When I was invited to review the new cookbook, Let’s Eat, A Cookbook Celebrating Film, Food & Family by TV legend Margaret Pomeranz and her daughter-in-law Philippa Whitfield Pomeranz, I had my doubts. I’ll admit that I was a bit skeptical because I saw these two woman as high flying celebrities and not women who could be up to their ears in potato peelings.
I received the book along with one to give away a few weeks ago but only had time to sit down and read it the other day. Once I opened the book and read the first of 8 chapters, I was hooked. I took the book to bed.
It’s part cookbook, part memoir, part family, part films and completely wonderful. I don’t review a lot of cookbooks because there aren’t a lot of cookbooks that I love. This cookbook was written by both Margaret and her daughter-in-law and they get along really well.
What sets Let’s Eat apart from other celebrities and celebrity chefs is that this is family food – dishes you or I would make at home for our families and close friends. There are no difficult to source ingredients, no need for a fancy smoker to puff through our mashed potatoes and nobody’s going to ask you to sit your food on a piece of burnt wood.
I didn’t arrive in Australia until 1994 and Margaret and David Stratton had been doing their The Movie Show on SBS since 1986 so I played catchup. I’ll admit that I found David often a bit too much and I found Margaret’s enthusiasm tough to keep up with but I kept watching. Each movie they gave a good review to, I wanted to see. That’s the point of the show, obviously.
Let’s Eat has 80 easy to make recipes that while not 100% healthy are definitely on the healthier side of the kitchen table and each recipe is beautifully photographed and sprinkled with memories of family life.
Philippa is a producer and director who is married to Margaret’s son Josh and she truly loves her mother-in-law. Who wouldn’t? Margaret is a woman on the go and a house that’s always filled with family and friends.
I chose an extremely simple recipe to make but it’s one I love – slow roasted roma tomatoes. It’s a perfect side dish or as I like to do, put it on a piece of baguette and hope I don’t spill it all over my shirt. The finished tomatoes are so smooth and juicy you could spread them on toast.
There are many other recipes that caught my eye but I’m eager to try these:
- Balsamic Beef, page 158. Cooked very rare, sliced and drizzled with balsamic vinegar.
- Chicken and Mushroom Pot Pie, page 163. This pie is filled with chicken garlic and mushrooms and topped with puff pastry.
- Baked Brie with Honey, page 65. This is from Pip and it’s an American recipe that’s so easy to make and beautiful to eat.
- Sticky Chicken, page 110. Chinese five spice and honey are all I needed to read to know this recipe is mine.
- Barbecued fajitas, page 130. I love fajitas whether they’re cooked on the bbq or on a grill pan – don’t forget the tequila.
One person can win a copy of this cookbook by telling me your favourite movie and I’ll put your name in a hat. I don’t care where you live but the measurements are in grams so you’ll need a scale.
- 10 Roma tomatoes
- 1½ tablespoons olive oil
- 1 large clove of garlic finely chopped
- a few springs of fresh thyme
- sea salt
- Pre-heat oven to 140C/285F (I found I needed to put my oven at 150C)
- Slice tomatoes in half lenghwise and place in a baking dish.
- Drizzle with the olive oil and sprinkle with the chopped garlic.
- Scatter the thyme over the top
- Place in the oven for an hour and the tomatoes should be soft and ready to eat.
Let’s Eat – A Cookbook Celebrating, Film, Food and Family by Margaret Pomeranz and Philippa Whitfield Pomeranz from Harper Collins and ABC Books is available in bookstores across Australia. I suggest you check it out. 🙂