Wednesday, 16 February 2011

CUISINE REVIEW: The Gypsy Kitchen - Lisa Lamme

Release Date: 28/01/11


Readers can forget ordering expensive take-out whenever they're confronted with a seemingly empty fridge. Instead, they just need to take another look. With some Gypsy Kitchen magic, they'll be able to take whatever that 'empty' fridge has to offer, mix it with what's inside those 'bare' cabinets, and create satisfying and tasty dishes everyone will enjoy. Lisa Lamme shows readers how to...dress up Caesar salads with some English mustard; add Szechuan style to boring chicken with tahini; use Ranch to take steak skewers to a new level; turn up a vegetarian dish's heat with hot sauce; and, more! Now novice cooks and seasoned foodies can go gourmet with a simple sweep of their kitchen, turning the little they have into anything they crave.


With me taking a recent look into cuisine titles to not only improve my kitchen skills but also giving myself the chance to learn new techniques, I wanted one that would help me keep to a budget with my shopping, to utilise leftovers and above all else help me learn some new recipes for something different as well as special.

What this book does is deal with some basics and whilst it did have a lot of potential I felt that it didn’t quite live up to the hype. After all what the author calls basic kitchen essentials I feel is pushing things a little far especially when you add up the cost of these ingredients such as balsamic vinegar, various wines/spirits as well as all manner of herbs/spices. Then when you go through the book and find no pictures of the finished product left me wondering why this title was such a good one.

I don’t doubt that the author knows her onions (so to speak) but as every chef/cook will tell you, you feast first with your eyes. It’s a thing of comfort, it helps you get an idea of how it’s meant to look and when backed with the taste sensations from the ingredient list can leave you with a desirable list of recipes that you can’t wait to try. Finally, my last criticism is to do with some of the recipes, whilst you don’t need a ton of ingredients to make something descent, I’d have thought that you’d need at least to add a few bits. One recipe that drew my attention was Mushroom soup that relied on a can, some stock, a singular herb and some milk/cream. I mean surely you’d have added some fresh mushrooms, perhaps some chestnut, a handful of field and finished off with some Shitaki just to give it a real earthy flavour? But no the author felt that wasn’t required.

All in, this book didn’t live up to my expectations and at the end of the day I felt that it really could have done a little more to make it more appetising to the end user. A real shame to be honest.

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