In his book “Smart Cooking”, Björn Freitag devotes himself entirely to recipes that succeed without a great deal of effort. In a way, this simple cookbook is the opposite of time-consuming haute cuisine. The book was published in German in April 2017 by Becker Joest Volk Verlag publishing company with a sub-title that translates as “There’s nothing simpler – cooking without stressful shopping or chaos in the kitchen”. It is a collection stemming from the private records of the Michelin chef.
Björn Freitag gives readers and hobby cooks a well-assorted selection of recipes that don’t require much more effort than making a sandwich and that can easily be accomplished even after a hard day’s work. The meals are shown together with a list of ingredients and cooking recommendations and are presented alongside appetising photos by Hubertus Schüler. They will make you want to start cooking right away!
From TV cooking shows to cooking at home
Björn Freitag knows exactly what it feels like after a tiring day of filming in the TV studios that can often last as long as 10 hours to have scarcely any time left to spend buying groceries or coming up with creative ideas. And apart from that, he doesn’t want to spend the rest of the evening in the kitchen. So he is not at all surprised that many people choose fast food as the solution to this problem. It is easy, fast and keeps cravings at bay, at least for the short term.
And this is exactly where the star chef comes in, because for him fast food is not an option. Despite the fast-paced and hectic times we live in, he says, we need to pay attention to good quality food. During the years he has been on TV, he too has come up with ideas to continue to cook high-quality meals. He has developed his very own style for conjuring up a refined evening meal without too much trouble, and he is happy to share this knowledge with the readers in Smart Cooking.
Generally, he is a fan of light, fresh meals that are as healthy as possible and above all else taste really delicious. His recipes are based on widely available foods and spices that virtually everyone will have in their cupboards, in good quality of course. Two or three premium, fresh ingredients need to be purchased on the way home, and then everything is thrown into preferably just one pot or a pan or a baking tray in the space of just a few minutes.
Say goodbye to chaos in the kitchen
For Björn Freitag, there is no question of the kitchen looking like a battlefield, even when you sometimes have to work quickly. He knows precisely how to organise himself. For him, smart cooking means: 1. not foregoing any aromas, 2. using as little equipment as possible, 3. saving money through using fewer processed products 4. not indulging in hours and hours of cooking “orgies”. If you stick to these golden rules, you can emulate the 70 best smart cooking recipes featured in this unique cookbook.
Author: Björn Freitag
Björn Freitag was Germany’s youngest chef to receive the sought-after Michelin star. His cuisine is imaginative and is based on a small number of ingredients used in a sophisticated way. Since 1997, Björn Freitag has run the “Goldener Anker” restaurant in Dorsten, which in 2001 won a Michelin star, 15 Gault Millau points and 2.5 F (points) in the “Feinschmecker” magazine. He was also awarded 3 spoons in the well-known “Aral Schlemmer Atlas” fine food guide for the excellent service and outstanding wine menu in his restaurant. Björn Freitag makes regular TV appearances. For example, he presents the programmes “Der Vorkoster” (“The Taster”) and “einfach und köstlich” (“simple and delicious”) on the German TV channel WDR and is presenter and judge on “Die Küchenschlacht” (“The kitchen battle”) broadcast on German TV channel ZDF.
Photos by: Hubertus Schüler
Hubertus Schüler claims that he became a photographer because he can’t paint. In view of his work, this is a great boon to photography! Born and bread in lovely Münster, he completed his apprenticeship as a photographer in an advertising agency there. He worked as an assistant in Düsseldorf before setting up his own business in Bochum in 1990. Since then, he prefers to devote himself to exciting book projects, and enjoys the design freedom this brings.
Receipe “Broccoli and mountain cheese with chicken”
Try out this recipe from the book for broccoli and mountain cheese with chicken to see if smart cooking is for you.
For 2 servings:
- 1 head of broccoli (roughly 400 g)
- 2 tbsp sour cream
- 6 slices of chicken breast (100 g), finely sliced
- 4 slices of mountain cheese (80 g)
- Sea salt
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tbsp flour
- 300 ml vegetable stock
- 1 tbsp white wine vinegar
- Black pepper
- Wash the broccoli, separate it into larger florets and cook until al dente in salt water. Drain the broccoli.
- In the same pot, heat the olive oil with the flour at a high heat and stir continuously while adding the vegetable stock and sour cream. Bring the sauce to the boil and add vinegar, salt, pepper and nutmeg to taste.
- Preheat the oven to 190 °C (fan oven).
- Spread the broccoli in a casserole dish and pour over the sauce. Cut the chicken breast and cheese into strips and spread over the broccoli. Bake in the oven for 18 minutes.
We hope you have fun in the kitchen!
Posted on 11.10.2017