March 21, 2017
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What do you cook for the people you love? Asked this question, 100 of Britain's food heroes have shared their most beloved recipes to make this extraordinary cookbook. Nigella Lawson divulges how to bake her Chocolate Guinness Cake and Rick Stein fries up Shrimp & Dill Fritters with Ouzo. Yotam Ottolenghi would serve Pea & Mint Croquettes and for Jamie Oliver, an unrivalled Fantastic Fish Pie. These are just a few of the incredible recipes provided by the best and brightest on the British food scene, including chefs such as Raymond Blanc, Gordon Ramsay, Delia Smith, James Martin, Nigel Slater, Thomasina Miers, Mark Hix, Jason Atherton, Marco Pierre White, Claudia Roden and more.
Compiled by award-winning food editor and author William Sitwell, The Really Quite Good British Cookbook is keenly anticipated and a stunning object in its own right. Ultimately it is a celebration of the breadth, creativity and richness of Britain's unique food culture.
The Really Quite Good British Cookbook is a collection of recipes from one hundred contributors (but more than one hundred recipes). Many of the contributors are chefs, food writers, but the cookbook also features recipes from a food historian, a home baker, a beekeeper and more.
The recipes are organized into six sections: Breakfast; Entrees & Snacks' Fish & Seafood; Poultry, Meat & Game; Pasta, Risotto & Sides; Baking & Desserts. Each recipe is laid out well, providing number of servings, prep time, cook time, skill level (either 1 [easy] or 2 [moderate]), a few sentences about the dish from its' creator and then 'Ingredients' on the left and 'Method' in the center/right. It's a very clean, easy to read and follow format.
I have not yet been able to actually try making any of these recipes but I have read through many of them and their directions seem well written. With such variety in the contributors, you really get a bit of everything in this cookbook. Some (like Shrimp & Dill Fritters with Ouzo or Grilled Skirt Steak with Anchovy Cauliflower Cheese) are appealing and I'm curious to try. A few, I probably won't (Okay, really just the Roast Woodcock on Toast one . . . it's a whole bird roasted, it's head split open, its intestines, heart, and liver cut into a paste and then put on toast and I have a thing about eating things with heads currently on them.) But even the recipes I don't want to try, are unique.
In his introduction, the editor mentions how much is available in British supermarkets, if all of the ingredients used in these recipes are readily available, then I'm quite jealous. (From quail's eggs to fresh curry or kaffir lime leaves to woodcock, guinea fowl or pheasant, there are some things I don't have easy access to.)
The book has a comprehensive index that not only sorts things, as might be expected, by title but by main ingredients as well. That 'Roast Woodcock on Toast with Wild Mushrooms' for example is listed under 'bread,' 'mushrooms,' 'woodcock,' and the title's under the R's. There are website or Twitter addresses for most of the contributors and information on where their recipes were previously published.
A portion of the book's proceeds will benefit The Trussell Trust which runs food banks in Britain (there's a page at the end of the book explaining what they do and why's it's so vitally important).
My advance copy did not feature any images but those I have seen through Amazon's book preview are very nice. They're simple but colorful and really seem to showcase the food.
digital review copy received thanks to publisher, via NetGalley