In their third uncensored romp through British and European cuisine, TV's doyennes of decadent food let it rip with all-new, rebelliously rich recipes and food for thought. This raucous ride finds Clarissa Dickson Wright and Jennifer Paterson storming across the cattle and pig farms of Britain to reclaim meat-eaters, searching through dead royals' repertoires for time-tested treasures, and even venturing down under to Australia for their delectable gems.
Companion to their hit series, The Two Fat Ladies Full Throttle offers a diversity of dishes that makes menu planning easy. These intensely flavored recipes deliver palate-pleasing meals that are a delight on your plate as well, for as Clarissa maintains, "Nothing is worse than an all-white menu."
In their own inimitable fashion, the Ladies tackle everything from potent cocktails and savory soufflés to full-flavored pheasant. Appetizers range from satisfying soups spiked with exotic notes like a Chicken and Ginger Soup to tasty crêpes, mousses, tarts, and terrines. Whether it's lamb wrapped in delicate phyllo pastry or a beef stew served with pumpkin scones, main dishes are both comforting and heartwarming, delivering a full measure of robust flare. When it comes to poultry, the Ladies incorporate a wide variety of seasonings to create Calcutta Chicken Croquettes and Spanish Chicken Andalouse. They attack side dishes with similar gusto. A fetchingly colored Tomato Tart and Sugar-Browned Potatoes, laced with a divine caramelized sugar, bring zest to even simple entrées. To finish off these hearty offerings, indulge in the Ladies' desserts, which include creamy custards, Apple Balls smothered in pastry, and a daringly delicious Chocolate Crème Brûlée.
Never has indulgence been so over the top and so very tempting. Replete with hilarious anecdotes from their forays into the British countryside and beyond the Channel, The Two Fat Ladies Full Throttle includes full-color photos of finished dishes. Just as their popular cooking series and two best-selling books won them a place in our hearts, The Two Fat Ladies Full Throttle offers us more delightfully decadent meals that are sure to please.
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CLARISSA DICKSON WRIGHT is a talented professional cook, an inspired food writer, and a columnist for Decanter magazine. Clarissa has become an audience favorite on Radio 4's Curious Cooks and is an occasional reporter for Channel Four's Food File. She runs a specialty cookbook shop in Edinburgh, Scotland.
JENNIFER PATERSON has cooked professionally most of her life and is one of the loudest and best-loved voices on the food circuit, writing regularly in the United Kingdom for The Spectator and The Oldie. Jennifer is a frequent guest on Radio 4's food quiz, Questions of Taste, and her appearances on BBC2's Food and Drink are legendary. Jennifer lives in London.
It wasn't until halfway through my conversation with Clarissa that I realized my exciting news was going down like a soufflé in a draft.
"America?" she barked down the phone. "You don't really expect me to go to America?" I should have known. After vegetarians and supermarkets, Clarissa holds the home of the hamburger responsible for everything that's wrong with the modern world--including fast food, political correctness, and plastic surgery. But for British television producers, the merest whiff of American interest causes ripples of excitement and inspires the construction of lavish castles in the air. So if you're offered a promotional tour by a broadcaster, you only hesitate long enough to throw some clothes into a bag and run to the airport. Clarissa, however, was determined to stick to her principles.
I was confident of Jennifer though. I knew she'd want to go. She'd lived in the States once and had rather enjoyed it. She's also a big fan of old American films.
"I would like to see Hollywood," she said, "but isn't Los Angeles rather hot? You know I can't stand the heat and think of my poor feet." (Jennifer had spent the last month with each toe wrapped in banana skin to cure her warts.) Desperate measures were called for. "But Clarissa's dying to go," I explained, silently offering up a prayer for absolution.
"Jennifer's dying to go," I explained to Clarissa. "She says she has to see Hollywood before she dies." I made a mental note that my earlier prayer should hold good for two lies rather than just the one.
"Americans are intrigued by good manners, in part because they don't have any." We were on the airplane going to America. Clarissa was on my right, reading aloud from The Xenophobe's Guide to the Americans. On my left sat Jennifer, whose dreams of Hollywood had taken on a battering. She'd just seen Jurassic Park and was very confused. "Who was that fat man in the laboratory? Do you know?" she asked me. She sought assistance from the air hostess. "Have you seen Jurassic Park? Did you understand what that fat man was stealing?" That neither of us could tell her confirmed Hollywood was a very different place from the days of Norma Desmond when it was only the sun that went down on Sunset Boulevard. "Why don't they make films like they used to?" Jennifer wanted to know. We were at 30,000 feet but I could still feel my heart sinking. Even a fistful of dollars wasn't going to make this trip worthwhile.
When we arrived in New York there were several huge limousines lined up outside the terminal. "Ugh. Americans have to do everything bigger than everyone else." Clarissa grumped. "So ostentatious and vulgar," Jennifer agreed. At this, the driver of the biggest limousine, less a car and more of a living room on wheels, got out with a board with the Ladies' names on. "I suppose we'll just have to put up with it," said Clarissa, disappearing inside. Seconds later Jennifer's voice boomed out of the darkness. "My dear, there's a bar in here." I breathed an American-sized sigh of relief--things were looking up.
The whole of the U.S. seemed to have developed Fatladymania--everywhere they went people were genuinely delighted to see them. Live chat shows, book signings, interviews for newspapers and magazines were all crammed with into out rather breathless timetable. At our book signing in New York City, people were lining up around the block. Some had brought presents. One woman had learned the program credits off by heart--she reeled off the names of everyone on the production team and wanted to know all about them. "What does Luke Cardiff look like?" And Polly Livingston? Is she married?"
We were whisked to Los Angeles to stay at the palatial Chateau Marmont. My suite was so enormous I got lost on the way to the bedroom. We were sitting in the bar before dinner one evening when I became rather excited--Keanu Reeves was sitting at the other side of the room. "Oh for goodness sake Patricia you're so star struck," Jennifer said. "Who on earth is Keanu Reeves?" Clarissa wanted to know, so I pointed him out as discreetly as I could. "Oh him," she said, waving enthusiastically. "He's the nice young man I've been chatting with beside the pool all afternoon. He never mentioned he was an actor. In fact, we talked about vegetables."
On our last evening in New York, we went to a wonderful Japanese restaurant called Nobu. We were treated like queens by the maitre d' who was clearly besotted. He kept ordering delicious morsels for us from the kitchen and introducing us proudly to his regular dinners. One gentleman we met worked for Steven Spielberg, the director of Jurassic Park. Jennifer leapt in without pausing for breath. "Oh good. Who was that fat man in the laboratory? Do you know? What was he stealing?" He seemed a little taken aback, but after ten minutes all was clear.
For a program that most people thought would not get many viewers outside the London viewing areas, it's been a bumper year. The series has sold all over the world (it's great with Hebrew subtitles but even better dubbed into Japanese) and the Ladies seem to be more in demand than ever. They even got invited to one of the Prime Minister and Mrs. Blair's famous media parties at Downing Street. Clarissa didn't want to go as she's still fuming about the beef on the bone ban, so I got to be Cinderella. We had a delightful evening, marred only by the fact Jennifer wasn't allowed to smoke. For some reason, every news program needs footage to cover a story about Labour Party sleaze uses footage of Jennifer meeting Mrs. Blair. I fail to see what's so sleazy about a elderly Catholic lady who's a spinster of the parish of Westminster swapping recipes with one of the country's leading senior lawyers (although if the government brings in a tax cut on motorbikes with sidecars, they'd have every right to be suspicious).
This book accompanies our third television series. We've had another summer traveling around the country to weird and wonderful locations, praying for sunny weather. Who knows where we'll be next, but we hope that you will be watching.
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Book Description Arrow (A Division of Random House Group), 1998. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # DADAX0091867037