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A Change of Appetite Hardcover – June 3, 2014
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Yotam Ottolenghi "Plenty More" and Diana Henry's "A Change of Appetite" indicate that British cooks may have surpassed us with their inventive flavor combinations and adoption of international ingredients.―Melissa Clark, The New York Times
Our new healthy cooking bible―Bon Appetit
If chicken is a slab of marble, Henry is Michelangelo―Entertainment Weekly
About the Author
Diana Henry has won numerous awards for her journalism and books and is the food columnist for The Sunday Telegraph. A Bird in the Hand received a 2016 James Beard Award , and A Change of Appetite, voted Cookbook of the Year by the Guild of Food Writers in 2015, was a James Beard Award nominee. Diana was named "Cookery Writer of the Year" by The Guild of Food Writers in 2009 and in 2007 for her column in the Sunday Telegraph's Stella magazine. She is a contributor to many magazines including Eating Well, Red, House and Garden, Country Living and Waitrose Food Illustrated. Diana has written nine other books including Crazy Water Pickled Lemons, Cook Simple, Salt Sugar Smoke, and Roast Figs Sugar Snow. Her new book, Simple, publishes in September 2016. Diana lives in London with her partner and children.
Top customer reviews
As I said, these are simple, rustic dishes with big flavors and not a lot of screwing around. Just about any home cook with a decent mastery of technique could cook anything in this book without worry. There's a lot of Mediterranean and east Asian influence here, with a few detours through southeast Asia and Scandanavia (!) for variety. The ingredients shouldn't be hard to find in most decent-size cities with a good supermarket, but you may not have heard of a few and some may require a bit of searching in the ethnic foods aisle or at Whole Foods. Don't panic; they're all tasty. There's a fair number of vegetarian and fish-centric entrees, and when meat is called for it's often used in conjunction with other ingredients. Red meat shows up, but not often, and usually in moderation. These centerpieces tend to get big shots of ginger, garlic, chile, and herbs, and often feature a mix of textures and temperatures. Fans of soft, bland food, beware.
I was especially appreciative of the fact that there's food for all meals here - solid, tasty breakfasts, quick lunches and light dinners, a few big celebratory meals, and lots of light dinners. Most recipes have taken me about 30-40 minutes of active cooking time, with 20-30 minutes of cooking when I could do something else - maybe an hour or so all told, a few more, many less. With a hyper dog and an 8 month old in the house, I find these recipes doable in real life.
There's a fair bit of discussion of health and diet here, but it's from a gentle, pragmatic, science-based perspective that isn't necessarily pushing a particular dogma, named diet plan, diet guru, or technique. I'm reminded strongly of Michael Pollan's work - eat food, not too much, mostly plants. It's written from the perspective of a reasonable, intelligent person who loves food but doesn't love bulking up and feeling poorly afterward, and it's less fussy and dogmatic than most books that deal with, say, the "paleo" diet or other trendy foodways. This is just good, thoughtful food featuring big flavors and diverse ingredients, textures, spices, and techniques....and very few empty, processed carbohydrates.
I do want to mention something that's not so much an issue as it is a peculiarity. Many recipes call for the use of a ridged grill pan. And if that's what you have, well, ya dance with them which brung ya...but many if not all the recipes Ms. Henry calls for a ridged grill pan would be better prepared on a charcoal grill (or gas, if you must.) Enough so that this is almost a stealth grilling cookbook, really - I have lost count of the number of recipes that call for the grill pan. However, Ms. Henry lives in the UK and I live in Texas, so I assume that a grill on the patio and weather fine enough to enjoy its year-round use may be more a feature of my lifestyle than hers. However, if you're a decent hand with live fire, you could cook much of this book outside to outstanding effect.
This is a book for how we eat now. The dishes are easy and so great and tasty to eat. You feel fantastic after eating them. My guests have all fallen l in love with everything I have cooked from this knockout book. Have just had tonight the glorious, pumpkin, spinach and pomegranate salad, WOW, Another book,Please!
The recipes are completely approachable for a non-professional cook, and don't take hours of prep time or a cart full of ingredients to execute. Wonderful!
My one and only thing that I can say could be improved, and this is just a huge personal preference really hence why I am not going to take away a star for it, is that I wish every recipe had a picture. Pictures for each recipe not only helps sell me on trying it, but is a visual guide for the visually dependent home cook that I am, where I feel most confident knowing what it should look like and be plated as, when completed.
I am so impressed with this cookbook that I will be giving it as a gift to several people this holiday season. It feels like a gift, not only each time I make a delicious recipe, but in it's overall feeling special as well.