing
*Leek, ham and mushroom pies
-Winter minestrone with walnut pesto
-Pumpkin risotto
-Bubble and squeak cakes
-Ideas for stilton
*Stilton and walnut palmiers
*Celeriac, apple and stilton soup
*Griddled fig salad with stilton dressing
*Steak with mushroom and blue cheese sauce

SWEET TREATS:
-Italian-style trifle
-Christmas bombe
-Pear and amaretto cheesecake
-Vanilla shortbread
-Cranberry mince pies
-Cinnamon and almond drizzle cake
-White chocolate biscotti with pistachios and dried cranberries
-Mint chocolate truffles

I hope you found this review informative and helpful. Thanks for reading.
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0Comment| 11 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
Great book, lovely recipes and generally well explained so an inexperienced cook could make most of the recipes. Ramsay has the traditional dishes and some very unusual ideas wrapped up in this nicely laid out book. It's a nice book and well worth the money. Recommended.
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on 6 March 2017
We have followed the recipes from the two TV episodes that are repeated on Channel 4 every Christmas.

Last Christ we made the:-

Turkey
Glazed Ham
Stuffing
Mulled Wine
Sprouts and Chestnuts
Gravy
Cranberry Sauce
Toasted croissants

The book has even more recipes and is great aid to planning what to cook and when.

The recipes are very achieveable by amateur chefs and makes the mammoth task of delivering a successful Christmas day feast MUCH easier!
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Christmas cookbooks are easy to like, given the season, but it takes something special to write a really good one. Has Gordon Ramsay succeeded? Written in conjunction with the home economist Emily Quah (if you read the small print) this one is quite lovely on first impressions. Lots of recipes, lots of pictures and a total lack of noodling on about christmas à la Nigella.

It divides up into:

PARTY FOOD
spicy nuts, mulled wine, and some really lovely canapé ideas that I will definitely be trying. Little pumpkin tartlets, marinated beef skewers, little stilton gougères. Nothing obvious, just very delicious-looking. He has a wonderful imagination for dishes, I think.

FIVE CHRISTMAS MENUS
Vegetarians will be weeping at this point - it's turkey, goose, beef wellington, ham or sea bass.
Top marks here, actually. Anyone who has read the normal drag of Christmas books knows how hard it is to invent new recipes for traditional meals, but... Great stuffing ideas, intriguing gravy suggestions, good pudding recipes (pomegranate panacotta... mmm) There's a pear and saffron chutney for eating with ham that i'm making while writing this... smells delicious so far.

BREAKFAST AND BRUNCH
Personally, almost my favourite bit of christmas, and some good muffins (with chestnuts!), delish sounding ham and potato cakes, a provençal christmas bread.

LUNCHES AND SUPPERS
Actually, finally some good things for the non-meat-eater! Pumpkin soup with wild mushrooms and a fantastic shallot and goat's cheese tatin would make an amazing Xmas menu. Also some excellent and original non-clichéd suggestions for using up smoked salmon, stilton, turkey and ham.

PUDDINGS
Italian-style trifle; a BRILLIANT looking Christmas Bombe made of shop-bought swiss roll and ice cream, pear and amaretto cheesecake, and others.

My biggest criticism would be ... GR always has a tendency to make recipes that come too directly from the restaurant kitchen. For eg: There's a pumpkin risotto which has the rice parboiled and cooled on a tray, but most of us will be wanting to make it one go, surely, and would prefer the recipe like that?

Or there's those potato cakes, but which require boiling potatoes and leaving them (preferably) in the fridge overnight before continuing. These sorts of things give a whiff of complicated cooking, and also require the person using the cookbook to use a bit of common sense if they DON"T want to do it like that. So for me, fine; for my sister, who prefers everything a bit more literal, not so good.

I'm taking off a star because of that drawback, and would advise beginner Christmas cooks to buy Delia Smith's Christmas with its copious shopping hints and excellent timetables (this book has nothing as comprehensive as that, though it has a short page on what to do for each menu). But if you are already a keen cook and fancy adding to your yuletide repertoire, this is definitely a bargain and I think you are sure to find a few things that the family request every year from now on!
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on 9 December 2012
With Gordon's help, 2012 will be totally stress-free, every dish is explained simply and easily. The step by step format gets the banquet to the table on time, everytime.
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on 7 November 2011
....but a considered collection of mouth-watering recipes that will impress your family and friends.'

And, for the best part, the book delivers with around 78 recipes, typically GR - some on the simpler side; some far more fancy!
So, if 'Roast Potatoes with Chilli & Turmeric' and 'Turkey with Gravy & Walnuts' is your thing, then this could be the Christmas recipe book for you!

Having said that there are a number of recipes which are also suitable for any-day cooking, e.g. the 'Pan-fried Sea Bass' on pages 68 & 69, which is subtly flavoured by a 'Lemongrass Velouté' and carries a one-page, simple four-step photograph set. Served simply with broccoli florets, as suggested, this is a lovely dish to serve in both formal and informal situations.
Another great everyday recipe, and not just for Christmas, is 'Scrambled Eggs & Smoked Salmon on Toasted Croissants', from pages 88 & 89, which makes a great tasting brunch!

First published in 2010, my review refers to the latest release :

Quadrille Publishing edition/2011, by Gordon Ramsay, with Emily Quah/ISBN 978-1849490931

ooOoo

◄O►TO AVOID POSSIBLE BOOKSHELF DUPLICATION IT SHOULD BE NOTED THAT THE COVER PICTURE(& Dustjacket, if included) CAN VARY!◄O►
(Some dust-jacketed editions mention the Channel 4 TV series of the same name on the front cover and on the inside flap.)

ooOoo

From the back cover of my edition:

~ 'Christmas with Gordon presents Gordon's secrets for achievable, affordable and stress-free Christmas cooking. Based on classic ingredients with a modern twist and some surprising new tastes, his recipes will add a new dimension to your festive food. His super-succulent turkey menu is a winner, or you might prefer to serve his beef Wellington, honey-glazed ham, pan-fried sea bass or roast goose. Getting organised is Gordon's key to success and to help you do so he offers sound advice on planning your time and cooking ahead.
In addition to superb Christmas menus, Gordon provides a great selection of party food recipes and delectable sweet treats, as well as brilliant ideas for breakfasts, brunches, lunches and suppers to keep you going through the festive holiday......'

Measuring in at roughly 24.25 cm x 25.25 cm, Gordon carves his turkey on the front cover, and his 'Christmas Bombe' dresses the back.

Inside the durable covers are 144 shiny quality pages, split over chapters:

1. Party Food (pg 16-29)
2. Christmas Menus (pg 32-81)
3. Breakfast & Brunch (pg 84-95)
4. Lunches & Suppers (pg 98-123)
5. Sweet Treats (Pg 126-141)

along with an 8-page introduction, which includes a double-page narrative from GR and short sections entitled:

♦ Christmas Fruit & Nuts
♦ Cheeses
♦ Wines & other Festive Drinks

Each chapter opens with a double-page spread then it is straight into the recipes (with the exception of the bumper Christmas Menu chapter).

The main recipes are simply laid out in burgundy red and black text on a white background, with the capitalised title, the amount/servings, the list(s) of ingredients, a relative note and/or tip, along with the clear numbered method. Most spread over a double page with a full-page photo on one side. Sometimes there is more than one recipe to a page usually when a suitable accompaniment e.g. a drink is included in a simplified format, such as 'Mulled Wine', on page 17 or 'Christmas Smoothie', on page 86, or 'Mincemeat' on page 135.

♦ The Christmas Menu chapter is usefully subdivided into:

1. Roast Turkey Menu
2. Beef Wellington Menu
3. Glazed Ham Menu
4. Sea Bass Menu
5. Roast Goose Menu

and has a summary of the all the recipes included in a banner (text in white on the burgundy background) at the top of the first page, along with a guide to 'Planning your Time', before and on the Big Day.

Great photography from Chris Terry throughout, with one of GR himself on each page of that aforementioned Christmas Menu chapter.
There is a peppering of 2 page-spreads (without pictures) but these are in the minority and tend to be accompaniments or GR's usual extra for 'ways with', in this case, 4 ideas for each of:

★ smoked salmon
★ cooked turkey
★ cooked ham
★ stilton

The book winds up with a 3-page index, which is usefully cross-referenced for easy searching.

Typical GR banter throughout, e.g. 'Pumpkin Risotto' (a similar recipe to that in Ramsay's Best Menus)

'I had to include a risotto in this book, if only because it's a diversion from all the festive meat and poultry. I made it with leftover purée from my pumpkin soup, but you can certainly use fresh, diced squash or pumpkin - just sauté with some butter and seasoning until tender, then stir into the cooked risotto before serving. This is the way we cook risottos at the restaurants - parboiling the rice first so that you only need about 10 minutes to finish off the dish before serving.'

NOTE : Oven timings given in the recipes are guidelines based on fan-assisted ovens and an inside cover note stresses the need to know your own oven and its capabilities!

A small taste of the other recipes contained within:

♦ Pumpkin Tartlets with Sage & Thyme
◊ Marinated Beef Skewers with Garlic & Rosemary
♦ Stilton Gougères
◊ Christmas Star Fruit Punch
♦ Light Steamed Pudding with Whiskey Cream
◊ Pan Fried Scallops with Caper, Raisin & Olive Vinaigrette
♦ Watercress Purée
◊ Pannacotta with Pomegranate Glaze
♦ Cream of Cauliflower Soup with Truffle Oil & Croûtons
◊ Pear & Saffron Chutney
♦ Potato and Celeriac Dauphinoise
◊ Sherry Glazed Figs with Pine Nut Brittle
♦ Christmas Muesli
◊ Chestnut Muffins
♦ Ham and Potato Cakes
◊ Linguine with Mushrooms & Truffle
♦ Salmon Salad Niçoise with Coddled Eggs
◊ Winter Minestrone with Walnut Pesto
♦ Italian-Style Trifle
◊ Vanilla Shortbread
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on 5 November 2013
I am slightly biased here because switching my ears off to his language I do really like Gordon and he is innovative as ever in this book and what I like most of all about it as that it's easy for ordinary cooks such as myself to follow. So thanks to Gordon I hope to excel myself this Christmas.
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on 16 December 2013
The writing style is very basic - it’s obviously all from Gordon himself you get the sense that he’s genuinly loves his cooking. Easy to follow receipes.
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on 4 June 2016
I cooked many recipes from this book and my guest were delighted. Special recipes, but not too difficult. The glazed ham is just phenomenal and has become our regular dish for Christmas. Many different recipes for every taste bud and also breakfast and leftover ideas.
The scrambled egg with salmon is also a way you want to start you day!
Great gift!
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on 12 January 2014
The simplicity of his traditional recipes with a fresh touch were an inspiration for me. I thoroughly enjoyed using a number of his recipes - I actually wanted to get in the kitchen!
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