With 1000 scrumptious and easy-to-follow recipes within its pages, this book provides the perfect answer to all those vexed questions about what to cook. No more agonizing over what to put on the table; you will easily be able to find something to tempt the palate and satisfy the appetite of even the fussiest eaters – whatever the occasion. From time-honoured classics to the more unusual, there is plenty of choice here. The selection will appeal to both novice and experienced cooks alike, whether you are looking for ideas for a light, tasty lunch, a quick, hearty supper, a feast fit for family and friends, or something more elaborate for a dinner party.
Soups are wonderfully versatile and can be made to appeal to a wide range of tastes and occasions. Vegetables, meat, poultry and seafood – all are used as ingredients for both light and heartier soups, which can be served either as starters or as meals in their own right. This chapter contains chilled soups such as vichysoisse and the Spanish classic gazpacho, traditional soups such as French onion and mulligatawny, and more unusual offerings such as Red Onion and Beetroot, and Curried Carrot and Apple.
Starters & Canapés:
At the beginning of a meal, appetites tend to be at their height, so it is important to choose your starter carefully. This chapter contains a huge variety of recipes to fit in with any dinner menu, and includes hot and cold dishes chosen from cuisines from all around the world. There is also plenty to choose from when it comes to canapés for evening drinks or finger food for more informal get-togethers. Whatever the occasion, you will find recipes here to whet the appetite of even the most discerning dinner and party guests.
Although salads are traditionally associated with the summer months, there are many salad recipes that can be just as tempting at chillier times of year. While salads can sometimes provide a meal in themselves, many of these salads are suitable to serve as starters to a three-course dinner or as accompaniments to main courses. This chapter contains such classics as Caesar salad and salade niçoise, as well as recipes using a diverse range of ingredients, such as Spicy Noodle Salad and Tuscan Bean and Tuna Salad.
Eggs & Cheese:
The beauty of eggs and cheese is that, while they can be eaten on their own or with either bread or toast, it takes little time or effort to whip them up into something worthy of serving to your guests or family at the dinner table. Most of the recipes in this chapter are quick and easy to make: the omelette options can be made in no time at all. And far from being plain or bland, there are unusual and exciting ingredient combinations to be found here, in recipes such as Quail’s Eggs and Tomato Salad, Ricotta Cheese and Courgette Rolls, and Feta Cheese and Capers.
Pasta, Grains & Pulses:
Grains and pasta are incredibly versatile – they can be used with virtually any other ingredient you can think of – and offer the foundation to a huge range of dishes. Recipes in this chapter invite you to use not just all types of pasta and noodles, but also rice, couscous, chickpeas and other pulses.
Here you will find your essential recipes for such classics as spaghetti bolognese and paella, as well as more innovative recipes for dishes such as Hazelnut Pesto Tagliatelle and Ricestuffed Courgettes.
Pies & Tarts:
People often think that working with pastry is difficult, but there is no longer any need to worry – this chapter will show you how to get it right. These recipes are diverse and include not only old favourites such as chicken pie, shepherd’s pie and Cornish pasties, but also flans, tarts and
quiches. Recipes such as Sorrel Tart, Terrace Crab Pie and Continental Flan are destined to become valued additions to your cooking repertoire.
Casseroles & Stews:
There is nothing more comforting and heart-warming than a hot bowlful of stew or casserole on a winter’s evening, and with all the ingredients cooked in one pot this is a great way to offer complete nourishment with a minimum of fuss. There are virtually no limits to the ingredients you can use to make a tasty casserole, and there are recipes here to suit everyone – from meat lovers, to fish lovers, to vegetarians. This chapter is also where you can readily reap the benefits of slow cooking, with its meltingly tender results and its rich, appetizing flavours.
Meat & Game:
Now we come to the heart of any meal, a meaty main course. Whether cooking to impress or whipping up something tasty for the family at the weekend, you’ll find a recipe here to suit every occasion. And all types of meat are used, from the staples of beef, pork, and lamb, to less frequently used fare such as veal, rabbit, venison and other game. You will find recipes for traditional roasts, as well as recipes for cooking chops and cutlets, stir-fries, meatloaf, and meat in a range of delicious sauces.
Chicken & Other Poultry:
Chicken has long been a favourite all around the world, but this chapter also introduces you to cooking with other poultry such as turkey, duck, goose, quail and guinea fowl. Familiar dishes such as coq au vin and traditional fried chicken sit alongside recipes for Bacon-wrapped Turkey Burgers, Duck with Cumberland Sauce and Guinea Fowl with Fennel, showing you the limitless possibilities of cooking with chicken and other poultry.
Fish & Seafood:
Whether you prefer a spicy meal or a more subtle taste sensation, this chapter offers you a fantastic range of ways to cook all types of fish and seafood, ranging from Salmon Burgers and Prawn Kebabs, to more formal recipes including Sole Véronique, Stuffed Crabs, and Squid with Wine and
Rosemary. And cooking with fish and seafood employs a wide range of cooking techniques, from frying and grilling to poaching and baking, so this chapter will also help you to hone your cooking skills.
Vegetables & Vegetarian:
This chapter includes a variety of vegetable and vegetarian main courses. If you are cooking for guests, some of whom are vegetarian, you can either go all-out vegetarian or, with some of these recipes, offer both a meat and vegetarian option. But the recipes in this chapter are so hearty and delicious that most meat eaters would never think to miss it. Again, as with other parts of the book, the recipes in this chapter are diverse, and include bakes, soufflés, gratins, roasts, curries and stir-fries.
Hot Desserts :& Puddings
Dessert is many people’s favourite part of a meal and, whether treating the family or rounding off a dinner party, or fulfilling a need for comfort food, a hot dessert can be a satisfying indulgence. Relive old memories with traditional favourites such as sticky toffee pudding and apple pie, and master classics such as Christmas pudding, baked Alaska and zabaglione. The mouthwatering recipes in this chapter ensure that you’ll find something to tantalize the taste buds every time.
A cold dessert is a refreshing conclusion to any summer menu and can provide the perfect counterpoint to a meal, whether it is hot or cold outside. You are bound to find something to appeal in the delicious range of ice creams, sorbets and mousses included in this chapter. Add to these recipes for trifles, jellies, syllabubs and fools, and you’ll have a treat to cool you down or refresh your palate on any day of the year.
We should all eat more fruit, and here is a chapter of delicious recipes to appeal to all tastes. This chapter offers a range of tempting recipes from simple, fresh fruit salads, to richer and more substantial desserts, such as Eton Mess, Peach Melba, and Californian Baked Pears. And many of these recipes can be adapted to use different fruit or combinations of fruit, so you have plenty of scope to experiment.
Cakes & Pastries:
Whether you are looking for a tasty tea-time treat or that perfect cake for a special birthday or occasion, this chapter is sure to provide you with plenty of inspiration. Learn to bake single large cakes such as Dundee Cake and
Chocolate Cake, or lots of individual cakes in recipes for Madeleines and Butterfly Cakes. Making heavenly classics such as Chocolate Eclairs, Baklava and Mississippi Mud Pie should be a delight with these easy-to-follow recipes.
Biscuits & Sweet Treats:
This chapter includes those bite-size treats that all the family loves, and are perfect for tea-time, picnics, children’s lunchboxes or snacks at any time of day. Whether you are looking to satisfy your sweet craving with a crunchy cookie or wish to succumb to the indulgent pleasure of home-made Turkish delight, you will be sure to find it within this chapter.
Dips, Dressings, Sauces and Stocks:
While you can buy most dips, sauces and dressings readymade, it is disarmingly simple to make your own using quality fresh ingredients – and the results are delicious. Salad dressings, in particular, are very quick and easy to make. Classic dips are ideal for offering before a barbecue or at a
party, or even just for a snack. Rich home-made stocks, although requiring more effort, undoubtedly have the edge over any shop-bought stock cubes, and are incredibly useful as the base for numerous soups, sauces and casseroles.
Weights, oven temperatures and spoon measurements.