Sunday, 24 October 2010

Leon Book 2 – Naturally Fast Food

A soon as I received this book I knew I was going to like it. I already have the first Leon cookbook which I have found to be a total inspiration from start to finish.
There are a lot of cookbooks around – and I think I own most of them – so for a book to attract my attention it has to be different. Of course recipe content is all important, but I like it to be more than just a set of instructions, it needs to engage me in some way. Leafing through a cookery book, extends beyond merely looking for something to cook for tommorrow's dinner, I will often curl up on the sofa and browse its pages purely for pleasure. A cookbook is a good companion in times of solitude.

Like the first, the second Leon book has such an endearing design, almost like a family album or scrapbook, it draws one right into the authors' life, both in and out of the kitchen. Henry Dimbleby and John Vincent want us to use their book, as they say on the welcome page, "This is not a book for the coffee table. It is a book we would like to be used, made messy, torn a little and stuck together with unidentified jammy bits." Needless to say, I will be using the book but I think I'll try to avoid getting it sticky!

The book has been designed as if stuck in a time warp, actually I like its retro qualities. Many of the graphics hark back to the 70s and 80s and I love the visual references to fruit stickers and vegetable crate labels. There's even a full page picture of a framed collection of old Brook Bond tea cards further building on the nostalgic theme.
Some of the food photography, however, I have reservations about, it does look like some of those wierdly coloured plates from old edtions of Good Housekeeping, but perhaps that's the point. What I do like, though, is the humour, I just had to giggle at the picture of the soup on page 72, when I noticed, that perched on the edge of the bowl, was a tiny plastic figure of a man with his fishing rod dangling into the contents. Nice touch.

Divided into two distinct sections, the first half of the book covers Fast Food where none of the recipes take more than 20 minutes to prepare, Nothing is too involved and all the listed ingredients are obtainable from everyday shops. Breakfasts are given a fresh approach, soups are made simple and barbecuing a breeze. There are some great ideas for children's foods too.

The second half focusses on Slow Food. Again preparation is straightforward and the only lengthy part of the process is the cooking, but the methods of stewing or pot roasting allow one to get on with something else or just relax while the magic takes place automatically in the oven.

When selecting the recipes to try, the weather had turned cold, the leaves brown and there was a distinct nip of autumn in the air, this made me naturally gravitate to the Slow section, as I was in need of some cosy sustenance.

Leon Chilli Con Carne

I made the Leon Chilli Con Carne (p.219) as I was looking for something comforting, unfussy, yet full of flavour. I've made and eaten various versions of chilli con carne over time, so why not try another one?  This was so easy to make, I didn't even have to do much chopping, as the carrots, celery and onion all go into the food processor.
The whole thing just sits very gently bubbling on the stove for two hours, with a little stirring now and again to make sure it doesn't stick.
The beef and kidney beans become soft and everything melts away into a rich and spicy tomato sauce which has just the right amount of chilli kick to leave your lips tingling, but not launch your head into space.

Apple's Breathtakingly Quick Chocolate Pots

For some self-indulgence I quickly whipped together the Chocolate Pots (p.199) which were so effortless I barely noticed I'd made them! Just two hours in the fridge is enough to set them into a rich and velvety texture that renders one silent whilst eating, just the clinking of spoon against cup can be heard as every last bit is scraped up.

I really love this book, the whole approach is fun and inspirational and the recipes can be made by anyone to produce a real crowd pleaser.

Leon by Henry Dimbleby & John Vincent is publish by Conran Octopus
Hardback RRP £20
Order yours now

Food photos: ©childsdesign 2010
Book kindly supplied by Conran Octopus


Related Posts with Thumbnails

A Delicious Cloud

:: Cuisine: Asian :: Cuisine: British :: Cuisine: Chinese :: Cuisine: Danish :: Cuisine: European :: Cuisine: Finnish :: Cuisine: French :: Cuisine: Greek :: Cuisine: Hungarian :: Cuisine: Icelandic :: Cuisine: Indian :: Cuisine: Italian :: Cuisine: Mediterranean :: Cuisine: Mexican :: Cuisine: Middle Eastern :: Cuisine: Moroccan :: Cuisine: North African :: Cuisine: Norwegian :: Cuisine: Oriental :: Cuisine: Scandinavian :: Cuisine: Swedish :: Cuisine: Thai "Spouse Specials" A Slice of Cherry Pie A Taste of the Unexpected Absolute Press Accompaniments Aiden Byrne Alan Coxon Alcoholic Drinks Ale-Gar Almond Ancient Greek Vinaigre Anjum Anand Apples Aromettes Ashbourne Asparagus Bacon. Baileys Real Food Company Bakewell Baking Barbecue Basil BBC Beans Bed and Breakfast Beef Beetroot Bere Marsh Farm Beverages Bill Granger Bill McCarrick Bipin's Masala Birthday Biscuits and Cookies Bish Muir Blackberries Blackberry Blagger's Banquet Blakeney Bolludagur Book Reviews Books Bramley Apple Week Bramley Apples Bread Breakfast Breckland Orchard Breton Breton Cake Brett Cohen Bristol Britain British British Pie Week British Sausage Week Brittany Brunch Brussels Sprouts Bun Day Buns Bursting Day Butternut Squash. C.J. Jackson Cafe Cakes Carrots Casseroles • Stews Celebrations Cheeky Spouse Cheese Cherries Cherry Chestnuts Chicken Chives Chocolate chocolate cake Chocolate Unwrapped Chocri Christmas Chutney Cider Claire Martinsen Clarissa Dickson Wright Cley Cley Smoke House Cley-next-the-Sea Cloudberries Cloudberry Coast Coffee Cold Remedy Comfort Food Competition Condiments Confectionery Conversions Cookbooks Cool Cuisine Côtes d'Armor Cotswold Legbar Crackers Cream Cripbreads Culture Curries Dairy Damian Allsop Danish Danyel Couet David Oliver Fine Foods David Thompson Derbyshire Desserts Distillery Douwe Egberts Douwe Egberts Aromettes Dressings and Marinades Drinks Easter Eating Out Edible Flowers Eggs Elderberries Elderberry Elderflowers Europe Events Farm Farmhouse Breakfast Week Fennel Festivals and Shows Fettouma Benikrane Finland Fish Fish at the Fox Fish Market Fishmonger Flapjacks Flavoured Bread Flavours and Spices® Flax Flax Farm Flowers Food By Alan Coxon Food from Many Greek Kitchens foodbyalancoxon.com Foodies Festival France Frugal Fruit Fudge Fudge Kitchen Gadgets Gaia's Kitchen Game ganache Gardening Gin Gingerbread Gordon Ramsay Great Glen Game Greece Green Books Hafod Cheese Henry Dimbleby Herbs Hertfordshire Historic Food Historic Food Range History Hodder and Stoughton Holkham Holkham Beach Honey How To I Love Curry Iceland In Print In the Media Ingredients Jam Jamie at Home Jamie Oliver John Vincent Jon Birchall Josceline Dimbleby Julia Parsons Julia Ponsonby Karen Nethercott Kent King's Walden Kitchen Garden Kitchen Garden Companion Kitchen Helper Kitchen Tips KoL Lactofree Lactose Intolerance Lahloo Tea Lamb Lanvollon Lavender Leftovers lemon Lemon Balm Lent Leon Leon Book 2 Naturally Fast Food Letchworth Food Festival 2010 Letchworth Garden City Letchworth Living Light Meals Linseed Local Producers London Loquats Love Farm Made in Great Britain Madhur Jaffrey Madhur Jaffrey's Ultimate Curry Bible Madsen Magazine Magog Muffins Main Course Mark Diacono Marsh Marsh Samphire MasterChef LIVE 2009 Matt Armendariz Meat Medieval Mediterranean Merchant Gourmet Mexico Milk Mint Moomins Cookbook Moroccan Cooking Muffins Murdoch Books MyBooks Nanna Rögnvaldardóttir National Chocolate Week National Curry Week Natoora New Holland Publishers News Nordic Norfolk Occasions Offley Hoo Oils On A Stick Open Farm Sunday Oregano Oysters Pancake Day Pancakes Paris Pasta Pastes Pastries Pastry Paul Wayne Gregory Peak District Peas Picnic Fayre Delicatessen Pie. Pies • Flans • Tarts Pilkington Farms Plums Pork Pies Pork. Potatoes Potty: Clarissa's One Pot Cookbook Poultry Pre-Prepared Foods Preserving and Pickling Press Product Reviews Products Puddings Quadrille Publishing Quickasteam Quince Quirk Books Rabbit Radio Radishes Radisson Blu Hotels Ramsay's Best Menus Ramsoms Rants Raspberries Raspberry Raw Food Raw Nibbles Read and Reviewed Ready Meals Real Food Festival 2008 Real Food Festival 2010 Recipes Every Man Should Know Relish Restaurants Reviews Reykjavik Rice • Grains • Pulses Risotto roasting Roman Vinaigre Rosemary Sage Salads Salmon Salt Marsh salted caramel Saltmarsh Sambocade Sami Malila Samphire Samphire Shop Sandwich Sauces Sausages Savoury Pancakes Scandinavian Scandinavian Cookbook Scandinavian Kitchen Sea Seafood Seeds SelfMadeHero Sereena; Alexa; Priya Kaul Serious Pig Shake Up Your Wake Up Shellfish Shopping Shrove Tuesday Simon and Schuster Sipsmith Skyr Sloe Wine Smoked Fish Smoked Haddock Snacking Salami Snacks Soup Special Offer Spices Spirits Sprengidagur Spring Taster Box Squash Squirrel St David's Day Stephanie Alexander Stocks Stories Strawberries Suffolk Summer Susan Russo Sweetmeats Tea teapigs Tesco Tessa Kiros Tests Thai Food The Artisan Food Trail The Artisan Smokehouse The Big Chocolate Tea Party The Big Yum The Billingsgate Market Cookbook The Chocolate Festival The Great Exhibition 2012 The Josceline Dimbleby Collection The Kitchen Trials The Pearl Fisher The Scandinavia Show The Three Sisters Indian Cookbook The Use-It-All Cookbook Thomasina Miers Three Counties Kitchen Three Counties Radio Thyme Tips Toastabags Tomatoes Total Greek Yogurt Tove Jansson Tracklements Traditions Travels Tried and Tasted Trina Hahnemann Twitter Two Fat Ladies Union Hand-Roasted Vegan Vegetables Vegetarian Vinegar Vodka Wahaca Wales Watercress Week Watercress. Weights and Measures West Whelks Whitstable Wild Food and Foraging Wild Garlic William Curley Willian Winter Warmers Wiveton Wiveton Hall Wiveton Hall Fruit Farm Writing Yogurt