I was super excited to get the chance to review Valli Little’s latest cookbook My Kind of Food.
As an avid eater (but a rather basic cook who loves to experiment) it sounded right up my alley. My hopeful assumption was that the title would mean there would be no En vessie or Tiger lily buds involved?
Thank goodness I was right.
One of the first thing’s that grabbed me when I read the introduction was Valli’s ‘flick test’,
Basically, I flick from the back of the cookbook to the front and if there aren’t at least ten recipes I immediately want to go home and cook, then the book does back on the shelf.
What a great idea.
So I employed Valle’s ‘flick test’ and nearly all of the recipes passed and I wanted to immediately run home to my kitchen. It certainly helps have unbelievably drool-worthy photographs of every single recipe.
I seriously could have eaten some of those photos – pg. 51/53 Cheat’s lemon cheesecake (this is divine, and is now one of my go-to recipes), pg. 54/55 Salted caramel mousse with toffee popcorn, pg. 66/67 Spring pea risotto, and so many more.
What I love about this cookbook is that the recipes are all Valli’s family favourites, so they have been cooked again and again with all the tweaks made along the way. Each recipe is accompanied by a headnote, explaining where the recipe came from, and how it has become a family favourite.
All of the recipes are easy to follow with good descriptions; there is nothing too outrageous in the ingredient or technique department, but you still feel like you are producing something special.
It is organised by occasion like “Sunday Best”. The index also offers the option of looking up an ingredient, then listing all of the appropriate recipes.
The recipes are all mostly classics with a modern twist added; like Scandi mac & cheese, a basic recipe of macaroni with cream, grated cheese, salmon and a few other easy ingredients; or Lamb shank cottage pie, yummy lamb shanks with winter vegetables and an easy assortment of sauces/pastes to add flavour that you can even make it two days ahead; and Store-cupboard trifle, perfect for when you just want to use easy ingredients, it uses tinned peaches and store bought sponge, right on.
I would definitely recommend adding trying My Kind of Food if you enjoy classic food with a modern twist that the family will love.
Outreach & Learning team
My Kind of Food
by Valli Little
Published by HarperCollins New Zealand