|Completely Perfect: 120 Essential Recipes for Every Cook by Felicity Cloake|
|Reviewer: Sue Magee|
|Summary: An unusual cookery book: it looks at the recipes which have been published for our favourite dishes, tries them out and comes up with the best. An absolute gem.|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 496||Date: November 2018|
|Publisher: Fig Tree|
|External links: Author's website|
It's a novel concept for a cookery book: these are not Felicity Cloake's recipes but the best ones she found to do a particular job - the job of delivering the best meal, the Completely Perfect meal of the title. Think of it as the equivalent of a comparison site for when you want to renew the car insurance and then taking the best elements out of each recipe to make perfection. There's nothing cutting edge here: it's the sort of food which we've been eating for decades and probably will be for decades to come. There's a reason for that: roast chicken followed by apple crumble works and providing that you don't have a vegetarian or a vegan at table, it's a meal which is unlikely to do other than go down well.
There's good advice about getting ready to cook and how to salvage a disaster. We've all needed that on occasions. Advice on the sort of equipment you'll need is eminently practical and aims for value rather than celebrity endorsement and it might mean that you need to spend more to get something which will stand the test of time. As with everything there were the odd items which Cloake found essential which I've not needed in over half a century in the kitchen (not constantly, although it's occasionally felt like it) and a few things which I wouldn't be without which aren't mentioned. It's down to you, but you'll not go far wrong with what she suggests. She's an experienced cook with a lot of common sense.
We're taken through the meals of our day, beginning with breakfast and told the best way to make what we want to eat. Usefully, we're also told when a particular chef's method doesn't work or has drawbacks. It's a good read, too - there's a wicked sense of humour lurking in there and sometimes it peeps out at just the right moment.
There's enough of the science behind a recipe to inform you but not enough to bore. You'll understand more without feeling that you've been educated. The range of the 120 recipes is impressive: we go through all the meals and snacks which you'll encounter in daily life including such temptations as brownies and cakes. Instructions are given clearly and you're always going to be able to find a dish to cook for a particular meal. Beginners will find nothing daunting and experienced cooks will learn: I've cooked more meals than I care to remember but I still found a good few new points to bear in mind and several tips which will make life easier.
I'd like to thank the publishers for making a copy available to the Bookbag.
You can read more book reviews or buy Completely Perfect: 120 Essential Recipes for Every Cook by Felicity Cloake at Amazon.co.uk
You can read more book reviews or buy Completely Perfect: 120 Essential Recipes for Every Cook by Felicity Cloake at Amazon.com.
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