FALL, WINTER, SPRING & SUMMER COOKING
Review by Barb & Ron Kroll
A Year in My Kitchen - Recipes inspired by the seasons and based on a culinary toolbox of inventive flavorings
(Ten Speed Press) ISBN 978-1580080521 1580080529
Seasonal cooking is easy with these fall, winter, spring and summer recipes from Skye Gyngell, head chef of the café at Petersham Nurseries in London, England (borough of Richmond, Surrey). Her seasonal recipes use herbs, vegetables, fruits, seafood and meat when they are fresh and available in gardens and farmers' markets.
Skye Gyngell begins A Year in My Kitchen with a toolbox of basic recipes for infused oils, vinaigrettes and spice mixes that add agrodulce (balanced sweet, sour and salty tastes) to her dishes.
Cooking seasonal foods
Organized by season, each chapter and recipe in A Year in My Kitchen begins with an introduction. For summer cooking, Skye Gyngell identifies seasonal foods (e.g., apricots, peas, wild salmon and watercress) in the introduction.
At the top of each recipe, she explains how to prepare it, e.g., for tea-smoked fillets of wild salmon, she suggests using fragrant teas, like Lapsang and Yunnan, for smoking.
The 256-page seasonal cookbook includes cooking tips at the end of most recipes. In the chapter on winter cooking, Skye Gyngell explains how to use and store tamarind. (Keep it in a sealed container in the fridge. Soak tamarind pieces in hot water for 20 minutes and press the pulp through a strainer to extract the best tamarind flavor.)
Mouth-watering Jason Lowe food photos depict fall, winter, spring and summer dishes made with A Year in My Kitchen recipes. Other photos depict seasonal produce from Petersham Nurseries in London, England.
In A Year in My Kitchen, Skye Gyngell offers food substitutes for unusual ingredients. What is verjuice? It is sour juice from unripe grapes, she notes in her recipe for rabbit, pancetta and verjuice. If you can't find verjuice, she recommends substituting dry white wine instead.
Skye Gyngell explains the differences between leaf gelatin and powdered gelatin, e.g., four sheets of leaf gelatin, or a quarter ounce powdered gelatin, will set two cups of liquid.
Sample seasonal recipes
Roasted spice mix. Tomato and chile jam. Warm asparagus with herb mayonnaise. Baked ricotta with roasted tomatoes, black olives and basil oil. Pan-fried salmon with wild garlic. Carrots with honey, lemon zest and thyme. Chocolate sorbet. Chilled almond soup. Salad of lentils, avocado and goat cheese. Sweet potato and goat cheese frittata. Almond tart with blackberries. Cauliflower soup with Gorgonzola and pickled pear relish. Chanterelles with fried egg and sourdough bread crumbs. Warm broccoli salad with chile and garlic oil. Spiced eggplant and sweet potato curry with spinach. Lamb with prunes, chile and spice mix. Walnut and honey tart. Spicy meatballs with cilantro and sour cherries. Winter rhubarb ice cream.
- My Toolbox
- The Seasons
- Dessert Toolbox
Skye Gyngell's British edition of A Year in My Kitchen was named the Guild of Food Writers Cookery Book of the Year and Best Food Book at Le Cordon Bleu World Food Media Awards.