Book Reviews: River Cottage: Easy, and River Cottage: Light and Easy by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Title: River Cottage: Easy, and River Cottage: Light and Easy
Author: Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall
Publication Date: Both re-issued May 2017

Synopsis: River Cottage: Easy - "How often have you wished there was a magic formula to make cooking easier? Well, there is. Put just three food things together on a plate and, somehow, the whole is always greater and more delicious than the sum of its parts. Looking back over nearly two decades of professional cookery, Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall has worked out the winning combinations. Salty, sweet, crunchy. Sharp, rich, crumbly. Hot, bland, crisp. Think scones with jam and cream, fish and chips with mushy peas, or porridge with golden syrup and cream.

Hugh has used this simple formula to create more than 175 inspiring recipes, both well-loved classics and brand new ides, based on trios like squash, ricotta and ham; aubergine, tomatoes and chickpeas; clams, tomatoes and garlic; chicken, tomatoes and tarragon; pork, potatoes and apples; pasta, courgettes and mozzarella; strawberries, cream and shortbread; and chocolate, ginger and digestives... The list goes on.

With sumptuous photography from Simon Wheeler, this book will unlock a whole new world of fantastic food. Easy cooking with three delicious ingredients. It really is that simple."

River Cottage: Light and Easy - "Ever lack the time or inspiration to cook a nourishing meal after a hectic day? Delicious, health-giving food doesn't have to be time-consuming and complicated.

In River Cottage: Light and Easy Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall delivers wholesome delights with zero compromise on taste for all occasions - from brilliant breakfasts to goodness on the go, from crunchy salads to simple roasts and hotpots, from nutrient-packed fish dishes to lighter breads, baking and treats (we all need those!). Each recipe is dairy-free and wheat-free, and all are guaranteed to bring a fresh energy and vitality to your everyday cooking and eating.

The 170 flavour-hitting recipes include: pumpkin seed drop scones, savoury buckwheat galettes, wheat-free spinachy wraps, rye grissini, fragrant Asian broth, speedy fish and tomato curry, fish-rizo with broad beans, spiced beef with bashed beans, aromatic nutty chicken, easiest ever storecupboard fishcakes, lamb and cashew curry. smashed roast Jerusalem artichokes, beetroot burgers, peach and orange sorbet, chocolate and avocado mousse, chestnut marmalade muffins and life-loving brownies...

With striking photography from Simon Wheeler, this beautiful book provides solutions to creating the most nourishing and healthy of meals as quickly and easily as possible."

My thoughts: I decided to review these two together because they complement each other really well, and plus cookbooks can be quite expensive and maybe, this way, you can get an idea for which one you would prefer!

Both of these are re-issued cookbooks of earlier releases. Easy was originally published in 2012 under the title Hugh's Three Good Things, whilst Light and Easy was published in 2014 under a similar name. Now that I have informed you of those facts, on with the reviews!

I have actually had some experience with Easy before, under its old name, as this is one of the cookbooks that my parents own, so I have made a couple of things out of there. I am a fan of River Cottage - the place, the people, the tv series, the books... I love all of them. Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall is quite a character, and whilst others may groan at his use of puns and wacky names for food, I tend to laugh. As is implied in the synopsis and in its old title, Easy centres around the idea that you can make lovely food out of just three ingredients. A lot of the recipes have meat in them (my husband is vegan so I tend to notice this sort of stuff), but there are also a lot of lovely recipes without meat, focusing more on fruit and veg. It is clear that Hugh has done his research and taste-testings to full effectiveness - the flavour combinations he uses in this book work so well and the recipes are generally short without sacrificing any flavour.

Light and Easy I hadn't encountered before, and so this was a lovely education for me. I liked that this one has a focus on removing wheat and dairy, and still having really lovely foods. I have recently discovered that my reactions to wheat/gluten are not imagined (I had some tests done and an allergy has been officially found) and, while many of these recipes still use gluten, there are a lot that don't and substitute things like buckwheat which I can eat. Like Easy, the recipes are quite short and use ingredients that are familiar and easy to obtain, and they make me excited to start cooking. Some of the sweets in particular already have me salivating.

The new covers for these books are absolutely gorgeous - simple (like the recipes within), yet charming. The photography throughout is stunning, and I am quite taken with the little illustrations that accompany the recipes. All-in-all, these books have been delightfully re-packaged, and they are a wonderful addition to my collection.

{I received review copies of these books from Bloomsbury in exchange for an honest review. Thank you!!!}

A favourite recipe from the book: Easy: Potato, Mushrooms, Curry. Light and Easy: Strawberry Cashew Ice Cream.

You would like this book if: You like anything River Cottage, like me; you enjoy simple recipes with few ingredients, but no skimping on flavour!

Rating:  8/10

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