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Wednesday, 1 April 2015

Food: The Cookery Books that Gave Me Confidence in the Kitchen

I have to confess to an addiction for collecting cookery books. I love the excitement of receiving a new book and then poring through the pages deciding what I'll be trying out on friends and family. It wasn't always the way. 

As a graduate student I bought my first cookery book, Happy Days with the Naked Chef by Jamie Oliver and fell in love with the type of food I still love eating today. I still use this book often for the chilli con carne and spaghetti bolegnese recipes, though I think I've probably committed those to memory. When my husband and I first moved in together he brought along a few cookery books that he enjoyed cooking from. My favourite from his selection was Real Cooking by Nigel Slater. The Tarragon Chicken recipe is amazing and is one I find myself craving when I haven't had it in a while. Nigella Lawson's books, more especially Kitchen and Feast, are the ones I turn to when I'm wanting to cook special meals for the family. Ham in Cherry Cola (from Feast) is a recipe I turn to every Christmas and Chicken with 40 Cloves of Garlic (from Kitchen) has us wiping our plates clean. My go to for dinner parties is any Ottolenghi Cook Book, specifically Plenty, which opened my eyes to how varied cooking with vegetables could be. Ottolenghi's recipes are guaranteed to wow your guests. The cook I turn to most in my day to day cooking is Felicity Cloake. Her How to Cook  the Perfect... column in the Guardian is a read I look forward to every week. 

I'd love to hear what your favourite recipe books or columns are. 


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