Meals in Heels is a decidedly girly cookbook. The title is probably the first giveaway I suppose. The idea behind the book is food for entertaining. Each recipe includes a section letting you know what you can make ahead, what to do before guests arrive, how to serve the food (down to the type of platter to use) and suggestions for menus or accompaniments. All of this, with the exception of the presentation suggestions which is a bit of overkill is actually quite helpful.
My beef with the book is that there are no photographs, just (admittedly charming) line drawings. I do like an actual photograph as it gives me some idea of what the finished recipe should turn out like. You could say the book is a little sexist as it assumes that females are doing the cooking and entertaining but I did not mind the unashamedly girly emphasis, it gives the cookbook a sense of fun and a bit of character. As for the actual recipes, they are pretty good ranging from canape suggestions for parties to dinner party dishes. The canape suggestions are probably the strongest point as this is a section that is often lacking in a lot of cookbooks. Long live the canape I say.
I tried out this recipe for crostini with jamon, goats cheese and fig paste and it went down a treat as a canape at my Mum’s 60th birthday party.
20 thin slices of sourdough baguette
60ml extra virgin olive oil
200g firm goats cheese
200g fig paste or fig jam
5 slices jamon
1 handful wild rocket
Salt and pepper to season
1. Preheat oven to 200C. Place the bread on a baking tray and brush the tops with oil and season with salt and pepper.
2. Bake for 5-6 minutes or until toasted but not too hard. You want crisp but not chewy. This step can be done up to 2 days ahead and the crostini stored in an airtight container.
3. Slice the goats cheese into 20 pieces, place on the crostini and top with fig paste. Slice each piece of jamon into four, place on the crostini and top with a rocket leaf.
If you liked reading this you might be interested in some of my other cookbook reviews of The Eagle Cookbook and The Hummingbird Bakery Cookbook.
Thanks to Murdoch Books who sent me a copy of Meals in Heels to review.