River Cottage Good Comfort: Best-Loved Favourites Made Better for You

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River Cottage Good Comfort: Best-Loved Favourites Made Better for You

River Cottage Good Comfort: Best-Loved Favourites Made Better for You

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The book begins with an Introduction. It's the usual cook's philosophy section, which in this case is HFW's mission to recreate comfort foods that are not heavy, cloying, too rich or too sweet. His key principle is 'Go Whole: The more whole, unrefined ingredients we can get on to our plates, the better. But he doesn't just mean the grains and pulses we typically associate with the term 'wholefoods'. He means foods that are whole, or very close to it, when we take them into our kitchens. (I heard these described the other day as 'foods your granny would recognise'.) Minimally processed is ok, so he includes dairy foods such as yoghurt and cheese, and some tinned vegetables (such as low-salt tomatoes canned with just water and a little salt.) He stresses that it's important to get the balance right: overdo the pulses and you're in the danger zone of 'padding'. Likewise, full-on wholemeal flour can take you a little far from textures you know and love, so 'half-wholemeal' is a better choice. Often, it was very hard work, and sometimes it was scary, because food was scarce. I think comfort food comes from that moment when, once in a while, there was enough, there was plenty to go around.

Recipes in his new book, River Cottage Good Comfort, might have a less tooth-rotting amount of sugar in them, but you won't necessarily miss anything. He continues to write as a journalist, including a weekly column in The Guardian and is Patron of the National Farmers’ Retail and Markets Association (FARMA). We can have all those things and they can be truly delicious - and yet better for us than perhaps some of the old-school or conventional versions of those recipes." Why don't we eat more veg? They're healthy, cost-effective and, above all, delicious. In this book, the biggest selling veg cookbook of all time, Hugh put this to rights. I also love the presentation and design; neo-70s you might call it. It has tones reminiscent of 1970s to early-80s books, but is glossier and more visually appealing, and with cleaner lines. Therefore more appetising, than, say, my mum's copy of Cookery in Colour by Marguerite Patten, which I used to look through as a kid. It's an early-autumn colour scheme, with lots of green and brown: the start of my favourite time of year, and also when keen cooks are gearing up to make exactly this kind of food.

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This is all part of the 57-year-old chef and food writer's mission to get us eating a bit more healthily - and that doesn't mean you have to miss out on your favourite, stodgy comfort foods. When the cake is nicely browned underneath, flip it over with a spatula and cook the other side. (If you are scaling up quantities, and making a larger cake – one that pretty much fills the pan – you can cut it into halves or quarters when the first side is crisped, and flip over each half or quarter, one at a time.) Start to finish, your S and B might take 20 minutes or more. To enjoy a taste of River Cottage at home you can choose from the collection of River Cottage cookbooks and handbooks... So I am pleased to add River Cottage Good Comfort, to our recipe book collection. (That's the British River Cottage TV series with Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall (HFW), not the Australian adaptation with Paul West.) And Good Comfort is in every way generous, as Hugh makes our favourite foods healthier not by taking stuff out of them, but by putting more in: the best whole ingredients, celebrated in all their colourful and seasonal diversity.

Enjoying something which not only do we love to eat, but has some kind of resonance and a little bit of emotional goodness to it." Indulge your taste buds and boost your health at the same time with these delicious new recipes, including: It can be whipped up easily (and on demand) from store-cupboard ingredients. Briefly baked until set on the outside but still gooey in the middle, it is excellent served with some fruit to cut the richness.”People used to making recipes dairy-free or vegan will already have their own preferred method of making standards like batter, but this book seems likely to interest omni households who cater for vegan guests from time-to-time, or who may have one (perhaps newly) vegan resident who isn't the main cook. (The recipes really suit a relaxed family dinner.) For these circumstances , it would be a good idea to consistently include advice for such things, as is done for the lasagna. Serve hot, topped with a fried egg if you like. Mustard or chilli sauce are also very good on the side. Put the chocolate and butter into a saucepan and melt gently over a very low heat, watching all the time and stirring often so that the chocolate doesn't get too hot. Set aside to cool a little. Preheat the oven to 190C/170C Fan/Gas 5 and butter a small oven dish. After a "strange few years", it made sense for Fearnley-Whittingstall to dedicate his latest book to comforting, nostalgic recipes. But the sweetness is adjusted, and other ingredients are added - such as parsnips or carrots into cakes, or a date syrup instead of a "knee-trembling amount of fudgy toffee".

Actually, we can have both on the same plate and both in the same dish. We can enjoy treats, foods that are really well balanced - they've got lots of good things in them. Often that means a few little tweaks, and sometimes there are some bigger tweaks, but it's all very doable." There are people who actually prefer the taste of the healthier versions that are implicitly denigrated by entrepreneurial millennial vegans like Tegelaar and these café owners. The last time I made a cake with the full amount of suggested sugar, I found it pretty unpleasant, and sugar totally overwhelmed the other flavours. The introduction in Good Comfort, when mentioning reducing sugar in their café cakes, at least recognises people like us exist and are worth catering to: "the few guests who notice this change invariably comment positively: 'I really like that it isn't too sweet'".The concept of this book - healthy comfort food with plenty of vegan options - is a perfect fit for the sort of cakes and puddings I want to make: heavy on fruit, lower added sugar, but not full of niche American vegan ingredients. (The best approach I've found so far is to make the cakes in The Seasonal Vegan by Sarah Philpott and reduce the sugar by up to half as per this excellent and methodical advice; see under blended cakes.) His early smallholding experiences were shown in the Channel 4 River Cottage series and led to the publication of The River Cottage Cookbook (2001), which won the Glenfiddich Trophy and the André Simon Food Book of the Year awards. I asked the River Cottage people online which of their cookbooks they would recommend for a dairy-intolerant omni who enjoys their veg books and who likes cooking soups and stews. The first of their recommendations was this. I was sceptical as it was their most recent publication - maybe they just wanted to shift more copies - but I took a closer look. In this book, Hugh ramps up the veg content, delivering more 180 new recipes bursting with vigour, freshness and flavour.

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