Today is another post that just might have you heading for the kitchen, but this time instead of food we are talking actual recipes. I am handing the blog over to Colette from Eat Drink Cook today and she is just a little recipe book obsessed! But if I’m honest I love a good recipe book too! Nothing like a huge host of foodie inspiration and some majorly mouth-watering photos to go with it!
Over to Colette for her top 5 recipe books…
One of my very favourite pass-times is to sit, browsing recipe books. Sometimes planning meals for the week ahead but more often than not, just enjoying reading about food and finding new recipes to try.
My collection takes up a whole bookcase now and I’m sure it won’t be long before I move on to the second lot of shelving – I just can’t stop myself!
I have to admit, it has been VERY tricky to commit myself to a top 5 recipe books list – there are just so many that I love. I think I’ve done it though and these 5 really are the crème de la crème from my collection…
If you haven’t heard of her, Felicity Cloake is a food columnist for the Guardian and is a bit of a food writing heroine of mine. Perfect Host is her third book, but my personal favourite because it covers one of the topics that I’m most excited by; entertaining! This is a fantastic book if you’re planning a get together of any sorts. Felicity Cloake covers anything from weekend brunch to a formal dinner party and everything in between! She writes with real humour, which makes this a great book just to sit and enjoy reading as well as a good source of delicious recipes.
I struggled to decide which of Nigella’s books to include in this list – I own and love them all! In the end I went with this one because it’s probably the one that I use the most. As with Felicity Cloake, I really enjoy Nigella’s writing style and can quite happily flick through the pages, just enjoying her anecdotes and descriptive prose. The Beef Carbonnade is a firm favourite and often makes an appearance in our house during winter weekends. The Toad in the Hole is also my go-to recipe because I love the way she de-skins the sausages first and makes them into patties, crisping them up in hot oil before pouring over the batter so you don’t get any pale, insipid looking sausages poking out and looking sorry for themselves.
I am SO happy to have discovered this book. It has opened up a whole new world of Persian cooking which really excites me. I briefly became pretty obsessed with rose water and harissa after reading this one. Her Harissa & Preserved Lemon Poussins are a favourite of mine to serve to dinner guests and her Eastern Mess is a fantastic twist on the usual Eton version. This book is also a great reference for Persian favourites like hummus and tagines of various types.
Jamie, like Nigella takes up a significant part of my collection. So far, I’m just one book down from the complete set. I love how he writes recipes that are so simple but so clever and full of flavour. This book made the top five for one reason – his Chicken Caesar Salad, which is by FAR the best recipe for this dish that I’ve ever tried. Ciabatta croutons, cooked in with the chicken legs (so much more flavoursome than breast) so they soak up all that delicious chicken fat? Pure genius!
This is actually the newest addition to my collection, but it deserves its place in the top 5. Katie Quinn Jones is a fellow blogger, originally from Dublin, but now living in Oz. Her book, is a collection of recipes for the weekend, accompanied by beautiful photography which really has your mouth watering. I’m excited to try a lot of the recipes in this – so far, I’ve made just one, the Smoked Trout, Egg & Potato Salad and it was absolutely gorgeous. It’s dead easy to make, but tastes like a real treat of a meal. Even hubby, who isn’t particularly a salad lover, came back for seconds and asked when we’d be having it again!
Although they didn’t quite make my top 5 recipe books, I couldn’t write a post on my favourite recipe books and not mention people like Delia, whose Christmas book comes out every year when it’s time to make mince pies, or Mary Berry, whose latest book, Mary Berry Absolute Favourites has the most gorgeous recipe for Chilli Burgers, that I’m currently obsessed with making all the time. Ina Garten, whose books I’ve just started to collect, but whose series, The Barefoot Contessa has been a firm favourite of mine for many years. Not just a cookery programme but a love story between her, Jeffrey and their Friday chicken. Those of you who’ve seen it will know what I mean!
If you love recipe books like I do, then do try some of the above if you haven’t done already. I hope they give you as much pleasure as they’ve given me.
Thank you so much Colette you have given me some ideas what to add to my christmas list this year! What are your favourite cook books?