The Cook Shelf: Recipes 1 • 2 • 3

My idea of three-ingredient cooking, especially on a wet night in July, is toast-butter-Marmite and I have always been a little suspicious of most books or TV programmes that claim to be able to make amazing dinners with very little time or very few ingredients. I am not the only one, as this review, this review and, er, this review suggest.

However, a long time ago, I came across a recipe for roasted strawberries in the Baltimore Sun (I’ve done a lot of paper-recipe collecting in my time). It was from Recipes 1 • 2 • 3, by Rozanne Gold and, as I’ve mentioned before, I was intrigued since it formed part of a review that suggested that this really was a revolutionary cookery book.  Ms Gold and her work is, of course, easily found in these interweb days and last week I finally got around to ordering myself a copy of the book which, though no longer in print here, is available secondhand. Now I’m just, well, full of it. Unlike so many ‘claim to do x’ books this one really does only use three ingredients per recipe, not including water, salt and pepper. And, yes, there are cakes, main courses, starters, biscuits, soups…anything you’d normally find in a cook book apart from a long list of ingredients.

So far I have spotted several things that I plan to test out: lamb shanks cooked in Alsatian Riesling, a Niçoise crepe with goat’s cheese, Parmesan galettes, cod beignets and Sicilian almond brittle. There’s even a recipe for chicken stock with only three ingredients which will save me digging around the base of the fridge for the last remaining, rather sorry carrot next time I make some. I’ll report back. But, for now, having written this and it being 21.40 I’m sticking to the toast-butter-Marmite school of cookery…

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