"The Nation's Favourite Food"
by Neven Maguire
Hardback (256 pages)
Chapters: Introduction, Soups, Starters, Salads, Beef, Chicken, Lamb, Pork, Fish, Eggs, Vegetarian, Takeaway my way, Pasta, Dinner party, Vegetable sides, Lunchbox, Kids' favourites, Desserts, Baking, Bread, Christmas, Basics.
Although I've been living in Ireland for almost 8 years now, I haven't really cooked many dishes, which would be considered as typical Irish ones. "The Nation's favourite food" is a great compendium of everyday dishes that are made across Ireland (and probably abroad too, in homes with Irish roots/connections). Neven has gathered his top 100 recipes, which in his opinion are a real staple of Irish nation's cuisine. They are Neven's fool-proof recipes (and yes, I can confirm - FOOL PROOF!), tried and tested versions of the food, Ireland makes every day of the week. Each section contains 5 classics, so you have a choice and I'm sure you'll find something that you'll like.
Recipes are simple, very easy to follow and as I already mentioned -> really fool-proof, you can honestly feel that they were tried and tested time over time, again and again, until they were perfected. Doesn't matter if you're experienced cook or a novice in the kitchen, with Neven's recipes you'll always succeed!
In the introduction you read: "I hope this book will be splattered with sauce, will have notes in the margins, will have the pages folded down. In short, I hope it becomes your trusted friend in the kitchen that you turn to time after time." Well Neven, aside of those bend/folded pages (as I hate doing that to any book, not to mention a cook book!), my book is slowly starting to look just like that. And I'm proud of it :)
"The nation's favourite food" is a great cook book. Recipes aren't over complicated, you don't need any fancy and expensive ingredients. It's honest, day to day cooking and dishes which can be enjoyed by the whole family! There's also a chapter on dishes for those spacial occasions, like Christmas.
I also like the layout of the book itself. Each recipe is clearly "spread out" on the page. Recipes listed with accurate measurments, step by step instructions divided by separate paragraphs - so it's easy to have a quick look into the book, while cooking and see what's your next step. Pictures accompanying the recipes (which ARE actually of the food itself!) are bright, colourful and definitely make you hungry! ;)
In my opinion Neven's new cook book will be perfect idea for a present not only for that "new house wife", "newbies" in the kitchen, but also for people with Irish roots living abroad and people like me, who need a little bit more introduction to that traditional, everyday Irish cooking, as we weren't brought up surrounded by it. So if you're after honest, every day food, recipes you can relay on and dishes that won't break your bank - Neven's "The Nation's Favourite Food" IS definitely a cook book for you.
Some of the recipes I've already tried:
About the author:
From a very young age, one of Neven Maguire’s favourite pastimes was to shadow his mother in the kitchen, watching her cook. He began experimenting with ingredients in the home kitchen at the tender age of ten and his pastime soon became his passion. After studying catering in Fermanagh College in Enniskillen, Neven went on to train in some of the highest-profile restaurants in the world, including the Michelin starred Roscoff’s in Belfast, Grand Hotel in Berlin and Arzak in San Sebastian. He also worked with Léa Linster, the renowned Michelin starred chef from Luxembourg, whom he credits as a major influence.
In 2001, Neven took over MacNean Restaurant, turning a local establishment into a national phenomenon and in 2012 published the highly acclaimed MacNean Restaurant Cookbook. Neven presents the top-rated cookery show on RTÉ, Home Chef. He lives in Blacklion, Co. Cavan with his wife Amelda, and twins Connor and Lucia. - by Gill & Macmillian Books.
I received a free copy of this book to review from Neven Maguire himself. All thoughts and opinions stated in this post are 100% mine.