Kirstin: I just want Melissa Clark to move in to my house and cook with me. With all the jalepenos
Maureen: I could see how that would work. She would be fun to cook with and I also think her attitude would be, “Don’t stress. It’s just dinner.”
Kirstin: All the sticky tabs I use to mark the recipes I want to make are no longer relevant because I just want to make everything.
Maureen: Every time I open the book I find something else I want to make. I feel bad because due to a variety of factors, I wasn’t able to post everything I made. But there were no disasters, which is always the sign of an excellent cookbook.
Kirstin: She is so good at flavour combinations. Everything is so tasty.
Maureen: But they were all made with easily sourced ingredients. Other than my experience with daikon radishes, though enough people told me they thought I’d easily be able to find them in London. I still haven’t seen them in any of the greengrocers or supermarkets I use regularly, but I’ve not given up hope.
Kirstin: I’ve loved this book so much that I’ve already given four copies away.
Maureen: If that’s not a sign of a good book, I don’t know what is. The thing I loved about this book is that it was all attainable deliciousness. It’s not overly cheffy in that it involves multiple steps and multiple bowls. They were all pretty straightforward, but absolutely delicious, which is all you really want, in the end.
Kirstin: I think this is my favourite book ever.
Maureen: High praise indeed.
Kirstin: You know how much I love Gwyneth Paltrow and Bill Granger. They do lovely Italian and Asian dishes, which is what we love most in our house. But Melissa Clark does those dishes so much better than they do.
Maureen: This is a very, very, very good book. I don’t know if it’s my favourite cookbook ever, but I don’t know what that would be. That’s going to take some thought.
Kirstin: This cookbook is just the business. Everything has tasted so amazing. It’s made me really get back into the kitchen and enjoy being back in the kitchen.
Maureen: I think it’s made me a better cook overall. I really started to think about what we should have for dinner, what would taste good with it, what extras I could make. Not in an over the top way, but in a more thoughtful way than I usually do, and I put it down to this book.
Kirstin: If I could only have one book on my shelf, it would probably be this one. This is my Desert Island Cookbook.
Overall Grade (A- F): A* (Maureen) A***** (Kirstin)
Best recipes: Korean Bulgogi (Kirstin) There were so many good ones, it was hard to pick one. But maybe the Za’atar Chicken. (Maureen)
Grade for Photography (A-F): Kirstin: A
Any disasters? (Kirstin and Maureen) Absolutely not.
Bookshelf or Charity Shop Donation? High-rotation bookshelf. Kirstin: This one might have its own bookshelf.
Would you give this to a friend? (Maureen) Absolutely. (Kirstin) Indeed. I’ve given it away four times already.