Book Review: Meals – Effortless Food For Every Occasion

Christine Capendale

Human & Rousseau

Review: Brian Joss

One dish that will have your guests clamouring for more is the Warm Chocolate and Peanut Butter Pan Brownie.  It is easy to make if you follow the step-by-step instructions. It calls for dark chocolate, crunchy peanut butter, among others, and ice cream for serving. It takes a few minutes to make and you can serve it straight from the pan which brings new meaning to the phrase from “oven” to table. Your diners can help themselves and left-overs, if there are any, are just as tasty the next day.

The book is packed with recipes that will help you to make your entertaining easy or provide tasty dishes for the family. There are 13 chapters including Planning Meals; Pantry Staples; One Pot Meals; Shortcut Meals; Vegetarian Meals; Entertaining Meals; as well as Starters, Mains and Desserts which include some of Capendale’s favourite recipes. In One Pot Meals you will learn how to make tasty Beef Mac and Cheese; Harissa Chicken with Chickpeas and Spicy Lime Yoghurt or a Chicken Biryani topped with Tomatoes and Crispy Onions.

The Chicken, Mushroom and Thyme Cassoulet is a slow cooked casserole and this recipe is a quick version of the traditional  meal which originated in the south of France and often contains meat, pork skin and white beans. Japanese Beef Ramen and Noodle Soup or Roasted Cauliflower and Chickpea Soup  or Spicy Red Lentil Soup with Spinach and Onion Pakora are sure to set your taste buds tingling.

In the chapter, Entertaining Meals, Capendale provides menus for various occasions and there are recipes for Starters, Mains and Desserts, which would please even the fussiest diner. Cheesy Aubergine Caprese Stacks is one unusual starter, there’s a main of Butter Chicken and a Raspberry Panna Cotta Berry and Mint Salad.

In Pantry Staples Capendale explains how to make various sauces, pesto, hummus, crispy onions and that Korean staple, Chimichurri.

Capendale is has a degree in Home Economics and Dietetics from Stellenbosch University and is known for her practical cooking classes.

Meals –  Effortless Food For Every Occasion is an entertaining and useful book that deserves a place in your kitchen. It is brim-full of ideas to make entertaining, well, effortless.

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