Love him or hate him Mr Ramsay is not too shabby in the kitchen and of the cookbooks by him that I own I think this is the best one. The book is split into 25 menus each comprising of a starter, a main and a pudding. There is also a section on the basics (stocks, mayo, dressing etc) and dotted through the book are side dish alternatives.
Each menu has a handy guide to tell you what to do when, from ordering your ingredients to plating up the finished dish. It is hard to know where to start with this one as there are so many wonderful menus, a classic herb crusted rack of lamb with pommes boulangere and courgettes provencale is brilliant for for a spring dinner party or the Malaysian curry with coconut rice which is very easily scaled up to feed a bigger crowd, beef Wellington is one of the things we make time and time again as it is so delicious. We also love the citrus crumb that is served with the turkey so much, that it is our go to stuffing. The sprouts sauteed with almonds have even converted a sprout hater.
The only let down dish for us was the venison with red wine and chocolate sauce served with creamed cabbage & celeriac with pancetta and gratin dauphinois, whilst none of the dishes were bad, in fact each was delicious. It was all too much for us, too rich, heavy and creamy.
The book covers everything from a classic roast beef through to a summer barbecue. It has lots of tips and suggestions and the recipes are very easy to follow. If you can read you can recreate any of the menus in this book. The book will probably not appeal to a vegetarian household as there are no veggie main courses. Iâ€™d not hesitate to recommend this book to anyone who likes entertaining but finds the whole business of menu planning and cooking stressful as this book really does make it a piece of cake.