Books for cooks – July/August 2022

Helen Stanton of Forum Books in Corbridge, The Bound, Whitley Bay, and The Accidental Bookshop, Alnwick, reviews the latest food titles

Big Has HOME // Hasan Semay
As Hasan Semay (AKA chef and YouTuber Big Has) says: “This book is just about food. Nothing flashy, no expensive equipment….” Has is bright and talented, his robust food full of Mediterranean influences from his Cypriot heritage. Think grilled buttermilk chicken thighs with chermoula, flame-licked steak and salsa verde, marinated lamb chops with salsa rosa, neat folds of glistening home-made pasta and the occasional jaw-dropping dessert. This is real food to be celebrated with friends.

Vegan Barbecue // Katy Beskow
Showcasing 70 simple plant-based barbecue recipes plus delicious sides, dips and snacks, this book brightens up any al fresco event. From katsu burgers with wasabi mayo, buttered hassleback squash and sizzling fajitas, to brown sugar baked beans, BBQ patatas bravas, and kiwi and avocado salsa, this proves you don’t have to eat meat to enjoy a barbecue. 

Everyone Loves Tacos // Ben Fordham and Felipe Fuentes Cruz
Tacos are the beating heart of Mexican food and simple enough to cook in your kitchen. With chapters on small bites and breakfast tacos, there are also chicken, pork and beef options such as pork al pastor with tropical pineapple salsa. There are fish and seafood tacos, veggie flavours, and sweet options including apple pie taquitos. Pop a rocket in your pocket wraps!

Persiana Everyday // Sabrina Ghayour
Enjoy maximum flavour with the greatest of ease, including no-cook, quick-cook and one-pot dishes. Try chicken and cucumber salad with pul biber and tahini lime dressing; harissa-glazed cod and marmalade prawns with barberry, chilli and chive butter; pomegranate and harissa-roast aubergine steak and smoky tomato couscous. Or rhubarb, rose and pistachio trifle pots, orange and dark chocolate rubble cake, and cardamom and mocha rice pudding. Everyday is our new favourite day!

River Cottage Great Salads // Gelf Alderson
River Cottage exec head chef Gelf Alderson creates knockout salads with simple ingredients. His recipes redefine salad as playful flavour pairings, clever techniques and vibrant dressings bring out the best in seasonal produce. Try tomatoes and raspberries with mint or cavolo nero, peach, cashews and blue cheese; BBQ’d leeks, spelt and sunflower seeds; and lentils with green herbs and lemon. Divine!

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