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The Great British Chefs Cookbook Club: February 2018

The Great British Chefs Cookbook Club: October 2019

Welcome to the Great British Chefs Cookbook Club! Find out how it works, how to get involved and what prizes you can win.

Even with the vast number of recipes available on the internet these days, there’s nothing quite like leafing through a beautiful book full of recipes. It’s a medium that’s stronger than ever before, with cookbooks topping bestseller charts throughout the year. If you’re anything like us then you’ll have shelves upon shelves of them in your home – some kept in pristine condition, others earmarked, stained and scrawled over after years of use.

It’s this national love for cookbooks that has prompted us to start our very own cookbook club. Each month we’ll select a cookbook that we think stands out from the rest and ask you, the Great British Chefs community, to cook a recipe from it. We’ll publish a small selection of recipes on our site so, even if you don’t already have the book, you can still get involved and see how your cooking compares to everyone else’s. Apply to join the Facebook group here and take a look at this month's book (and recipes) below. We've also included the winning post from last month's book, as well as some of our other favourite entries.

Apply to join the Cookbook Club today!

Click here to apply to join our cookbook club, meet likeminded home cooks and share your creations for the chance to win prizes. Please make sure to answer the two simple introductory questions to speed up your application.

This month's book: Salt and Time by Alissa Timoshkina

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How much do you know about Russian cuisine? Beyond the beetroot soups and eastern European stalwarts of potatoes and cabbage, it's a bit of an unknown in the West. But Russian cuisine is emerging as one of the most interesting and the country's food scene is experiencing a bit of a renaissance, thanks to a clutch of talented chefs and food writers spreading the word about its dishes, both traditional and contemporary.

Alissa Timoshkina's Salt and Time is one of those cookbooks that both educates us about a relatively unknown cuisine and breathes new life into it at the same time. Full of recipes from across Russia, Siberia and eastern Europe, it's a love letter to the food the author grew up with.

For a taste of what’s inside, take a look at the three recipes below. However, if you really want to get to grips with this fantastic cuisine, head over to Amazon to bag yourself a copy.

Borsch

Eastern Europe's most famous soup is deeply nourishing, full of fresh flavours and beautiful to look at. While this version deviates from the traditional (there are kidney beans and sauerkraut in there), it is in our opinion vastly superior.

Plov

The Russian iteration of the more well-known pilau is heady with saffron, rich in lamb and strewn with delicious strands of crisp onion. Perfect for feeding a crowd and incredibly easy to put together, it's a guaranteed crowdpleaser.

Kurnik chicken pie

You've never had a chicken pie like this before! Built inside a bowl before being inverted and baked, it contains rice, spices and vegetables along with the chicken. Encapsulated in a particularly flaky pastry, the dish is finished off by pouring hot chicken broth into the hole at the top.

Last month's winners

Last month we took a trip to Myanmar with MiMi Aye's Mandalay. Cookbook club members explored Burmese cuisine and fell in love with it pretty quickly, thanks to its heady flavours, easy recipes and unique ingredients and twists. Congratulations to Lisa Feinson who took the top spot this month – she wins a cookbook! Take a look at her dish and all the other honourable mentions below.

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El Vencejo's classic pork curry was just what we were after as the weather cooled down
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John Harlow showed pilchards can be just as glamorous as other fish in this tasty curry
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Julie Singer combined pork belly with bamboo shoots in this delightful stew
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Marta Biris gave the golden sticky rice a go, serving it with seasonal mushrooms
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Charlotte Taylor tackled three separate dishes from the book, resulting in a feast all of us wanted to taste
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James Hodson's red prawn curry proved that simple dishes are often the most effective
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Tim Clarke's aubergines looked velvety and rich – just how they should be
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The Burmese dessert of coconut marble jelly was mastered by Tracy Carey

Make sure you post photos along with commentary of the dishes you cook from Salt and Time in our Facebook group to be in with the chance of winning.