Restaurant quality food at home is all we want in life, right? Yes but also no. If I may dare, we want to be able to recognise good food so that even a top restaurant can’t fool us. And the only way we will be able to do that, is if we become accustomed to eating good food.
It’s a tall order but yes Always extra for love by Sarah Akelly is going to help. The continental recipes are simple and super detailed ones of food we normally order, eat at home or that we could be eating at home.
Akelly says the book is all about love. Don’t skip the foreword, it’s going to make you go Aww, and when you go deeper into the book, you will understand everything a lot better.
The book begins with what I would call, starters and on to the mains and desserts. These range from the simplest dishes ever, to things a little more complex- people who have been wondering about making lasagne, rejoice, there is a 3 page step-by-step.
But before that, Akelly, or Kelz to those in the know, talks about kitchen hacks that you can use to make things like pesto, jams, garlic bread and harissa. This is quite ingenious because later in the book, some of them will come up in recipes and you will be glad you know how to make them.
I’m going to pick my favorites and you should buy the book so that you can also pick your favorites.
This I love because the simplicity is almost laughable and yet the rewards are huge. If you don’t know, you need to know. The only method required here is ‘mixing’.
Later in the book, you’ll learn how to make pumpkin soup that goes just great with that garlic bread.
Oven baked biringanya (Egg plant)
The recipes are preceded by little stories. This particular one is about how she navigated being in a new kitchen. These nuggets make the book fun to read. They also serve to hold the hand of the more squeamish cooks. ‘Imagine, even this awesome chef had a bit of trouble, ya I can do this!’ is the feeling you’ll get.
She goes ahead to give instructions like, ‘on the lowest heat of your smallest burner.’ How relatable is that? So you will not be alone, even if you might be alone in the kitchen. Case in point: she includes things she has felt on her journey in cute little quotes to spur you on. This one is featured at the start of the Mac and cheese recipe;
If you don’t design your own life plan, chances are you’ll fall into someone else’s plan. And guess what they have planned for you? Not very much.
Back to the biringanya. I love biringanya. I love when everyday local ingredients transform into these really big full dishes with depth and tone and texture. It is also one of the vegetarian recipes in the book, with guidelines on how you can meatyify it if you need to.
Spaghetti is the easiest thing in the world to make. Just pop it into some boiling water…but what if you did just a little extra? This recipe will still cook in about the same amount of time as your regular boiled one but it will add lots of taste.
At some point, the book will veer into meat territory starting off with beef bourginon. With the meat sleeping in red wine all night for this recipe, Akelly welcomes you to the “creation of a restaurant worthy experience.” She acknowledges though that it might be hard to get particular cuts of meat around town. We gat you; the meat point in Ntinda and Rosa’s in Kansanga have you covered. (Couldn’t for the life of me find links to their locations)
And then onto dessert. I was particularly partial to the Apple, avocado and lettuce salad but was more curious about the shrimp cocktail. Akelly says she got a frozen KG from Shoprite at about 17k. And she used it to make about 5 meals. So. You can do this.
In Always extra for love, Akelly has spoken from our own hearts what food can do; form bonds, make people happy, teach new lessons and create traditions.
She finishes the book off with this one, because what says comfort food like chocolate.
She is late to the party and only fell in love with The office recently, imagine. Unless you want to be late too and start talking about this book next year when everyone has already enjoyed it, now is the time to buy Always Extra for love. It’s a good read, an even better guide and it does what it promises; you will be cooking with Kelz.
A copy of this 82 page beauty goes for 65k, Visit Aristoc, Jumia online or call 0795 249684 for delivery.
See more pictures on instagram.