simon gault modern classics

By now most of us are familiar with Simon Gault – from a Master Chef judge, his own seasonings, TV ad appearances to cookbooks, his face seems to be everywhere!
In his latest book “Modern Classics” Simon has taken traditional well known recipes and given them a twist. Rather than your traditional risotto recipe for example, there is Japanese Risotto incorporating quinoa with risotto rice, adding Japanese flavours and garnishing with wasakbi tobiko (wasabi flavoured flying fish roe) and pickled ginger. His smoked fish pie uses Simon Gault Home Cuisine Indian Rub, the seasoning he assures bring his version alive. Whilst he uses his range of spices and rubs throughout the book they are by no means in every recipe. I did wonder if that could be off putting to someone who did not have the rub or spice and would they feel compelled to purchase it? Visually the Ham Hock and Pea Pies are fantastic – the pastry is baked on upturned oven proof bowls. When cooked the pastry is then filled with the creamy ham and pea filling and with no top on the pie it certainly doesn’t look like just another classic pie.
The photography in the book is gorgeous. Every recipe is accompanied by a full page picture which are styled simply and elegantly. Whilst flicking through the book I noticed the Savoury Beef Cheeks – my husband loves beef cheeks and I have never cooked them. The recipe was really clearly written and the end result was to die for (even if I do say so myself!!)
I would highly recommend “Modern Classics”, the recipes are appealing and achievable. His descriptions of methods, tips and ideas are well written and easy to follow. It would make a great gift for all cooks be they novice or expert.

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