A collection of recipes based on themes
New Holland Publishers is releasing a series of new cookbooks based on themes. They begin with these two handy collections, focussing on vegetarian cooking and slow cooking.
No author is given for either, leading to the assumption that these recipes have been collected from a variety of uncredited sources. They are simple, easy to follow recipes for beginners which can be easily tampered with by more experienced cooks who prefer stronger flavours or alternative ingredients.
Both books begin with a useful and comprehensive introduction on the chosen theme. The Vegetarian Cooking Guide spends almost 20 pages discussing cereals, dairy, pulses, beans, vegetables, fruits, nuts and spices. In this text, different varieties, tastes and uses are all covered in a simple explanatory manner. The Slow Cooking Guide spends a similar amount of space to outline the introduction of the ‘crockpot’, the different varieties of slow cookers, care instructions, and adapting other recipes for a slow cooker, including cooking time conversions.
The books require an additional edit for typos but are an otherwise great resource for those new to, or uncomfortable with the kitchen. The similarly designed hard covers will build to make a nice collection on the shelf with these two books soon to be followed by an additional two titles: The Barbecue Guide and The Dips & Spreads Guide.
Aimed at the less-experienced cooks, these guides keep things simple while providing a good range of recipes that are well worth a look. As a collection, they would also make a great gift idea for young people about to leave home.
Pumpkin, Lemon and Parmesan Risotto
Found on page 169 of The Vegetarian Cooking Guide.
I hear all sorts of nightmare stories about how difficult it is to make risotto. The fussiness of the recipe and the time-consuming effort doesn’t seem to make it very worthwhile. Having said that, this scrumptious recipe put those notions to rest with the exception of having to stir the rice while adding the liquid progressively in the final step.
The lemon gives the risotto a nice zing, while the pumpkin adds a counterbalancing sweetness. With the addition of parmesan cheese, pepper, white wine, butter and stock, it’s a simple but effective ingredients list to make a very satisfying risotto. For my first attempt to be such a success is a credit to the recipe.
Found of page 77 of The Slow Cooking Guide
Tom Cruise may be yesterday’s flavour, but a lamb roast will never go out of fashion! I chose this recipe for two further reasons – I had never tried a roast in a slow cooker before, and I liked the idea of just six ingredients. The result was a nicely cooked basic roast that could have done with more flavour but was a satisfying mix with a cauliflower mash and other vegetables. I would happily make it again but would add more traditional herbs and spices (like rosemary) to increase the taste.
Reviewed by Rod Lewis