Sunday, 7 August 2011

CUISINE REVIEW: Perfect: 68 Essential Recipes for Every Cook's Repertoire - Felicity Cloake

Release Date: 04/08/11


How can I make deliciously squidgy chocolate brownies? Is there a fool-proof way to poach an egg? Does washing mushrooms really spoil them? What's the secret of perfect pastry? Could a glass of milk turn a good bolognese into a great one? Perfect will answer all these questions and many, many more. Having rigorously tried and tested recipes from all the greats - Elizabeth David and Delia Smith to Nigel Slater and Simon Hopkinson - Felicity Cloake has pulled together the best points from each to create the perfect version of 68 classic dishes. Never again will you have to rifle through countless different books to find your perfect roast chicken recipe, mayonnaise method or that incredible tomato sauce - it's all here in this book, based on Felicity's popular Guardian columns, along with dozens of invaluable prepping and cooking tips that no discerning cook should live without. Whether you're a competent cook or have just caught the bug, Perfect has a place on every kitchen shelf.


OK, I admit it, I love to cook and I love to get my hands on decent recipes to turn the mundane task of making a meal into an extravaganza for the taste buds. Yet the major problem with a lot of the books out there is that there’s a large percentage of recipes that you really either won’t try and really don’t attract your attention enough to make you want to try them.

What this title by Felicity does is trawl through recipes from a multitude of established books and chefs and brings the tastiest to the reader in one easy to access title. Add to this a whole host of everyday recipes and it’s a title that will get more than a little use. Recipes include all sorts of dishes that I want to make better and whilst some are simplistic, it’s the key to getting them right that has eluded many a home cook. If you want to know how to obtain that top notch crackling on your Pork Joint, that’s here, you want great Yorkshire Puds, yep that’s there as well. Your Roasties are failing, not any more. There’s also a section for desserts, a section on vegetables as well as many other recipes that you really can’t afford to turn down.

Finally add to all this glory a wonderful introduction that gives you the basic items required for any kitchen, some that are useful but not essential as well as key ingredients that make sense to have in stock (and we’re not talking Nigella’s pantry that has about £5K worth of food items in) such as flour, eggs, bread as well as other basics that most people have and the whole thing is a title that you can learn along with as well as pass along to the next generation.

All in, this book is not only useful but for me, perhaps the best cuisine title that I now own as I can ensure that the basics I create are to the best of my ability which will not only make the meal something to celebrate but also turn the everyday into something that you can’t wait to enjoy. I really am inspired to go and create something shortly and with this little gem in hand and whilst I have an early print its ring bound which will keep it all the easier to reference, the only thing I would change would be to get the pages laminated so that any food spills can be wiped clean. With luck hopefully the publishers will look into something like that for future editions.

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