Food

With his new book and TV se­ries, Gor­don Ram­say’s Ul­ti­mate Home Cook­ing, the Bri­tish celebrity chef fo­cuses on feed­ing the fam­ily. Plus Fri­day’s Do­mes­tic Diva Sil­vena Rowe shares some bright and beau­ti­ful recipes.

Friday - - Contents -

Whether you strug­gle to make toast or boast an im­pres­sive set of skills in the kitchen, we could all learn a thing or two from Gor­don Ram­say.

The fiery TV star might be more fa­mous nowa­days for swear­ing at clue­less restau­ra­teurs and ho­tel own­ers, but don’t for­get he’s also one of the best chefs in the world, with 12 Miche­lin stars cur­rently held by his restau­rant em­pire.

As he pointed out in his re­cent UK Chan­nel 4 se­ries Ul­ti­mate Cook­ery

Course, he’s been a chef for more than 25 years, has worked for the best chefs in the world and, in turn, has taught some of the finest too. His new book and TV se­ries, Gor­don

Ram­say’s Ul­ti­mate Home Cook­ing, which airs on Chan­nel 4, fol­lows on from where the Ul­ti­mate Cook­ery Course left off, aim­ing to strip away any com­plex­i­ties about mak­ing amaz­ing food in lim­ited time.

“I want to show that cook­ing can be fun and ex­cit­ing,” says the 47-year-old fa­ther-of-four. “It’s all about en­cour­ag­ing peo­ple to take a fresh look at fa­mil­iar in­gre­di­ents, and throw in some new ones to cre­ate a de­li­cious meal. I want peo­ple to have con­fi­dence in the kitchen.”

He main­tains that am­a­teurs over­com­pli­cat­ing things is the big­gest prob­lem he sees in home kitchens, a place where sim­plic­ity and ease should be the main goals. He thinks peo­ple pile pres­sure on them­selves too.

“When you cook in a pro­fes­sional kitchen you must keep to a stan­dard and en­sure ev­ery el­e­ment of the dish is per­fect,” he says. “When you cook at home, you’re cook­ing for the peo­ple you love – fam­ily and friends.

“Home cook­ing should be fun, and if you make a mis­take or some­thing’s not per­fect, it’s OK, you can keep prac­tis­ing.

“Home cooks have be­come more savvy and ad­ven­tur­ous with their in­gre­di­ents and meth­ods in the past 10 to 15 years,” he adds. “With the rise of farm­ers’ mar­kets, ar­ti­san bak­ers and lo­cal butch­ers, there are a lot of dif­fer­ent and in­ter­est­ing foods read­ily avail­able. You’ve just got to learn to cook them prop­erly.”

Of course, he rec­om­mends all of the recipes in his new book, but if pushed to pick a few favourite dishes, he’s par­tic­u­larly ex­cited by the sausage and caramelised red onion hotpot and the home-made fish fin­gers, which give what can of­ten be thought of as chil­dren’s food a grown-up, herby twist. Among other stand­out recipes are the beef stew with mus­tard suet dumplings – some­thing ev­ery cook should have in their reper­toire.

Mak­ing home-made baked beans might seem like a faff when the tinned va­ri­eties we’re used to are so good, but Ram­say’s ver­sion, served with crispy po­tato cakes, is def­i­nitely one to try, while the choco­late pis­ta­chio semifreddo is easy to make but looks and tastes like some­thing you might find in a qual­ity bistro.

The pear and crunchy gra­nola muffins, mean­while, could grace the finest packed lunch or take a quick tea break to whole new lev­els. Af­ter the stress of film­ing Kitchen

Night­mares and Ho­tel Hell, Ram­say says the rel­a­tive calm of mak­ing his next se­ries has been a wel­come change – and it sees him re­turn to his roots, show­ing peo­ple how to cook good, old-fash­ioned grub.

“It’s about show­ing that any­one can cre­ate mouth-wa­ter­ing meals,” he says. “I re­ally en­joyed spend­ing time with my fam­ily in the kitchen and get­ting ev­ery­one in­volved. My youngest, Tilly, gives me a good run for my money. She loves cook­ing.”

Turn over for three of Ram­say’s fan­tas­tic new recipes.

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