The London Cookbook, by Aleksandra Crapanzano


I enjoyed reading The London Cookbook which is essentially a compilation of recipes from some of the best restaurants in London. The photography in the book is beautiful. I like the overall look of the font and layout of the pages of the book. The white colored page background gives the pages a clean crisp feel and the dark font contrast makes reading the book easy on the eyes and enjoyable. I look forward to cooking some of the most famous restaurant dishes in London without having to get a passport or plane ticket!  And yes, you will most definitely find recipes like British Fish and Chips and Indian Curries which are common staples in London, but also many more dishes that showcase the best of what modern London restaurants have to offer.

The only major commitment to replicating the mouthwatering dishes will most likely require some effort to source the ingredients for the average home cook, or have a very well stocked pantry.  For example, I usually don’t have Chestnut Flour on hand, but the Chestnut Straccetti with Mushrooms and Chestnuts, pg. 63, from Bocca Di Lupo sounds and looks too good to pass up.

The book is divided into sections for Light Fare, Vegetables, Soups, Pasta Rice and Grains, Seafood, Fowl, Meat, Desserts and Cocktails.  Some of the recipes which I would like to try from the Soups section include: Ginger and White’s Sweet Potato, Bacon, and Savoy Cabbage Soup, pg 42.  From the Seafood:  Fish and Chips, pg. 111 from Tom’s Kitchen, and the Ivy’s Sugar-Brined Salmon with Radish, Cucumber and Pea Shoot, pg 113. The Modern Pantry’s Ginger and Cilantro Spiced Cod with Cauliflower “Couscous”, looks stunning and I am sure tastes fantastic-again a Baharat spice mix which can be home made with a little research, but something I don’t typically have in the pantry-even so, sourcing the spice mix will not hinder me from trying the recipe .  In the Fowl section, another Bocca Di Luppo recipe has caught my eye, Chicken Scaoppine with Mushrooms and Marsala, pg. 132.  Tramshed’s Indian Chicken and Pumpkin Curry, pg. 136 also sounds like it would make a warm and comforting dish for winter.  In the Desserts section the Chocolate Nemesis, pg. 190 from the River Café seems awfully indulgent for a time when you want a decadent rich chocolate experience.  Other Desserts like Barfina’s Santiago Tart, pg. 209, and Bread Ahead’s Ginger Steamed Pudding with Rum Syrup, pg 229, are ones that veer from the “average” dessert and that I would like to try.

I would recommend this book for anyone who appreciates fine food and loves to cook.  I received this book from Penguin Publish through “Blogging for Books”.

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