Food You Can't Say No To - Tamasin Day-Lewis
Quadrille - March 2012
Photography: Simon Wheeler
The introduction to this new cookbook is brief but well written - which is fitting as the main food philosophy is that simple is best. 'Food You Can't Say No To' is designed to be a series of dishes that can be cooked simply and often to become a part of your everyday repertoire.
There are lots of different food cultures represented with many flavours and tastes. The notes that start each recipe are interesting background to the food but there are few ideas listed for how to adapt recipes or create other variations.
It's quite hard to navigate from the contents page but the index is well organised and easy to use. The font in the recipes themselves is a little small when you're cooking but is fine when just reading through. The photography is lovely, very clean and many of the recipes have photographs inset into the same page so you can see everything all together. The recipes that have pictures have been well chosen and there are lots of photos throughout.
There are not a lot of original ideas in the book but rather personal takes on more traditional dishes, which is exactly what Day-Lewis seems to have been aiming for. While there are some good interpretations here overall it doesn't drive me towards the kitchen, there were few recipes here that I am desperate to try out right away, they are familiar rather than inspiring.
The best part is the final section titled 'Feasts' where a series of recipes are put together for different occasions, something I would love to see more of. There are also lots of varied seafood ideas and great vegetarian recipes, as well as some very hearty sounding meat dishes. The recipes are more utilitarian than exciting but there are several that work very nicely and I think there would be something that most people would really enjoy eating. The sweets had the most unique recipes out of all of the sections which made them much more interesting to cook.
My favourite recipes were the Roquefort & Walnut Pie, the Fillet of Venison with a Spiced Aubergine Charlotte, the Torta Della Nonna and the Flamed Romano Peppers in a Cream Sauce. I especially liked the feasts section, it's great to see full meal plans in a recipe book.
Disclaimer: I received a copy of 'Food You Can't Say No To' from Quadrille publishing.