The first thing that attracted me to Donna Hay was, of course, the beautiful photography that drenches her books and magazines. They are so simple yet so extravagant.
In this cookbook Hay takes all of our classic recipes that we grew up with and gives them an eloquent modern twist, such as soy simmered chicken. This is such a breath of fresh air for the culinary world. This book contains an array of very basic how-to’s along with a descriptive glossary, conversions and a list of useful tools. This is a great book that ever new and seasoned cook should have in their kitchen. It’s so nice to have one book to refer to when for basic things that not everyone knows how to do, such as making gravy, roasting a chicken, making hummus. All of these recipes are very traditional recipes and I love how she lays it all out in descriptive wording and step by step pictures.
I’m very much a soup person and I love new soup recipes, so I was naturally eager to see what this book had to offer…honestly I think that is the one pitfall of Modern Classics. I just was not that impressed with this section of the book. yes, it has the basic how-to’s for French onion, minestrone, clam chowder and chicken stock. For some reason I just felt the chapter was lacking in comparison to the others.
Recipes I’ve made and love from this book: basic bolognese sauce (the best sauce I have ever made!), hummus, basic mash, basic howto rice, lemon parmesan risotto.
Recipes I’m dying to try: Vegetable tempura, mixed mushroom risotto, smoked ham and cheddar quiche, vegetable pie, laksa.
Interesting recipes: Octopus salad, creamy spring vegetable soup, thai green chicken curry.
I love the quote on the back of the book, it depicts this cookbook perfectly “Commonsense cooking redefined with modern ingredients, outlook and style”. 🙂 I love it.
For more on Donna Hay check out her website here. She is, on a smaller scale, the Martha Stewart of Australia. If you ever get the chance to check out her Magazines or Cookbooks you will be captivated.