Lorenz Books is without doubt one of the best publishers of glossy, picture-led, cookery books that generally have more than one photograph per recipe. Already this year it has published titles such as 500 Sensational Salads and 30-Minute Cookbook, offering much of what this particular publication is very good at providing. Thus, we have more than 500 pages of colourful, succinct, recipes that are enticing and easy to follow, beginning with an introduction that sets out the editor’s manifesto and the notion of clever cooking: The idea of buying and using ingredients that will enable the reader to create a fabulous meal for less than what it would cost to buy an ordinary sandwich in the shops.
It follows on with sections on how best to prepare and plan the meal; how best to make the most of leftovers; clever shopping; shopping around; free food; growing leafy herbs in containers; storage and freezing techniques; and how best to add flavour easily. There are also sections on fruit, vegetables, dairy produce, fish and seafood, meat and poultry, store cupboard staples; seasonality charts, and a selection of sample menus for weekend, lazy lunch, tea, speedy supper, finger buffet and Sunday lunch, among others.
The recipes themselves are divided into sections such as sensational soups; first courses and finger food; substantial salads; versatile vegetable dishes; fabulous fish and shellfish; perfect poultry; marvellous meat; scrumptious side dishes; delectable desserts; cakes and bakes; classic preserves; and back to basics.
The best of the recipes include those for leek and potato soup; summer minestrone; smoked salmon roulade; mushroom caviar; baba ganoush and flatbread; pea and potato pakoras with coconut and mint chutney; red onion and goat’s cheese pastries; Thai rice salad; potato and garlic pizza; vegetarian sausages; turkey lasagne; Casablancan couscous with roasted vegetables; lentil and nut loaf; cod and bean stew; pan-fried mackerel with ratatouille and lemon; crab bake; devilled chicken; chicken and leak pies; lamb sish kebab; spiced pork roast with apple and thyme with cream sauce; lemon meringue tart; Mississippi mud pie; blackcurrant fool; and sticky toffee pudding.
Overall, a topical cookery book for anyone looking for a very good budget recipe that will suit all the family.