Wednesday, 2 February 2011

Leon Book 2 Cookbook Review

This week I wanted to use up some beef mince from the freezer and really fancied a chilli. Having gone through my latest intake of cookery books I found a nice looking recipe in the new Leon Book 2 book by Henry Dimbleby and John Vincent. I had borrowed their first by Allegra McEvedy, but didn't really think enough of it to purchase myself. The style of the book was really original and interesting to look through but what really disappointed me was the lack of recipes compared to the size of the book. Information about ingredients and colourful pictures is lovely but the recipes didn't start till well after page 100. This is specified on the cover 'Ingredients and Recipes' but still not enough for this recipe-mad lady!

This book gets going much earlier, page 26 in fact. Huzzah! There is a nice section about food to have in your larder and freezer and a few pages on what you can grown at home, be it on a windowsill or in a larger garden. The recipes themselves are split into fast and slow fast food. The fast food can be prepared in 20 minutes or less and the slow fast food takes longer to cook but reheats well and is ready when you are. There is also a cocktail section at the back (lovely!), a few extra recipes and some Leon stickers. Who doesn't like a sticker?! We had some salad to finish off so from the fast food section I used their recipe for a caper and anchovy miracle sauce. A simple dressing but they had me at caper and anchovy! Just olive oil, lemon juice and parsley are added and it made a delicious, tangy dressing for my tuna and avocado salad.

Next time I'll chop my capers a little finer and add a little more olive oil so it's a little more liquid but I was very happy with the taste.

Then came the Leon Chilli Con Carne from the Slow Fast food section. It took a couple of hours to cook and made enough for 3 meals between 2 people. To be honest I was a little underwhelmed by it. It had some nice herbs and spices in it but it didn't really wow. I would have probably added some fresh chilli and maybe some Worcestershire sauce for more of a tang, just something to wake it up a little. It was very passable and went well with rice and mash but just a bit blah. And 6 portions worth of blah!! Ah well.

I was going to make Potatoes Leon-aise but there was too much chilli to eat! I might have a go this weekend and add it to next week's blog. Again a simple dish but simple can be more impressive if it works.

I really like the design of the book though, it's a little quirky which is personalized with photos and stories. The food is nicely presented and photos are large and bright. It feels like a really friendly book. I like the fact that they're making healthy food fun with dishes that are family friendly. Once Summer comes I know I'll come to this book for some interesting salad recipes and the cocktails will need testing! I'm also impressed that I own a book that tells you how to make your own salami - ox runners anyone?

So a small boo for the chilli but a yay for the salad dressing and hopefully more dishes in the future.

1 comment:

  1. Looks a tasty and healthy salad, full of flavours. Wow. Home-made salami? Nope, nearest is an Italian cookbook with a chocolate variety! Interesting book.