Cook book

Assemble by Annabel Langbein

This book, aptly subtitled “sensational food made simple”, is a very useful book. This is the twelfth book by the author who lives in New Zealand, on a rural property, growing her own fruit and vegetables, believing as she does in sustainable food production. She focuses on using fresh, seasonal ingredients and has a very down-to-earth approach, even as she provides information in an exciting and imaginative way.

This book is for those who want to prepare good food but don’t have much time to cook or a lot of knowledge about the art of cooking. It provides basic information, but in an exciting and imaginative way. None of this is dull or boring. All the recipes can be tasted almost as you read them. On the scrambled egg page, for example, the senses are aroused with recipes titled “creamy egg and bacon mille-feuille” and “foo yung egg” instead of plain old scrambled eggs which may seem dull in comparison. . On the other hand, if scrambled eggs were all one wanted, they could be crafted from the information provided.

The focus of this book is to provide simple recipes using fresh, quality ingredients, across the usual spectrum of categories; snacks, hot light meals, soups, pastries, salads, comfort food, roasts and desserts. Each page contains two or three recipes and variations of that recipe and sometimes includes a base recipe on which to base the variation. For example, the page titled “take stock” provides a basic broth recipe, but it also suggests that purchased liquid broth can be substituted or that powdered broth or cubes can also be used. Additionally, there are four soup recipes in which broth is used. These recipes are all relatively simple and easy to make and on one page there is enough information about making soup that busy people, who don’t have a lot of time, would probably need to know or know. to use.

Many current cookbooks begin with equipment information and this book is no exception. However, he does it with talent and imagination. The list of foods needed in a well-stocked pantry illustrates this. Food items include goat cheese and feta, dashi, roasted peppers, saffron and kombu, as well as more basic ones, like mustard and onions. Each ingredient is described and information is given on storage and what works best for each. Langbein suggests that salsa verde, basil pesto, and tapenade be kept refrigerated, along with basil oil and fresh lemon mayonnaise or variations thereof. At the end of the book there is information on measurements and cooking terms, each explained simply and clearly.

Overall, this is an exciting and well-presented volume. The photos clearly illustrate the recipes and intensify the pleasure of reading them. The recipes can be used for everyday eating, but would also do well for entertainment.

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