Tuesday, 11 October 2016

"The London Cookbook" by Aleksandra Crapanzano | Cookbook Review

The London Cookbook
by Aleksandra Crapanzano
Publishing Date: October 11, 2016
Publisher: Ten Speed Press
Pages: 304
Links: Goodreads | Indigo | Book Depository | Amazon | Kobo

This cookbook promises you all the best of London's cuisine...but does it deliver?

If you've ever wanted to take a trip to London, you might know that it has a great culinary culture - a drastic change from the bland way we thought of England's food not too long ago.

The London Cookbook contains recipes from all over London, but it seems to be mostly posh recipes. I had a really hard time finding any recipes that I either had the ingredients for, or could afford the ingredients for.

In fact, in keeping with my rule of three when I review cookbooks, I managed to make the only three recipes that I found to be affordable in this entire book.

Because my phone is currently malfunctioning, I've lost the pictures I took of the food I made (with the exception of one from my Snapchat), but I'll do my best to briefly tell you about each dish anyhow.

The first things I made were the Chocolate Squares (p.218). These were pretty simple to make, and they're basically delicious brownies. They're really rich in flavour, and are great with a dollop of ice cream on top. They were a hit with my family and I'd definitely make them again!

Next up, I made the Summer Pasta with Crème Fraîche, Arugula, and Lemon (p.52). As the title suggests, this is a great dish for summer. It was fairly straightforward to make this, with the exception of the cème faîche. I couldn't find any at the store, so I attempted to make some at home, which didn't work out exactly as I'd hoped, though that part of the sauce did taste great. Not being a big arugula fan, this wasn't my favourite meal, but I think anyone who likes arugula would love this.

Finally, I made the Shrimp Aguachili Ceviche with Jalapeño and Citrus (p.11). I was so excited to make this because I don't generally make many fancy things and this one sounded like an interesting concept. You marinade raw shrimp in a brine of citrus juices, and the citrus is supposed to essentially cook the shrimp. I had a lot of problems cooking the shrimp. When I realized the shrimp was still mostly raw after the allotted sitting time, I left it for longer. Eventually, I gave up on the citrus process and boiled the shrimp. This dish is absolutely delicious - it's a great appetizer (it would be so refreshing during summer!) and I'd definitely make it again, minus the whole citrus-cooking process.

This book gives you a feeling for the upper-class, stylish vibe in London, but to the average people like me - good luck affording any of the recipes. This cookbook would be best suited to someone with deep pockets who's interested in great-sounding dishes!

*I received a NetGalley of this book in exchange for an honest review.

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