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Recently I have been stocking up on cookbooks. My long standing favourite chef is James Martin. Not only is he gorgeous and a down to earth person to watch I find his recipes usually easy to create and he, like me believes that sure food should be well presented but hearty and not too poncy at the risk of being too fancy!
I have rather a few of James books residing in my kitchen and am currently hunting down any of his recipe books that I don't have as I have created rather alot of the recipes from his books I already own and need more to experiment with! This book is one of my latest books and I have created rather alot of recipes from this much to my flatmate and my families delight!
The Book Itself:
This book unlike many of his other recipe books is slightly different for a few reasons. First off instead of being published by Mitchell Beasley this book is published by Collins. It also costs more if you want to buy it at the retail price which is £20.00. There are barely any photographs of the man himself in this book and all of the recipes are a page each (again in most of his other books sometimes you get two easy ones per page).
There are 224 pages in the book, an introduction at the front of the book, a supplier list, acknowledgements and an index at the back of it and of course a gorgeous photograph of James himself on the cover. There is no index of recipes at the front and no sections are given but at the bottom of the pages the section list is given and its split into spring, summer, autumn, winter, stocks, sauces and dressings (all one section). There are a few desserts , cakes and puddings within each section of the book though not really any starters of nibbles just largely British main meals. (This is meant to be British recipes only).
The recipes are a mix of traditional staples such as Christmas pudding, chunky vegetable soup with cheesy herb toasts, koftas and sticky chicken wings and chicken chasseur and then more fancy sounding recipes such as pancakes with pistachio gremolate (gorgeous and easy to prepare this one!), Cromer crab toastie, roast duck breast with sherry vinegar plums, scallops with black pudding and apple puree and baked Alaska with elderflower meringue.
The book also has recipes for making cordials and sauces such as a mayonnaise and home made tarter sauce.
What this book is, is an easy to follow recipe book with something for everyone within it. The recipes are easy to follow and understand and really not very complicated at all. I appreciate the recipes being under seasons cos I know I can get hold of the ingredients I need and above all I've heard of them however don't feel that this a truly British cook book.
Each recipe is well laid out and tells me how many people it will serve and of course you can adapt the recipes if you so desire.
I love this book like I love all my other James Martin cook book though I do feel this misses out slightly on being as personal as his other books. This doesn't contain his own words (on recipes and hints and tips) and neither are there any family recipes given (which alot of his other cookery books do). Although it is his book and I can tell his style I don't feel as connected with him as I do with in my other books of his...(I know what I mean by saying that lol) however this is a great cook book and one I refer to time and time again!
Available from all good bookshops etc and available on Amazon for about £9.79 (unless like me you get a used copy for a couple of quid!)