Books & Literature

Cookbook Review: Everything I Love to Cook, by Neil Perry

Sixteen years since the publication of Australian national treasure Neil Perry’s groundbreaking bible for home cooks, The Food I Love, comes a bookend to that masterwork: Everything I Love to Cook.

A comprehensive cookbook from an Aussie icon. Home cooks at any level will enjoy.
5

Everything I Love to Cook is the 10th cookbook by Australia’s most well-known chef Neil Perry, and his first in 16 years. With 230 recipes, he has more than made up for the long wait between books. Neil has had a huge influence on Australian dining through the restaurants he established, such as Rockpool, Rockpool Bar & Grill, Spice Temple, Rosetta, and Jade Temple. This year, he opened his newest restaurant, Margaret, which showcases dishes from Everything I Love to Cook.

At 463 pages, this isn’t just a cookbook; it’s a how-to guide for beginners and a must-have book for delicious food ideas for the more experienced chef. From sandwiches to desserts and everything in between, there is something here to satisfy even the fussiest eater’s appetite. The hardcover gives the book weight, which helps keep the book open when cooking, with the recipes clearly set out and easy to follow.

The book begins with a section called “Making life easier in the kitchen” and includes information on the craft of cooking, menu planning, equipment and ingredients. This is a helpful read for a home chef at any level looking to improve their understanding. The helpful advice doesn’t stop there; each chapter begins with information on the main ingredient. For example, the sandwich section includes tips on making the dish suitable for vegetarians and the seafood section includes information on selecting, preparing and cooking seafood, as well as including information on how to make more sustainable choices.

The only fault I found with the book is that not all recipes have images. I usually choose my dish based on how delicious the picture looks. However, with 230 recipes, this is already a large book, so functionally it makes sense why not all images were able to be included.

A SIMPLY DELICIOUS SANDWICH (PAGE 38)

I decided to start with something simple and nothing beats a good sandwich. The recipe begins with a detailed introduction about what flavour you are looking for from each ingredient. This helps the reader choose what will work best from the selection of ingredients available at the local store. After a brief step-by-step guide on how to assemble the sandwich, the recipe ends with variation options. This came in handy as there was no Gruyère at my local supermarket so I went with Jarlsberg instead.

The sandwich was delicious! Great textures and flavours that complemented each other so well. I’ve made this about four times since I first tried it and it’s now become a go-to sandwich option in our house.

BARBECUED RUMP STEAK WITH SALSA VERDE AND SPRING ONIONS (PAGE 312) and CLASSIC ROAST POTATOES (PAGE 380)

These two recipes paired perfectly together. We weren’t going to second guess Neil Perry when it came to cooking the perfect steak so we followed every step. From the salsa verde to the steak and even the addition of the spring onions, everything worked so perfectly together. We also added mushrooms as an additional side but it would have been fine without them.

The potatoes were perfectly crunchy on the outside and soft and fluffy on the inside. We even managed to have everything ready at the same time. This will be my go-to method for roasted potatoes moving forward.

Both recipes were easy to follow and all ingredients were found at our local supermarket.

Overall, this is a comprehensive cookbook home cooks at any level will enjoy. It’s clear that a lot of care and effort has gone into making this book. I can see myself sampling many recipes from this book in the near and distant future.

Reviewed by Jessica Incoll
Twitter: @littlejadventur

Distributed by: Murdoch Books
Released: September 2021
RRP: $59.99

This review is the opinion of the reviewer and not Glam Adelaide.


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