2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Keeping it simple,
This review is from: Keeping it Simple (Hardcover)
This is a very good basic cookery book, suitable for novice cooks but also with enough to keep more experienced cooks interested.
Recipes are divided into ten chapters: keeping fish simple, keeping seafood simple, keeping poultry, then pork, lamb, beef, vegetables, pasta & rice, eggs & cheese and, finally, desserts. At the beginning of each chapter there is an introductory section, which normally follows a similar format. For example, in the fish chapter the introduction covers how to choose fish, a freshness checklist & what to avoid, hints on cooking, key flavours and a note of some simple meals which don't even require a recipe. The format is slightly adapted depending on the main ingredient discussed in each chapter.
After this introduction come the recipes, often starting with some basic sauces. For example, in the poultry chapter, after the basic sauces (red wine, white wine & mushroom) there is roast chicken plus recipes for the trimmings followed by recipes such as chicken with wholegrain mustard asparagus, crispy parmesan chicken with basil tomatoes, chicken with porcini & chestnut mushrooms, roasted duck with blackberries. The pork chapter starts with apple sauce & mustard sauce and follows with such things as roast pork with orange honey sauce, strogonoff, and grilled gammon with pear mayonnaise and chicory salad. The vegetable chapter includes recipes for salads and vegetable accompaniments but also has things like soups, pizza, tomato tart, ratatouille omelette, asparagus & mushroom pudding (essentially vegetables in a batter, topped with melted fontina cheese - a gorgeous dish for a vegetarian with a simply dressed salad). Other favourite recipes include celeriac fries, spicy cauliflower, lemon & chive sauce (for pasta), cheddar cheese & onion scotch pancakes, mozzarella & pesto potato cakes, apple jelly with cinnamon cream, and Bailey's crème brulee (to die for!).
The recipes are all straightforward, typically involving three or four steps, and the ingredients are easily available. Explanations are very clear and perfect for the less experienced cook. Unlike some of Gary Rhodes' books, there are no complicated preparation techniques or time-consuming methods and many of the recipes are ideal after-work meals.