Prawn Pad Thai by Norman Musa

Prawn Pad Thai - BOWLFUL. IMAGE CREDIT Luke J Albert

When anyone asks about the best Thai dishes that have been exported around the world, Pad Thai is certainly among the most sought after. My visit to the country’s capital in search of the best Pad Thai in Bangkok revealed how easy it actually is to cook this dish. It has a wonderful combination of sweet, sour and salty flavours with a good crunch of peanuts. Forget about ready-made sauce in a jar, you can make your own by combining tamarind, palm sugar, fish sauce and soy sauce – it’s as simple as that.

SERVES 2

200g/7oz flat rice noodles
½ tbsp vegetable oil, plus extra for the egg
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
10 raw king prawns, shelled and deveined, but tails left on
1 egg
125g/4½oz bean sprouts
50g/1¾oz garlic chives (kow choi)

FOR THE SEASONING

1½ tbsp tamarind paste
1 tbsp palm sugar
1 tbsp fish sauce
2 tbsp light soy sauce

FOR THE GARNISH

1 spring onion, cut into thin strips and soaked in cold water until curled, then drained
10 sprigs of fresh coriander, leaves picked
2 tsp dried chilli flakes
½ lime, cut into 2 wedges
2 tbsp salted peanuts, lightly crushed

Prepare the noodles according to the packet instructions; drain and set aside. In a small bowl, mix the seasoning ingredients with 2 tablespoons of water and stir well.

Heat the oil in a wok or large frying pan over a high heat. Fry the garlic for 30 seconds, then add the prawns and cook for 1 minute. Push the prawns to one side of the wok or frying pan and drizzle in a little more oil. Crack in the egg, scramble it, cook until dry and then add the noodles and seasoning mixture. Cook for 2 minutes, then stir in the bean sprouts and chives, continue to cook for 1 more minute and then turn off the heat.

Transfer to two serving bowls and garnish with the spring onion, coriander, chilli flakes, lime wedges and peanuts. Serve at once. 

Image: Luke J Albert

Cook more from this book: 
Vegetarian Biryani with Chickpeas by Norman Musa

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Buy this book: Bowlful: Fresh and vibrant dishes from Southeast Asia by Norman Musa (Pavilion Books).

Vegetarian Biryani with Chickpeas by Norman Musa

Vegetarian Biryani with Chickpeas - BOWLFUL. IMAGE CREDIT Luke J Albert

I visited Singapore many years ago on holiday and stumbled across a wonderful, well-organized food court whose name I can’t recall, but I vividly remember the stall that served delicious biryani. The chef showed me all the layers in the huge cooking pot he used to cook the aromatic rice. This experience always comes to mind every time I cook or read anything about biryani.

SERVES 4

FOR THE JACKFRUIT & CHICKPEA CURRY

2 tbsp ghee, butter or vegan spread, plus ½ tbsp extra for the rice
4 white onions, halved and thinly sliced
4 medium and ripe tomatoes, finely chopped
1 x 565g/20oz can jackfruit in brine, drained and rinsed
1 x 400g/14oz can chickpeas, drained and rinsed

FOR THE RICE

500g/1lb 2oz/2½ cups basmati rice, soaked in water for 20 minutes then drained 
3 green cardamom pods, lightly bruised
3 cloves
1 cinnamon stick
10 black peppercorns
1 tsp cumin seeds
2 tsp salt

FOR THE SAUCE

200g/7oz/scant 1 cup quark or natural yogurt
2.5cm/1in ginger, finely chopped
5 garlic cloves, sliced
1 tbsp ground coriander
2 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp mild chilli powder
1 tsp ground turmeric
2 tsp salt
1 tsp garam masala
10 sprigs of fresh coriander, roughly chopped
20 fresh mint leaves, roughly chopped
4 tbsp frozen peas

TO FINISH

3 tsp saffron water (a pinch of saffron threads soaked in 2 tbsp warm water for 20 minutes)
3 tsp rose water
20 fresh mint leaves, roughly chopped
10 sprigs of fresh coriander, roughly chopped

To make the curry, melt the ghee, butter or spread in a large saucepan over a medium-high heat. Next, stir in the onions and fry for 10 minutes until golden to dark brown. Remove half the onion and set aside for later use.

Stir in the tomatoes and cook for 3 minutes until softened. Add the jackfruit, chickpeas and all the sauce ingredients, except for the peas, and cook for 10 minutes. Stir in the peas, together with 200ml/7fl oz/scant 1 cup of water, and cook for a further 2 minutes. Turn off the heat. 

Meanwhile, place 1.8 litres/63fl oz/7½ cups of water in a large saucepan and add the spices and salt, then bring to the boil and stir in the rice. Cook for 8 minutes. After the first 4 minutes, reduce the heat to medium-low and continue to cook for the remaining 4 minutes. Turn off the heat and drain.

Put the remaining ghee, butter or spread in a deep saucepan and scatter over one-third of the rice followed by 1 teaspoon of the saffron water and 1 teaspoon of the rose water. Scatter over one-third of the mint, coriander and fried onions, followed by one-third of the curry. Repeat the same process until everything has been used.

Cover the pan with aluminium foil, put over a low heat and cook for 8 minutes. Turn off the heat and let the biryani rest for 5 minutes, then remove the foil and divide between four serving bowls. Serve at once.

Image: Luke J Albert

Cook more from this book
Prawn Pad Thai by Norman Musa

Read our review 
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Smoky and Spicy Shrimp with Anchovy Butter and Fregola by Colu Henry

SmokyAndSpicyShrimp_p111a_ColuCooks_p111a

It’s all right there for you in the title. Sweet shrimp is sautéed until just cooked through, and fregola (a tiny toasted pasta from Sardinia) is added to the pot to toast in the melted anchovy butter and spices with some cherry tomatoes. I love Calabrian chiles packed in oil and use them here for some punchy heat, but if red pepper flakes are within closer reach feel free to use them instead. Once the fregola finishes cooking, return the shrimp to the pot to warm them through and serve straight from the pan. Serve with many bottles of chilled red wine.

Serves: 4
Time: 30 minutes

INGREDIENTS
1 pound (455 g) extra-large or jumbo shrimp, peeled and deveined
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
¼ cup (½ stick/55 g) unsalted butter
4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
4 oil-packed anchovies
3 Calabrian chiles, roughly chopped, or 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
½ teaspoon smoked paprika
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 pint (290 g) cherry or Sungold tomatoes
1½ cups (270 g) fregola
3 cups (700 ml) chicken stock
½ cup (20 g) loosely packed basil leaves, torn if large, or roughly chopped parsley or mint, or a combination of all three

METHOD
Season the shrimp well with salt and black pepper. In a 12-inch (30.5 cm) skillet, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the shrimp and cook until pink, 1 to 2 minutes per side. Remove and set aside on a plate.

Add the garlic, anchovies, Calabrian chiles, and smoked paprika to the skillet and stir until the garlic is fragrant and the anchovies have dissolved, about 2 minutes. Add the tomato paste and toast for a minute or so. Add the cherry tomatoes and stir to coat. Cook until the tomatoes begin to burst, pressing down on them gently to help release their liquid, 3 to 4 minutes.

Add the fregola to the pan and stir until the pasta is well coated in the spiced butter. Pour in the stock and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer until the fregola is al dente, 10 to 12 minutes.

Add the shrimp back to the pan with any juices that have accumulated on the plate and stir until they are just warmed through. Scatter with herbs and serve.

Cook more from this book
Swordfish with Burst Tomatoes, Peppers, and Za’atar and Preserved Lemon by Colu Henry
Spring lamb ragu with anchovies and pea shoots by Colu Henry


Buy this book
Colu Cooks by Colu Henry
£25, Abrams Books

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Coming soon

Simply Raymond by Raymond Blanc

Simply Raymond

What’s the USP? A collection of straightforward, mostly French recipes inspired by both the rustic country cooking of the author’s late mother and the simple recipes in Edouard de Pomaine’s classic 1930 book Cooking in 10 Minutes.

Who’s the author? A pioneer of the UK’s fine dining scene Raymond Blanc has trained and inspired many of the country’s leading chefs including Heston Blumenthal and Marco Pierre White. His beaming smile first adorned a cookery book back in 1988 with the publication of Recipes from Le Manoir aux Quat’ Saisons. Thirty-three years later, Blanc is still smiling on the cover of his thirteenth cookery book, still running the two Michelin-starred Le Manoir and still cooking chicken with morels and Jura wine sauce from his native Franche-Comté, a version of which appears in both his first and latest book.

Is it good bedtime reading? A ten page introduction and decent length recipe introductions are supplemented by a series of short essays entitled ‘My Love For’ that cover everything from courgettes to tomatoes and aubergines to apples.

Will I have trouble finding ingredients? The vast majority will be stocked in your local big supermarket but you may need to visit a deli for things like dried morels and comté cheese. Blanc’s passion for fruit and veg may inspire you to seek out a good local greengrocer or veg box scheme if you haven’t already (supermarket versions seem to be getting worse and worse in my experience, flavourless and bland).

What’s the faff factor? When Blanc says ‘simply’ he means it.  All the recipes have a prep and cook time and usually you will be spending a matter of minutes preparing the dishes. Some of the more sophisticated offerings take longer, for example roast celeriac fondants with celeriac jus require 40 minutes to get ready for an hour in the oven, but they are the exception that proves the rule.

How often will I cook from the book? With granola bars for breakfast, tomato soup for lunch and leftover turkey curry for dinner, plus a TV snack of rosemary and Parmesan popcorn and cut and come again cake for afternoon tea, when won’t you be cooking from Simply Raymond?

Killer recipes? The book may have a noticeably French accent with recipes for moules Provençal, tartiflette and pear almondine, but Blanc’s love of global cuisine comes through in dishes such as tuna ceviche, Japanese-style; slow roasted shoulder of lamb with harissa and the northeast Indian dish of kadai (mixed vegetables in spicy gravy), a recipe contributed by Shailesh Kumar, a chef from the Brasserie Blanc restaurant group.

What will I love? The book is full of delightful little twists and surprises such as flourless crepes made only with over-ripe bananas, eggs and salt; mayonnaise made with chickpea water, and flatbreads that are simply equal quantities of flour and yoghurt.

Should I buy it? Straightforward and accessible, the recipes in Simply Raymond will provide much inspiration for breakfast, brunch, lunch, dinner snacks and sweet treats. That’s enough to put a smile on any cook’s face.

Cuisine: French
Suitable for: Beginners/confident home cooks
Cookbook Review Rating: Five Stars

Buy this book
Simply Raymond: Recipes from Home – The Sunday Times Bestseller, includes recipes from the ITV series
£25 Headline Home

Cook from this book 
Slow-roasted shoulder of lamb, harissa by Raymond Blanc
Mussel and saffron risotto by Raymond Blanc
Pear almondine by Raymond Blanc

Overnight Oats by Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall

Overnight Oats

Soaking oats is a time-honoured route to a tender, tasty high-fibre breakfast – Bircher muesli is the classic example and ‘overnight oats’ the trendy interloper. This super-simple version uses jumbo oats, omega-rich seeds and skin-on almonds, which plump up and soften as they soak in orange juice and kombucha (or water). The result is juicy and mild, ready to be sweetened with a little fruit; I like a handful of raisins (which you can soak with the oats), or a grated apple – or both. If you include chia and/or flax seeds you’ll get that distinctive slippery texture, which not everyone loves but I do!

Serves 4
120g (7–8 tbsp) jumbo oats (or porridge oats)
A generous handful (30g) of mixed nuts and seeds (such as almonds and pumpkin, sunflower, poppy, flax and chia seeds)
Juice of 1 large or 2 small oranges
A small glass (about 150ml) kombucha (page 244) or water

To serve
A handful of raisins, chopped dried apricots or other dried fruit (soaked with the oats if you like), and/or a handful of berries, or a sliced small banana, or an apple, chopped or coarsely grated
1–2 generous tbsp natural yoghurt or kefir (page 246), optional
Toasted buckwheat groats (optional)

Combine the oats, nuts and seeds in a breakfast bowl (adding some dried fruit if you like). Add the orange juice and the kombucha or water. Mix well.

Cover the bowl and place in the fridge or a cool place for 6–8 hours or overnight. If possible, take the soaked oats out of the fridge half an hour before you want to eat them, so they’re not too chilly.

Serve with your chosen fruit. You could also add a spoonful or two of yoghurt or kefir and, to bring some crunch, a few toasted buckwheat groats.

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Eat Better Forever: 7 Ways to Transform Your Diet
£26, Bloomsbury Publishing

Read the review 

Slow Roasted Peppers With Chilli, Lemon and Garlic Beans by Rukmini Iyer

Slow roasted peppers with chilli, lemon & garlic beans

My favourite dish when working in a restaurant kitchen was peperonata – red and yellow peppers softened down slowly in a frying pan along with oil, garlic and onions until they almost melted. It was, as many good things are, time-consuming to make, so I wondered if one might achieve a similar result with oven cooking – and the answer is yes. With garlicky beans, this dish is perfect piled on to rounds of thickly sliced toasted bread.

Serves: 4
Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 1 hour

5 vine tomatoes, quartered
1 red pepper, thinly sliced
1 yellow pepper, thinly sliced
1 orange pepper, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 bay leaves
1 large sprig of fresh rosemary
1⁄2 – 1 teaspoon sea salt flakes
Plenty of freshly ground black pepper

BEANS

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1⁄2 clove of garlic, finely grated
1⁄2 teaspoon chilli flakes
1⁄2 – 1 teaspoon sea salt flakes
1 x 400g tin of cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
1⁄2 lemon, zest only

TO SERVE

Rounds of thickly sliced,toasted bread

Preheat the oven to 180°C fan/200°C/gas 6.

Tip the tomatoes, peppers, oil, herbs, salt and pepper into a roasting tin large enough to hold everything in one layer, mix well, then transfer to the oven and roast for 50 minutes. If after half an hour it looks as though the peppers are catching a bit too quickly, turn the heat down a fraction. Meanwhile, stir the extra virgin olive oil, garlic, chilli flakes, salt, cannellini beans and lemon zest together in a bowl and set aside.

Once the peppers have had 50 minutes, stir through the beans, then turn the oven down to 160°C fan/180°C/gas 4 and cook for a further 10 minutes. Taste and adjust the salt and pepper as needed, adding a little more olive oil if you wish, then remove the bay leaves and rosemary sprigs and serve piled on to toasted bread. This tastes even better the next day, so it’s well worth making in advance and reheating.

Extracted from: The Roasting Tin Around the World Global One Dish Dinners by Rukmini Iyer (Square Peg) 14th May, £16.99 HBK Photography by David Loftus. Follow Rukmini on instagram @missminifer

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Peach and Dulce De Leche Cake With Meringues and Cream
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Read the review

Buy this book
The Roasting Tin Around the World: Global One Dish Dinners
£16.99, Square Peg

Slow-cooked pork pibil with pink pickled onions by Rukmini Iyer

Pork Pibil

SLOW-COOKED PORK PIBIL WITH PINK PICKLED ONIONS

You may have had pork pibil at your favourite Mexican restaurant: it’s a classic Yucatán dish of pork, slow-cooked in achiote, a paste made from annatto seeds, from which the dish gets its lovely colour. Achiote paste is easily available online, and once you have it, this dish will be a staple in your repertoire – it’s so easy to put together.

Serves: 4
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 3 hours

1 onion, roughly chopped
6 cloves of garlic, roughly chopped
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon dried oregano (Mexican if you have it)
8 cloves
250ml orange juice (ideally freshly squeezed)
2 limes, juice only
50g achiote paste
2 teaspoons sea salt
800g free-range pork shoulder, diced

PICKLED ONIONS
1⁄2 red onion, very thinly sliced
1 lime, juice only

TO SERVE
Chopped fresh coriander
Tortillas and sour cream

Preheat the oven to 140°C fan/160°C/gas 2.
Tip the onion, garlic, cumin, oregano, cloves, citrus juice, achiote paste and salt into a blender or food processor and blitz until smooth.
In a small deep roasting tin or lidded casserole dish, mix the pork shoulder with the spice paste. Cover tightly with foil or the lid, then transfer to the oven and cook for 3 hours.
Meanwhile, mix the very thinly sliced red onion with the lime juice and set aside for 3 hours, stirring occasionally. (The acid in the lime juice will turn the onions a beautiful bright pink by the time the pork is ready.)
Once cooked, remove the foil or lid and shred the pork while hot. Serve with the pink pickled onions, chopped coriander, warm tortillas and sour cream.
Note: This dish isn’t at all spicy, so it’s a good one for kids, and can be easily made ahead, frozen and defrosted in portions.

Extracted from: The Roasting Tin Around the World Global One Dish Dinners by Rukmini Iyer (Square Peg) 14th May, £16.99 HBK Photography by David Loftus. Follow Rukmini on instagram @missminifer

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Peach & Dulce De Leche Cake With Meringues and Cream
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The Roasting Tin Around the World: Global One Dish Dinners
£16.99, Square Peg

Sweetcorn Curry Croquettes by Tim Anderson

09.30.19TimVegan_CroquettesPrep_007(Kare¯ Korokke)

Makes 16 croquettes, which is a lot
(enough for 4 servings as a main, 8 as a side), but they freeze well

In Japan, they have something called curry pan, or curry bread, which is essentially an oblong doughnut filled with Japanese curry, so you can have curry in a convenient hand-held format. That recipe is nice, but it’s a bit tricky for a book calledVegan JapanEasy (maybe my next book will be called Vegan Japanslightlymoredifficult), so here’s an alternative: curry croquettes, which are perhaps even better because they’re more crunchy on the outside. Win-win!

1 kg (2 lb 4 oz) floury potatoes, peeled and cut into 2.5 cm (1 in) chunks
2 tablespoons oil
1 onion, finely diced
1 hot red chilli, finely diced
150 g (5 oz) sweetcorn (from a tin is fine)
2 heaped tablespoons curry powder
1 heaped tablespoon garam masala
salt, to taste
vegan egg replacer, equivalent to 8 eggs, prepared according to the manufacturers’ instructions, or 2 x recipe quantity of Batter for Breadcrumbing (page 46)
about 80 g (3 oz/scant ⅔ cup) plain (all-purpose) flour, for dredging
about 150 g (5 oz/3½ cups) panko breadcrumbs
about 2 litres (70 fl oz/8 cups) oil, for deep-frying (or less for shallow-frying)

Boil the potatoes until fork-tender, 10–15 minutes, then drain and leave to cool slightly. Meanwhile, saute the onions and chilli in the oil over a medium-high heat until they soften, then add the corn and continue to cook for several minutes until everything starts to brown a bit. Add the spices and cook for another few minutes to make a thick paste, then remove from the heat. Mash the potatoes and stir in the onion-cornspice mixture, and add a generous amount of salt.

When the mash is cool enough to handle, divide itinto 16 equal balls and then squash each ball into a kind of oblong patty shape. Lay the potato patties out on baking sheets lined with foil and transfer to the freezer to firm up for about 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, prepare the egg replacer or batter. Dredge the patties in the flour, then dip in the eggreplacer or batter, and then the panko, ensuring they are all well-coated. At this point the croquettes can be frozen on the baking sheets, or cooked straight away. (The cooking process is the same from frozen or chilled.)

Preheat your oven to 100C (210F/Gas .). Heat the oil in a wide, deep saucepan to 180C (350F). Carefully lower the croquettes into the hot oil, in batches of 4–6, and fry until deep golden brown, about 8 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon, drain on a wire rack and keep hot in the oven with the oven door slightly open, until ready to serve.

ALTERNATIVE METHOD
Preheat the oven to 200C (400F/Gas 7). Pour enough oil into a non-stick, flat-bottomed frying pan (skillet) to come up to a depth of 5 mm (. in) and place over a medium-high heat. Carefully lower in the croquettes and fry on each side for about 5 minutes, until golden brown. Transfer the par-fried croquettes to a baking sheet and bake in the oven for 15–20 minutes, until a thin knife inserted into the middle of a croquette comes out feeling hot to the touch.

Read the review

Buy this book
Vegan JapanEasy: Classic & modern vegan Japanese recipes to cook at home

Cook from this book
Japanese Mushroom Parcels with Garlic and Soy Sauce
French Onion Ramen

Coddle by Jp McMahon

Phaidon Irish Food Bible

CODDLE

Preparation: 20 minutes
Cooking: 1 hour
Serves: 8

Coddle, or Dublin coddle to be more precise, is a dish made up of leftover sausages and bacon. Traditionally, the sausages and bacon were cut up and combined with onions and potatoes and left to stew in a light broth. Though often unappetizing to look at, the dish was made famous by several Irish writers, from Jonathan Swift to James Joyce and Sean O’Casey. Modern versions include barley and carrots. It is essentially a dish that grew out of poverty and famine and then migrated into the working-­class areas of Dublin at the beginning of the twentieth century to become a dish of central importance to the people who lived there. Often it contained a drop of Guinness (or it was eaten with plenty of pints and soda bread). It is said that the housewives would prepare the coddle during the day and it would sit on the stove until the men returned home from the pub. The word itself is derived from the verb ‘to coddle’ or ‘to cook’ (from French caulder). With its associations of poverty, it is surprising to find ‘authentic’ recipes, especially given the status of the dish as being made with whatever leftovers were to hand (as in pig’s trotters/feet, pork ribs, etc.). Some associate it with the Catholic Church’s insistence of abstaining from meat on a Friday. Coddle was a way of using up the bacon and sausages on a Thursday. In this recipe, I fry the ingredients before covering them with the stock, but traditionally they were just layered and simmered until cooked.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 tablespoons rapeseed (canola) oil, plus extra if needed
  • 500 g sausages, cut into pieces if preferred
  • 500 g streaky (regular) bacon, cut into pieces
  • 500 g onions, sliced
  • 2 tablespoons chopped thyme
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 litre chicken stock
  • 1 kg (9 medium) potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
  • 4 tablespoons chopped parsley
  • freshly ground black pepper

 
METHOD:

Warm the oil in a large pan over a medium heat. Add the sausages and bacon and fry for about 10 minutes until they have a nice colour. Remove the meat from the pan and set aside.

Add the sliced onions to the pan and a little more oil if necessary. Reduce the heat and fry for about 10 minutes so that the onions caramelize slowly.

When the onions have a nice colour, return the sausages and bacon to the pan and add the thyme and bay leaves. Cover with the chicken stock (broth) and return to the boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and add the potatoes. Cook for about 30 minutes.

Add the chopped parsley and plenty of black pepper and serve.

Read the review 

Buy this book
The Irish Cookbook (Food Cook)
Phaidon, £35

Take One Tin by Lola Milne

Take one tin

What’s the USP? Practical storecupboard meals, with recipes that stray a little from the drab usual suspects.

Who’s the author? Lola Milne isn’t necessarily the most obvious author for a cookbook – her work in the food industry has mostly been behind the camera, as an in-demand photographer and food stylist. This does pay dividends in the book though, with vibrant and beautifully shot dishes livening up what could have easily been a fairly unexciting premise.

What’s great about it? Milne’s focus on long-life products and storecupboard staples feels decidedly modern, and will appeal to people of all ages – perfect for knocking together something for the family when you’ve not had a chance to get to the shops. By focusing on tinned foods as a starting point, Milne has found it easy to put together a collection of recipes that are entirely without meat. Vegetarians will delight, and a wealth of pescatarian dishes ensures plenty of variety throughout the book.

You can’t help but feel that the timing of Take One Tin’s publication will prove a little fortuitous for Milne, too. As much of the world contemplates societal lockdowns and potentially long isolation in the wake of Covid-19, this cookbook will prove an increasingly useful addition to many homes.

Is it good bedtime reading? Not at all. A two-page introduction and two short sentences at the beginning of each recipe. Three, if you’re lucky.

Will I have trouble finding the ingredients? The very nature of Take One Tin ensures that there are no real surprises on the ingredient lists. Whether or not you have trouble securing what you need will come down solely to how well your local supermarket is dealing with any panic buying that might be going on.

What’s the faff factor? What faff factor? Milne’s recipes are all remarkably simple affairs. A bit of pan-frying, maybe. Mix a few items together and chuck them in the oven for a bit. Whilst Milne’s food-styling skills ensure dishes look very impressive, the actual work necessary to pull them off won’t faze the average home cook in the slightest.

How often will I cook from the book? In normal day-to-day life? Maybe once every couple of weeks. These are easy and practical recipes that many people will happily call on when they don’t want to work too hard for their dinner. In a global pandemic? Take One Tin might just prove invaluable.

Killer recipes? Jackfruit & kidney bean chilli, crab thoran, Sri Lankan mackerel curry, banoffee pie with hazelnut cream.

Should I buy it? There are a few storecupboard-centric cookbooks out there, and whilst others might cover more ground (Claire Thomson’s excellent The Art of the Larder being one), Take One Tin is a great deal more accessible, and balances the genre’s practical aspects with genuinely exciting and contemporary ideas.

Cuisine: International
Suitable for: Beginners and confident home cooks
Cookbook Review Rating: Four stars

Buy this book 
Take One Tin: 80 delicious meals from the storecupboard

Review written by Stephen Rötzsch Thomas who is a Brighton-based writer, and is exactly the sort of person who posts his dinner on Instagram. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram at @srotzschthomas.