Reviewed by Dale Harcombe
If you like your cook book to show the finished product you might appreciate this book. It is beautifully presented with a colour picture on the opposite page to each recipe.
Personally I found many of the breakfast recipes not to my taste but others may well have other ideas.
It has an interesting collection of starters and salads. Anyone who likes couscous will like the Tomato, Couscous and Salami Salad. Vietnamese Chicken Salad is another good one.,p> Spanish Soup which can be served chilled or hot would be a useful addition to any cook’s repertoire, as would Thai-Style Tomato soup.
Where ingredients in some recipes are less familiar, Valli Little directs the reader to the right place to find them.
According to Valli, when she had a gourmet food shop one dish (DPS- Daily Pasta Special) was so popular customers wouldn’t let her ever take it off the menu. The great advantage for the busy person is that it doesn’t take a lot of time to prepare.
On the whole this book is not one for those on a tight budget, as some ingredients are expensive. That is counterbalanced by others like Vegetarian Chilli in Avocado and White Bean and Coconut Curry which are tasty, inexpensive and dead easy. What more could the busy cook want?
I immediately thought of someone I know, when I came across the Kumara Galettes as she is a sucker for anything using pumpkin or kumara. And who could resist Roast Chicken with Pan-Roasted Romesco (a Spanish sauce) or Moroccan Chicken with Olives? Moroccan Cottage Pie is a new twist on an old favourite.
Of course there are also simple desserts, cakes, and low fat recipes. Most people should find several particular favourites the will use in this book. Having said that, it’s not one I’d buy myself as I wasn’t that enamoured of some of the recipes or found others used ingredients too expensive for our budget. But I’m prepared to concede others may end up with a different idea.
Delicious: Quick, Smart Cook, by Valli Little
***ABC books RRP $39.99
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