Book of the week
COOK FAST, EAT WELL: 5 INGREDIENTS, 10 MINUTES, 160 RECIPES SUE QUINN MURDOCH BOOKS, $40
Reviewed by Janan Jay
Opening with the ideal shopping list for super quick cooking, food writer Sue Quinn’s approach in this book could not be simpler.
Stock up on good quality short-cuts (cartons of stock, jars of passata, frozen fruit, packets of ready-to-eat grains), plus foundational fresh ingredients, and throw something tasty together in a flash.
Recipes are accompanied by pictures of the finished dish alongside every single ingredient needed, from avocado halves to tins of tuna, in keeping with Quinn’s advice to gather and set out ingredients before cooking.
There are some light bites full of “why didn’t I think of that?” ideas. White fish blitzed in a processor with green Thai curry paste makes for excellent fishcakes. Parmesan grated down and baked with poppy seeds is an addictive snack.
There are also sections devoted to soups, salads, a whole chapter on pasta, and plenty of meat dishes. Our favourites so far are the sizzling lamb, with honey and ras el hanout on top of store-bought hummus, and canned cannellini beans warmed up with chorizo and sherry vinegar. Both can be made within the promised 10 minutes.
Most recipes call for minimal basic equipment, such as saucepans and frying pans. However, to get the most out of the book, you’re going to need a food processor and a blender so you can enjoy the soups and icecreams.
Cook Fast, Eat Well is full of variety and is one of the most intuitive, useful and idiot-proof cookbooks around. Quinn has the formula down – she is also the author of Easy Mediterranean and Easy Vegan. You don’t have to be a novice to enjoy it either, because who ever wants things to be more difficult than they should be?