Stress-free cooking for the festive season
UK Pub: Nov 25 2014
Anyone who ever has to cook at Christmas knows how stressful the experience is and how there just never seems to be either enough time or oven and stove top space to get everything down in time and ready at the same time. Enter James Ramsden, food and cookbook writer, to offer up some practical advice on festive menu choices and more importantly on how much you can do ahead of time and then just reheat.
I very much liked the idea of this book and in the run up to Christmas I availed myself of the recipes in this book more than any other on my shelves (Physical and electronic). That said I still failed to do enough ahead of time and as a result had a minor melt down on the big day as things started not going quite to plan – my attempt at the bread sauce for example (something you’d have thought was hard to stuff up) was a disaster.
But, clear and simple recipes for homemade cranberry sauce, Skagan Prawns, spouts with bacon and hazelnuts, Salmon ceviche toasts as well as perfect snack foods such as roast garlic, Parmesan and anchovy pastries and chicken pastillias (already a firm family favourite) were perfect additions to my usual festive offerings. I decided against all three options for cooking the perfect turkey – instead going for one of Jamie Oliver’s (which would have been fine if i’d have pulled the bird out around ten minutes before I actually did). I did however use his Xmas Ham recipe and it turned out splendid.
What I liked most about this book was that all the recipes were ‘doable’. I already know it will be used again in 12 months time. What’s more, it will be used even sooner as there are still several recipes that may be just as rewarding in the next couple of months such as: Venison wellington and Lamb with anchovies.
At £9.99 this is one of the better value cook books I own.