If you are an avid UK food TV viewer then you will no doubt have watched Market Kitchen. It’s the food magazine programme that took the place of the dearly-missed Good Food Live. It’s a popular hour-long show reflecting recipes for fresh, seasonal produce. Its ever-changing cast of guests helps to keep the audience returning for different styles of cuisine.
The Market Kitchen Cookbook is a three-dimensional representation of the show. It has recipes divided by season and a diverse raft of dishes from a cross-section of British chefdom. Rachel Allen (daughter-in-law of Darina), Tom Parker Bowles and Bill Granger head the list of the celebrated visitors and presenters, but there is a flock of others.
It’s an attractive, organic-looking cookbook with pages of natural hues, plenty of pictures and sensible well-tested recipes. Those dishes are for the most part economic and make the best of changing produce. You might not have access to a Farmers Market but you can buy the best veggies and fruit you can manage in your local supermarket.
Traditional dishes like Matthew Fort’s Hotpot are well represented but there are twists to that theme with Gino d’Acampo’s Italian Shepherd’s Pie. Olive oil, basil, sweet potatoes and Parmesan cheese contrive to make this a more cosmopolitan (or is that Neapolitan?) version.
Lemon Chicken with Roasted Garlic Mash is a simple stunner. Roasted garlic is a totally different animal from its raw counterpart. It’s sweet and aromatic and an ideal companion to roast chicken. Here Merrilees Parker has chicken baked in a flavourful sauce of lemon mustard and sherry, with the garlic added to the fluffy mashed potatoes.
A winning combination
Theo Randall is Chef at one of my favourite restaurants in London. The restaurant bears his name and has an Italian focus, and here he offers Hazelnut and Chocolate Croccante. It’s a dessert with a crunch, as the name suggests. Chocolate, nuts and cream are a winning combination and the recipe for this moreish dessert is simple. You might not want to eat this every day… but you probably would.
Condensed Milk Ice Cream with Welsh Shortbread and Raspberry Salad is Bryn Williams’ contribution. Condensed milk is one of those unsung culinary heroes of yesteryear. It’s been out of favour for a while and there is probably a generation of people who have never been introduced to its sweet, sticky charms. This dessert shows the confection off to good advantage, and the fruit with a drizzle of lime juice gives a good contrast.
Market Kitchen Cookbook will be an ideal gift for Mother’s Day or for any fan of the series. Its collection of dishes is eclectic and interesting. The recipes are easy to prepare and will have wide appeal. A book to cook from and to enjoy.
Market Kitchen Cookbook
Published by: Collins
Cookbook review by Chrissie Walker © 2018