“Gordon Ramsay’s Ultimate Cookery Course” – our verdict

Maureen: Gordon was good!

Kirstin: Gordon was excellent.

Maureen: What did you like about it?

Kirstin: The recipes were sound.

Maureen: I agree. Every recipe I did worked, which is unusual.

Kirstin: The flavours were really good.

Maureen: This was your first electronic cookbook, wasn’t it?

Kirstin: I have a lot of cookbooks (casting her eye around the thousands of books in her library/music room.) So it’s good to have some of them virtually. P.us you know what was really good`? I~ could take it to the shops with the recipes.

Maureen: Rather than ahving to write out waht you needed…

Kirstin: Or you could decide in the shops what you wanted to eat.

Maureen: The tips were really useful. I was initially very sceptical about them, but they were good.

Kirstin: Yes! Scraping the ginger with a teaspoon to get the skin off, not using a vegetable peeler.

Maureen: I didn’t know that. Very helpful!

“Gordon Ramsay’s Ultimate Cookery Course” by Gordon Ramsay: Our Conclusion

  • Overall Grade (A- F): A (Kirstin) (Maureen) A good, solid cookbook where all the recipes worked. It’s one you could give to people and you know it would be a winner.
  • Best recipes: Tomato Risotto and Macaroni and Cheese (Maureen) Slow-roasted pork (Kirstin)
  • Grade for Photography (A-F): B  It was good, actually. But the layout on the Kindle made it hard to see.
  • Any disasters? No! Not one. That’s unusual, because there’s always at least one.
  • Bookshelf or Charity Shop Donation? Maureen: Bookshelf, Kirstin: Kindle! I won’t delete it.
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“Gordon Ramsay’s Ultimate Cookery Course” – our verdict

“Farfalle with Ricotta, Pancetta and Peas” from “Gordon Ramsay’s Ultimate Cookery Course”

I’m sorry. No dialogue for this one. It obviously got lost amid the hoopla of Christmas.

But this could be the perfect run-up-to-Christmas-weeknight dish. First, it’s got green and red. OK, not red exactly, but pink pancetta, but close enough. The green is provided by the peas. Everyone liked this, but frankly, it’s like so many other pancetta and pea pasta dishes we’ve ever had that it was hardly an adventurous night of eating.

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For creaminess, Gordon adds ricotta and creme fraiche. I hate to tell you Gordon, but I was on the creme fraiche in pasta bandwagon years ago, in a quick kids weeknight dinner which I called “Cheat’s Alfredo.”

To make my Cheat’s Alfredo, all you do is cook pasta, add the peas in when there’s about three minutes left of cooking, drain the pasta, add creme fraiche and copious amounts of dried parmesan cheese. Done. Bob’s your uncle.

This one is slightly different in that you add pancetta. Frankly, I think whenever you add a bacon product to a dish you are guaranteed a win. You also add ricotta, which is a slight variation on my Cheat’s Alfredo, but it works.

Finally, you will notice from the photographs that the pasta is decidedly not farfalle. Here’s what happened: I bought the farfalle but also some fusilli at the store. While I was making dinner amid about a million other Christmas jobs, I just opened one packet of pasta which happened to be the fusilli. As a result, we’re having Fusilli with Ricotta, Pancetta and Peas. Next time I will use the farfalle, but I don’t think it makes a bit of difference.

Will I make it again? Maybe. I still think Nigella’s orzo with peas and pancetta is better, but this one is good too, especially if I don’t have any orzo in the cupboard. We now all know how difficult it can be to find orzo in the shops.

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“Farfalle with Ricotta, Pancetta and Peas” from “Gordon Ramsay’s Ultimate Cookery Course”

“Macaroni and Cauliflower Bake with Three Cheeses” from “Gordon Ramsay’s Ultimate Cookery Course”

Maureen: I’ve got three words: Full of yum.

Andrew (13): I think it’s really good. Me gusta!

Nicholas (9): I think it’s really good. I tasted it a number of times now and it has the same consistency throughout.

Tim: It’s nice, but I wonder about the incremental gains from the one we usually have.

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Maureen: It depends which one you’re talking about. Is it the Jamie Oliver 30-minute-meals one, or the New York Times one that uses a pound of cheddar cheese?

Tim: The New York Times one, then.

Maureen: I think this one is better. Obviously, since it doesn’t have a pound of cheese in it, it’s better for us AND our arteries. I think this one is even better than the Jamie Oliver one, to which it’s pretty similar, because it has the combination of cheese, which makes it more interesting.

Nicholas: I think this may be my new favourite mac and cheese.

Andrew: I think I like the one we usually have better.

Maureen: I think I like this one better. It has cauliflower in it and the addition of more vegetables is always a good thing. I will probably be making this again.

“Macaroni and Cauliflower Bake with Three Cheeses” from “Gordon Ramsay’s Ultimate Cookery Course”

“Spicy Sausage Rice” from “Gordon Ramsay’s Ultimate Cookery Course”

Maureen: Yum. I like this.

Andrew (13): Me gusta! I like it!

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Nicholas (9): I thought it was just alright.

Andrew: What are you on about?

Nicholas: It’s my opinion, not yours. I think it’s just OK.

Maureen: What didn’t you like about it?

Nicholas: It just doesn’t give me enough excitement. I liked how there were loads of flavours, but the flavours didn’t work well together.

Maureen: Well, I’m sorry but I disagree. Gordon says this is supposed to be like a jambalaya, which you can find all over the American South, and I think it’s pretty close This also would be a good weeknight dish. It was pretty easy to make, and it was delicious. Would you like me to make it again?

Andrew: Yes, definitely.

Nicholas: Probably not.

Maureen: I think you could persuaded to like this NIcholas. I am going to make it again.

Cook’s Notes: If you can’t find Italian sausages for this recipe, plain cumberland sausages would work OK too. I didn’t have time to get some Italians, and that’s what I did, and it was still good. I’ll bet it’ll be even better with Italian or even Toulouse sausages though. Gordon does say you can use any type of sausages you like. Chorizo also would be delicious.

“Spicy Sausage Rice” from “Gordon Ramsay’s Ultimate Cookery Course”

“Stuffed Roast Chicken” from Gordon Ramsay’s “Ultimate Cookery Course”.

Kirstin: You can’t tell from the title of this, what he’s stuffed the chicken with, but oh my goodness!

Tom: What have you stuffed it with then?

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Kirstin: Chorizo, cannellini beans and sun-dried tomatoes. It smelt absolutely wonderful as I simmered it all on the hob.

Tom: I wondered what that delicious smell was.

Kirstin: And of course, adding the wine and water to the baking tray, kept the chicken moist.

Tom: Yes, it was perfectly tender.

Kirstin: I wasn’t sure about the paprika on the bird itself, but that was all good too! In summary, it was a really special way of cooking a chicken. I didn’t get a very good picture of it on the table because I wanted to tuck in!

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“Stuffed Roast Chicken” from Gordon Ramsay’s “Ultimate Cookery Course”.

“Apple Crumble” from “Gordon Ramsay’s Ultimate Cookery Course”

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I am not going to add any dialogue to this recipe. I can say however, that this was the most delicious apple crumble I have ever tasted. The caramel combined with the different textures of apples and the granola topping were absolutely perfect. There were all sorts of little tips, like putting the pie dish on the hob and letting it bubble up before putting it into the oven.
I will definitely be making this again!

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“Apple Crumble” from “Gordon Ramsay’s Ultimate Cookery Course”

“Chicken stir-fry with rice noodles” from “Gordon Ramsay’s Ultimate Cookery Course”

Ella: We’re having this again! Miles, you like it too, right? Because we’re having it every Tuesday!

Miles: Nooooooooo. What have you done with my life? I have loads of lives on Minecraft.

Kirstin: How did we get onto Minecraft again? We’re talking about food.

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Ella: These noodles are pretty tasty!

Miles: They’re not even noodles! They’re pasta!

Kirstin: They are rice noodles actually!

Miles: I love pasta!

Kirstin: This recipe was super easy to make. I would definitely make it again and yes, Ella will always choose Asian food over Italian where Miles prefers Italian over everything.

Ella: I like pizza!

“Chicken stir-fry with rice noodles” from “Gordon Ramsay’s Ultimate Cookery Course”