There’s no doubt Neil Perry is one of Australia’s most distinguished, premiere chefs. Not only does he operate a string of highly successful restaurants, is a regular on our television screens and is the creator of airline Qantas’s menus – he also finds time to write gorgeous cookbooks and share his creations us.
Simply Good Food is Perry’s sixth cookbook, and delivers exactly what the title offers: Simple recipes made with fresh, quality ingredients. Retailing at $49.99, this is not just for Foodies, but it also doubles as a stunning coffee table book. Its hard cover, heavy papers and stylish matt photography makes it a book to ogle over in more ways than one.
Divided into sections covering a few of Neil’s favourite cocktails, soups, salads and pasta dishes, followed by meat dishes such as chicken, pork, beef, veal and lamb recipes, the real knock-out dishes are, for me, the Asian banquets, Mediterranean shared tables and Mexican Feasts. I love this kind of ‘open table’ dining with family and friends – it’s a great way to keep everyone happy!
Recipes at the top of my list to try out include:
- Smoked Ocean Trout Dip With Lemon Thyme Toast
- Chicken Wings in Vietnamese Caramel Sauce (omg, wow – right?)
- Veal Escalopes With Artichokes and Prosciutto (I’m a fiend for both artichokes and prosciutto, so this sounds utterly heavenly to me)
- Buffalo Mozzarella, Capsicum and Onion Salad (so simple, so stunning, so delicious)
And then, there’s the desserts.
- Key Lime Pie (because, Key. Lime. Pie)
- Passionfruit Syrup Cake With Mango Salsa (anything that combines passionfruit, mango and mint is, in my mind, pretty much perfect)
- And finally, there’s the Bittersweet Chocolate Tart. You’ll just have to take my word for it – and buy the book – on how gorgeous this looks. And simple enough for us mere mortals to make at home.
While Simply Good Food is filled with mouth-watering photographs, I was a little disappointed that not every recipe has an accompanying photo. As someone who eats with their eyes first, (as I think most of do!) these are the recipes I skim over – especially when there are double-spread pages of stylistically stunning (but not so informative) photographs of empty crockery and wine corks taking up space within the pages. I was, however, pleasantly surprised at the simplicity of these recipes – the layout suggested a more complex menu. It’s all about combining flavours and crisp, ‘clean’ food.
Simply Good Food won’t be left sitting on the coffee table at my place. Pretty sure I’ll be needing it far too often in the kitchen!
Simply Good Food by Neil Perry
Published by Murdoch Books
Photographer – Earl Carter
ISBN – 978-1743360514
Hard Cover, 339 pages