If you only want to own and use one cookbook then you should consider the Ballymaloe Cookery Course. It’s a hefty tome but it’s big for a reason. It’s got probably more information than most of us will ever need. A real one-stop cooking manual.
Darina Allen has endeared herself to millions all over the world with her on-screen charm and sunny disposition. Her Ballymaloe cookery school has been a resounding success and this book is the portable version of that popular establishment.
There is nothing missing, nothing left to chance. Nigel Slater of the Observer says “Lovely recipes and plenty of help for the new cook.” It has a solid and convincing feel. Darina has a fine reputation and writes in a style which is clear and conversational. The photographs by Ray Main and Peter Cassidy are many and marvellous with ample step-by-step illustrations. Storecupboard ingredients and temperature and weight conversion charts, as well as basic stock recipes are also included.
Apart from looking at the pretty pictures you will probably want to cook from this book. Although this is a complete cookery bible it’s not old-fashioned and the recipes cover not only the traditional but also newer trends and ethnic dishes. There is everything here from oranges to offal. The choice of recipes is staggering: 1100 delicious dishes should be enough to keep even the keenest cook going for a good while.
So let’s eat! Some recipes are Ballymaloe Cookery School originals but there are a thousand others as well. There are some traditional Irish dishes but lots of other international recipes. North Indian Fruit Chat, Petits Pots de Gibier (a savoury custard), Yakiniku (marinated beef), Vietnamese Pork and Lemongrass Patties are just a few of the more exotic offerings.
Ballymaloe Cookery Course is just what the title says. It’s a book that takes you through a wide spectrum of kitchen skills. You are supplied with all the technical advice and culinary support that you’ll need to become a confident and competent cook. Include this book on your “must have” list of cookbooks. This would make an ideal gift for anyone leaving home and starting a life without mum as a kitchen fixture.
Ballymaloe Cookery Course
Author: Darina Allen
Published by: Kyle Cathie
Cookbook review by Chrissie Walker © 2018