Book Review: The Useful Book My review of this new activity, recipe and art/craft book celebrating…
More Please! – Book Review
A family recipe book by Manu Feildel with Clarissa Weerasena. Published by Murdoch Books.
Also available at Book Depository: More Please! My Family Recipes You’ll Love To Cook And Share
Perhaps best known today as one of the judges on the TV show My Kitchen Rules, Manu Feildel is a French chef who lives in Australia with his family, including his fiancée, Clarissa Weerasena, of Malaysian and Chinese descent.
This is a family recipe book comprising some of the authors’ favourite recipes. Thanks to their combined cultural backgrounds, there are recipes from across Asia and Europe here, with something for everyone.
The chapters include Starters, Weeknight Meals, Noodles and Rice, For When Friends Come Over, Sides, Desserts and Basics. The Basics chapter includes recipes for making your own sauces and stocks which are cited in other recipes.
I like the way the recipes don’t insist on a specific type of sauce, stock or type of ingredient. If beef stock is needed, there’s no mention of ‘Home Style Beef Stock’ or ‘Campbell’s Beef Stock,’ or what have you. This means you can still follow the recipes, no matter whether you’re a cook-everything-myself gourmet or a just-buy-the-cheapest-option shopper.
There is such a wide variety of recipes that you are bound to find something to suit your family, though I have to admit the ones I liked the best were all in the Desserts section! In particular if you like Asian food, this book will have plenty of inspiration.
There are some beautiful photos of the authors at home with their family as well, making this a treat to look at. It would make a great gift, and, as it’s not a hard back, it wouldn’t be too heavy to post.
Unsurprisingly, given the French background of the main author, the recipes are heavy on wine. Almost every savoury recipe has it! And there’s no mention, for those of us who tend not to cook with alcohol, whether you can simply omit it or if you should substitute something else.
I also prefer, with recipe books aimed at families, for the authors to be clear about what can be changed or substituted. For example, the chicken recipes mostly ask for leg portions on the bone from a butcher. However I would much rather cook thigh or breast. I know enough to be confident with substituting these things, without needing anyone to advise me. But a new or uncertain cook may be unsure what they can and can’t change in a recipe.
Additionally, ingredients you have to buy from a butcher will cost more, which may not suit families cooking on a tight budget. More flexibility in a recipe book aimed at families would be preferable.
Our Rating (channelling our love of ice cream, our rating system works the way we like our ice cream: the more scoops the better. Besides, good books should be devoured!
Best = four scoops):
Two scoops. Nice for a snack!
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