Gimme the Recipe is the debut book from Sheila Kiely. Sheila came to mainstream publishing through the food ‘blogsphere’. Her blog Gimme the Recipe has been hugely successful and is a joy to read.
Sheila’s not short of, as she mentions in the dedication, testers, helpers – or critics. She is a mum of six, and lets face it children can be merciless. So, all recipes have been road tested so to speak and stand the test of time.
From dinners to DIY takeaways, baking to dinner parties, there are options here to keep everyone happy. Leftovers get used up in a way that guarantees kids won’t recognise that the dish has already graced the dining table – beef stew becomes a Cornish Pasty, tired pasta gets revitalised into a quick baked dish. There are even simple menus for confirmation/communion/christening gatherings, along with cookalong schedules for events like the Christmas dinner.
Billed as ‘Easy Food Ideas for Busy People’ it is, I suspect, mostly mums who will pick up this book and say, “Hey this woman is just like me.” There is not a trace of supermum syndrome about this charming writer.
The recipes are incredibly easy to follow and most have just a short list of ingredients, many of which you will have to hand. Sheila says: “When I cook, I prepare things as I need them and don’t have the luxury of little dishes of ready chopped ingredients. With this in mind, I have written the ingredients in order of use and the method includes the preparation as part of the cookery process”. In fact most of the content will be familiar to regular cooks. But the aim was not to come up with a whole lot of original ideas but “…to pull together all my everyday recipes so I would have a stockpile of easily accessible solutions to the perennial problem of what to make for the hungry family”.
Sheila has done all the food styling and photography for this book herself. And, a beautiful job she’s done too. The photo’s scream out “eat me” and “dive in”.
The book is printed on glossy paper which gives it a lovely tactile feel.
Despite the apparent simplicity of the dishes the results are impressive – I made the salmon in soy sauce the other evening wth very impressive results.
Salmon, which is loaded with heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids, is especially delicious when cooked in this Asian style, the meatiness of the flesh really stands up well to the stronger flavours.
I reduced the marinade, to make sauce which I tossed some cooked egg noodles and peas though before serving alongside the salmon. Although it would be equally good with a salad or some steamed vegetables.