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Inspiration For Canny Cooks

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Mark Tregoweth
Mark Tregoweth

Delicious: 5 of the best, Valli Little, Southern Publishers

Nearly eight years ago an Australian magazine hit the news stands with a fresh approach to food and flavours, in Delicious: 5 Of The Best, Delicious the magazine becomes a must have book.

From the first issue of the magazine to the commemorative book, Delicious food editor and author Valli Little has been an integral part of the publications success.

“It’s hard to believe that it has been five years since we sat planning the very first issue of Delicious. Back then I don’t think any of us could have imagined what an amazing journey we were about to embark on and the dizzy heights the magazine would achieve. But it soon became apparent that we were onto something special,” says Valli Little.

To celebrate the publications fifth birthday the author has scoured through every issue to select five of her best recipes in a variety of popular categories - the best pasta , the best seafood, the best soups, the best roasts, the best desserts and the best cakes to name a few.

Stunningly simple, each recipe appears alongside a mouth watering photo enticing cooks to head into the kitchen and start cooking.

Fresh and focused, Delicious: 5 Of The Best keeps complicated cuisine to the kerb opting for easy and exciting options.

“You can rest assured that they’ll work the first time and you won’t have to travel miles to find the ingredients. Our philosophy has always been to inspire, but to keep things real,” she says.

With a total of 150 recipes spread over 30 categories, Delicious: 5 Of The Best is accessible and inspirational.

Enjoy!, Sophie Gray, Random House

Kiwi cook Sophie Gray has a reputation for cutting costs, with tasty cuisine that won’t break budgets.

With several books under belt as the ‘Destitute Gourmet’, Gray turns her attention to culinary options for people with dairy and gluten allergies in Enjoy.

“Creating and sticking to a budget is simply a very good choice whatever your financial circumstances. It frees up money to spend on some of the other important things in life: debt reduction, education, travel, shoes and handbags!” Sophie Gray says.

Her skill in the kitchen evolved from a career in restaurant cooking. This experience has been vital in her quest to create great-tasting food that is cost effective,

“It’s important that meal time isn’t a chore for everyone. There’s nothing more demoralising than for the person who has lovingly prepared the meal to be greeted by bored-looking faces as they chew away. Without sounding trite or clichéd, it’s also more important than ever that we really, really enjoy family time together,” she says.

With a philosophy of ‘eat well spend less, Gray takes readers on a culinary journey where they can cut costs and still create meals that will be memorable.

A trademark from her two previous books is continued in Enjoy. Practical information about food and shopping that will pay dividends no matter whether you’re a millionaire or on a meagre income.

The Destitute Gourmet principles are fundamental but note worthy;

1. Shop smart,

2. Eat healthily and in season and 3. Make a little of something luxurious go a long way.

A special section on allergy continues the theme of basic knowledge that’s easy to access.

Probably my favourite part of the book is a section on store cupboard substitutes. An invaluable feature of her previous books, this section offers practical advice on the staple ingredients needed to stock a pantry, this time around the store cupboard basics concentrates on essential ingredients for allergy sufferers.

With the essential information covered the book moves to nine tempting categories;

Mainstays, comfort food, pizza, pasta and risotto, fresh, fast and fantastic, desserts, celebrations, baking, sweet dreams and basics.

Each category follows an inspired blend of recipes some created with traditional ingredients and some created with gluten free and dairy free foods. Whatever the combination every recipe is cleverly constructed to taste good, look great and most of all be cost effective.

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