I requested to review Mark Hix‘s book for Quadrille because the more I learn about food through doing this blog the more I want to eat locally produced food. It seems so much of our food has been engineered to give us produce all the year round and I feel the best most healthy food is locally grown in season food. It is also important to support local business so that our local shops stay open and big businesses do not make our high streets mind-numbingly similar.
Almost as soon as Mark Hix’s book arrived my husband got hold of it and declared it was one of his favourite cookbooks ever! Great praise indeed. He spent a long time pouring over the recipes and I was fine with this as I knew he would cook for me, he is a good cook. So the result my husband’s first ever blog post, his review of “British Seasonal Food” by Mark Hix:
“British Seasonal Food is a food-lovers guide to cooking fantastic meals using in season ingredients. Mark Hix’s style and passion has evoked the hunter/gatherer instinct in me; his writing on wild game and other ingredients which can be foraged instills me to run out and start looking!
The book consists of a separate chapter for each month of the year and starts by listing featured seasonal produce for that month. For example – February: “striking Red Gurnard fished from the Channel, a veritable feast of Furred Game, and leafy winter Cabbages for hearty soups, braises and salads…” He then proceeds to provide specific recipes using these ingredients, such as Red Gurnard with Sea Spinach, Steamed Cockles and Brown Shrimps; Saddle of Hare with Beetroot Mash; and Cabbage and Bacon Soup.
The photography, graphics and illustrations are really striking and only serve to enliven the recipe text.
Hix also picks what would be considered to be by many obscure ingredients such as hare (February), razor clams (March), samphire (June), However, his information about sourcing and preparing this produce makes the reader feel within their depth!
I am very much looking forward to preparing Treacle Cured Salmon (which does not require any cooking, due to the reactions of the cure on the fish!) and Roast Pheasant with Chestnut Dumplings – watch this space!
I would highly recommend this book to the adventurous chef who wants to wow their family/guests with tasty seasonal meals, using the best of British ingredients.”