Title: Tempting treats for all tastes – the best cookery books for Christmas gifts
Author: Vanessa Berridge, Express Newspaper
Full Text & Source:
The Internet, Online, 7/11/2015
JAMIE’S COMFORT FOOD by Jamie Oliver
Michael Joseph, £30
In this year’s offering, Jamie gives kitchen staples a new twist, as well as weaving in exotic dishes from abroad, such as kushari al forno from Egypt.
A great recipe for vegetarians, it mixes chickpeas, basmati rice, pasta and lentils with spices, tomatoes, onions and chillies.
Overnight roast pork shoulder is ideal for a lazy Sunday and provides leftovers for the week ahead. Burgers, pasta dishes, egg and chips – this cookbook is fun but serious with a detailed nutrition chart for each recipe.
HOME COMFORTS by James Martin
Comfort seems to be the watchword this Christmas.
Saturday Kitchen’s James Martin lists recipes under lighter, quick, easy, slow, spicy, sweet and baked.
You’ll find such temptations as spicy chilli tomato pizza and lobster calzone, while “slow” offers braised beef cheeks with beer and mash and the unusual salt crust dough–baked celeriac with crème fraîche and chive dressing.
The recipes may sound complicated but all are well explained and most competent cooks could give them a shot.
MasterChef champion 2013 Natalie Coleman won everyone’s hearts with her Cockney wit and no–nonsense style of cooking.
Her first cookbook contains all the ingredients that made you love her on the telly. She categorises her recipes by techniques, such as frying, steaming, baking, en papillote, salt baking and freezing.
Most recipes are illustrated and all have numbered instructions. I liked slow–roasted lamb with butter beans and salsa verde, cod with pesto and parmesan crumbs, and mustardy pork chop and leek parcels. A great cookbook for beginners.
THE GREAT BRITISH BAKE OFF CHRISTMAS by Lizzie Kamenetzky
BBC Books, £20
Tradition is all very well but most families like something different thrown into the mix over the festive period.
This Christmas, I’m turning to this excellent volume of recipes from Bake Off judges and contestants. Children will love Mary Berry’s gingerbread house, for instance, while Paul Hollywood’s turkey, stuffing and cranberry Chelsea buns are an unfamiliar way of using up leftover turkey.
Mitchell Beazley, £25
Sabrina Ghayour burst on to the culinary scene this year with this, her first cookbook. I’ve been using this delicious introduction to the flavours and ingredients of Middle Eastern cookery since the spring and haven’t been disappointed in any of the recipes I’ve tried.
Many are family favourites, including the piquant red rice salad with barberries, grilled vegetables and toasted almonds (use cranberries if you can’t find barberries).
Other gems are spiced lamb and apricot stew, saffron and rosemary chicken fillets and aubergine meze dishes.
THE ESSENCE OF FRENCH COOKING by Michel Roux
This sophisticated cookbook makes an excellent gift for an experienced cook – the faint–hearted might be nervous of attempting soufflé aux moules or a perfectly clear consommé de volaille.
There’s a short glossary of terms but really Michel Roux assumes knowledge on the part of his reader as he distils a lifetime’s experience into 100 classic recipes.
The very simplicity of many recipes is deceptive, as everything is dependent on the highest quality ingredients, cooked to perfection.
Ebury Press, £27
Yotam Ottolenghi’s ground–breaking 2010 classic Plenty helped elevate vegetarian dishes from side plate to centre stage. In his new book, the chef borrows liberally from the world’s cuisines to create 150 savoury and sweet vegetarian recipes.
Japanese condiments, north African spice mixes, Middle Eastern pulses and oriental noodles feature prominently and less familiar foods such as kashk (sour Iranian yogurt) and dakos (crispbreads from Crete) also make an appearance.
Recipes such as sweet and sour leeks with goat curds and currants, Indian ratatouille, smoked beetroot with yogurt and caramelised macadamia nuts, and meringue roulade with rose petals and raspberries should appeal to even the most committed carnivores.
MADE IN INDIA, COOKED IN BRITAIN: Recipes from an Indian Family Kitchen by Meera Sodha
Fig Tree, £20
Meera Sodha has never lived in India but growing up in England, she ate the same food as her ancestors and still cooks it daily.
A short introduction to each recipe sets the scene and helps the reader understand how and why Sodha’s family cooked as they did.
This unintimidating cookbook brings home the diversity of Indian food with mouthwatering suggestions such as creamy chicken and fig curry, a whole roast masala chicken, and for a street vegetarian curry, chana masala with chickpeas, onions and a sparkling range of spices.
Chatto & Windus, £20
A friend of mine’s son sits behind student Ruby Tandoh at lectures, distracted by brushing shoulders with The Great British Bake Off star. Before she returned to university, she produced this celebration, as well as demystification, of baking.
The book is beautifully presented, with bold print and good illustrations, including step–by–step shots when necessary.
The youthful Tandoh has produced an authoritative cookbook with excellent recipes for a range of breads, pastry, biscuits (I especially liked the fennel seed and chilli snaps), puddings and cakes. She even has a section on suet – due a revival, she claims.
WHAT TO BAKE & HOW TO BAKE IT by Jane Hornby
Former cookery editor of BBC GoodFood, Jane Hornby has produced a lucid and practical basic baking book.
Competitively priced given the lavishness of the illustrations, this handsome book shows every technique with numbered instructions beside it.
The scope of the recipes is more limited than in the Tandoh book but a beginner might feel more supported. I was heartened by the recipe for upside–down fruit cake, which I’ve always struggled with before.
ALL THINGS SWEET by Rachel Allen
Rachel Allen’s cookbooks always combine interesting flavours with accessibility. This latest offering is well laid out, with itemised instructions and clear illustrations. Although the section titles make sense, I found recipes in some categories which might have fitted under others, so it’s worth browsing.
We tried the lemon and mango drizzle cake which was simple and tasty.
Coconut ice cream was impressively easy, with mango and lime syrup as an excellent addition for a quick, delicious dessert.
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