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I love to cook but since having children, cooking time has become limited and meal ideas are dictated not only by being on a budget but also the amount of time to cook and prepare meals has rapidly decreased. I'm a very confident cook but I often find myself bored by cooking the same meals over and looking for inspiration for quick, easy and affordable meals to make for us as a family of four or even for Mr Lools and I when we decide to have a later evening meal when our boys have gone to bed. It seems to be quite a common "trend" for many celebrity chef's to bring out recipe books which claim to be packed with quick and easy meals which take no time at all to prepare (think Jamie Oliver 30 minute meals) but when you actually come to cook the meals they in fact take a lot longer. We already have a number of Gordon Ramsay titles but as I've described in previous reviews with some of the recipes in these books they have not actually been the types of meals I want to eat every day. Gordon Ramsay- Gordon Ramsay's Fast Food: Recipes from "The F-Word".
***Gordon Ramsay- Gordon Ramsay's Fast Food: Recipes from "The F-Word"***
On the inside cover the description of this particular Ramsay title is,
" Chuck out the chilled food and take away menus. Who better to show you how to cook real food, real fast and make it really tasty than Gordon Ramsay, 3 star chef and TV celebrity. Taking its inspiration from Channel 4's popular "F-Word" series, Gordon Ramsay's Fast Food includes over 100 delicious recipes that are superfast and easy to prepare.
The book is divided into short sections: 15 features of fast food recipes and 15 great menus for everyday cooking and entertaining. Many of the dishes can be prepared and cooked within 15 minutes (none take longer than 30 minutes) and the menus take 30-45 minutes from start to finish each with a timing plan. There's also advice on ingredients to keep in stock to make your cooking really speedy plus will give you ideas for shortcuts."
The book was first published in 2007 by Quadrille Publishing Ltd. The photography within the book is by Jill Mead. The book is available in paperback and hardback however as with the majority of cookbooks I own they are in the hardback version. The RRP on the cover of the book (hardback) is £19.99. However you can pick up this book now for less than half this price and Amazon are currently selling the hardback version of this title for £7. WH Smith sells this book for under £10 which is where I purchased our copy.
I'm quite a confident cook, I mainly just use cookbooks as I lack inspiration for meal ideas and often just find myself asking Mr Lools what can I make for evening meals and find he is as stumped as I am. My aim with buying the Gordon Ramsay "Fast Food" book was that we would find meal ideas that we could actually eat as everyday food yet they would not take ages to cook or break the bank. When I first bought the book I certainly was not disappointed and I feel just from flicking through the different recipes both Mr Lools and I were pointing out most recipes saying "We can try that". I think that's always a good sign as with some of the other Gordon Ramsay titles we have immediately discounted recipes because of them containing "expensive" ingredients or use more expensive cuts of meat.
Like his other titles there is a Store Cupboard and Basic Essentials section within the book. However unlike his other titles this section is not located at the very back of the book it is at the start which I feel is a better place for it as it contains some quite helpful and useful tips which give some good ideas of shortcuts for everyday cooking and general advice.
The recipes within the book are split into 15 different sections which are:
What I like about this book is that within each of these sections there is more than one recipe I feel I can use and try (or have tried). I often find Mr Lools and I discount recipes because we don't really like the sound of it, or the ingredients are too expensive, or it's just not for everyday cooking but I have genuinely found so many recipes I can actually use in this book. Within the fish section there is a delicious tandoori spiced halibut and cucumber recipe and within the meat section a lovely beef with turnips in port recipe which I feel don't have the "exclusive" feel many of the dishes do in the other Gordon Ramsay titles which fall into these sections.
There are obviously some recipes which do use more expensive ingredients but I do not feel that they outnumber the amount of "everyday" type recipes that this book contains.
Even within the antipasti section the recipes are not "too posh". I usually find that when we have BBQ's for friends or social gatherings I tend to opt to pop to Asda and buy nibbles that pop in the oven. However I have used recipes from the antipasti section to cater for these types of situations and used the very simple Bruschetta with tomato and Parma Ham recipe and the marinated mozzarella recipe as they have actually been quicker and more convenient that popping frozen or chilled food in the oven and have not cost as much to make.
I would say that generally the recipes are a little easier to follow than in other titles from Gordon Ramsay. The layout of the recipes is arranged well on the page so they display the ingredient list and then the steps to create the meal with an image of food or the meal alongside the recipe. Like other Gordon titles the recipes are written in a clear, simple and succinct format and are not overly wordy. For all level of cooks I think this is suitable but for more basic levels of cook they do not give the same description of how to actually prepare the ingredients like other authors do.
The main issue I have with the "Fast Food" book is the overall book layout it is just extremely confusing and doesn't flow well because of the 15 different food section and then 15 different "complete menu" recipes within the book. At the end of different food section there is a "menu plan". This usually a starter, main meal and dessert or a main meal, side dish and dessert and each of these "menus" has a timing plan at the start of the menu. Each "menu" consists of around 3 pages and is slotted in at the end of each section rather than in its own section (which I feel would be suitable at the end of the book). These "menus" interrupt the organised flow of the book and I feel just make the layout seem bizarre as the menus have no relevance to the food sections they are slotted into. You find yourself reading about savoury soups and starters and then come across the "light and healthy menu" and find yourself reading a recipe for a sweet blueberry with honey and almond yoghurt recipe. If the menu's had some relevance to the section I could see the point in this layout but ironically in the Vegetarian section of recipes you actually have the "cheap and cheerful menu" which includes a lemon chicken dish! This makes finding a particular recipe quickly and flicking to it quite difficult and is the aspect of the book I have the greatest criticism for.
As I've mentioned in other reviews I am a fan of the Gordon Ramsay style of cooking and watch his shows, have a number of his books and have even visited one of his restaurants (in my life before children). I like a straightforward approach to cooking which does not require too much preparation and "fiddling" with food but gives you a dish that is full of flavour quickly.
Out of all of the Ramsay titles I would definitely say Gordon Ramsay's "Fast Food" is definitely my favourite and I would recommend this book over all of the others he has published. I feel this book is the most versatile and not only is it suitable for all level of cook from competent to under confident it actually contains recipes that are suitable for every day cooking and there is a lot of choice of these recipes not just a handful like in his other books.
The recipes in this book are actually very easy to follow and they are definitely "fast food" and you do not have to spend hours in the kitchen preparing and cooking them. Although less confident cooks may take slightly longer than 15 minutes to cook and prepare some of the recipes Gordon claims only take this long you certainly won't spend over 25 minutes on these dishes.
My main criticism of this book is its bizarre layout which makes following recipes not the easiest and secondly makes finding recipes in the book quite difficult. Although there are 15 different sections they are then 15 different "meal" plans slotted in throughout the book. I find this particularly annoying as it spoils the flow of the book and I prefer definitive sections where you know you will find certain recipes.
The meal plans which have been designed to help give a time plan are a good idea in theory but personally I think they are a little obvious for anyone with slightly more than a basic understanding of cooking and take up a full page which could have been better used for more recipes.
Simple recipes that are easy to cook all in a book for under £10, definitely more choice than going to McDonalds or Burger King... and not a swear word in sight!
I borrowed Gordon Ramsay's 'Fast Food' recipe book from a friend to see if I liked it and whether I would want to own a copy myself. I am glad I did not waste the 11.96 that it costs on Amazon. This is potentially the worst recipe book I have ever looked through!
At first glance the recipe book looks like value for money as the book is very thick. However, when you look inside there aren't actually that many recipes (the book says over 100 recipes) and I counted there to be 125 recipes.
On a positive note there are pictures throughout the book, which makes the process of searching for a recipe less tedious. Furthermore, there are a wide variety of recipes in this book, including; Indian spice, Thai feast, fast salads and fast anti-pasti.
My expectations from the title 'Fast Food' were that the book would be full of quick recipes that could potentially replace microwavable diners, shove in the oven foods and takeaways.
In terms of quickness they are all said to take no longer than thirty minutes - so the title is at least correct. It is fast food.
However, in my opinion most of the recipes (roughly 90%) are not what I would classify as a main meal. Mostly the recipes constitute what I would call nibbles or snacks. So they would not be a replacement for microwavable diners or takeaways.
Furthermore, I struggled to find a recipe that I would even consider cooking. Normally with a recipe book there will be 5-10 recipes that I am dying to try out and then just over half that id be interested in cooking. I wasn't dying to cook any of the recipes and there were only a couple of recipes I would be interested in cooking.
To give you an example of this I will quote a couple of examples from the book:
Fragrant orange slices (essentially just oranges)
Balsamic figs with crumbled Roquefort (figs with cheese and balsamic vinegar)
Marinated mozzarella (essentially mozzarella in oil)
Smoked salmon & cream cheese on rye (basically cream cheese and salmon on rye)
I could go on but I'll just quote my favourite:
Olives wrapped in anchovies (yes really, just olives wrapped in anchovies).
I will not be buying this recipe book and I would not recommend anybody else to buy this book either.
I am a big fan of Gordon Ramsay and his passion for good fresh food is really inspiring. From reading Fast Food, I have learnt that it is possible to cook freshly prepared good quality meals when time is at a premium.
This book contains a number of recipes ranging from fish, meat, pasta and desserts. The best thing is that each dish can be created in under 30 minutes which is the same amount of time as it takes to order a pizza. The key to the speed of the dishes is being prepared, and the first few pages focus on the items you should ensure are in your store cupboard, fridge and freezer.
This very descriptive book is easy to read, well laid out and illustrated with some fantastic photography. There is a chapter called 'Working Lunch' which puts a great new spin on creating packed lunches. It's good to know that you can now get away from the traditional curled up cheese sandwich with a Fuseli salad with Merguez and olives or rice noodle with smoked mackerel salad on offer.
There are even 15 quick recipes that can be cooked to impress your friends over a dinner party. The "planning your menu" information will ensure that you remain in full control during your dinner party preparation and your guests will not only be amazed at your culinary skills but will enjoy the explosive flavours of the dishes.
If you want to order the book, the ISBN number is 978-1-84400-453-9 and is available from Amazon and other leading retailers.
Thank you for taking the time to read my review.
I bought this book enticed by the promise of quick meals and the look of the gorgeous photos and I have not been disappointed. There is lovely array of recipies here from soups and starters to fish, meat and deserts, all taken from the F word.
He starts out with Storecupboard Essentials which is interesting if a little OTT for an unadventerous 'chef' like myself. The layout of the recipes can be a bit confusing as he has some in sections and others in meal combinations. All of the recipies we have tried have been a success and we tend to turn to this book when we're entertaining more than for a simple midweek meal.
The flavours and textures he combines are unusual yet delicious. He certainly encourages us to be a little more adventurous in the kitchen without giving us complicated and time-consuming procedures. I especially like the pea and mint soup with Parma ham and my husband loves the caramelised shallot and mushrom toasts.
I used to watch the F word alot on TV and really liked some of the recipes cooked on the series so I was bought this book as a present and I have really enjoyed the book so far.
The recipes in the book are really good, they are easy to follow and they are all quick to make, which is the point of the book and the point Gordon Ramsay was trying to get across in the F word. I have tried out quite a few and have liked them all, especially the soups, such as the pea and mint which has now become a regular meal in my house!
However, I do have mixed views on the book, some of the ingredients can be a bit hard to find and I find the layout really strange. Its divided up into sections but then in between the sections are menu ideas. For example the first section is 5 fast soups, this I like, simple and easy to follow, then there's an 'everyday menu' consisting of pan fried hake and blueberries with honey, almonds and yoghurt. Then we are back to sections again, 5 fast starters, ok I like this but then the menu again, this time an entertaining menu 'a taste of morocco', this time three courses. It continues like this throughout, maybe Im being really stupid, or too traditional, but I just don't like this layout and find it really confusing! I wish he would have just stuck to the sections and left the reader to devise their menus themselves!
The sections I like in the book consist of: Introduction, storecupboard essentials, 5 fast soups, 5 fast starters, 5 fast antipasti, 5 fast salads, 5 fast sandwiches, 5 fast eggs, 5 fast working lunches, 5 fast pasta, 5 fast shellfish, 5 fast vegetarian, 5 fast fish, 5 fast meat, 5 fast side dishes, 5 fast fruity desserts, 5 fast creamy desserts, then a basics section, an index and acknowledgements.
I like these sections, they are laid out well and all the recipes only take 35-40mins to cook, brill! I just wish there wasn't the annoying menu's!Having said that, I do like the 'fast drinks party' entertaining menu at the end which tells you how to make nibbles such as cherry tomato and feta kebabs and drinks like minty mojito's (which are really good)!
The storecupboard essentials section and the basics section are also both really good. The storecupboard essentials tells you, well what to have in your storecupboard! Such as oils, pasta, grains and noodles and sweet extras. The basics section gives recipes for different stocks and sauces such as pesto and mayonnaise, this is a very useful resource for everyday cooking and dinner parties.
I do like the book overall and the recipes it contains, I do also think its a brilliant book for dinner party cooking as its so quick and easy but the finished meals look really impressive and the book almost feels like its geared towards dinner parties without alienating everyday cooks as well. It's a shame about the strange layout but I would still recommend the book!
Having watched the series of the F word on tv, I was transfixed to create the recipies that had been on tv, so I went out and brought this recipe book. The food in this book is exactly what has been seen on tv which is great as you can use your experiance from seeing the cooks on tv make it, to help create your own masterpiece.
lots of pictures help you to make the food look nice which adds to the luxury of eating food from the master of cooking - Gordon Ramsey. Although the recipes are not as good as those from his newest cook book, Humble Pie, it is still a great way of teaching people who want to be able to cook for themselves and/or others whether you are a beginner or an intermediate. Not the best cook book ever, but still good enough to help out with the showing off by cooking!
I have been lacking time and inspiration latley so I thought Its about time I got back into the swing of things, I thought what can I do and this book was staring me in the face as I have been using the recipes for the last two months !
The book is Gordon Ramsays fast food and is no doubt the best cooking book I have ever bought. I wanted to make something different from my usual things and as Gordon is my favourite chef on TV I thought I would try this book out.
The front of the book has a picture of Gordon on a black background with bright neon lettering on the front.
Just inside the book states that it is divided into short sections with 15 features of fast recipes such as starters, soups, fish, meat, pasta, working lunches, deserts etc and 15 menus for everyday entertaining.
It also states that the dishes can all be cooked in 30-45 minutes which is another reason I bought the book as I like to cook things fast and not drag it out.
Just a few pages in are some notes about measures, herbs, spices, and eggs.
Then you get to the contents page which gives you all different varieties of dishes for you to choose from be it Light and healthy, fish and chips, Thai feast, Tapas spread, country cooking, anyway you get the picture.
Then you have a recipe list listing all the dishes and the pages you can find them on, these come under categories of Fish and shellfish, Meat and poultry, Cheese and eggs, Vegetables and grains, Fruit, and Chocolate and coffee.
Then there is an introduction page with some words from Gordon telling you how easy it is and much healthier than takeaways all the time. He tells you about the best fresh ingredients to use, the herbs and spices, the various courses of recipes, and the cooking methods.
On the next set of pages is titled Storecupboard and tells you of all the things that a good storecupboard should have with oils, vinegars, sauces and flavourings, asian ingredients, pasta grains and noodles, canned pulses, preserved vegetables in jars, baking essentials, sweet extras, and meditteranian basics.
This has a paragraph or two under each heading telling you about each subject.
The next few pages are about fresh standbys and other essentials with the same layout as the previous couple of pages.
Then we come to the recipes
The first section is Soup which include leek potato & smoked haddock, pea and mint soup with parma ham, chilled mellon soup with crab garnish, beetroot soup with smoked duck.
The next section is light and healthy with recipes like pan fried hake with tomato relish and blueberries with honey almond and yogurt.
Then a starters section which covers dishes like salmon ceviche, sautéed scallops with sweetcorn salsa
A taste of Morocco comes next with dishes of grilled aubergine with tahini dressing, fragrant orange slices
Then comes antipasti with dishes of balsamic figs with crumbled roquefot and artichokes in a herb and lemon dressing
I shall not take you through every single section but the next few are Country cooking, salads, Viva Italia, sandwiches, fast fish and chips, eggs, and outdoor eating.
The next is working lunches with easy recipes such as sausage and beans, leftover roast chicken salad, pastrami and cream cheese bagel
Mexican flavours is a good chapter with courses of beef fajitas, and melon with tequila and lime.
Then comes pasta dishes followed by Easy for a crowd which covers everyday menus as baked chicken, and cheesecake
The next is one of my favourites Shellfish. I have done a few from this section and these include Crab spring rolls, oyster shooters, and prawns with orange and tequila. The Lobster thermidor sounds divine though !
Then we have tapas spread with another few I have done myself such as fried chorizo with parsley and sautéed prawns with green peppercorns.
Then a vegetarian section covering quick minestrone, easy vegetable curry
Cheap and cheerful contains such dishes as sticky lemon chicken, and caramalised banana split
The next are fish dishes, followed by summer special with avocado & cucumber soup
Next are good old meat dishes including varieties of chops, venison, steak and quail
We have Indian spice with easy to make prawn pilau, griddled pineapple with mint and toasted coconut
Side dishes section includes stir fry, fried rice, and couscous to name a few
We then have Thai feast with a good selection of dishes
Fruity deserts comes next with dishes of mango fool, cherries with almond and mint
Speedy Sunday lunch section follows, and Creamy deserts after including white chocolate and cherry mousse, and chocolate fondant to name a few
This also includes a section on fast drinks.
Coming to the end of the book there is a huge index for all of these great dishes and a page with basics on with a few more pages from Gordon.
This book is 259 pages long and is a hardback copy.
You can now pick this up for around £10 at WH Smiths, Play.com, or many other outside stores as well as easily online.
My thoughts on this book :
As I am a fan of Gordons cooking anyway I noticed this book coming out at WH Smiths as it was well publicized. I hadnt really given much attention to other cooking books in the past as nothing really caught my eye, but this book stood out as the programme The F word had been on fairly recently and was very easy to spot.
I flicked through a few pages and like the fact that these were great recipes and looked very east to make in minutes not hours.
I found what I was looking for under the sections provided and enabled me to want to cook after reading the recipe. I liked the way that each dish was outlined very well and showed you step by step how to cook the dish, preparing, cooking, timings and everything.
The first dish I actually cooked was sautéed scallops with sweetcorn salsa.
The picture looked very nice and I wondered what mine would turn out like.
The recipe was very well laid out and only half a page ! This is what I wanted, the instructions were very easy and it took no time at all to complete this recipe. It turned out exactly like the picture and tasted great.
As soon as I had the taste for the cooking I got onto other dishes with sticky lemon chicken, and fried chorizo with parsley and sautéed prawns with green peppercorns.
I was very surprised on how easy and well thought out these dishes were and the next thing I done was to get one of my friends who cant cook very well to try one of these out.
He tried out the Scallops with sweetcorn salsa and actually done very well, which goes to show that you dont have to be a great cook to have fun with this book.
I have found the sections I like the best are the fish, shellfish and meat sections and I shall be trying out one again every week.
I would recommend this book to anybody who like or has to cook as I thought that this book is great, certainly the best cookbook I have ever read.
Hope this has been of some help,