Sometimes you want a cook book that tells you how to do the best beef stew or make a great chocolate pud, and then there are nights when you want to make and taste something new and fresh and zingy and different. That’s when you reach for Anna Hansen’s The Modern Pantry Cookbook.
Hansen, a cook from New Zealand, named one of the top five female chefs of the decade by the Telegraph, worked for Fergus Henderson and Peter Gordon before opening The Providores in Marylebone, and more recently the hugely popular The Modern Pantry in Clerkenwell. The title of both book and restaurant is apt because Hansen is a cook who combines all kinds of flavours, thinking nothing of giving a Japanese dish a Turkish twist for example, and you may have to update your own pantry somewhat before you get cooking (pomegranate molasses, white miso and mirin are all Hansen essentials).
It’s worth it. We love the book, and favourite recipes so far include Aubergine Dengaku (a version of the classic Japanese dish which we’d never made at home before and yet it’s easy peasy), Beetroot, Lentil and Mint Salad with Pomegranate Molasses and Orange Dressing, Cod with Clams and Chorizo (a fab dish if you’ve got people coming for supper), and Grilled Lamb Chops with Smoked Anchovy Salsa.