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Friday, 28 January 2011

How I Cook by Skye Gyngell

Skye Gyngell's skill in combining ingredients in a way that heightens their freshness and flavour is second to none. Her cooking at Petersham Nurseries has won many awards and her previous two books have been highly acclaimed. Now, Skye turns her attention to home cooking. In How I Cook she focuses on the food she cooks for friends and family, with an original collection of over 100 recipes based around meal occasions - breakfast, Sunday lunch, alfresco eating, afternoon tea, simple weekday dinner, late night supper and celebrations - such as Christmas and Easter. Skye's home cooking is influenced by the seasons but it is also the sense of occasion that inspires her creativity. The layers of flavour that typify Skye's dishes are evident throughout, but recipes are more straightforward and based on ingredients that are easy for the home cook to obtain. All techniques are carefully explained and illustrated, and Skye reveals the secrets of her success, based on her years of experience in the kitchen. In addition, Skye provides menu suggestions throughout the book to create beautifully balanced meals. The final chapter 'Time to spare' presents a lovely selection of original preserves and other food that can be prepared ahead to enjoy later.
This cook book is one which I can see being used in our house, although I admit, by my husband - the main cook! It is definitely not a book to be looked through when you are hungry though, the food in the high quality, colour photographs which accompany most of the recipes look delicious and there were many recipes I would love to try. The pictures look like I would imagine them turning out at home, not too 'cheffy!'.
There are eight sections to the book: Breakfast, Sunday Lunch, Alfresco eating, Afternoon tea, Simple weekday dinner, Late night supper, Special occasion and Time to spare. Each section is full of delicious sounding recipes, complete with recommended serving numbers, full ingredient list and easy to follow instructions. Each recipes begins with a short introduction, which gives useful tips and possible alternative ingredients or accompaniments.
The recipes all include ingredients which should be easy to source. There are traditional recipes, with old fashioned style along with modern twist or updated old favorites throughout the book.
This is a great book which would be an useful addition in any kitchen, for novice cooks through to confident cooks who enjoy throwing dinner parties.

Thank you to Quadrille Publishing for sending me the book to review.

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