Three new cookbooks worth buying, from James Martin to the Hairy Bikers

That is the finest time of 12 months to uncover new recipes.

As the days get shorter and colder, a shiny new cookbook – and all the food-related inspiration that comes with it – may be simply the factor you want.

And there are many new releases to sink your enamel into – whether or not you need to transport your self to a sunnier nation, quiet down with some consolation meals – and even get a head begin on Christmas buying.

A few of the greatest names in meals – together with chef and former Saturday Kitchen presenter James Martin, BBC stalwarts the Hairy Bikers, and cult restaurateur Russell Norman – have new cookbooks out – and that is what you possibly can anticipate from every of them.

1. ‘James Martin’s Spanish Journey’ by James Martin

In his new ebook, Martin exhibits that Spanish delicacies is way over simply paella and sangria


Should you have been captivated by James Martin’s 20-part ITV collection taking a culinary tour round Spain – from the Michelin-starred eating places of San Sebastian to the native markets of Santiago de Compostela – you’ll need to choose up the accompanying cookbook.

One in every of Martin’s favorite areas in the nation is Toledo, “a particular historical metropolis proper in the center of Spain”, he notes. “It’s well-known for excellent produce together with sport, saffron, honey, olive oil, garlic and the checklist goes on.”

Yorkshire-born Martin says he first fell in love with Spanish meals when he got here to London as a younger chef, and needed to dedicate this ebook to the delicacies as a result of he “needed individuals to find out about the individuals, the implausible number of landscapes, and the spectacular produce obtainable”, he says.

“They’ve the finest markets in Europe and the vary of elements is fabulous – the seafood, the meat, the greens and the fruit.”

In the cookbook, Martin highlights that Spanish delicacies is way over simply paella and sangria. There are many recipes for conventional dishes – together with tapas bites, croquetas, empanadas, Seville pork with patatas bravas and burnt Basque cheesecake – in addition to basic Spanish elements (resembling chorizo, olives and loads of seafood).

Whereas Spain is predominantly recognized for meat and fish, Martin additionally exhibits a few of the stunning methods the nation makes use of greens too – resembling a dish for deep-fried aubergines drizzled with honey and served with a tomato sauce, and salt-baked celeriac with new potatoes and salsa.

Valencia beans and pink prawns

A easy seafood dish impressed by the chef’s travels round Spain

(Dan Jones/PA)

“Situated on the east coast, the 2,000-year-old metropolis of Valencia boasts extensive sandy seashores, hanging structure, a buzzing meals scene and tradition,” says Martin.

“It has its personal language (a dialect of Catalan) and distinctive delicacies, with a deal with rice, seafood and meat. This dish showcases pink prawns on a mattress of white beans and greens.”

Serves: 2


75ml olive oil, plus additional for drizzling

2 garlic cloves, chopped

1 onion, diced

¼ leek, diced

½ carrot, peeled and diced

¼ inexperienced pepper, cored, deseeded and diced

3 bay leaves

2 complete smoked chilli peppers (or a pinch of chilli flakes)

300g cooked butter beans

Splash of white wine

Small bunch of flat-leaf parsley, chopped

8 pink prawns, cut up lengthways

Sea salt


1. If you need to use a BBQ, warmth a BBQ till sizzling and the coals are white.

2. Warmth a medium paella pan and, when sizzling, add the oil, then add the garlic, all the greens, the bay leaves and the smoked peppers. Cook dinner for 2 to three minutes, then stir in the beans, 50 millilitres of water and the wine and cook dinner for 3 to 4 minutes. Season with salt and end with the parsley.

3. In the meantime, pop the prawns onto the BBQ, drizzle with oil and season with salt, then cook dinner for 2 to three minutes till charred, turning a few times. Alternatively, grill on excessive for 3 to 4 minutes.

4. To serve, take away the smoked peppers (if utilizing) from the beans after which pile the prawns on high of the beans and drizzle with additional olive oil if desired.

‘James Martin’s Spanish Journey’ by James Martin (Quadrille, £27)

2. ‘The Hairy Bikers’ Final Consolation Meals’ by Si King and Dave Myers

The Hairy Bikers are bringing it again to fundamentals with their bible of consolation meals

(Seven Dials/PA)

It’s arduous to consider Dave Myers and Si King – in any other case often known as the Hairy Bikers – have been on our screens for almost twenty years, with their first BBC present airing in 2004.

They’ve written loads of cookbooks over the years – devoted to every part from Mediterranean meals to curries – and their newest is all about consolation meals. In the introduction, the duo suppose again to what consolation meals meant to them rising up – for Myers, it’s a basic chip butty, and King picks out his mom’s curries and casseroles.

British classics like these permeate the ebook – together with beef and barley stew, sausage rolls and lemon drizzle cake – however there’s a particular worldwide flavour, with dishes impressed by Myers and King’s travels throughout the world. Assume soba noodles with miso mushrooms, Szechuan lamb bao buns, chipotle prawn tacos and extra.

Whereas consolation meals would possibly make you consider heavy, wealthy dishes you need to curl up in the winter with – and people recipes are represented – there’s additionally a wider image of ‘consolation’ and what it means all through the 12 months. Lighter recipes resembling the teriyaki hen salad and Spanish-style roasted greens with halloumi will carry simply as a lot pleasure in the summertime.

Chocolate eclairs

A basic pastry recipe you’ll need to grasp

(Andrew Hayes-Watkins/PA)

“Presumably everybody’s high teatime pleasure, eclairs are a bit of labor, however are so worth it,” say Myers and King.

“Simply image your self biting into that lovely choux pastry stuffed with cream and unfold with chocolate.”

Makes: about 8-12


For the choux pastry:

115g plain flour

100g butter

2 tsp caster sugar

1 tsp vanilla extract

Pinch of salt

3 eggs, effectively overwhelmed

1 tbsp icing sugar

For the filling:

300ml double cream

1 tbsp icing sugar

½ tsp vanilla extract

For the chocolate glaze:

100g darkish chocolate (or 50g darkish chocolate and 50g milk chocolate)

50g whipping cream

50g butter

25g golden syrup


1. Preheat the oven to 180C/fan 160C/gasoline 4 and line two baking trays with baking parchment. Sift the flour on to one other piece of baking parchment.

2. Put the butter, sugar, and vanilla extract in a pan with 225 millilitres of water and a beneficiant pinch of salt. Warmth gently till the butter has melted and the sugar has dissolved, then flip up the warmth till the combination is boiling. Take away the pan from the warmth.

3. Pull up the sides of the baking parchment and slide the flour into the butter and sugar combination. Stir the flour into the moist elements to kind a thick paste which ought to come away from the sides of the pan in a single stable mass. Put the pan again over a mild warmth and proceed stirring with a wood spoon for 2 or three minutes, till the combination is barely steaming and leaves a floury residue on the base of the pan.

4. Depart to cool for a few minutes, then beat for a few minutes extra. You’ll be able to then switch the dough to a stand mixer or use electrical beaters in the event you choose. You will note steam escape from the dough at this level. Hold beating till the steam has subsided.

5. Regularly work in the eggs, simply a few tablespoons at a time, till you’ve got a thick shiny dough – it wants to be fairly stiff and agency sufficient for you to draw your finger by means of it with out the sides falling again in. The dough initially breaks up so much, however ultimately it’s going to come collectively once more.

6. Match a big star or plain spherical nozzle right into a piping bag and scoop the dough into the bag. Should you don’t have a nozzle, merely snip off the finish of the bag off – the gap must be about 2.5cm extensive.

7. Pipe tiny quantities of the dough underneath the corners of the baking parchment on the trays to maintain the parchment in place. For big eclairs, pipe eight strains of dough, as evenly as attainable, on to the baking trays, making each about 15cm lengthy. To verify they don’t unfold to an oval form, pipe them barely wider at every finish. To make barely smaller eclairs, pipe 12 strains of about 10cm lengthy. Moist your fingers and easy out the ends of the eclairs if peaks have fashioned. Should you haven’t used a star nozzle, run a fork alongside the size of every one.

8. Mud the eclairs with the icing sugar – this can assist them darken and crisp up in the oven. Bake for 25 minutes by which period they need to have fashioned a crust. Use a skewer to poke holes in every finish of the eclairs so steam can escape from their centres, then proceed to bake for an additional eight to 10 minutes. Flip the oven off and go away the door ajar. Depart the eclairs in the oven for about half an hour – this can assist be certain that they’re crisp all the approach by means of.

9. To make the filling, whip the cream till it’s stiff, then fold in the icing sugar and vanilla extract. Chill for half an hour.

10. For the glaze, put the chocolate, cream, butter and golden syrup right into a bowl over a saucepan of simmering water. Soften collectively gently to make a reasonably skinny ganache.

11. To fill the eclairs, reduce three holes in the base of every one. Fill a piping bag with the cream and pipe it into the holes. Squeeze the eclairs calmly – they need to really feel properly full. Dip every crammed eclair in the chocolate glaze – this provides a significantly better protection than attempting to unfold it – then go away them in the fridge to set. These are finest eaten on the identical day they’re made as the pastry will ultimately soften, however they are going to maintain for up to 48 hours.

‘The Hairy Bikers: Final Consolation Meals’ by Si King and Dave Myers (Seven Dials, £25)

3. ‘Brutto’ by Russell Norman

Named after one among his eating places, Norman’s ‘Brutto’ is all about ugly however good meals

(Ebury Press)

Russell Norman’s debut cookbook, Polpo, gained the Inaugural Waterstones E-book of the 12 months again in 2012, and something the London restaurateur has carried out since has all the time been hotly anticipated.

For his newest cookbook, Norman has turned his sights on Florence. Named after one among his London eating places, “brutto” is the Italian phrase for ugly, and references the Italian expression, “brutto ma buono” – ugly however good.

Tuscan delicacies is understood for meat, offal, sport and beans, Norman explains in the introduction – and these are all represented in the cookbook, albeit with a couple of extra veggie choices than you would possibly seen in a standard Florentine kitchen.

You’ll study so much about meals in Florence from Brutto – resembling the metropolis’s ardour for wine bars, the place antipasti resembling coccoli (fried dough balls served with prosciutto and mushy cheese) and deep-fried courgette flowers are served.

A few of the recipes are Italian classics you’ll find out about – resembling tagliatelle with ragu and asparagus risotto – and others are extra uncommon, deeper dives into Italian delicacies – suppose Florentine-style fried hen or an oven-baked spinach dish cooked with eggs, cream, Parmesan and a touch of nutmeg.

Tuscan meals is basically often known as peasant meals – that means it’s comparatively low-cost and straightforward to make, whereas nonetheless being packed stuffed with flavour.

Spinach and ricotta dumplings

A easy but scrumptious Florentine dish

(Jenny Zarins/PA)

“Gnudi interprets as ‘bare’, as these little dumplings are the most nude and easy type of selfmade pasta you may make,” says Norman.

“The mix of spinach and ricotta is a really conventional marriage and seems in a lot of the pasta of the area, in ravioli and crespelle for instance. It’s a really satisfying course of, and straightforward sufficient for youngsters to assist with in the kitchen if you’d like to encourage an early curiosity in Italian cooking for little cooks.”

Serves: 4


500g child spinach leaves, washed

50g ‘00’ flour

250g ricotta

1 massive free-range egg, overwhelmed

150g grated parmesan

Flaky sea salt

Black pepper

½ tsp freshly grated nutmeg

250g semolina

100g butter

A big handful of sage leaves


1. Steam the spinach for 3 minutes over a big pan of boiling water. Completely drain and squeeze to take away the extra water, then chop the leaves finely. Put aside.

2. Combine the flour with the ricotta in a big bowl till it resembles lumpy breadcrumbs. Stir in the egg and two-thirds of the Parmesan. Add a pinch of salt, a twist of black pepper, the nutmeg after which add the spinach. Mix completely with a wood spoon or along with your arms.

3. Put half the semolina right into a bowl and shake the relaxation on to a baking sheet or a tray. Take small lumps of the flour, egg and spinach combination and kind them into small balls by rolling them between your palms, to the measurement of enormous olives. Flip every ball by means of the bowl of semolina, then place on the tray you’ve ready with the remainder of the semolina. When completed, it’s best to have 24–30 little balls.

4. Fill a really massive pan with water and produce to a rolling boil. Place the gnudi in the boiling water as shortly as attainable, bringing it again to the boil on the highest warmth, and proceed to simmer for about three minutes.

5. In the meantime, in a small saucepan over a medium warmth, soften the butter and add the sage leaves. When it bubbles, scale back to a really low warmth. This could take not more than two minutes, whereas the gnudi are cooking.

6. The gnudi will float to the floor when they’re prepared. Flip off the warmth, take away them with a slotted spoon and drain the extra water on kitchen paper. Place on 4 warmed plates, pour the butter and sage over the high, then evenly distribute the remaining Parmesan. Add a flourish of black pepper.

‘Brutto’ by Russell Norman (Ebury Press, £32)

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