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Cooking with the Two Fat Ladies Hardcover – January 20, 1998


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Clarkson Potter; 1ST edition (January 20, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0609603221
  • ISBN-13: 978-0609603222
  • Product Dimensions: 9.9 x 7.6 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.7 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (43 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #142,749 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Cooking with the Two Fat Ladies is a delectable, calorie-filled breath of fresh air from the usual low-fat cookbooks. The dynamic duo of Clarissa Dickson Wright and Jennifer Paterson roars across the U.K. on their Triumph 950 motorbike, gathering fine recipe ideas from villages and towns all over the idyllic British countryside. Based on a popular BBC cookery program of the same name, the book bursts with the unbeatable flavors of heavy cream, real butter, and full-fat cheeses. The book is divided into five important food groups: fish, meat, cakes, fruit, and game. Tempting color photographs of the Fat Ladies' recipes titillate the taste buds. Irresistible is Jennifer's Adult Chocolate Cake; the combination of ingredients--bittersweet chocolate, sugar, butter, and eggs--form a divine creation certain to elicit groans of ecstasy from all who sample it.

The featured recipes are rich in flavor and texture. How about Ham with Leeks and Cream Sauce to warm up a rainy afternoon? Or Yorkshire Gingerbread, a stunningly beautiful dessert heaped with cream. Some of the recipes are not for the faint of heart (or vegetarians); Rabbit with Anchovies and Capers, and Pigeon Breast with Honey and Ginger may not be everyone's cup of tea. Cooking with the Two Fat Ladies is quite an event--a culinary trek into the land of politically incorrect butter and chocolate, laced with a dash of quintessential British humor.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

Clarissa Writes:

Surrounded as we are by water, we are terribly served for fish. My sister once lived in the center of Spain, and the fish merchants came up from the coast three times a week with live fish. Here, the average fishmonger in large towns, when you can find one, offers a limited choice, and the fish is not always in its first flush of freshness. Supermarket fish is usually a disgrace and a victim of some central buying and distribution policy, which means it has traveled the country more times than Jennifer and I have in this series! The most useful tool in judging the freshness of fish is the nose, quickly followed by the eyes. The chances of your being allowed to smell an individual fish in a supermarket are slight, but you can challenge your fishmonger who will usually permit ou. Of, course, if you make a friend out of him you won't need to check.

As I wright this introduction, I am sitting in the Sharksfin Hotel in Mevagissey, having just enjoyed a well-earned hot bath laced with epsom salts. We have spent the afternoon at sea with two splendid crab fishermen. Jennifer and I were both soaked to the skin and had a high old time singing (at least Jennifer did) sea chanties with our new friends. The pots held a good haul of crabs and three of what passes for good-sized lobsters these days. When Queen Victoria visited Edinburgh they served a hundred-pound lobster as the centerpiece of her civic banquet!

The port is quiet today because many fishermen have gone up to London to petition Parliament to support our fishing industry. Yesterday I spoke to a vistitor who had gone up to Cornwall - he was only in his sixties - and he said , "It is impossible to believe that they have almost fished the seas dry." The best way to protect our fishing industry is, of course, to buy fresh fish. Then demand will keep our supplies from being exported.

Neither of us much believe the pronouncements of soi-disant health experts--we both eat fish because we love it, the fresher the better. So for once we are not out of step with these "experts" in believing in the health benefits of fish. However, do not bypass advice to eat oily fish by taking fish oil tablets--it isn't the same.

We have seen some wonderful fish since we have been here, such as the underrated coley, which Jennifer turned into a luscious fish pie. Coley--similar to pollack--is still amazingly underpriced and very good. We've also seen the hideous monkfish, the true denizon of the deep with its huge head and delicious flesh, ling cod, John Dory--still bearing St. Peter's thumbprint--the sad faced little gurnards, which Jennifer loves so much, and so many more.

In the "Mr. Bistro" restaurant on the quay, where we ate many meals, Sally, the owner, cooked us wonderful fish so fresh it needed little more than seasoning, and we laughed and flirted with Lawrence and Trevor and John et al. You don't need to go abroad to meet handsome fishermen.

In our recipes we have tried to give you a variety of uses for different fish, to suit all pockets and occasions. There are really only two things to remember with fish: by it as fresh as possible (we have given you tips to help with this) and please don't overcook it, because a very hot serving dish can easily remedy that situation.

When I cooked on a charter yacht in the United States, I wanted to bring back some steamer clams and Maine lobster for my brother, to convince him that New England seafood was the best. The customs officer heard the lobsters scrambling away in my bag and said I couldn't bring them through if they were alive. Can I if they are dead, I asked? Yes, said the customs officer. So, I took off my brooch in order to drive the pin through the brain of each lobster. What are you doing? Said the officer. I was planning to kill them, I replied. Not in front of me, you're not, says the officer. So I got them through alive.

Clarrisa

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Customer Reviews

I hope you get a good deal too.
Patrick W. Crabtree
I still love watching The Two Fat Ladies cooking show, and I could watch it for hours.
Alice in AZ
I am definitely trying everything on the book.
Shopping Goddess

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

49 of 49 people found the following review helpful By Roger Mahan on June 12, 2000
Format: Hardcover
I actually taught myself to cook using this book. I had never been much of a cook before I discovered the Two Fat Ladies television program, but was so intrigued that I ordered their cookbook after seeing only a few episodes. The recipes it contains offer genuine flavor and not the tasteless slimmed-down "light" cuisine I find almost inedible. The desserts are particularly good, and I have successfully made the Adult Chocolate Cake, the Danish Apple and Prune Cake, and the Galette Des Trois Roix. Unlike other cookbooks I have tried, these recipes actually worked. Moreover, the ladies' overall cooking philosophy comes through in the book, emphasizing organic ingredients and better quality meats over bland supermarket-stocked products. You'll also benefit from the interesting food history cited throughout that comes from Clarissa Dicksen-Wright's vast knowledge of earlier cooking techniques, and the tremendous good humor of the memorable and beloved Jennifer Paterson. I highly recommend the book, together with the sequals from the follow on series.
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24 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Brandon T. on May 22, 2000
Format: Hardcover
The Two Fat Ladies have compiled some of their best recipes to form this cookbook. Some of the dishes have odd names, but are usually good eating. Anyone looking for an interesting dish to try, will need to own this book. A true combination of wit and good food.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful By optimation@btinternet.com on November 19, 1997
Format: Hardcover
An absolutley excellent book. Lots of pictures loads of brilliant recipes and loads of excellent little stories.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 29, 1998
Format: Hardcover
This book is FUN to use ( though if you cook like this everyday the paramedics should be standing close by). Jennifer Patterson and Clarissa Dickson Wright comment on each receipe from the book, which gives their own unique twist on the food to be prepared and even some history of the dish itself. The strongest part of the book is the way its written. You can actually hear the fat ladies speak as they describe the receipe. The only constructive critism of the book is its not a "teaching" book--not much emphasis on culinary technique. Still a very nice addition to your collection--even if just for kicks.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 27, 1998
Format: Hardcover
My husband, who is the chef in our family, and I never miss Jennifer and Clarissa on TV and the book is more of the same. Not since Julia Child have there been any cooks with more personality and joie de vivre. The cook and the gourmand in our family loved this book! (I want to be Jennifer when I grow up.)
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Format: Hardcover
When The Food Network decided to air a cooking program with these two very colorful ladies as the hosts I immediately became a huge fan. In addition to the underlying humor of their motorcycle and side-car travels to their local markets, they have adopted the essential Julia Child ambiance (Julia Child - The French Chef) with their "grab a chicken [or a big fish] and get on with the recipe" approach to scratch English cooking.

The "two fat ladies," Clarissa Dickson Wright and Jennifer Paterson, have assembled a cookbook which markedly epitomizes the essential culture of English prepared dishes. This is the real deal and here are a few of my favorites of the many recipes you'll discover in the book:

-- Scallops with Leeks (p. 26)
-- Pork Tenderloin in Pastry (p. 48)
-- Duck in Honey Sauce (p. 62)
-- Chopped Walnut and Coffee Cake (p.79)
-- Bubble and Squeak (It doesn't get more English than this, p. 97)
-- Partridge Roasted in Grape Leaves (I substitute wild ruffed grouse which can be hunted here in southern Ohio, p. 129)
-- Elizabethan Rabbit (p. 142)
-- Potato Salad (p. 181)

This cookbook also features lots of black-and-white pictures of the gals whisking about here and there on that hilarious contrivance which they use for transportation; however, many of the actual dishes are conveyed through beautifully effected color photographs, and these are mostly full-page spreads so you can see the smallest details of the finished dishes.

The large format of the book and the adequate font size makes for easy reading (all ingredients are published in bold type) and there are 192 pages in all, including a coherent index.
Read more ›
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 26, 1998
Format: Hardcover
Ya' gotta love these gals. I never miss their television show. Their refreshing, down-to-earth style and recipes are like a breath of fresh air. This is a useful and entertaining cookbook for "real people."
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By maine gardener on January 11, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Great food and good writing from Wright and Paterson. I ordered my copy after watching their DVD. The directions are clear and easy to follow. Their recipes and the preparation (almost) foolproof. Now I'm cooking my way through the recipes by the two fat ladies and enjoying it. I'll substitute other fish in the recipes for roasted conger eel and monkfish rosmarin and then will start on the meat and poultry dishes. I* wish I'd discovered Cooking with the Two Fat Ladies when it was first published. It's good eating.
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