Thursday, August 20, 2009

Sophie Dahl - Harper Collins - Hardback - $44.99

When I first picked this book up I was a little suspicious, a cookbook by celebrity model/journalist/novelist Sophie Dahl. What does she know about food was the question that ran through my mind. Well I soon learned that she knows a great deal about food, she has grown up in a family of foodies, she has a passionate relationship with food, and she writes about it in an informative and entertaining way.
Divided into seasons with sub-sections for each - Breakfasts, Lunches,Suppers with a final section on puddings. Lots of reading in here with each season having a 10-12 page introduction which I found most interesting.
I haven't had a chance yet to make anything substantial from the book but I did try her scrambled eggs this morning which were a great success.
Coquette’s eggs

Serves 2

4 eggs
Salt and pepper
Olive oil
Roasted red peppers –
I lazily used a jar of Italian sweet chargrilled peppers, but obviously you can make them yourself too. (Chop some red peppers, baste them with olive oil and blast them under a hot grill for a few minutes.)
A good chunk of feta cheese, crumbled
A handful of fresh basil leaves

When my boyfriend and I were courting, he came over for brunch and this is what I cooked, albeit rather nervously … the name is somewhat bolder than I felt that day, but something obviously worked; fate or cooking, we’ll never know.

The trick to good scrambled eggs is a very low heat, and fresh eggs. Whisk the eggs in a bowl, and add salt and pepper. In a pan, gently heat some olive oil. Pour in the eggs, stirring continuously or you’ll have an omelette on your hands. I only leave the pan on the hob for about 1 minute, if that, after which I take it off and the eggs cook themselves, like magic. It depends how well you like them done really. I abhor runny scrambled eggs.

In a separate pan, heat the peppers and crumble the feta in. This should take a minute or two. Pour on top of the eggs, mix it in gently, season and put some chopped basil on top. Serve with some good toast and a saucy smile.
Sophie Dahl now lives in London after an eight year sojourn in New York. Her first novel, Playing with the Grown-Ups, was published in 2007. She was contributing editor for Men's Vogue for three years and now works for, amongst others, British Vogue, American Vogue, Guardian, Spectator and The Times.
This new book is a happy and joyful thing, a handsome hardback which will make a great gift for a foodie in your life.

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