Rhodes to Dish Fulfilment

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Gary Rhodes: Fabulous Food

by Gary Rhodes

BBC Books [pounds sterling]17.99

I am Gary Rhodes's biggest fan. He's a brilliant innovator whose recipes translate comfortably into domestic use, enabling we enthusiastic lesser experts in the kitchen to go forth and stretch ourselves with confidence.

Rhodes's enthusiasm and lack of condescension are all the encouragement I need. I have a list of dishes I am yearning to try from his new book - among them, Escalope of Salmon with Black Treacle, Juniper and Sherry Dressing, and Creme Chiboust with Fresh Fruit Salad (a delectable frozen dessert of lemony creme anglaise folded into a thick Italian meringue). A wonderful book.

Claudia Roden's The Book of Jewish Food (Viking [pounds sterling]20), is much more than a cookery book with delicious-sounding recipes, some centuries old, drawn from throughout the Jewish world. She crams this fascinating treasure-house with history, personal memories and anecdotes and, as with the best teachers, entertains as she informs.

The Stamp Collection Cookbook by Terence Stamp and Elizabeth Buxton (Ebury [pounds sterling]19.99) is invaluable: all the tasty recipes, from Duck Terrine with Green Peppercorns to the French Plum Tart with Almond Pastry, contain no wheat, dairy produce, salt or sugar. Since both authors live with food intolerances in their families, the book is the result of experimentation by people who love to eat well, despite fairly daunting dietary restrictions. Mercifully, all measurements are given in both imperial and metric, and the recipes are full of interesting seasonings. An absolute godsend.

Prue's New Country Kitchen (Colt [pounds sterling]16.95) is by Prue Coats, one of Britain's most practical cooks. She is 100 per-cent sound on everything she writes, and is especially noted for her knowledge of game cooking - I can't wait to try the Hare and Chestnut Casserole, and the Pigeon Breasts stuffed with Garlic Cheese (a sort of gamey Chicken Kiev).

I am a confirmed chocoholic and The Ultimate Encyclopedia of Chocolate by Christine McFadden and Christine France (Lorenz [pounds sterling]16.95) is wonderfully decorative and illustrated with step-by-step photographs. It has everything I could wish for, from puddings like Apricot and White Chocolate Cheesecake to confectionery: Chocolate and Marshmallow Fudge and Malt Whisky Truffles. …