Sunday, 2 October 2011

CUISINE REVIEW: The Modern Pantry - Anna Hansen

Release Date: 02/06/11


The Modern Pantry restaurant serves some of the most exciting food in London. Anna Hansen’s flavour combinations are wholly original; her dishes combine the best of seasonal western ingredients with the freshness and spice of Asian and Pacific Rim cooking.

In this, her first cookbook, Anna introduces the reader to his or her very own 'modern pantry', a global larder of ingredients to use at home. Recipes include snacks and sharing plates like crab rarebit and grilled halloumi and lemon roast fennel bruschetta, salads such as wild rice with charred sweetcorn, avocado, feta and pecan, and delicious main courses like miso-marinated onglet steak. Other highlights are her luscious desserts: honey-roast pear, chestnut and oat crumble and home-made coconut sorbet, and cakes and bakes including date and orange scones and banana and coconut upside-down cake.

Anna aims to broaden the everyday home cook’s ideas of what he or she can prepare, to create simple, inspiring dishes for family and friends. The Modern Pantry Cookbook is stylish and groundbreaking, and the innovative recipes are illustrated with beautiful colour photography.


Whilst most people think of food as fuel these days and don’t like to take their time to enjoy it, for me food is a celebration of life and one of the few remaining pleasures that we’re allowed to have, so as such I feel we should enjoy it to the max with a whole set of spices, herbs and of course complimentary ingredients.

Here in this title by Anna Hansen, is a book that brings together some unusual combinations that not only work but do so on a level to take the humble basics and turn them into a magical concoction that works. Such as pickled watermelon rind which works with cold cuts and salads and makes use of an ingredient that most people would have usually binned. Add to this a whole host of flavours from a variety of styles and it’s a book that really will generate something unique in your own kitchen as well as the table. That for me is good cooking in a nutshell, something special out of easy to find ingredients that work not only on their own but together create something unique.

Finally add to this an easy to follow set of instructions, wonderfully set out sections so you can find what you want and the flair of someone who’s not afraid to experiment and it’s a book that may well surprise as well as give you something that you’d never thought would have tasted so good.

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