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My cookbooks are starting to feel a bit dated. Who next?

(26 Posts)
MarthaFarquhar Tue 28-Jul-09 14:33:42

Delia and Nigella are probably the mainstays of my current repertoire. Am looking to get some fresh ideas. I would consider Jamie's Ministry stuff perhaps a bit too basic, but neither am I ready for the full Blumenthal. Any recommendations?

ForExample Tue 28-Jul-09 14:34:37

Ottolenghi is my new fave. Lots of yummy yummy things in there.

MamaG Tue 28-Jul-09 14:35:44

Have you LOOKED at JAmie's ministry stuff? I was pleasantly surprised and intend to get it at some point.

Nigella Express is good, think thats what its called

How about River Cottage?

EachPeachPearMum Tue 28-Jul-09 14:36:54

I like Donna Hay- great photos and recipes usually taste good too. That said, if you want really tasty things, I find Delicious Magazine excellent- haven't made a duff recipe yet!

Cies Tue 28-Jul-09 14:37:10

I like Nigel Slater. I don't know if he's got anything new out, but his books are consistently enticing and the recipes work.

stillstanding Tue 28-Jul-09 14:37:12

River Cottage has been recommended to me recently but haven't tried it myself.

I like Nigel Slater and Tamsin Day-Lewis too.

MarthaFarquhar Tue 28-Jul-09 14:37:23

Yup, MamaG, I've had Jamie, as it were. Didn't really see what all the fuss was about, TBH.

SarfEast Tue 28-Jul-09 14:41:00

ottolenghi is brilliant but you will need a trip to a deli to stock up on some of the ingredients. some real taste sensations.
River cafe cookbooks are all lovely, just plain and simple Italian recipes that rely on good ingredients, their pea and prosciutto spaghetti is a real favourite of mine
Nigel Slater quick recipes is a fantastic recipe book that gives you hundreds of ideas for evening meals.

kathyis6incheshigh Tue 28-Jul-09 14:42:37

The River Cottage books are very earthy and British - lots of emphasis on seasonal food. You need to be able to get good quality food to make them work IME, unlike Jamie where because he uses so many spices and fresh herbs you can get away with more mediocre supermarket stuff. They're very good on technique, especially the meat and fish ones.

MarthaFarquhar Tue 28-Jul-09 14:44:21

ooh, lots of replies. Thanks everyone smile.

EachPeach - I've just had a look at Amazon and like the sound of Donna Hay. Is there a particular title you can recommend.

esselle Tue 28-Jul-09 14:44:36

Donna Hay is fab!!

She makes delicious desserts!

esselle Tue 28-Jul-09 14:46:52

I have Donna Hay - No Time To Cook.

She also does quarterly/seasonal magazines. I get them here in Aust, not sure if they are in the UK.

moondog Tue 28-Jul-09 14:48:36

Nigel Slater.
Although the older I get, theless I use cookery books.

bradsmissus Tue 28-Jul-09 14:48:50

I got a lovely one recently. It is called the Marie Claire Seasonal Kitchen by Michele Cranston.

It's quite hefty and has lots of lovely photography. It covers a whole range of cooking. Everyday stuff, food for entertaining. In fact, I love it so much that I can often be found reading it like it's a novel!!!


esselle Tue 28-Jul-09 14:53:37

Donna Hay

Quite a good website, keeping in mind the seasons are opposite here to the Uk.

MarthaFarquhar Tue 28-Jul-09 14:55:55

thanks everyone. I'll take this list with me next time a get a chance to go for a browse in Waterstone's.

Esselle, that website looks great. gives me a chance to try out a few recipes before buying a book. thanks!

spicemonster Tue 28-Jul-09 14:56:11

Everyone I know raves about Ottolenghi but I can also recommend Leon and Moro - both Mediterranean/morrocan/spanish - and very exciting flavour combos.

EachPeachPearMum Tue 28-Jul-09 16:22:56

I have Donna Hay Classics 1 and 2 - 1 is savoury, 2 is sweet. I can post some example recipes later when DC in bed (am bfing atm so nowhere near bookshelf)

It depends how good a cook you already are... if you are already very good at classic dishes then you may prefer Food Fast or Food Fresh, both of which have lots of great taste combinations. She also did the Marie Claire cookbooks, apart from the really old one that Nigel Slater did. In fact I think the Marie Claire books are quite good too.

I do think a year subscription to delicious is worth it though- so many different recipes, lots of seasonal stuff too, and different chefs each issue. I have made some really good things from mine, many of which have become mainstays in our house.

StirlingTheStrong Tue 28-Jul-09 17:10:31

Martha - Why not go along to your local Library and see which cookery books they have. Whenever I take the dc in to choose books I take a look at their cookery book selection and take one out if I like it - I only buy them if they are really good!

MrsWednesday Tue 28-Jul-09 18:31:56

I was recently given this one:

Rachel Allen

and have cooked a few nice things out of it so far - nothing fancy just nice simple stuff that both DSs will eat.

Have had a Good Food mag subscription for a couple of years and quite a few recipes have become family favourites. You can get a lot of them from the website:


janeite Tue 28-Jul-09 19:43:08

My absolute favourite is Madhur Jafery's World Vegetarian. Simon Rimmer's veggie ones are nice too, though I haven't cooked much from them.

If you want pud recipes my chef friend swears by Garry Rhodes.

Nigel Slater is okay but he seems to live on 'simple tomato salads' and Smarties as far as I can see.

EachPeachPearMum Wed 29-Jul-09 20:19:53

Right... DH Classics 1
Chapters are:
Roasts and simmers
pasta, noodles and rice
pies and tarts

Example dishes:
mint gremolata-crusted lamb racks
baked fish fillets with tomatoes
vongole pasta
baked chicken and pumpkin risotto
rigatoni with peas, asparagus and ricotta
spinach and feta pie
onion, anchovy and olive tarts
thai green chicken curry
vegetable rice paper rolls
potato, pea and spinach curry
thai beef salad
summer ratatouille
chinese barbecue pork

She is australian, so lots of far eastern inspired dishes, along with trad brit cooking.
She also covers some basics- like hoummous, balsamic dressing, mash, etc in little sections called "short order"


MarthaFarquhar Wed 29-Jul-09 21:13:07

ooh, lovely. thanks.


TitsalinaBumsquash Wed 29-Jul-09 21:15:09

Jamies other books all have great recipes in that arent to basic, Ministery of food is also really good and not at all that basic plus you can jazz up any of the dishes.

HighOnDieselAndGasoline Wed 29-Jul-09 21:22:32

Another vote for the Leon cookbook. I was a bit stuck in a Jamie/Nigella/Nigel rut of Italian-ish cooking.

The Leon recipes are very middle-Eastern/Indian inspired, and are absolutely delish and easy to cook (much easier than Allegra McE's weekly recipe in the Guardian, imo).

They are also in the main very healthy, full of vegetables, seeds and so on.

The lay-out and illustrations are a bit naff, but the quality of the recipes makes up for it.

Some of them are here.

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