New cook books reviewed

<em>Time Out</em> has rounded up some of the market’s best new cookbooks to offer some culinary inspiration to food-lovers.

Dinner in a Dash
Author: Lindsey Bareham
Publisher: Quadrille
Price: Dhs110
Lindsey Bareham’s Dinner In A Dash shows how to put a three-course dinner party for six together in under an hour. But this isn’t about seeing how much culinary activity you can squeeze into 60 minutes (a common mistake with time-focused cookbooks). Bareham – a former Time Out food editor – has an original and highly experienced take on when it’s worth putting in the effort and when it’s not.

She shows how to make chicken liver pâté from scratch in 15 minutes, but includes the likes of canned cream rice (jazzed up with pistachios, fresh cream and orange flower water), Doritos hot salsa dip and frozen broccoli florets on her sensibly organised shopping lists. A great choice if you’d like to have people round after work more often, and keenly priced too.

Jenni Muir

Francesco’s Kitchen
Author: Francesco da Mosto
Publisher: Ebury Press
Price: Dhs183
Following his artistic journeys through Venice and Italy, Venetian architect and author Francesco da Mosto has turned his attention to the food of his home town. His latest book features a good selection of classic recipes from Venice and its surrounding region, the Veneto, while the accompanying anecdotes provide an entertaining insight into this lesser-known Italian regional cuisine.

However, da Mosto can be so entrenched in the comfort of his own kitchen that he often forgets that he’s writing for an audience unfortunate enough not to have the abundant, relatively inexpensive fresh seafood and produce of Rialto market at their doorstep. As a result, a few recipes feature ingredients that are either impossible to find outside Venice or are extremely costly, if they can be tracked down.

After all, even Venetian expats have resorted to timing visits home to quell their cravings for local cuisine highlights such as moeche, deep-fried soft-shell crabs that are caught during a brief moulting season in spring and autumn.

If you don’t mind da Mosto’s constant references to himself and his aristocratic family (it turns out Lord Byron contracted an STD during a fling with a da Mosto beauty), this book is a lively read and a reliable introduction to the gastronomy of Venice.

Elena Berton

Cook Simple
Author: Diana Henry
Publisher: Mitchell Beazley
Price: Dhs146
In Cook Simple, Diana Henry’s focus is not on speed but ease, which became a priority when this hitherto enthusiastic cook had children. She relies a lot on the oven – not the appliance you’d immediately associate with hassle-free food – but dishes such as chermoula lamb with hot pepper and carrot purée will have you reassessing your old-fangled stove in no time. We also love the chapters dedicated to chops and sausages. This is the ultimate book for the harassed foodie in your life.

JM

All books are available from Amazon or directly from the publisher.

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