‘There’s not a recipe here I don’t want to eat immediately.’ - Nigella Lawson
Roast Chicken and Other Stories provides an insight into Simon Hopkinson's unique style of unpretentious cooking with 160 of his favourite recipes. Simon Hopkinson's forty favourite ingredients include everyday basics as potatoes, chicken and cod as well as more exotic foods such as asparagus and truffles. The cookbook is arranged alphabetically with a chapter on each food. Unable to hide his great love of food, Hopkinson writes about why he likes each particular ingredient, and gives sensible advice on quality, variety and good cooking principles together with the recipes. The book is aimed at home cooks and all the recipes can be prepared by anyone with basic cooking skills. From Grilled Augergine with Pesto to Roast Chicken and Homemade Ice Cream, Simon Hopkinson's food is always honest and inviting, designed to please rather than simply to impress.
This idiosyncratic though charming cookbook was first published in the U.K. in 1994 and became a runaway favorite with a second publication in 2006. Hopkinson, a founding chef of Londons Bibendum and a newspaper columnist, rejects the notion that a dinners merit should be judged by its number of ingredients or steps. Instead, his earthy sensibility is guided by French techniques, rich English ingredients and lots and lots of butter. Chapters are organized not by course but by Hopkinsons favorite ingredients, such as eggplant (grilled, creamed, baked and stewed in his cayenne-spiked version of the Turkish classic Imam Bayildi); leeks (in vinaigrette, in a tart crust, vichyssoise, baked with cream and mint); and tripe (Madrid-style, Lyonnaise style, deep-fried). Each chapter begins with a bit of history and often witty personal reminiscence. Hell chart the use of anchovies around the globe, quote fellow food writer Elizabeth David on the beauty of "ancho ade" and guide readers to the best canned variety in the market. The recipes themselves are designed for the intuitive cook who can gauge a dishs doneness by its color rather than by slavish devotion to a timer. Yet Hopkinsons recipes are true winners, inspiring confidence in the kitchen and pleasure at the table with their simple, satisfying flavors. "" .