The Cook's Book by Jill Norman

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The Cook's Book by Jill Norman

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Category: Cookery
Rating: 4/5
Reviewer: Sarah Cooper
Reviewed by Sarah Cooper
Summary: Lots of unusual recipes to make to delight the taste buds. Experiment with this book and you are sure to please any friends and family.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 648 Date: September 2005
Publisher: Dorling Kindersley Publishers Ltd
ISBN: 978-1405303378

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I'm picky when it comes to cookery books. I won't keep a cookery book in my collection if I know I won't cook nearly all the recipes. So I have one or two cookery books that are absolutely falling to bits and they are constantly in my kitchen. Other than that I keep scrapbooks of collated recipes. Ideally I like to be able to try every recipe in a book to try out new flavours and types of food but if the food appears unappetising or contains seafood that's its major downfall with me. However there are a few other factors that persuade me to keep a book in my possession.

This book is a massively thick book with over 600 pages and retails for £30. Not my usual spend on a cookbook but I needed to brush up on some of the basics of cookery, which is exactly what this book contains. I was pleasantly surprised as this book taught me far more than the basics with techniques and recipes from some of the world's top chefs - 18 of them in fact. Ken Hom being my favourite.

I never realised that you could eat squashes with the peel still on and the step-by-step photographs on how to seed and peel them was a welcome addition. Also preparing fish, marinating poultry and creating a cheese board are just some of the wonderful things you will be able to learn. I have been reading this book all day and my husband is I'm sure expecting some true culinary delights.

Unfortunately for me there is a whole section dedicated to fish and shellfish but I do like tuna, salmon, cod and plaice and there is so much useful information in the book that it certainly passes my high standards. What I do like about this book is that because so many chefs have contributed to this book there is no biased on the type of recipes that are included in the book. What I loved was the fact that the step by step preparation photography was so easy to understand I was prepared to tackle jobs that I wouldn't normally for example - tunnel boning a leg of lamb.

I'm trying out pumpkin and chocolate chip cheesecake with clotted cream tonight. I'm also looking forward to trying out some of Ken Hom's signature dishes. Green curry of beef with corn and Thai basil sounds an interesting one to try out too.

Being a foodie I also like to learn the background on certain dishes such as its origins and preparation, so again I am catered for in this book. Each page is filled with plenty of writing and loads of step-by-step photography. It's lovely to be able to compare how you are doing at each stage with the photos.

It's no easy task to combine so many dishes from all around the world but this book has successfully completed that task.

The contents are as follows: Sauces and dressings. Foams. Stocks and soups. Flavourings. Latin American Cooking. Eggs and dairy produce. Fish and Shellfish. Japanese cooking. Poultry and Game Birds. Indian cooking. Meat. Chinese Cooking. Vegetables. Pasta and Dumplings. Asian noodles and dumplings. Thai cooking. Grains and pulses. Breads and batters. Mexican cooking. Pastry and sweet doughs. Middle Eastern cooking. Desserts. Cakes. Fruit and nuts.

Needless to say I think there is something for everyone here and I am going to try my hardest to try out as many of these recipes as possible. They all look really appetising. So all in all I think £30 is going to be well worth it given the wealth of recipes and advice you are given in this book. My only gripe is that it's so damn heavy, but I suppose you can't complain when a recipe book is filled to bursting with recipes!

Buy The Cook's Book by Jill Norman at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy The Cook's Book by Jill Norman at

Buy The Cook's Book by Jill Norman at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy The Cook's Book by Jill Norman at


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Magda said:

It's seems like a perfect practical cookbook - and not my kind of book at all.