When I get a new cookbook I feel it deserves some quality time to be looked over and thumbed through. Normally with a nice cup of tea. I was really looking forward to taking some time to read through the It’s All Easy Cookbook by Gwyneth Paltrow. The title got my interest first; a whole book full of easy recipes. It sounded right up my street! The photography in the book is lovely; the emphasis is on lifestyle rather than just food and I think that makes it easier to see how the recipes might fit in your day to day life. Gwyneth Paltrow wrote the book and recipes along with Thea Baumann and there are some great ideas in there that I can see appearing on my kitchen table.
There was one surprise, although looking back at it now I’m not sure why it was so much of a surprise, the recipes use American measurements. It’s not an issue of course but it did catch me out as I wasn’t expecting it. I tried out one of the recipes from the book: Tikka Masala Roast Chicken. I did have to change it round a bit and use just chicken breast as it was a weeknight and I wasn’t going to cook a whole chicken!
The recipes are useful in telling you very quickly which ones are gluten free, vegetarian and/or vegan and I like how the chapters are divided: first thing, on the go, pick me ups, in a pinch, cozy evenings, summer nights, unexpected guests, something sweet and the basics.
You will need (recipe from It’s All Easy):
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 thumb sized piece of ginger, minced
- 1 tbsp tomato paste
- 1/4 cup whole milk yoghurt
- 1 tsp garam masala
- 1 tbsp tandoori spice
- 1 1/2 tsp salt
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 whole chicken, spatchcocked or butterflied
Mix together everything other than the chicken then rub the marinade all over the chicken making sure to get as much as possible under the skin.
Place the chicken on a wire rack over a lined baking tray then roast at 400F for around 1 hour and 15 minutes.
In my case, I mixed the marinade in the morning and added two chicken breasts. I then roasted the chicken breasts when I got back from work.
I really liked this recipe; it’s great to make the marinade in the morning so when you come home you know that you’ve already started dinner. I liked the flavour of the marinade but next time (for chicken breasts rather than a whole chicken) I would dice and barbecue the chicken for a smoky flavour. I served this with some saag aloo and they went really nicely together. This book is full of ‘modern’ recipes (think acai bowls, avocado on toast, smoothies) so I think reflects modern tastes, however, I don’t think it’s the best book for ‘easy’ recipes if you’re a novice cook. It’s a real source of ideas and inspiration if you already have some cooking skills and knowledge but if you bought it to learn how to cook (based on the title) I think some of the recipes might be one more unusual ingredient too far for a first time cook. For me, it’s certainly one I will be using again.
Thank you to Sphere for the book. RRP £20. All opinions expressed and words are my own.