An ingredient bible

Photo0211The Book

The Conran Cookbook

Author(s) 

Caroline Conran, Terence Conran, Simon Hopkinson

Year

2001

What it says on the back cover

1   FROM THE MARKET PLACE TO THE PLATE

Everything you need to know about selecting, preparing and cooking food, from three celebrated writers who care passionately about their subject.

2  INGREDIENTS

A superbly informative illustrated reference to over 1000 raw ingredients available today, from the humble potato to the exotic black truffle, incorporating practical step-by-step guidance to preparing meat, fish, vegetables and fruit.

3 RECIPES

Over 450 easy-to-follow recipes- many beautifully photographed-highlighting the natural flavours of the best quality ingredients, from nourishing classics to innovative dishes incorporating exotic ingredients from around the world.

Stylish and accessible, this is a definitive cookery bible… The Conran Cookbook is a must-have.

The Sunday Times

Good food, simply cooked, the Conran way

Mail on Sunday

What made me pick up the book

Over the years I have appreciated Terence Conran as an Interior Designer. I have a couple of his books that I have collected and although some are a bit dated now, they still show that quintessential style that made Terence Conran a household name. When I picked up this book, I knew that I had to have it. I am, without question a foodie. I enjoy good food and I liked Conran so this book was a must for my little “library”.

About the book

This book was first published in the late 90’s before it was reprinted again in 2001. Like fashion, food goes through many changes. Old flavours are being developed to make way for new ones and sometimes old ones become old friends to us in the kitchen that we use time and time again because we know they are so good and they work for us whether it be because of budget, taste or just plain love

This book is a great example of the many different ingredients that are out there. Broken up into three sections, The Conran Cookbook takes us on a tour of different foods from The Purchase and Preparation of Food in Part one where we look at how to choose and store fish, the types of fish and shellfish that are available and how to prepare and preserve it. The same goes for the section on meat, which gives another section on Game and Poultry  before it introduces us to the Dairy products and cheeses and cooking with fats and oils. It then moves onto Grains, breads, pasta and dumplings and we are only halfway through Part one as the rest of the section focuses on Vegetables, Fruit and Nuts, Herbs, Spices and Flavourings before finally ending with Coffees, Teas, and Tisanes. A very comprehensive section indeed!

Then we move onto Part two of the book which discusses the equipment used in cooking and and a section on barbequing, smoking and preserving.

Part three then gives us the recipes from the foods that have been discussed in Part one before finally closing with a comprehensive glossary and and index and acknowledgement page at the back.

Is this book worth buying?

The book has been written in such a way that a novice can become familiar with the different flavours, textures, smells and delights that have been presented in the book. But it is not just for the novice as the more experienced person can also gain pleasure from some of the delightful recipes which everyone can enjoy.

This book is worth purchasing to become more knowledgeable and more aware especially with its photography which helps the reader to recognise what they are looking for when they do their shopping.

I loved this book when I first bought several years ago and I am sure that overtime it will be updated and revised to accommodate many other new flavours and techniques and kitchenware that we have develop over the years. It is worth buying and not because it is a Conran book but because it is a great resource, a guide, promising us fail safe recipes that will delight many a cook or chef. It has now spurred me to write another blog which I have just created this evening Food e Me which I hope you will come and visit. This blog will focus more about the foodie in me and some of the condiments and foods that I have tasted and tested over the years.

Five stars

Peeling Chesnuts
“With a sharp, pointed knife, score a cross on the flat side of each nut. Blanch the scored nuts for a few minutes, then drain. While still warm peel away the hard outer shell and the furry inner skin” (Conran, Hopkinson and Conran, 2001).

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