'The Weekend Chef' for a Weekend Chef.

'Forget about work. Forget about express meals. Close the door, turn on the music and fire up the cooker - it's weekend!'

For most of us, the weekend is when we get down to real cooking and so a book like 'The Weekend Chef' by Catherine Fulvio provides all the inspiration we need to create 'easy food for lazy days'

I discovered this book in a discount store recently and although it was published back in 2013 it is full of simple-step recipes for weekend cooks. Full of stunning photos and dishes that can be made in no more than six easy stages, Catherine's book provides a wide range of creative ideas. The proprietor of the Ballyknocken House and Cookery School in County Wicklow in Ireland, Catherine is one of Ireland's top television chefs. Her previous book, 'Eat Like An Italian' was the winner of the Irish Cookbook of the Year at the 2010 Irish Book Awards. Although she was born and raised in Ireland, Catherine is married to an Italian, and her books reflect this match made in heaven, as she uses easily accessible ingredients assembled with an Italian flair. This is probably why I love her books so much - my love of Italy and Italian inspired food!

'The Weekend Chef' has sections that range from 'Friday Night - Party Nights' to 'Curry Nights', 'Movie Nights', 'Baking Days' and 'Afternoon Teas' (above). I loved the section on 'Tapas Nights' while ''Food For the Match' got me thinking about food one associates with various sports, such as tennis and strawberries. As you would expect from a book of 'weekend recipes', it covers 'Dinner Parties', 'Sunday Brunch' and 'Sunday Lunch'. However, Fulvio's dishes inspire you to break with the traditional and to try a 'Scandi Style' brunch of Salmon with Spinach and Chive Crepes, or a lunch of Seabream with Chilli and Lime Mojo (below). Of course, all the traditional weekend recipes are there too, - Roast Beef  and a Meringue Tart dessert, for example.

'Friday Night' recipes give you everything from Pizzas to Ice Cream Sodas and all the renowned curries are included in the 'Curry Night' section, but most with that little twist! If you're thinking about a 'Tapas Night' for friends, or a special 'Afternoon Tea' for a great aunt, then this book gives you all the advice, skills and inspiration you will need to pull-off the perfect event. Each recipe has a short introduction with preparation tips, a clear list of all the ingredients, followed by numbered steps towards the perfect ending. I am inspired to work through the whole book of over 100 recipes from Tagliatelle with Chicken and Creamy Lemon Sauce on page 6 to North Indian Prawn Curry on page 19, Pancetta and Maple Popcorn on page 37 to Eggs Benedict - Irish Style on page 157.

'The Weekend Chef: Easy Food For Lazy Days' by Catherine Fulvio may be a few years old by now, but if you need some weekend inspiration to 'fire up the cooker' then look no further than this excellent publication. Published by Gill & Macmillan under reference 978 07171 581 4, it is available in hardback on Amazon at £4.20 or $24.21 in the US.


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