Take 6 Ingredients by Conrad Gallagher ***
Michelin-starred Irish chef Conrad Gallagher sets out the ethos of this book in the introduction. Each recipe is to contain just six ingredients – not counting salt (Maldon Sea Salt), pepper (freshly ground) and best quality olive oil.
Gallagher always has been a curious mixture of the inspired (his cooking) and the pretentious (his behaviour) and he cannot resist adding, in the introduction, that he dives for his own, hand-picked scallops. The recipes also bear this out. The home cook’s heart may sink when faced with recipes for Scrambled Eggs with Foie Gras, Truffle and Chives or Oysters with Caviar, Radish and Cucumber but, later in the book, you will also encounter recipes for relatively simple but taste-complex dishes including Lemon Soup, Smoked Chilli Buttered Sweetcorn and Caramelised Bananas with Lemongrass.
Just skip the last few lines of each recipe as Gallagher gives instructions on plating and presentation. For me, if I want something beautifully titivated on a plate, I choose to go to a restaurant. It’s not an ambition of mine for the home kitchen.
For all Gallagher’s presentation obsessions, there are some great recipes here. And yes, he does just use six ingredients. Well worth checking out and, if you’re trying to reach restaurant standards at home, this will be the book for you.