I’ve just got back from my sister’s house – lots of lovely food, all the family there. It was really nice to see everyone together. My nieces, (8, and 1) and nephew, (5), were as boisterous as usual, but very funny – the youngest one, Laila, has learned to ‘high five’ which she now insists on doing every time she sees me, after carefully handing me her excavated mince pie – (eat the mince, leave the pastry).
But I digress. I actually wanted to rave about a cookery book I received from my youngest sister and her boyfriend – it’s fabulous, (although I think I say that about all the books I read). It’s a collection of the recipes from a small chain of very well reviewed fast food restaurants, Leon, which I am ashamed to say I’d never heard of, but both my sisters assure me that the food is wonderful. The book I have is actually book 2, and I now have book one on my Amazon wishlist.
As well as the recipes there are a couple of pages dedicated to lists of store cupboard essentials, plus party menus, drinks and, most importantly, the ethos of Leon, which is to provide high quality fast food that is as fast to prepare as it is to cook, and nutritional to boot. I am so looking forward to starting on this book, as well as ‘Italia’ and ‘Kitchen Diaries’.
Cover of Made in Italy: Food and Stories
This is a beautiful book, and exactly how a cookery book should be written. It’s not just a collection of recipes and photographs of the results, but a whole story of where the chef grew up and who influenced him. It documents the food he ate as a child and discovered as he grew up, anecdotes of his family and adventures he’s been on, and how he became successful.
The photographs also help to tell the stories – it’s genuinely a pleasure to read and the recipes are fabulous,divided into seven sections: Antipasti; Zuppa; Risotto; Pasta; Pesce; Carne; Dolci.
None of them are impossibly difficult, and the ones I have tried have produced meals that I could eat over and over again. If I could reproduce one of the photos here I would – my all time favourite is a photograph of pieces of focaccia classica on a wooden board – simple but beautiful and will, like all the others, encourage you to make it just so that you can taste how beautiful it looks!
If you are in the mood for buying a new cookery book, or asking for one for a present, I highly recommend this – you won’t regret it.
Cover of The Kitchen Diaries
Had a very productive morning, once I’d consumed the obligatory gallon of coffee. Shocked myself by actually paying money into my bank account – am surprised the computer system didn’t crash. Then I went up to the sorting office to get my book, ‘The Kitchen Diaries‘ by Nigel Slater. I have to say that I’ve already read it from cover to cover, when I was away the other week but that hasn’t dampened my enthusiasm. I bought it from Amazon, and the seller stated that it was ‘new, unused, with light damage to the cover’. Well, the only damage I can see is some vague scratches on the front that can be spotted if I hold the book up to the light and squint. So, 5 stars to you, Bookworld of Bradford – I will definitely be buying from you again.
Anyway, after picking up the parcel I did exactly as planned and walked down to Sharrow Vale Road, via the Co-operative Supermarket where I had a small cheese shopping binge – Parmesan Reggiano, which I needed, plus Gruyère and Manchego, which I didn’t, but I care not. Then I called in at the grocers, Sharrow Marrow, which is just the loveliest shop. I only went in to buy shallots and garlic, but came out with those two items plus a pomegranate, dried porcini, (grown and dried in Yorkshire, top marks), tomatoes, smoked garlic and ground coffee.
I’ve decided against posting the ragoût recipe because there are so many already on the internet. I’m going to be cooking something from Claudia Roden‘s ‘Arabesque‘ later this week so I’ll post that instead. I’m now going to make myself another gallon of coffee and read my new book.
Wishing you all a good week,
Cover of The Kitchen Diaries
- Cover of The New Penguin Cookery Book
As my copy of ‘The Kitchen Diaries‘, (Nigel Slater), is still sitting in Ecclesall Road sorting office, I’ve been finding recipes for the coming week from one of my favourites, The New Penguin Cookery Book by Jill Norman. I wasn’t going to bother but then I started watching Masterchef and got obsessed.
I’m trying a new regime of shopping daily so that I stop wasting food – I tend to overshop so this week is going to be different. The idea is that, on the way back from the sorting office tomorrow, I can walk down Sharrow Vale Road, which is a really lovely street here in Sheffield, with lots of small food shops – grocer, butcher, fishmonger, baker, ironmonger, Greek deli. There are also some really good pubs and restaurants and it’s an area with a large student population so it’s always buzzing.
I’ve eaten too much meat this week so feel as though I should give myself a break. So, tomorrow it’s mushroom ragoût with tagliatelle which is from the Jill Norman book mentioned above. If it’s good, (and it sounds like it will be), I will post the recipe tomorrow along with all appropriate credits of course.