Being a lover of all things British, I had high hopes for this cookbook that were most definitely answered. It starts with a background of London’s food scene before launching into the brilliant recipes.
The recipes combine elegant little snippets of context – tiny Snapchat like details about the chefs or restaurants that immediately conjure familiarity – with simple, clear instructions.
Traditional dishes like potted shrimp (loved by James Bond and his creator Ian Fleming) have been made stronger with modern touches. Other dishes are purely modern, such as flavourful morel mushrooms hiding under a “veil of lardo (pork fat)” with garlic shoots and tiny potatoes in Madeira. This is less complicated than I expected, but not as simple as some others.
What about the chorizo hotdog paired with onion marmalade and paprika aoili? Or charred leeks with chevre, browned butter and smoked almonds? Definitely yes yes yes.
Soups go from delicate to hearty, while summer pasta, pork shoulder and duck ragu all sound so delicious that I can’t wait for my next meal.
And an entire section devoted to vegetarian dishes that make you sit up and take notice. Roasted squash, spiced carrots or Indian-inspired potato chaat. The potato chaat in particular stands out, full of delicious spices and textures and flavours that are difficult to resist.
Seafood, fowl and red meat all get their own sections, with equally delicious recipes from a variety of cultural influences, such as short ribs with chickpeas, chard and middle eastern yogurt.
Now for the sweet lovers. How patiently you’ve been waiting for desserts. The London Cookbook does not disappoint. Which one to make first? What about a rich, dense cake dotted with juicy peaches? Maybe a warm walnut cherry cake or a creamy custard rich with the taste of dark sugar? Actually, I might have to take a moment to make the double-decker tart, a gooey, crunchy, sugary confection resembling a grown up candy bar.
Such a delightful book and PERFECT for British lovers, I received an ebook but I had to pre-order as soon as I saw it!