I love cookery books. My collection ranges from paperbacks I had as a student (Jocasta Innes ‘the Pauper’s Cookbook’ and some very, very dog-eared Elizabeth David cookbooks) through to Larousse Gastronomique. I have my aunt’s ‘New World Radion Cook book from 1954 – and a few other vintage books. Then I have my ‘bed-time reading cookery books, which are just so beautiful they can’t live in the kitchen. Skye Gynghall is one favourite writer in that category! But my favourite books are all-round practical ones that give me MORE than just recipes and perhaps explain things I’d otherwise be searching for on the internet!
To win a place on my kitchen bookshelf, a book needs to add value in some way – and this one certainly does. Here’s what I like about it.
- There are some great ‘modern classics’. Mostly straightforward recipes done properly! By this I mean the recipes assume we can actually cook – the crème brulee doesn’t have cornflour to stop it splitting, the beef stroganoff is pretty similar to the cordon bleu version I remember my mum making, although it leaves out flambé in brandy bit, just as I do!
- There are some of the best recipes from the show – some of which really demonstrate innovation in the kitchen – how about lavender mousse with hokey pokey and a blackberry sauce or open lasagne of roasted squash and wild mushrooms with sage butter. Now I’m beginning to feel hungry!
- There are suggestions on how to vary recipes (e.g. try stirring some sautéed mushrooms into the chicken liver pate or some raw peeled prawns into a puttanesca sauce for pasta) For me, that’s a really great idea because it allows you to practise a recipe without getting bored. And to develop an understanding of flavour matching.
- There are guides on things that may sound basic but are not necessarily part of everyone’s knowledge-base. The knife guide has clear pictures so you can see the difference in size and shape of a chef’s knife and a filleting knife. There are step by step guides to boning, gutting and filleting various types of fish, how to joint a chicken and bone it. How to spatchcock, how to butterfly a leg of lamb – and so on. There’s a very comprehensive fruit and vegetable section, with photos of the more unusual vegetables that you might want to try.
- There’s a great section on flavour pairings.
- There’s an excellent set of conversion charts, including cups to liquid volume and to dry measures. REALLY useful if like me, you browse through American cookery sites!
In short I am very impressed.
With a record audience of 9 million viewers tuning into the final of the latest series of Masterchef, I suspect there are LOTS of you out there itching to have a go. MasterChef Kitchen Bible is a great place to start…it’s packed with essential information. Easy step by step recipes and full-colour photography will make any dish seem achievable.
Now, maybe you are off to the Masterchef show at Olympia. I’m going to try to get there myself because it sounds fabulous! But, if you are too far away, the lovely people at Dorling Kindersley have offered a free copy of the MasterChef Kitchen Bible for one of you! The RRP for this is £26, so do enter. All I need you to do is tell me what dish you would cook if you were on MasterChef. It can be anything…from boiled egg with soldiers to lobster thermidor!
For a bonus entry, please tweet this message
‘Win a copy of the #MasterChef Kitchen Bible with London-Unattached and Dorling Kindersley http://tinyurl.com/5sjxveu’
This giveaway is sponsored by Dorling Kindersley, who also provided me with a review copy. It will close on 21 November at Mid Day.
Terms and Conditions
I am running this competition on behalf of Dorling Kindersly who will be responsible for sending the prize to the winner. Their decision is final and no correspondence will be entered into.
The winner will be selected by random number generator
Entries using any software or automated process to make bulk entries will be disqualified. The winner will be contacted by e-mail; if they do not respond within 1 weeks another winner may be choosen.
There is one main way to enter and one way to get a bonus entry as detailed above
Closing date: 21 November 2011 at Mid Day.