Tuesday, 30 August 2011

The Good Cook Cookbook Review

Having enjoyed the television series very much I borrowed The Good Cook by Simon Hopkinson from the library. I have the Bibendum cookbook which is co-authored by Simon and have also borrowed his Roast Chicken and Other Stories book as I often read that it is one of the favoured cookery books by lots of people. I found it to be a collection of recipes for ingredients which I don't particularly like which was a shame.

This book is well presented and has quirky chapter names like 'Big cow, little cow' and 'Ham, bacon and a little pig'. I definitely prefer the fish and vegetarian dishes over the full-on meat dishes such as the game and tripe recipes. It seems to be a slightly less adventurous version of his Roast Chicken book with lots more photos!

There are photos for around 2 thirds of the recipes I'd say. Nice big portions of everything, it looks like you could easily achieve everything at home which is great. Food to eat rather than admire. Not all the recipes from the show are in the book which is shame. No steak and perfectly cooked chips or roast chicken. I'm not sure how many people who watched the show would make Salt Ox Tongue or Roast Teal. The desserts are non-fussy, the marmelade sponge with cointreau custard sounds particularly lovely. The first dish I made was the Homemade gravadlax and Mustard Sauce, using the mustard sauce for a potato salad. It has to be started 2 days before you want to eat the salmon but I was quite impressed by the final result, though the fish still stayed rather salty even after washing the coating away carefully. The dill wasn't overpowering and I thought it looked really pretty. I'd like to try this dish again.

Next I made the lentils from the Cotechino Sausage, Lentils and Mustard Fruits recipe. It was a nice accompaniment for confit duck. I usually use mustard and cream with lentils so this was a good change. I always like to find new accompaniment recipes and this one will be used again - but I still rather like the cream and mustard version!I also made the Chicken Liver Mousse and I can safely say that I will never be making it again. It is such a disgusting process!! By the time I'd made it I really didn't fancy eating it, plus it was horribly pink, probably as I put a little too much liver into the mix. It tasted right but the texture was a little too soft even though I cooked it for longer than needed. We had a little one of ramekin but the rest went to the cats - who mostly turned their noses up too! Oh well, I've learnt to buy this instead, once I've blocked out seeing the horrid bloody cocktail you need to make it! Bleurgh! Sorry if I've put anyone off this dish!

Not sure I'll be buying this as most of the dishes I like were featured on the show and therefore are on the BBC Food site. A few of the other recipes I have in other books so I think my money is going elsewhere. Plus I recieved 5 new cookery books for my birthday yesterday (woo!) and another on it's way from Amazon as a little gift to myself!Apart from being sickened by chicken livers I also had a food request from my brother - Corn Dogs. Unhealthy, not the greatest quality of ingredients but god did they taste good! Simon Rimmer made them on Something For The Weekend a few weeks ago and they looked easy enough to make. We didn't have the sticks so we completely coated the frankfurters. The polenta batter was absolutely identical to other versions I've eaten and they were just so wrong and so right! Yum.

I also made the Pulled Brisket Chilli from Jamie's Summer show on Channel 4 which was delicious. The meat completely fell apart, I added a dried habanero chilli for a little depth. The sauce was really liquid so I wouldn't have been able to serve it in tortillas like Jamie did but I have happy to have it with rice anyway. Lovely.

1 comment:

  1. Belated happy birthday. I bought this book, following the tv show which i loved. Can't say the chicken liver mousse will get a make tho!!! Did Gravadlax for breakfast onthe royal wedding day, was amazing!!