"Small Adventures in Cooking" by James Ramsden ~ a Review

~  Menu  ~

Tagliatelle with Black Garlic Alfredo
Crunchy Blue Cheese Crumbs
Glass of Secret Red
Sweetie out my Advent Calendar

You may remember that I have already reviewed two excellent books in the New Voices in Food Series published by Quadrille; Stevie Parle’s "Real Food from Near and Far" and Niamh Shields “Comfort & Spice”.   Well here’s another one and, quelle surprise, it’s as good as the other two.  I thought I’d better get it reviewed before Christmas as it would make a great pressie.

First of all I must say I like this guy’s style – really easy and relaxed; less like a chef telling you how it is than a friend chatting about food.  Surprisingly, but in a good way, his recipes in the chapter “Corner Shop Capers” are built around tinned foods and his instructions are certainly not “set in stone” he gives lots of tweaking ideas and ways to tart up his dishes.  Also, I am pleased to say, he advises the intelligent use of leftovers.  He gives shopping tips, help on seasoning correctly, advice on what knife to use, how to be happy and some really delicious things to do with Vodka,   
He even gives #hashtags for each recipe in case you want to discuss them on Twitter plus his email and Twitter addresses – as I say; friendly.  In short I do very much recommend this book; it is interesting to me as a chef (resting!) but will also be great for home cooks and people learning to be home cooks.  The recipes are inspiring yet accessible and I think I shall try his Tomato & Goats Cheese Gratin first.

The book, like the others in the series, is an attractive cardboardback with photo by Steven Joyce, it was publishes by Quadrille Publishing Ltd last Jun, (ISBN-10: 1844009572, ISBN-13: 978-1844009572) and you can get it from Amazon here

Coincidentally James Ramsden has included a comforting note on making mistakes. 

Coincidentally because I have this very day had a bit of a cock up on the catering front.  I read somewhere that if one mixed together equal quantities of blue cheese and butter and munged in the same quantity of flour (ie. 33:33:33 – plus a rogue 1) the resulting dough made lovely blue cheese crisps.  Well mine didn’t, it made a tray of very delicious unconnected crunchy crumbs.  Well you know what I am for a leftover – I made myself Tagliatelle Alfredo with some black garlic in it and sprinkled on the totally yummy mistake.  All’s well that ends well – I think I might do it again.

We have an advent calendar each in our house (we’re dead posh) – so I had my piece of chocolate for lunch pudding.

Incidentally I do have the fourth book in the New Voices in Food series; Alice Hart’s “Alice’s Cook Book” and will try and get that reviewed asap.  She has a new book due out next year “Friends at my Table”, I know this because Quadrille recently sent me a load of blads!!!  I know, what a surprise!  

Apparently blad stands for basic layout and design and these ones also include a few samples from the books - there seem to be lots of good things coming up.  Stevie Parle also has a new book on the way “Dock Kitchen Cookbook” and exciting things, too, from Peggy Porschen, Sam Stern, Tamsin Day-Lewis and Nathan Outlaw.  There is also a book called “Drink Me” by Matt Walls about how to choose, taste and enjoy wine – as I am convinced that the only way to learn about wine is to experience it this is something I am looking forward to studying!


debs said...

anyway...what DID you do to get free books eh?

s said...

Nothing naughty if that's what you are implying!!!