When asked if I would like to review a copy of Cook up a Feast, I just knew this book would be perfect for me.
I have followed Mary Berry for more years than I care to remember! Mary is regularly on our television screens, has written countless cookery books and is also an Aga specialist.
Lucy Young has worked with Mary for 20 years. Lucy is a cookery writer, gives Aga demonstrations, makes television appearances and writes a regular magazine column.
Mary and Lucy have now written a cookery book together, to serve larger numbers, after numerous requests from readers of their books and members of the audience at their Aga demonstrations. Many of the recipes are for 6 to 12 people, and some of the recipes will serve up to 48. The book gives information for cooking either in the Aga or conventional oven. Advice is also given for preparing ahead and freezing (a Mary Berry trademark!).
There are chapters on party bites, starters, special main courses, pot luck party, buffets, bowl parties, Italian food, summer in the garden, desserts and tea for a crowd.
A wealth of useful information for preparing a feast, planning the occasion, serving the right amount, kitchen knowhow, the right equipment, setting the scene, cheats and shortcuts and on the day. Everything you need to know, to help take away the stress, when cooking for a number of people.
The book has over 300 pages of exciting recipes to suit all cooking abilities, from the novice through to the more experienced cook. A taster of some of the recipes from the book - Crostini with slow roasted tomatoes and herbs, Bruschette with Reblochon and roasted vegetables, Celebratory fish platter, Boursin-stuffed chicken with garlic and mint sauce, Marinated marmalade and whisky lamb fillet, Mushrooms and spinach en croute, Rhubarb and lemon pots, Magenta fruit compote with white chocolate sauce, Party pavlova pyramid - just to name a few!
You shouldn't have to worry about making any of the recipes from this book, because from experience, I have always found Mary Berry and Lucy Young recipes work because they are thoroughly tested.
From the book I made Hazelnut meringue roulade with raspberries to serve 8-10 (oops in this case it fed 2 people over a couple of days!). The instructions were clear and easy to follow. The roulade can be prepared and made up to 12 hours ahead and can also be frozen. A perfect dessert, light and luscious. If you, like me, grow your own raspberries, the roulade will taste even better.
Fillet steak with a creamy mushroom sauce to serve 6. There was just the two of us and I scaled the recipe down very easily. Again, the instructions were clear and concise and it was easy to produce a wonderful meal. This recipe too has instructions for preparing ahead. I made the Cheese-topped dauphinois potatoes to go alongside the steak and these were delicious. In my freezer I now have some potato dauphinois for a rainy day.
Chicken tikka masala served with plain boiled rice and naan bread. The recipe is to serve 6 people, I made the full quantity and put half the cooked masala in the freezer for another day. This recipe uses chicken thighs but I am afraid I used breast because I am not a fan of chicken thighs - I know, I know!
Thank you Gemma.