cover image Pure Simple Cooking: Effortless Meals Every Day

Pure Simple Cooking: Effortless Meals Every Day

Diana Henry, . . Ten Speed, $21.95 (192pp) ISBN 978-1-58008-948-7

Most cookbooks start off with chapters dedicated to appetizers, soups or salads. Henry, food columnist for London's Sunday Telegraph magazine, cuts right to the heart of the matter—and the center of the plate—with sections devoted to chicken, chops, sausages, leg of lamb, fish and pasta. After all, the question “what's for dinner?” is never answered with “a platter of crudités.” Her latest collection of 150 recipes focuses on simple weeknight dishes, most of which can be prepared in under an hour and with only a handful of ingredients. Strong emphasis is placed on seasonal produce, with vegetable and fruit chapters broken down into “spring and summer” or “autumn and winter” categories. While Henry hails from Ireland and resides in London, her recipes reflect a distinct global influence: salmon ceviche garnished with mango and avocado; pork chops flavored with Thai spices and nam pla; and torrijas, the Spanish version of French toast. Endless variations for savory sauces, poultry stuffing, roasted potatoes and even whipped cream pepper the text, and many of the recipes contain footnotes offering simple substitutions. Even the baked desserts are streamlined, such as an all-in-one chocolate cake that employs self-rising flour and salted butter and is mixed entirely in the food processor. One hundred sumptuous, full-color photographs serve as both illustration and inspiration, making this reasonably priced title ideal for the novice home cook in need of a bit of encouragement in the kitchen. (Apr.)