The last few weeks have seen us really settle into our new home and I’ve been branching out of my usual supper standbys and working our kitchen island to the max. It’s been a good feeling to rediscover some of favourite cookbooks and browse those I’ve forgotten about and to broaden my horizons too (I may write about food for many of my clients but I’m not always the most adventurous cook). Just yesterday I had a call from my favourite local publishers as I’ll be working on the copy for a third cookbook for them in the next few weeks, so I thought today would be a good day to talk about cookbooks I love, those that are oldies but goodies and some that I want to explore.
I actually bought this Jamie offering for The Captain a couple of birthdays ago as he’d declared he wanted to cook more. Um…he has cooked A meal out of it but I CAN confirm it was deeelicious and he loved Jamie’s sharp-shooting how-to text. Unfortunately it’s been gathering dust since then so a couple of weeks ago I pulled it off the shelf and made Jamie’s Rogan Josh as that’s The Captain’s favourite spicy dish. It turned out really well – fragrant, multilayered in flavours and the lamb was so, so soft. And even better the next day. I love this book – in it, Jamie takes everyday folk and teaches them how to cook wholesome food. I’m twice as fascinated by the hyper ereal portraits of people in their kitchens. It’s PERFECT for people like The Captain who want to get busy in the kitchen but don’t know where to start.
This is one of my favourite-favourite South African cookbooks. It’s by Philippa Cheifitz who was a mentor for me when I first started writing foodie pages at House and Leisure Magazine 10 years ago. Philippa makes food and cooking easy to fall in love with. I love its freshness, honesty and accessibility and if you’ve never been into seafood before – this will inspire you to get chopping, stirring and sizzling. There are also loads of rustic, country specialities in this delicious book that was mostly shot up the West Coast where she has a holiday home. I’ve given this as a wedding present to a few people over the years as I truly believe it’s a book that everyone should have on their shelves.
This is a book I own but that I haven’t got my act into gear to tackle. I’ve never been that into organic but now that we’ve gotten started on planting some of our own veggies I want to tackle this part of my life where I feel that I am lacking. It’s had great reviews, is crammed full of information that spans the organic lifestyle, not just the food side of things. Plus I love the design – good design makes me feel good.
I’m a noodles gal – love, love love them and my first meal at Wagamama when I lived in London was a revelation for me. I’ll never forget taking my parents there when they came over for a visit – my Dad’s eyes nearly popped out of his head when he realised that the rugby field sized room filled with long tables and benches was a restaurant. He was pretty horrified too that it was all shared tables – but once he lifted his bowl and started slurping his Soba noodles, he too was sold. This book has all the Wagamama signatures – and most are dead easy to achieve. Give this as a gift with noodle bowls and chopsticks and whoever you give the gift to will think you’re a genius!
I love Bill Granger’s style of cooking – so unpretentious, so full of soul and surprisingly easy to achieve. It also helps that his aesthetic and images are so inspiring. It’s definitely on my wishlist. It was a Bill book where I discovered that the best scrambled eggs are those you push gently around a pan not whisk wildly and this method has never failed me. I definitely Want That.
Another cookbook I’m coveting is the new Ottolenghi offering. I ran out of time last time I was in London and didn’t get to cross this cult café off my must-see-and-eat list so the book may offer some solace. As fresh as fresh can be is the way they work and their Mediterranean offerings make me want to have big, loud lunch parties with huge carafes of wine and piano music tinkling through the air. Give this to a foodie with a punnet of fresh figs or a big wedge of Parmesan and you’ll be friends for life.
Happy cooking peeps.
All of these delicious, moreish I Want That books are available on the Yuppiechef site– order one and they’ll deliver for free!
PS. Don’t forget to enter my birthday/bloggerversary giveaway…it closes next week!
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