Monday 25 January 2021

BLOG TOUR: A Curious Cook - Bridget Morton

A comprehensive and supportive guide to vegetarian cooking for people with coeliac disease.

Bridget Morton puts her own personal experiences of living with coeliac to good use in the kitchen, whipping up nutritious, delicious and comforting dishes designed to help manage her symptoms.

What did I think?

I have to say from the start that I don't have coeliac disease, however, I am unable to eat certain foods (particularly white bread) without being crippled by stomach pains.  I try to keep my food as stomach-friendly as possible and I do enjoy cooking and creating tasty dishes in the kitchen.  It's sometimes a bit of lottery whether my slaving over a hot stove will cause stomach pain or not so A Curious Cook by Bridget Morton sounds like the perfect cookery book for me to reduce, if not alleviate, the risk of pain.

Over 95% of the book is dedicated to recipe pages, so there isn't a lot of annoying chat or pointless photos (like it's a photoshoot for Hello magazine) in the front of the book like you find with many other cook books.  The author's concise introduction discusses her cooking journey in a light and humourous way, mentioning her reasons for writing the book and offering snippets of advice.  

Following the introduction, there are handy conversion tables (to save you googling or having to ask Alexa) and a list of store cupboard basics before launching into the main event: the recipe section.  There are 104 recipes in total which are split into 7 sections: Savoury Tarts and Pies; Flatbread Dough; Pancakes, Crackers and Muffins; Small Savouries; Vegetables and Salads; Sugar; and Sauces, Preserves and Drinks.  A good proportion of the recipes are accompanied by a short introduction from the author and colour photos that show the finished product.

I would have liked to have made some of the recipes in advance of posting my review but unfortunately there wasn't enough time before my spot on the blog tour.  There are loads of recipes I want to try that look uncomplicated for novice cooks like me: winter squash and chilli tart (made with a variety of interesting flours); small savoury pies (made in a muffin tin and filled with tomato and feta); fennel seed tarallini (little twisty savoury biscuits); chickpea dal (this looks so easy to make and I love chickpeas) and courgettes with tomato and cumin (a delicious winter stew).  There are other recipes that sound lovely but they involve shallow frying in oil and that's a bit too advanced for me.

I was delighted to find that a lot of the recipes use courgettes.  Not only do I love courgettes but my uncle grows them on his allotment so our kitchen is always well stocked when courgettes are in season.  There are also a good number of chickpea recipes which are a store cupboard staple for me as I love them.  I can see A Curious Cook becoming a well-used and favourite cookbook in my house.

The only tiny gripe I have with the book is in the presentation; the paper in the book isn't coated like you find in a lot of cook books.  You will need to be careful when using it in the kitchen as if you're anything like me, it's sure to get splattered; an acrylic cookbook stand is a useful addition to the kitchen anyway and would be perfect to protect this book from splashes.

A Curious Cook is a fabulous cookbook for both coeliacs and vegetarians with a suspected gluten intolerance.  The recipes are clear and simple, with relatively easy to source ingredients, and they all sound tasty and comforting.  I suspect my stomach will thank Bridget Morton in due course.

I received an advance copy of the book from the publisher to read and review for the blog tour; this is my honest and unbiased opinion.

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