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Keep it Simple: Fresh Look at Classic Cooking

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The last of them was developed to a greater degree by another Glenfiddich Award winner: the thoroughly British The River Cottage Year.

His cuisine is Olympian, fit for gods who have become sated and fractious after millennia of ordinary perfection. Alternatives to hard-to-find-ingredients and prepping advice for stress-free cooking make the recipes perfect for anybody, whether they’re beginners or masters in the kitchen. Overleaf, where Olney mentions this item, I see I have underlined his words and written, "Why not explain what this is somewhere in the bloody book, matey?What we are after is "purity of effect" - which (you will have guessed by now) may involve considerable complication of means. It’s immaterial whether the reader is, at any age, right at the beginning of their cooking life ( risotto), is a struggling improver learning the ins and outs of culinary terminology ( risotto nero), or is a fully-fledged kitchen demon ( osso buco with risotto Milanese). I think I gave it five, and two subsequent reheatings of 45 minutes each only enhanced the tail's fork-meltingness. This much loved cookbook (and the eponymous restaurant) was part of my life for far too short a time, but it was a joy to revisit the book after almost thirty many years! Honestly, unless you are an enthusiastic and well-practiced cook, you simply wouldn’t believe how many puffed-up, information-light (some downright misleading) cookery books there are out there, or at least you wouldn’t realise that until you read and consciously applied your learning from Little’s “Keep It Simple”.

I quite want to cook some of what Mr Blumenthal does: though when he tells me that the best way of cooking a steak is to flip it every 15 seconds, making 32 flips in all for its eight-minute cooking period, I am inclined to wonder who will be minding the chips and mushy peas while I flip four steaks 128 times, so I say Pass.

The cover may have some limited signs of wear but the pages are clean, intact and the spine remains undamaged.

Organized by season, the book captures the spirit of Modern British cooking, which Alastair Little pioneered in the 80s and 90s at his eponymous restaurant in Soho, and presents recipes which avoid fuss and complication, but deliver great results. You can change your choices at any time by visiting Cookie preferences, as described in the Cookie notice. Where possible, alternatives are given for ingredients difficult or costly to obtain and every recipe includes advice on how to prepare ahead for efficient and panic-free cooking.Discover the joy of reading with us, your trusted source for affordable books that do not compromise on quality. This book may be twenty years old; but remember that in 1994 it won the Glenfiddich Award for a very good reason. I had read several of his recipes for slow cooking, in which he gave oven temperatures in centigrade. Beginning by telling you what you should have in a kitchen (an unusual move for a chef not known from TV appearances) he preaches simplicity and seasonality in cooking. And here most people, and certainly most kitchen pedants, part company with Messrs Blumenthal and Olney, and also with Mrs David.

Alastair Little two hours (you're joking), Fay Maschler three, Frances Bissell four (getting warmer). Alastair understands that not everyone is a culinary genius in the kitchen, and each recipe is straightforward and works.This book won the Glenfiddich Award in 1994 and I still sometimes hear it referred to reverentially as the godfather of modern British cooking. The majority of pages are undamaged with some creasing or tearing, and pencil underlining of text, but this is minimal. He is a disciple of El Bulli, the staggeringly innovative restaurant north of Barcelona, and this is a brave thing to be in the home counties. One of the best weeks I have ever had, full of simple classic Italian cooking, lots of laughs and in a dreamy setting. The vast array of those national culinary traditions does point in the same direction though: British, Italian, French, Chinese, Japanese, Thai and Morrocan flavours are all here in this publication.

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