Monday, March 21, 2011

Top 5 Kiwi cookbooks

List by Rachel (wongrae)
'Cooking is like love. It should be entered into with abandon or not at all.'
~ Harriet Van Horne
Rachel, a Customer Services Advisor at Botany Library, is also a frequent and fabulously entertaining reviewer on the Manukau Libraries website - have a looksee through her reviews of cookbooks, scurrilous romances, fashion tomes, rock chick bios and more...

Richard Till makes it easy : illustrated step-by-step recipes for delicious everyday food
In this new book Richard Till presents novice cooks with a collection of recipes that can form the basis of an easy repertoire. Each dish has step-by-step colour photographs showing the ingredients and equipment required plus key stages of preparation. There are also lots of practical hints on how to make the cooking process fuss-free and enjoyable. Because at the end of the day, that is Richard's mission: to get people back in the kitchen sharing and enjoying the preparation of food.

Great pictures, described in that very Richard-Till simple, mono-syllabic sort of manner. And best of all - he suggests brands that you WILL find at the local supermarket. You also feel less guilty when someone like Mr. Till is saying that it's okay to used canned and frozen food.

Delicious : destitute gourmet / Sophie Gray ; photography by Aaron McLean
Eat well, spend less in Gray's philosophy. And that's what the recipes in this book will help you do. You can make gorgeous food and spend very little. Sophie has this down to a fine art.

Firstly, I like how the majority of the recipes do not span over 1 page, and how the ingredients lists rarely go over 5-6 lines. Perfect sort of cookbook for recession time - it includes cheap tips to make your usual basics like shepherd's pie, mac-n-cheese, beef strog and so forth, but also inventive dishes that are perfect for entertaining with. Also really like how Ms. Gray includes dairy-free/gluten-free options.

100+ tasty $10 meals / Sophie Gray
Maintaining the destitute gourmet principle that stylish food shouldn't have to cost a fortune, Sophie Gray presents more than 100 fashionable recipes that each cost less than $10 to make.

Another one by Ms Gray! I found that this cookbook was perfect for me a few years ago as a student and even my younger brother, who was a teenager at the time, could handle a few of the recipes. It was very accessible - and I also liked that unlike the average thrifty recipe cookbook, Ms Gray did not just chuck a whole lot of sausage meat and cheap mince as fillers. Do you really think that we're that dumb?

The best of Annabel Langbein : great food for busy lives / [photography, Kieran Scott, Nick Tresidder]
Contains over 100 pages of additional recipes and is an essential kitchen handbook for today's busy lives. With over 600 recipes there is inspiration to make exciting, stylish and accessible food for any occasion. Covering everything from breakfast and brunch, appetisers, soups and salads, main courses through to desserts, baking and preserves, and with handy hints, tips and menu planning throughout, this is an indispensible cooking bible.

Now this is another cookbook I'm considering buying myself (and after all, we all have to help Whitcoulls out now, don't we ?). FANTASTIC pictures. It's one of those cookbooks I actually enjoy reading and Annabel Langbein is like NZ's answer to Martha Stewart, only without the overdone polish and chintzy-mumsy button-down shirts. She can do anything. I was wary about this one - you get a whole bunch of those cooks who forget that the rest of us have real day-jobs, and don't take into account that we don't ALL have the time to hunt for exotic meats and organic EVERYTHING. Of course Langbein's preference will always favor either homegrown or market-bought produce, but she does make allowances for supermarket alternatives - plus, her directions are just so straightforward that you forgive her for her organic-farmer snobbery.

Kiwi favourites cookbook : celebrating 75 years of Wattie's in Kiwi kitchen
A collection of best-loved kiwi recipes from 75 years of Wattie's in New Zealand kitchens. There is nothing quite like the taste and smells of cooking our favourite childhood recipes - it's not called comfort food for nothing! All the traditional Kiwi family favourite dishes are here, from shepherd's pie and corn fritters to carrot cake and pavlova. Also included are the grand winners from the Wattie's Great Kiwi Recipe Search - a competition at the end of 2009 to find the best Kiwi recipes from families around the country. The last 75 years have been a time of enormous change in New Zealand, so it's good to know that the tried-and-true recipes passed on from our mothers and grandmothers can still delight and inspire us.

Now this has to be one of hubby's faves. Not in the sense that he USES it at all, but he likes requesting things from it for dinner (like I carry a notebook and pen strapped to my apron and am just jumping at the chance to make him something. Yeah, right). But we loved this book so much that I actually requested it for Christmas. It's just a fantastic basic - it'll be the next Edmonds staple to have on your shelf, I tell you. It has the recipes for all those nostalgic dishes we loved as kids: kiwi style fish n chips, corn fritters, lamingtons, bread-n-butter pud.

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