Monday, November 2, 2009
Gordon Ramsay's latest book, launched to coincide with the new series of The F Word, is a whistlestop tour of ten of the world's cuisines. The book starts in France (of course) and ends in the USA, via the Middle East, Thailand, China, India, Spain, Italy, Greece and Britain.
It would be easy to dismiss this as the latest output from the GR marketing machine, 10 cuisines in 100 recipes is hardly in depth, but as I read on I realised there was a lot of technical information in the book and the techniques were clearly explained.
The recipes are simple, but not simplistic, which makes this book perfect for either a keen beginner or a more experienced cook who wants to expand their repertoire. Gordon wants us to try souffle, make our own dim sum wrappers and blend Thai curry paste. These aren't quick after-work suppers, but labours of love for a Sunday afternoon.
I tried three recipes from the book, purposely avoiding the European cuisines that Gordon is typically associated with. The US rump steak with beer and onion gravy was simple and full of flavour, the sesame ice cream was outstandingly nutty and moreish (the remainder is in my freezer, awaiting a chocolate fondant to be paired with) and the red braised pork belly was time consuming but delicious, with a spicy, savoury kick.
Of course, any book like this is never going to be specialised, but if you're intimidated by the fad for weighty, specialised tomes like the Silver Spoon and you're in a bit of a cooking rut, this could be the book for you. I also think it would be great for dinner party ideas, as each section has a couple of recipes you could use for a starter, a main and a dessert.
In World Kitchen, Gordon lets you try a little bit of everything, and to be honest, when the recipes taste this good you can't really complain.
My attempt at Red Braised Pork
Gordon Ramsay's World Kitchen is published by Quadrille and costs £20.