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Ainsley Harriot's Gourmet Express
By Ainsley Harriot

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Ainsley Harriot's Gourmet Express
By Ainsley Harriot
ISIS Large Print, (2000)
ISBN: 0-7531-5600-8
Genre: Cookery

Reviewed by Rochelle Caviness - February 28, 2002

Can fast food be good food? Most definitely when the fast food in question is made following Ainsley Harriot's gourmet, quick to prepare, recipes. Gourmet Express is a cookbook engorged with savory recipes that can prepared quickly yet which produced gourmet quality dishes. Ainsely Harriot is a renowned chef, and this cookbook was published as a companion book to Harriot's energetic, television cooking show that originally aired on the BBC (British Broadcast Corporation). This television show is also named Gourmet Express.

The recipes in this cookbook are easy to follow, and they include detailed, step-by-step instructions on how to prepare each dish. The majority of the recipes in this cookbook can be prepared in under 30 minutes! Harriot also offers tips on ways to expand your cooking repertoire. By using the techniques and recipes developed in this cookbook on other items, such replacing the type of meat called for in a recipe with another type of meat, you can create a whole new dish. Harriot also offers tips on items to try that you may never have tried before. For example, he mentions that the tentacles of a squid "... are just as tasty as the body." He also offers tips on how to artfully present the dishes, as well as serving suggestions on what to serve with the various dishes.

Measurements are given in both Imperial and Metic, and most of the ingredients used are items that should be easy to find at most groceries - no matter what country you are from. Each recipe is also accompanied by a short comment by Harriot on the dish in question. Each recipe includes information on how many servings the recipe makes, how much time is spent on preparation, and how much on cooking. This cookbook is divided into six main sections: snacks, soups, main courses, side orders, sauces and relishes, and deserts and drinks. At the beginning of each section is a list of all the recipes contained in that section, as well as the total time that it will take to prepare each particular dish.

This cookbook has something for everyone, ranging from full-blooded carnivores to vegetarians. It also has recipes that will tantalize your taste buds, no matter how finicky you are. The recipes run the gamut from Kofta Rolls with Chilli-Yogurt and Roasted Lemon Bay Garlic Cod to Perfect Golden, Crispy Chips and Clare's Heaven Lemon Cake. For the most part, these recipes are highly spiced and delicious! For cooks seeking milder dishes, it is very easy to cut back on the chilies and other strong spices that Harriot likes to use, and still create tantalizing, flavorable, and tasty dishes. This is an all-over great cookbook with a variety of recipes that amply prove that fast food, when prepared correctly, can tempt even the most snobbish gastronome. Ainsley Harriot's Gourmet Express is suitable for both beginning, as well as seasoned cooks.

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