Chicken and Other Birds – Paul Gayler
Poultry is popular: chicken is Britain’s best-selling meat. Paul Gayler, until recently the executive chef at the Lanesborough hotel in London, has written Chicken & Other Birds, the ultimate guide to recipes from around the world for chicken, duck, goose, guinea fowl and squab pigeon. Starting with a guide to these different birds, discussing what to look for when buying, and then moving on with illustrated guides to preparation techniques, there are seven chapters based around common cooking methods. Chapters are titled: getting to know your birds; roasting, pan-roasting and pot-roasting; oven baking; Summer barbeque; griddling and grilling; sautéing and deep-frying; braising and casseroling; poaching; smoking and steaming, and perfect sides and complements.
Recipies for roast guinea fowl with wild garlic pesto stuffing, chicken with 40 cloves of garlic, Caribbean baked chicken paella, duck and chicken cassoulet, dukkah chicken with Lebanese bread salad, miso griddled chicken, quail burgers with pancetta, chilli jam and herb marscapone, saute chicken with smoked paprika, chorizo and smoked almonds, Kung pao chicken, balsamic mint duck breast, southern fried chicken with spicy fries and ranch mayo, braised duck with figs, white balsamic vinegar and mint, and Normandy cider braised chicken are all particularly interesting. The majority of dishes are photographed, with photos of special preparation techniques. The final chapter gives recipes for flavoured butters, marinades, rubs and bastes, stuffings and sauces, chutneys and relishes and perfect gravy.
For ideas to widen the repertoire of chicken dishes, this book has a good range from around the world, and can take you from a straightforward perfect roast and carved chicken to much more exotic dishes.
Chicken & Other Birds is published by Jacqui Small, cover price £25
Homemade Memories – Kate Doran
Kate Doran blogs at thelittleloaf.com; her debut cookbook Homemade Memories, childhood treats with a twist is 250 pages of make it yourself Proustian memory triggers. Among the 99 recipes are Kate’s version of well-known brands and childhood staples. Peanut butter and jammie dodgers, wholemeal spelt digestives, jaffa orange cakes, real bourbon biscuits, nectarine and polenta upside-down cake, fig and hazelnut bread and butter pudding, peanut butter and jam arctic roll, blackberry and apple pastilles, and milk chocolate hazelnut spread are all recipes that sound intriguing.
There are nine chapters, and a full index. Recipe chapters are: crumbs, sticky fingers, cakes, what’s for pudding, the ice cream van, midnight feasts, drinks, and little loaf basics. The first chapter covers biscuits; sticky fingers are hand held treats such as flapjacks or doughnuts, midnight feasts are chocolates and sweets, and the final chapter is spreads as well as a sweet bread recipe. The majority of recipes are illustrated with a photograph, meaning that it’s ended up as quite a large book, with 255 pages.
I particularly like the idea of a proper, home-made digestive biscuit; one of my guilty secrets is a liking for cheddar cheese on a digestive, but I would think that many would find a particular favourite in these pages. An afternoon spent creating a treat from your childhood would be a lovely way to spend an inclement autumn afternoon.
Homemade Memories is published by Orion, cover price £18.99
30 Ingredients – Sally Clarke
It’s nice to discover that other people struggle with deadlines. Sally Clarke’s restaurant, Clarke’s, first opened in 1984. As part of the 25th anniversary celebrations in 2009, a cookbook based around her 25 favourite ingredients was planned. It didn’t quite happen then, but now we have this: Sally Clarke 30 Ingredients.
The book has one chapter per ingredient, with between three and six recipes per chapter. The 30 ingredients are: Apricot, asparagus, aubergine, basil, beetroot, broad bean, cep, cherry, chicory, clementine, cobnut, fennel, fig, landcress, leek, lemon and lime, olive, blood orange, pea, peach, pine nut, potato, quince, raspberry, rocket, sage, squash and pumpkin, strawberry, sweetcorn, and tomato. Particularly interesting recipes include broad bean crostini with lemon, olive oil and ricotta; cobnut salad with figs and peaches; sea bass baked with potato and fennel; fig, almond and strawberry tartlets with brown sugar; crab cakes with chilli, crème fraiche and lime; smoked haddock and leek pasties; pine nut and hazelnut macaroons; quince and port cheese with bay leaves; roasted quince with vanilla panna cotta; rocket and potato frittata; pork, onion and sage pie; and sweetcorn blinis with coriander and smoked salmon. There is an emphasis on using vegetables in the book: there isn’t a single chapter that is focussed on meat as its main ingredient, but there are recipes using meat in the book so it’s not a specifically vegetarian book.
Not every dish is photographed, but those that are have been styled beautifully; this styling extends to the use of wide margins for both the photographs and the recipes, which all adds up to a very coffee-table feel for the book. It’s really one more for perusing while sitting on a sofa, gleaning inspiration, rather than hurriedly skimming through after getting home looking for something to cook for dinner.
30 Ingredients is published by Frances Lincoln, cover price £25
China Towns by Jean-Francois Mallet
Jean-Francois Mallet’s wants to celebrate authentic Asian cooking over the pale imitations found in many Asian, and particularly Chinese restaurants in the West, and his new book “China Towns, Asian Cooking from around the world in 100 recipes” is the result. Chapters are on starters, Chinese dumplings, soups & broths, chicken & quail, beef, pork, duck, fish & seafood, weird & wonderful, vegetables rice & side dishes, noodles, and tea, drinks and desserts.
This is more than just a recipe book; it’s a celebration of Asian food and food culture, with a particular focus on China. The book is packed with photography: not only of all the dishes, but also with little photo essays from Chinatowns around the world. There are also vignettes introducing various well known Asian restaurants that can be found in the West. As a result, for its 100 recipes, it’s a big book, at 416 pages.
I liked the look of the recipes for crispy prawns with tamarind sauce, ha kao prawn dumplings, juicy pork dumplings, fried chicken with cashew nuts, fried beef with onions, grilled pork balls nem nuong, peking duck, salt and pepper prawns, shrimp fried rice, and sticky rice with crispy pork belly. I do think that the recipes would benefit from a short introduction; a paragraph or so to give the reader the idea of what the dish entails. At the moment, you can look at the photo, but many are on a different page and so need searching out. Also, it would mean that we could have some idea about the geographic and cultural origins of each dish.
If you like real Asian and Chinese food, and would like to cook it at home rather than rely on a take-away, then this book is a good starting point.
China Towns is published by Jacqui Small, cover price £30
Review by Diana, of Little Sunny Kitchen
All Things Marshmallow by Ross O’Brien & Amy Nelson
Ross O’Brien & Amy Nelson from The London Marshmallow Company have written this recipe book on how to master the art of marshmallows, offering a fabulous selection of over 80 recipes of beautiful different mallows, as well as more wonderful treats including cakes, cupcakes, tarts, biscuits, and drinks showing how marshmallows can be used in a whole variety of desserts.
In this book they offer detailed instructions on how to make the perfect mallows, essential equipment and techniques. Some are simple and easy, other recipes are more complex. I wondered what would the authors fill a whole 160 pages book with on just marshmallows, but found a huge variety of flavors to experiment with. Starting with the classic vanilla marshmallows and then expanding to very interesting flavors from passion fruit and mango mallows to strawberry and black pepper mallows, so there is something for everyone in this book.
The book is divided into 6 chapters including summer favourites, afternoon tea, S’mores and mallow pops, crowd pleasers, and festive treats. All recipes in the book are beautifully presented and are accompanied by nicely styled bright full page photos, as well as step by step photos explaining the mallow basics. I love the idea of using cookie cutters to create little mallow Christmas baubles and the salted caramel chocolate layer cake looks wonderful!
In summary, the recipes are clear and well explained, this is a great book for those who wish to learn how to make proper handmade marshmallows instead of purchasing the commercially made ones.
All Things Marshmallow is published by Jacqui Small , cover price £20
Many thanks to the publisher for review copies, all opinions our own.
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Giveaway Terms: 1 entry counted per person. 1 prize. 1 winner will be sent a copy of China Towns. UK Delivery only. Giveaway not associated with Twitter. No cash alternative. You must follow @FussFreeHelen and RT this giveaway tweet to enter (https://twitter.com/FussFreeHelen/status/668895257996730368). Closes 11.59pm UK time 15th December 2015. Winner chosen at random using random.org from valid entries. Winner will be informed by DM. If prize isn’t claimed within 28 days a new winner may be chosen. Fuss Free Flavours’ decision is final
Win a copy of Chicken & Other Birds
— Fuss Free Helen (@FussFreeHelen) November 23, 2015
Giveaway Terms: 1 entry counted per person. 1 prize. 1 winner will be sent a copy of Chicken & Other Birds. UK Delivery only. Giveaway not associated with Twitter. No cash alternative. You must follow @FussFreeHelen and RT this giveaway tweet to enter (https://twitter.com/FussFreeHelen/status/668896697326682116). Closes 11.59pm UK time DATE 2015. Winner chosen at random using random.org from valid entries. Winner will be informed by DM. If prize isn’t claimed within 28 days a new winner may be chosen. Fuss Free Flavours’ decision is final