To be honest I only bought the book ‘Fast, Fresh and Easy Food’ because it was reduced to £3.00 in a sale.
I have occasionally watched Lorraine Pascale on TV – she does make cooking look easy, so it was good to give some of her recipes ‘a try’.
As always, to really try out a recipe book, I used it every day for a week and everything I tried was simple to make. Most of the ingredients were already in the pantry although those I had to purchase were easily obtained and all in one shopping trip (otherwise we know what happens – go into the store for one item, come away with a basket load!)
I made Main dishes only – although the chapter on Canapes and Cocktails looked so delicious I nearly throw a party (still might)
The Sri Lankan Chicken Curry with Coconut and Cashew Rice was really quick to make. I used the minimum recommended spices and it was ‘warm’ so if you like your food Hot I would suggest using the maximum suggested.
Baked Jerk Chicken with Pineapple Salsa was another tasty dish – and attractive on the table (Below)
The Chicken Apple Cider Casserole required very little effort, although I guess I should rename mine as I used the chicken stock option rather than the cider – it was very tasty.
Tarragon Pork with Creamy Mustard Mushroom Sauce was again simple to make. I felt it needed a green veg otherwise the plate looked bland. I used stock rather than white wine – think the wine would have added more depth but as I didn’t have a bottle of wine open the stock had to do.
Tapenade Crusted Cod on a bed of Crunchy Ciabatta, Tomato and Basil – I thought the tapenade would over power the fish but it didn’t, I used an olive pandaluz bread as I had no Ciabatta. It was all very tasty and simple to cook.
The Buttered Fish with Roasted Ginger Butternut Squash was very enjoyable even though I changed a few ingredients – I did not have any pancetta so used smoked streaky bacon instead, if I had neither I would have used smoked turkey rashers or simply used smoked rapeseed oil as I think the aim was to introduce a ‘smokiness’ to the dish. I had some leftover fine beans and courgettes so used them instead of the peas. I used fish already in the freezer – one cod, one halibut and both cooked well. Think it all worked – no one complained
The Warm Salmon and Lentils with Chorizo was very simple and easy to make. A good mid week supper.
Butternut and Sweet Potato Lasagne was not so simple to organise – there were many steps to this dish so I made it earlier in the day, and I made two so one could be frozen (have since eaten it and it was just as good)
Overall the instructions were easy to follow, I found the added ‘Hints & Tips’ useful. Many of the recipes survived changes in ingredients which always encourages me. This cookbook is definitely staying on my kitchen shelf.