If you’re looking for a new cookbook that puts cooking firmly back in the home, then Lotte Duncan
is on to a winner with her first book Lotte’s Country Kitchen
. Pretty in pink probably best describes this delightful book but going beyond that, you’ll find page upon page of useful recipes for feeding family and friends. Prose is on the chatty side, immersing the reader in Lotte’s busy life. Think of a combination of Emma Bridgewater, Cath Kidston and Mary Berry; hearts, spots, roses and AGAs all rolled into one and you've got Lotte's cooking in a nutshell.
COOKING THE SEASONS
Usefully divided into months, recipes focus on seasonal ingredients. This is food that doesn’t stand on ceremony. You’ll find recipes for the generous of giving, the hungry to receive and most definitely for those not on a diet. For winter, think hearty stews and dumplings, for summer strawberry and lavender cheesecake.
Lotte is a keen supporter of rapeseed oil, which has the lowest saturated fat content of any oil, ten times more Omega 3 and is a good source of vitamin E. She uses it in most recipes and her favourite is Wharfe Valley Extra Virgin from Yorkshire, www.wharfevalleyfarms.co.uk
WHAT TO LOOK OUT FOR
Lotte’s Country Kitchen
could be a homage to the beloved AGA of which she is a proud owner. The recipes give cooking instructions for both conventional ovens and AGAs, the latter being a helpful addition, as generally AGA cooks are overlooked in mainstream cookbooks. However, its appeal spreads beyond country dwellers and is aimed firmly at those who enjoy cooking and entertaining in equal measure.
Recipes that caught our imagination during the festive season included Elizabethan Chicken spiced with lashings of red wine, plums and oranges, served alongside saffron mash, providing a contrast, startling in colour but delicate in taste. If you’re into making marmalade, try her roast chicken with marmalade butter. We eagerly await the summer to try out elderflower fritters served with strawberry and stem ginger cream.
Lotte enjoys a successful career in television and has made countless appearances on the box, most recently on the BBC's Countryfile: Summer Diairies and Castle in the Country as well as Five's Cooking The Books. She is a leading authority on English cooking and loves her AGA (she is an authorised demonstrator). She runs a cookery school from her home in Buckinghamshire as well as keeping up her blog, The Kitchen Chronicles.
To find out more about Lotte Duncan, visit www.lotteduncan.com
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