Ainsley Harriott is one of Britain’s most popular TV chefs. Multi-talented, this former comedian and musician returned to his first love, cooking, as the presenter of several high-profile BBC cookery programmes. He’s invariably described as “flamboyant”. I think he’s a little OTT sometimes, and Ramsay certainly isn’t a fan of his. But despite his zaniness he really is an excellent cook. Fast, simple, delicious food – I think that sums him up.
I own three of his books but the one I’m about to review here is Gourmet Express. This is one of my all-time favourite cookbooks and would probably accompany me to the proverbial Desert Island.
The book really does do what it says on the tin: gourmet food to make at home quicker than you could order a take-away. There are six chapters, covering: snacks; soups; mains; side orders; sauces and relishes; and sweets and drinks. Something for every occasion.
I use this book a lot for two main purposes. If I’m hungry and can’t be bothered spending time in the kitchen it’s easy to pick a recipe from here and knock up a delicious meal in 20 minutes or so. Other times I’ll flip through it to find a new idea and put the ingredients on the weekly shopping list. The variety is quite astonishing and includes many cuisines.
The photography in the book is second to none – it’s superb! And if that doesn’t inspire you, nothing will. I’m finding it difficult to write about this book because I like it so much! It’s all delicious. It’s all easy to make. And it’s quick to do. Buy it!
I’ll try to curb my excitement about this book and give you a sample recipe so you can judge for yourself.
Ainsley Harriott’s Gourmet Express
Hardback, 178 pages
2000, BBC Worldwide
ISBN 0 563 55179 8