Whatever type of food you are passionate about, whether you need to plan menus for feeding a large family, three courses for an elegant dinner party or a romantic meal for two, this selection of 1000 fabulous recipes is sure to inspire you for each and every occasion. Many of the recipes included in the book are considered classics, and they have become so partly because they have proven so popular over the years. Often when we go to a restaurant, we instinctively order those dishes that we know we have enjoyed time and again. But likely as not, going out to a restaurant to treat yourself to these favourites is not something you can either afford or want to do every day. So this book contains dozens of these classic recipes for you to make and enjoy at home.
The 1000 recipes featured here offer you a veritable treasure trove of dishes from which to choose, representing cuisines from all around the world. You will find traditional British, French, Italian, Spanish, Mexican, Caribbean, Moroccan, Indian, Chinese, Thai and Japanese recipes, to name but a few. All the essentials are there: roast beef and Yorkshire pudding from Britain, coq au vin from France, paella and gazpacho from Spain, lasagne and spaghetti bolognese from Italy, chicken chow mein from China and chicken korma from India.
But you will also find hundreds of more unusual recipes. They might be innovative variations on a familiar dish, such as turkey and spinach Lasagna; use ingredients that you have not used before, such as quail’s eggs, guinea fowl or okra; or may offer a really surprising combination of ingredients, such as cod with mango.
Virtually every cooking method ever invented is utilized in these 1000 recipes. There are the ones we use every day, such as grilling, frying and baking, but you will find also poaching, braising and stewing. Even those techniques traditionally regarded as a bit trickier, such as those required to make pastries, soufflés and mousses, have been made straightforward and accessible by the simple and easy-to-follow recipe instructions, and the majority of recipes in the book require minimal preparation.
Nowadays more and more of us are concerned about eating a healthy and balanced diet, and for this reason we have included a wide range of specifically lower-calorie recipes throughout all the chapters in the book. The recipes as a whole have been organized into 17 chapters to help you with the range and variety of recipes. There are hearty soups such as minestrone and Scotch broth, which, when served with warm crusty bread, can be a main meal in their own right. There are chilled soups perfect for a summer afternoon, and numerous others using meat, fish and vegetable ingredients that make ideal starters for dinner parties.
The Starters and Canapés chapter offers everything from salads, tarts and breads to fritters and pâtés, offering a range of options for meat eaters, fish lovers and vegetarians alike. The Salads chapter that follows shows that a salad is a lot more than just a bunch of green leaves! Here you will find light, refreshing salads, salads that make ideal accompaniments to main courses, or even salads that are substantial enough to form a complete meal.
The two chapters on Eggs and Cheese and Pasta, Grains and Pulses demonstrate the variety of taste sensations that can be achieved using these apparently simple ingredients. And of course, eggs, cheese, pasta and rice are used in recipes in other chapters as well. Savoury Pies and Tarts are given a chapter all to themselves so that you can feel confident working with pastry, to make pies, flans and quiches. The recipes chosen in these chapters offer you great versatility, as many can be used as either starters or main courses, depending on your needs.
There are no fewer than five chapters devoted to main courses, and the first of these offers you mouth-watering stews and casseroles. Casseroles are enjoying a great resurgence in popularity as we rediscover the virtues of slow cooking and of cooking a complete meal in one pot. They require
minimal preparation and you simply cook them in the oven or on the hob.
Perfect for family and everyday meals, some are also sophisticated enough to serve at dinner parties or more formal occasions. More often than not meat is the choice for any main course, whether intended for a weekday dinner or special occasion. When planning a dinner menu, you need to choose the right meat to complement the other courses and the wine, if any, you intend to serve. All the beef recipes are therefore grouped together, as are all the pork recipes, lamb recipes and so on. There are also some tasty recipes to make with venison and other game meat if you are feeling more adventurous. The Chicken and Other Poultry chapter offers numerous imaginative ways to serve chicken – it is such a versatile meat which can be combined with any number of other ingredients. ‘Poultry’ does not simply mean chicken, however, as all the recipes using turkey, duck, poussin, guinea fowl and goose testify. There are more types of fish than there are meat and poultry put together, so the chapter on Fish and Seafood will open your eyes to this great diversity and help you to expand your recipe repertoire. Similarly the Vegetables and Vegetarian chapter will surprise you with the huge range of delicious meals that are nourishing enough to appeal to the taste buds of even the most die-hard meat lover, while delighting all your vegetarian guests.
Dessert is often the course of a meal to which people look forward most. To help you plan your menus, we have dedicated three chapters to this finale: Hot Desserts and Puddings, Cold Desserts and Fruit Desserts. Choose from substantial hot sponge puddings, refreshing ice creams, sorbets, rich and creamy mousses and succulent fruit tarts and jellies. And not to forget all those other times when you want a snack or treat, we’ve included a chapter dedicated to biscuits and other sweet nibbles.
To supplement all the other recipes in the book, the last chapter offers you recipes for dips which can be served with crudités at parties; basic
stocks and sauces, which you will find useful for all sorts of soups, casseroles and main courses; and dressings to accompany the salads.
Whatever the occasion and the taste preferences of your family and guests, you are bound to find recipes here to set your taste buds alight and your mouth watering for many years to come.