The Really Quite Good British Cookbook – Review

What happens when you put the best chefs and food personalities together, then you ask them what they would serve someone they loved? That is easy, you get “The Really Quite Good British Cookbook” (because the British are simply too polite to call it “The Most Awesome, Because We’re The Best Cooks In The World, British Cookbook).

The Really Quite Good British Cookbook is a celebration of all that is awesome about British cooking. William Sitwell, who is probably best known for BBC’s MasterChef acted as editor and wrote the forward.

It has long been kind of a joke to talk about English cooking as being bland, tasteless, and unimaginative. Of course, now that Britain has chefs famous the world over, this is no longer the case. That still doesn’t mean they really changed the perception of British cooking. Now, the world can no longer dismiss the British contribution to the culinary arts. This book proves that, in the kitchen, British cooks are a force to be reckoned with.

With a mere one page introduction from the editor, it quickly jumps right into the best bits, the recipes. RQGBC is stuffed full with luscious recipes from 100 of the best chefs and food personalities in Britain, many adapted from the chefs’ own cookbooks.

The origins of the dishes come from all over so there really is something for everyone here. The full-color pictures for each recipe are mouthwatering. I enjoyed the information about the many chefs who submitted these recipes because frankly, being from Canada, I wasn’t familiar with all of them.

RQGBC could have one improvement in my mind. The book comes with a bookmark built-in. The only problem is, there is only the one. Because there is such variety and so many recipes which I would actually cook more than once, I would really have loved to have seen seven or eight bookmarks, maybe more. But I won’t hold that against the publishers.

The recipes themselves all seem to be very easy to follow and well explained. I do particularly like how many of them have a brief description that explains a little bit about the recipe itself or how you use it. The prep time, cook time, and skill level required is clearly spelled out for each recipe, which I was especially happy about. With this book you don’t have to worry about getting into the middle of a recipe and realizing you just don’t have the time, or skill, to do it.

Categories

  • Breakfast
  • Entrées and snacks
  • Fish and seafood
  • Poultry, meat and game
  • Pasta, risotto and sides
  • Baking and desserts

The entire book is created as a charity event in support of the Trussell Trust, one of the UK’s largest food bank networks. For that reason alone it is worth the purchase, but I would recommend it as a staple in any cookbook library.

Below, for your enjoyment, is the second last (but certainly not least) recipe in the book. Yum!

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Sherry Trifle

Recipe by Sarah Webb, Home Cook, Weston, Northhamptonshire


Skill level: 1 (Easy) You will need a large glass trifle bowl for this recipe

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Sherry Trifle

Recipe by Sarah Webb, Home Cook, Weston, Northhamptonshire


Skill level: 1 (Easy) You will need a large glass trifle bowl for this recipe

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Makes Servings
Units
Prep Time 45minutes (plus setting)
Cook Time 15minutes
Passive Time severalhours
Ingredients
Makes Servings
Units
Prep Time 45minutes (plus setting)
Cook Time 15minutes
Passive Time severalhours
Ingredients
Rate It!
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Rating: 0
Rate this recipe!
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Instructions
  1. Slice the Swiss rules and cover the top of the slices with raspberry jam. Arrange the slices in the bottom of the trifle bowl and sprinkle with Sherry to taste
  2. Melt the jelly cubes into hundred and 80 mL (1/2 pint) boiled water, then use the strange fruit juice to make this up to 560 mL (1 pint).
  3. Scatter the fruit over there Swiss roll slices and pour the jelly over the top so that it covers the cake. Leave to set for several hours.
  4. Use the custard powder and milk to prepare 560 mL (1 pint) of thick custard in a sauce pan and use the caster sugar to sweeten to taste. When the custard becomes thick, immerse the bottom of the pan in cold water to cool the custard, beating the mixture to prevent skin from forming. When cool, add a little double cream and beat well until the custard has a thick, drooping consistency. Then pour over your trifle base and chill in the refrigerator to set.
  5. Just before serving, whip up about 280 mL (1/2 pint) double cream until it forms soft peaks. Be careful not to over whisk. Carefully spoon the cream over the custard and swirl it around to cover in a smooth, circular pattern use the glace cherries, toasted almonds, or cooked chocolate curls to decorate.Just before serving, whip up about 280 mL (1/2 pint) double cream until it forms soft peaks. Be careful not to over whisk. Carefully spoon the cream over the custard and swirl it around to cover in a smooth, circular pattern use the glace cherries, toasted almonds, or cooked chocolate curls to decorate.
  6. Remove from the fridge for a while before serving then enjoy!
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