This is the book for you if you want relaxed enjoyable cooking with no fuss, no stress, and not too much time consumed. It’s not to say that it’s totally devoid of challenge – some recipes do require certain skills and knowledge. 700 recipes and 250 variations on 544 pages – all impressive and fast, accompanied, as all DK books, with great photos, and giving detailed instructions. Tested here are the smoked salmon and cream cheese roulades, mussels in fennel broth, and pn-fried prawns with olives and tomatoes. All turned out great, very tasty and festive. In fact, all the recipes are exciting, and since they are also simple, this book can make your everyday eating into a very pleasurable experience. The only true effort will be buying the ingredients.
What’s inside: The book has two sections – Everyday and Cooking for friends.
Everyday: No cook; Speedy suppers; Everyday chicken; 10 ways with…; Faster pasta; Pizzas, quesadillas, and pancakes; Easy tarts and pies, Get the most from your roast; Batch and freeze; Storecupboard.
Food for friends: Menu planners; No-fuss finger food and dips; Tapas-style; Simple starters; Big-pot gatherings; All-in-one roasts; Barbeque; No-cook desserts; Freeze-ahead desserts; Indulgent puddings; Cakes and bakes.
The book also has a recipe chooser, food charts explaining how to use and combine ingredients, prepare marinades, dressings and rubs, choose meat cuts, make pasta, use leftovers, time your preparations for a party, plan a menu, and apply many cooking techniques.
To list some more recipes: roasted squid and potato with spiced coriander pesto; sauteed scallops with pancetta and wilted spinach; mixed tikka fish kebabs with mango salsa and lime raita; pizza blanca with four cheeses; pancakes with various feelings; roasted red pepper tart; fish and leek pie; baked salmon with salsa verde and cucumber; prawn, avocado, and watercress sandwich; marinated squid salad; potato and leek croquettes; avocado with roasted cherry tomatoes and a paprika dressing; mixed fish stew with croutons; pork and clam cataplana; prawn saganaki; fish with courgettes, aubergines and tomatoes; chargrilled chicken with tarragon mayonnaise; mixed fish kebabs; mini chocolate éclairs; spiced carrot and orange cake.
Sample recipes: Smoked salmon and cream cheese roulades
Mussels in fennel broth
Pan-fried prawns, olives, and tomatoes
To sum up – a great book, one which will not simply sit on the shelf but will be used on a regular basis, allowing you to enjoy easy fast cooking and eating great food.
Dining is and always was a great artistic opportunity. Johann Sebastian Back