Gordon Ramsay has been cooking in professional kitchens for over 25 years. He’s been taught by some of the best chefs in the world, and in turn he has taught some of the best. Now in this practical home cookery series he’s going to strip away the complexity and hard graft and teach us how to cook 100 simple, accessible and modern recipes you can stake your life on. — BBC America
For what it’s worth I am a huge Gordon Ramsay fan. I’ll watch just about anything he does on television and I have most of his cookbooks. BBC America recently showed a cooking series by Chef Ramsay that was originally shown on Channel 4 in Britain. The series, Gordon Ramsay’s Ultimate Cookery Course, is without a doubt one of the best cooking shows ever produced for television. Ultimate Cookery was what cooking shows used to be like and should get back to being. Most cooking shows today teach home cooks how to prepare food, Chef Ramsay showed people how to cook food.
A cookbook was also produced along with the show detailing all the vital information, how-tos and recipes from the show. The book was not available in United States and I had to have the book. If the book was as good as the show then I knew it was a must have for my cookbook collection. I was able to order Gordon Ramsay’s Ultimate Cookery Course from Amazon UK. The book arrive a couple of weeks later and I was not disappointed. It is a great cookbook.
As luck would have it about a month after my copy arrived from Britain I received a press release that the book would be released in the United States at Gordon Ramsey’s Home Cooking: Everything You Need To Know To Make Fabulous Food. For the most part the books are the same. The best part of the US version is I don’t have to convert all the measurements from metric to non-metric. Certain words/phrases are adapted for the U.S. reader. As an example: Kitchen Kit in the United Kingdom becomes Kitchen Equipment in the United States.
And believe me, the best thing you can have in a kitchen is confidence.–Gordon Ramsay
What I like best about the book is nothing that made the TV show great has been left out of the book. There are a few readers who will find much of the information rather remedial, but even though I might consider myself better than a beginning home cook, the basic information is what I found most useful on the show and in the book.
Each chapter starts with a section on that particular style or protein. For example the Fish chapter begins with two pages on “Buying Fish.” Then sections on “How To Fillet, Skin and Pin-Bone A Fish” to “How To Shuck An Oyster.” Short sections on Frying, Broiling, Poaching and Steaming follow. After the lessons Chef Ramsay provides recipes that use skills taught in the earlier sections. Each recipe as a short introduction that has even more how-to knowledge along with suggestions for what to serve with the dish.
The cookbook is full of little tidbits of information that will offer the home cook with the ability to at least give every thing a good try. If the recipe calls for “Julienne strips” there is a little how-paragraph on what a Julienne strip is and how to cut one. The little information snippets scattered through-out the cookbook are what makes it so good.
pre-ten-tious \adjective \pri-ˈten(t)-shəs\: expressive of , unwarranted, or exaggerated importance, worth, or stature
Like other Gordon Ramsay cookbooks the recipes are for food that is not pretentious. It’s either comfort food or food elevated slightly from normal home cooked meals. You’ll get food like a simple Pork and Bacon Slider with Homemade BBQ Sauce, to Curried Sweetcorn Soup. There is a fantastic chapter on cooking with Chili and Spice. Wants some tips on how to save time and money when cooking? You’ll get those too. As I mentioned earlier, Gordon Ramsay’s Home Cooking is not about preparing food, this cookbook will teach you how to cook. There is a difference between following a recipe and knowing exactly how you are supposed to do something and why you are doing it that way.
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- 2 medium to large squid, prepared and cleaned
- 12 jumbo shrimp, shell on
- sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons chopped parsley, to garnish
- 2 red peppers
- 1 think slice of ciabatta or farmhouse white bread, crusts removed, torn into chunks
- Olive Oil
- 3 garlic cloves, peeled and roughly chopped
- 3 ripe tomatoes, such as plum tomatoes, on the vine
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon dried chile flakes
- ½ cup blanched almonds, toasted and roughly chopped
- Juice of ½ lemon
- 1 – 2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- First make the sauce. Heat a broiler until very hot. Put the peppers on a foil-lined baking sheet and place under the broiler. Cook for 5 minutes, turning regularly until the skin is blackened and blistered all over. Transfer to a bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and set aside to cool.
- Cook the bread chunks for 2 minutes in a small frying pan with a dash of oil, then add the garlic and cook for an additional minute until the garlic is tender and the bread is toasted. By this stage the peppers should have cooled and it will be easy to peel and rub off the charred skins. Peel, seed and roughly chop them, then place in a blender. Roughly chop the tomatoes and add to the peppers with the bread and garlic. Blend to form a rough paste.
- Add the smoked paprika, chile flakes, almonds, lemon juice, vinegar, and a pinch of salt and pepper to the blender and blend until well mixed. Taste and adjust the seasoning. With the motor running, slowly pour ½ cup of olive oil. Taste and adjust the seasoning again if necessary. Allow to come to room temperature, stir before serving.
- Prepare the seafood. Heat a grill pan over high heat until hot. Lightly score one side of the squid in a diamond patters before cutting into strips. Toss the shrimp and squid together in a little olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Place the shrimp on the hot grill pan and cook for 2½ – 3 minutes. Starting diamond side up, cook the squid for about 1 minute on each side. Leave it t curl up, and give it an additional minute until just cooked.
- Serve the seafood hot, garnish with parsley, and with the sweet pepper sauce alongside.