The recipes are stunning--surely impressive enough to wow guests--but all are exceedingly simple to prepare. In Red Wine Risotto, wine cloaks the rice with a lustrous deep crimson emulsion and creates a delectably silky texture. Only butter, a chopped onion, chicken stock, and a little Parmesan are needed to complete the dish. Roast Monkfish is smeared with an anchovy-rosemary-lemon-butter and wrapped with prosciutto. As it bakes, a deliciously buttery sauce is formed, perfect for mopping up with chunks of crusty bread.
Pawson and Bell include no fewer than nine recipes for roast chicken--from homey Chicken Roasted with Garlic to the more exotic Roast Guinea Hen with Pistachio and Lemon Crumbs. Desserts are likewise familiar, while at the same time elegant enough to serve to guests. Baked Couscous Pudding with Raisins offers a clever twist on rice pudding--and it's equally rich and satisfying. Pan-Poached Nectarines in Spiced Wine Syrup are exotically scented with lemongrass and cardamom pods.
With its spare page design and stunning photographs of Pawson's extraordinary home, Living and Eating will surely strike a chord with anyone looking for a simpler way to live, eat, and entertain. --Robin Donovan