Most helpful positive review
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on March 2, 2013
Very much in the same vein as Roast Chicken and Other Stories but, in my view, even better. Simon Hopkinson has two great strengths: he loves food and cooking and has a mission to make the rest of feel the same, and he has a unique talent for passing on huge amounts of information - expertise, even - disguised as little anecdotes and snippets loosely related to the recipe of the moment. I'm staggered at the things I have learnt just from cooking a couple of dozen recipes from these books. Simon can come across as opinionated - fair enough, he does have strong views on what is good food. But I'd much rather have that than some alleged food writer pushing quinoa, or whatever the latest fad happens to be, down my throat.
There are no glossy photos here, in fact a waitress recently asked me what I was reading and was surprised it was a cookbook. At a cursory glance it does have the appearance of a novel! But there are lots of extremely good recipes and invaluable tips on how to get the best from particular ingredients. My favourite so far is the Southern Fried Chicken Thighs. These are what KFC could be like if cooked by someone who knows what they are doing, fries in decent olive oil and butter, and uses the finest free-range chicken. The beauty of this recipe is that you can season the dipping flour however you like. My latest was pepper, salt, medium chilli powder, paprika, and sumac - absolutely glorious. If you do the dipping properly - resting a couple of minutes between coatings - the thighs are wonderfully juicy. I served it with Patatas Bravas, sour cream, and green beans.