Gordon Ramsay’s “Cooking for Friends” (Wm. Morrow, $35) is a big, hearty book of appealingly homey meals. It shows off Ramsay’s creativity in a setting apart from his famous kitchen jobs. Here, he’s not cooking for his friends at a restaurant. These are recipes made at home, and many of them are classics. Or ones we might even call “new” classics. If there can be such a thing.
Ramsay’s cooking has spread throughout the world. He holds 10 Michelin stars; his restaurants can be found in New York, London and further afield in places like Prague and Tokyo.
So what does the author of an autobiography titled “Roasting in Hell’s Kitchen” do at home? We’d assume this former soccer player adopts a milder manner as he puts his creative touches on comfort foods such as Chicken Legs With Braised Peas and Onions, or (as an example of a new classic) Goat Cheese, Beet and Lentil Salad. There’s the touch — lentils in the beet salad. Plus, the beets have been roasted in a crust of salt and the salad greens are refreshed with a handful each of chopped mint and parsley.
And, no, things aren’t frenetic in the Ramsay’s kitchen at home. “Everyone imagines that it must be hectic in the Ramsay’s kitchen, but it’s not. We turn cooking into serious fun,” he says in his introduction.
The recipes are generally simple to make, not overly long or convoluted. In fact, they do look fun as well as really good to eat.