Wednesday, 10 November 2010

Ramsay's Best Menus

Gordon Ramsay may be a Michelin star chef but he is still able to put together cookery books that are accessible to all. Gordon wants everyone to be able to cook and in his new book, Ramsay's Best Menus, all the recipes are very approachable.

Sometimes, planning a meal can be difficult. You may find yourself up to your ears in cookery books looking to find the perfect meal. Trying to choose a starter, main course and dessert can be daunting, balancing the weight and combination of each course is puzzling at the best of times.
Ramsay's Best Menus carries a range of recipes from around the world all in the one book, so there's no need to wade through dozens of them.

The unique spit-page format allows you to plan meals with ease

Drawing on dishes from Ramsay's Best Restaurant TV series and from Gordon's own earlier recipes, Ramsay's Best Menus is presented in an unusual format, one which I didn't think I'd warm to, but it's so nicely done and actually works. The pages are sliced so that they can be turned to mix and match starters, mains and desserts with ease. With all the recipes and their pictures displayed all on one spread it makes everything so easy to follow.
There are 52 pre-selected menus to choose from or you can go to town and make your own combinations from no less than 190 recipes to create an astonishing 140,000 different options.

Pumpkin Risotto with Parmesan

Being in the depths of autumn at the moment, I wanted a menu that reflected the season, so that I could uses the appropriate produce.
Pumpkins and squashes are filling the shop shelves at the moment and there's a really simple to make Pumpkin Risotto with Parmesan (p.076) that's just perfect. I didn't actually have a traditional pumpkin, but an Onion Squash instead which gave the rice an amazing yellow hue, like sunshine in a bowl, just what you need to lift the spirits on a dull day. No onion or garlic is used, but providing you have a good stock, that's all that is needed to give the correct balance of flavours
The risotto was rich and creamy and the final topping of crispy fried sage leaves added a really interesting touch.

Sticky Lemon Chicken

For the main course, the Sticky Lemon Chicken (p.080) looked very appealing, perhaps it was not so photogenic, but gosh, did it taste good. Rich, gooey with a precise balance of flavours – tangy lemon, sweet honey and salty savouriness from the soy sauce.

Apple Pudding

To end, a heart warming dessert of Apple Pudding (p.099) was just right. It was not rib sticking stuff, but very light so a favourable sweet treat to finish a meal. A layer of seasonal apples are covered in a sponge topping, delicately scented with lemon zest.

After reading through a fair number of recipes, I could see that nothing is complicated and shouldn't throw anyone into an absolute panic if they were entertaining. There are relatively few steps from start to finish and it is possible to make some things in advance, thereby reducing any culinary stress.

The book is also packed with plenty of information on store cupboard essentials, oven temperatures, cooking times etc and also has a section on accompaniments and basics, so is great for the home cook.

Ramsay's Best Menus by Gordon Ramsay is published by Quadrille.
Hardback RRP £20.00
Order yours now

Food photos: ©childsdesign 2010
Book images courtesy of Quadrille
Book kindly supplied by Quadrille


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