CONSTANTLY fretting about what to whip up for lunch or what to bring to that potluck dinner? Lunnie Gan reviews Cooked: Food For Friends, a new cook book for students to experiment with new dishes.
Picture this scenario: After a long week of work and study, you just want to unwind with your friends over the weekend. You invite them over to your place for a catch up, but rather than organise the same old routine, you want to go the extra mile and cook something fanciful for them. That’s where Cooked: Food for Friends comes in.
Compiling 100 handpicked recipes from more than 40 of Australia’s favourite chefs and cooks — the likes of which include Luke Nguyen, Alain Ducasse, Daniel Wilson, Lucy Malouf and so much more — Cooked: Food for Friends is a new cook book that will brighten up the next feast you plan on having with you and your friends.
Arranged across eight chapters, Cooked: Food for Friends includes recipes for languid weekend brunches, exquisite high tea to spontaneous dinner parties and lots more. Each section has a well-edited selection of recipes that caters to a group of friends, suggesting innovative ideas to make a meal with friends fun and memorable.
A large part of what makes the book sing is the wide variety of dishes that will suit everyone’s taste. Choose from impressive dishes you can conjure in minutes, such as Antonio Carluccio’s luscious zabaglione with bitter chocolate sauce, to home comforts like Daniel Wilson’s slow-roasted crushed potatoes that’s becoming a fast favourite.
The menu has something to please for every budget, season and occasion and it’s combined with full-coloured gorgeous photography and approachable recipes throughout the book.
While the recipes and general layout of the book is superb, cooking novices may need to do some extra research into cooking techniques such as frying or blanching as the book doesn’t offer too much in the way of explaining these instructions. It’s a small gripe but doesn’t take away from the range of delectable dishes on offer.
For a Japanese-inspired dish, Matt Wilkinson’s Miso-glazed Eggplant with Pickled Ginger and Spring Onion is certainly a highlight and an extremely easy one to serve and make at home. Alain Ducasse’s Herby Roast Chicken is perfect for a Sunday roast or that next dinner party of yours while Lyndey Milan’s Brown Sugar Meringues and Passionfruit Curd would be great for a small cocktail party or afternoon tea.
So the next time you really want to impress your friends, consider getting a copy of Cooked: Food for Friends. You’ll probably even impress your family when they visit or when you return home with some of the offered recipes!
Cooked: Food for Friends is published by Hardie Grant and is currently available to purchase in stores for RRP $24.99.