Add flavor to your recipe repertoire

Kerry Fowler sinks her teeth into the latest recipe books hitting the shelves

Simple Cooking, Antonio Carluccio, Quadrille Publishing, £9.99

“The biggest discovery of a dish happens when you are obliged to use leftovers – how to include them, how to make them interesting,” Carluccio says. “My mother was an artist in it: she knew not only to cook for the next day, but for late at night – we were a big family, lots of children always thinking about food.

“We might go hunting in the evening and come back and find ourselves in front of the fridge wondering what to eat and she will have been clever enough to create something for us from the meal before. With too much risotto you can turn it into little arancini: fried balls of rice with a little egg and breadcrumbs. Or mince all the little delicious bits of a roast with some cooked vegetables and make a stuffing for ravioli. The sauce is the juices and goodness from the roasting pan cooked with stock, and a sprinkle of parmesan. Never throw anything away. There is creativity in finding a way to use food.”

Nigel Slater: The Kitchen Diaries II, Fourth Estate, £30

Here we are again privy to the perfectly described culinary thoughts of a man who loves his food, his pans, his vegetable garden, through every day and season of the year – from using ham and cabbage in a fry-up, Seville marmalade in an ice cream, to roasting pork belly with pomegranate molasses and mixing up mincemeat and orange trifle. His words touch something deep and primitive: appetite. A gorgeous book in the pure sense.

The Food of Morocco, Paula Wolfert, Bloomsbury, £35

“North African bread is sacred and is treated with respect. If you see a piece lying on the ground, you pick it up and kiss it and put it somewhere it will not be stepped on.” This resplendent book of Moroccan recipes reflects cookery writer Paula Wolfert’s passion for the cooking customs and for the country itself.

Rich with pictures of plump sacks of spices and grains, stems of saffron and steaming couscous, it takes you intelligently through the essential ingredients and methods: argan oil, ras-el-hanout; tagines and bastillas, and into a wealth of recipes, all headed up with a little Moroccan kitchen history.

Rosemary Shrager’s Absolutely Foolproof Food for Family and Friends, Hamlyn, £18.99

There’s an entirely pleasant waft of pantry and pressed white apron to this home-cookery masterclass from Swinton Park Cookery School chef Rosemary Shrager. You can almost hear her cheerfully chivvying you to try your hand at such rewarding kitchen challenges as raising your own pork pie or crowning a pheasant – illustrated with clear-as-consommé, step-by-step pictures. Alongside the methodology are tasty modern classic twists – from roast quail with saffron risotto to dover sole in a curry coating.

Simple Cooking, Antonio Carluccio, Quadrille Publishing, £9.99

“The biggest discovery of a dish happens when you are obliged to use leftovers – how to include them, how to make them interesting,” Carluccio says. “My mother was an artist in it: she knew not only to cook for the next day, but for late at night – we were a big family, lots of children always thinking about food.

We might go hunting in the evening and come back and find ourselves in front of the fridge wondering what to eat and she will have been clever enough to create something for us from the meal before. With too much risotto you can turn it into little arancini: fried balls of rice with a little egg and breadcrumbs. Or mince all the little delicious bits of a roast with some cooked vegetables and make a stuffing for ravioli. The sauce is the juices and goodness from the roasting pan cooked with stock, and a sprinkle of parmesan. Never throw anything away. There is creativity in finding a way to use food.”

Nigel Slater: The Kitchen Diaries II, Fourth Estate, £30

Here we are again privy to the perfectly described culinary thoughts of a man who loves his food, his pans, his vegetable garden, through every day and season of the year – from using ham and cabbage in a fry-up, Seville marmalade in an ice cream, to roasting pork belly with pomegranate molasses and mixing up mincemeat and orange trifle. His words touch something deep and primitive: appetite. A gorgeous book in the pure sense.

The Food of Morocco, Paula Wolfert, Bloomsbury, £35

“North African bread is sacred and is treated with respect. If you see a piece lying on the ground, you pick it up and kiss it and put it somewhere it will not be stepped on.” This resplendent book of Moroccan recipes reflects cookery writer Paula Wolfert’s passion for the cooking customs and for the country itself.

Rich with pictures of plump sacks of spices and grains, stems of saffron and steaming couscous, it takes you intelligently through the essential ingredients and methods: argan oil, ras-el-hanout; tagines and bastillas, and into a wealth of recipes, all headed up with a little Moroccan kitchen history.

Rosemary Shrager’s Absolutely Foolproof Food for Family and Friends, Hamlyn, £18.99

There’s an entirely pleasant waft of pantry and pressed white apron to this home-cookery masterclass from Swinton Park Cookery School chef Rosemary Shrager. You can almost hear her cheerfully chivvying you to try your hand at such rewarding kitchen challenges as raising your own pork pie or crowning a pheasant – illustrated with clear-as-consommé, step-by-step pictures. Alongside the methodology are tasty modern classic twists – from roast quail with saffron risotto to dover sole in a curry coating.

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