Followers of this blog will know that I'm a fan of Simon Hopkinson; "Roast Chicken and Other Stories" and "The Prawn Cocktail Years" are particular favourites. But if Simon Hopkinson's a culinary Batman, Lindsey Bareham has to be Robin: she was the co-writer on both books. Or maybe it should be the other way round, as Ms Bareham, in her understated way, has produced a large number of extraordinarily good cookery books over the years, as well as writing an inspirational column for the Evening Standard, read by thousands on their way back from work on The Tube.
Rummaging around in a cardboard box of discarded books, I came across Just One Pot, published by Cassell in 2004. The rather boring cover doesn't do the book justice- this has suddenly become one of my all-time favourite reads. I'm currently working through the recipes one-by-one. It's aimed at busy people who like to cook, but come back from work knackered and hungry. Everything can be made in one pot, in less than an hour. Ingredients are readily available from supermarkets.
Lindsey's food is gutsy, I detect the influence (of course) of Elizabeth David; she likes North African, Italian and Spanish flavours. So lots of chorizo, tomato, saffron, beans, the generous use of sea salt and herbs. I've noticed that she doesn't seem to use much stock; instead often adding salt and spices to onion and garlic at the frying stage. Her flavour combinations are imaginative and fabulous. She seems to be very keen on saffron, egg and almonds as a combination; this works beautifully.
So far we've had (in no particular order): Moroccan Chicken, Egg and Almond Tagine, Chicken Pilaf (this one was especially delicious, again with that saffron, almond and egg combination), Chorozio and White Bean Stew, Chicken with Bacon and Lentils, Lamb with Cumin and Aubergine.