Book review: Kitchen Twists by Great British Chefs

27 December 2022 by
Book review: Kitchen Twists by Great British Chefs

The premise of Kitchen Twists is to take an already-great recipe and give it a spin

Sometimes you'll replace an ingredient, sometimes present it in a different way, sometimes combine ingredients that although traditionally wouldn't appear together, by all rights are perfect bedfellows.

The recipes, by Pollyanna Coupland, concentrate on small plates, Sunday lunches, date night dinners and summer feasts. Most have a comfort food feel: for example, coq au vin is presented in a suet pastry as a pudding; roast pork belly is recreated as surf and turf and served with a brown crab dauphinoise and baked apples; or scallops are added to the bacon and cheese sauce of a carbonara. A stomach-swelling risotto is taken to new double-carb heights by using both potatoes and rice along with Cheddar, the resulting dish being "reminiscent of silky aligot".

In a more summery vein, a small plates section sees a tomato gazpacho made instead with refreshing melon and dill, chilled further with a garnish of frozen feta. Ajo blanco is, rather than being served as a soup, make as a thicker purée and used as a bed for seared scallops.

Some dishes are converted from meaty to vegetarian or pescatarian: a vitello tonnato is presented as a lighter version made with heritage tomato varieties, but with the usual tuna sauce, and a recipe for smash burgers is given a veggie makeover by using two sweetcorn patties.

The desserts section offers up a take on millionaire's shortbread where the caramel layer becomes a melting minty one, and a rich beetroot brownie has added depth of flavour when blackberries are pushed into the raw batter. A strawberry galette is brought up to date with a sprinkle of sumac and crushed pink peppercorns added to the pastry, and dessert trolley stalwart the black forest gateau is converted into a cheesecake.

The book offers plenty of ideas for thinking differently about the classics, where tried and tested recipes are rethought with fresh and enticing flavour combinations.

Kitchen Twists by Great British Chefs (Food Publishing Books, £24.99)

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