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Cooking: Simply and Well, for One or Many

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But Lee had long felt a volume of his own work may be simmering away, and when approached by Fourth Estate in about 2016 he knew it was time to make it real, eventually. Echoes of Richard Bawden’s work for Fortnum and Masons and certainly a spine that you can easily pick out on a bookshelf. The recipes are arranged by favourite ingredients and occasions and include an introduction emphasising the importance of the quality and provenance of ingredients.

Despite his slow start, in the end Lee over-delivered with his manuscript, and some favourite recipes were lost to the editing process.There are sections on the usefulness and frugality of breadcrumbs, black olive crumbs to serve with everything; impromptu puddings like peaches in wine with bay leaves or plum compote with ricotta and hazelnuts; pea dishes galore; superb versions of classics like chocolate St Emilion and pommes Anna; big dishes to serve a few such as marinated chicken with roast pumpkin salad; and essentials like a wild garlic purée. Everything is do-able (although some ingredients are a bit of a challenge if you want the best quality versions and live outside the major cities), it's well written, and engaging.

Lightly oil and season the skin side of the sardines, then lay them in the onion pan, skin side down, and cook undisturbed for 3-4 minutes, until the flesh turns pale. God knows that this kind of thing is standing on the shoulders of the great and the many,” he says, gesturing to the shelves on all walls of his home.Pork chops - so simple and so delicious; devilled kidneys - sumptuous; tomato salad; simplicity itself.

The book, Cooking: Simply And Well, For One or Many, was the result of many years of work, on and off, and he wasn’t quite ready to face its reality.

Hearst UK is the trading name of the National Magazine Company Ltd, 30 Panton Street, Leicester Square, London, SW1Y 4AJ. Lee made his bones under Simon Hopkinson and Alastair Little, among the architects of the renaissance in modern British cooking. A beautifully written instant classic that is every bit as exuberant and delicious as the man himself!

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