You can’t have enough cookbooks. Some make you think back of a holiday, others are written by chefs you admire, and some are technical or about specific ingredients. There is always room for just one extra cookbook.
Once in a while, when you’re looking for inspiration, you browse through a number of books, look at the pictures, read recipes and you think: ‘far too many ingredients, far too complicated’ for a not very inspired evening.
Fortunately, you remember one very special cookbook: James Tanner Takes 5: Delicious Dishes Using Just 5 Ingredients with over 90 recipes, ranging from Roasted Red Bell Peppers with Anchovies to Scones. Short shopping lists, easy recipes and tasty results: what more can you ask for! Isn’t it great, Chocolate Mousse, Figs with Honey or Toad-in-the-hole.
James Tanner (1976) is a British chef and author. Together with his brother Chris he runs a restaurant in Kent, The Kentish Hare. He appeared as a tv-chef on shows like Ready Steady Cook (remember The Quickie Bag? Green Pepper and Red Tomato?).
Our personal favourite is a small chicken (preferably a coquelet, a young rooster) with a paste made of red peppers, pure creamed coconut (santan), lime and cilantro. It’s easy to make and the result is very tasty. Serve it with some bok choy in oyster sauce and you have a lovely meal. He enjoys it with a cold beer, we prefer a glass of rosé, for instance Chiaretto di Bardolino DOC made by Monte del Frà from Italy. A pale, pink wine with floral and fruity aromas. Dry with medium acidity, limited tannins and delicate flavours. Excellent with the chicken and the coconut.
Takes 5: Delicious Dishes Using Just 5 Ingredients was published in 2010 and is available (probably second hand) via the well-known channels for something like 20 US dollar or Euro.