Sunday 18 November 2012

323. Junior Gourmet by Elizabeth Long

Junior Gourmet by Elizabeth Long
Published September 2012 Five Mile Press

From the publisher:
Take your tastebuds on a trip around the world and learn to cook these authentic, simple and delicious recipes. Explore the signature dishes and cooking techniques from Morocco to Mexico and many places in between!

To be honest, I have wanted to include a children’s cookbook all year.  It does feel a bit like cheating, because obviously there’s less reading involved, and it’s a different kind of reading.  As soon as I saw this one, I couldn’t resist.  The cover got, me and as soon as I looked inside, I knew I had to use this one.

It has recipes from the following countries: Australia, Vietnam, Thailand, China, India, Russia, Greece, Italy, France, United Kingdom, Spain, Morocco, United States of America, Mexico and Uruguay.

There isn’t too much information about each country, just a short paragraph of introduction.  If I were to be picky, I would say that I would have liked a more detailed background, but it is a cook book, not a travel guide, so that’s fine.

There’s an introduction at the beginning of the book where the author provides a general checklist of things you might need and the message to have fun when creating this amazing food.  While this cook book does not have step by step instructions on each page, it does have a section on ‘Kitchen techniques’ at the beginning, where it does have detailed instructions on things like, using a mortar and pestle, bruising lemongrass, de-veining prawns and aromatic frying. 

And again, before we even get to the delicious looking recipes, there’s a few pages looking at some of the ingredients that might be needed, things that may be new to some cooks, like, atta flour, palm sugar, kecap manis and pomegranate molasses.  As you can tell by some of the ingredients, just because this is a children’s cook book, it doesn’t mean that the authenticity of each dish is compromised.  I would say that’s it’s not a ‘first cook book’, but more a cookbook to extend your culinary skills.  The truth is, this cookbook wouldn’t be out of place in any adult cookbook collection.

One of my reasons for wanting to include a cook book this year is so that I have an excuse to cook.  I figured if I actually cooked something (and included a pic as proof), that would make up for the shorter reading time.  So here’s a look at what I whipped up, I made brownies from the USA and Albóndigas from Uruguay.  Mine don't look quite like the pictures in the book, but they tasted great!

Who will like this book: anyone who likes good food and cooking
Read it if you like: to think you're a budding Master Chef

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