Dominique Woolf was the winner of Channel 4’s The Great Cookbook Challenge. She wowed the judges and host, Jamie Oliver, with her simple but flavour-packed recipes, bagging a coveted cookbook publishing contract with Penguin Micheal Joseph in the process. We’ve been eagerly awaiting the release of Dominique’s Kitchen, her first cookbook, ever since.
Dominque grew up eating the dishes cooked by her Thai mum and loves to incorporate bold East and Southeast Asian flavours into her own recipes. As a mum of two and a successful businesswoman, Dominique is also no stranger to the challenge of trying to fit cooking from scratch into a hectic schedule. As a result, her family-friendly recipes place a real emphasis on simplicity and translating much-loved dishes into quicker, easier versions is a trademark of Dominque’s cooking style.
So, join our volunteer home cooks as they try their hand at some of their favourite recipes from the book.
From the book
The debut cookbook from the winner of The Great Cookbook Challenge
Fuss-free family favourites, from traybakes to curries
Packed with East and Southeast Asian flavours
Who: Amy Davies, Jamie Oliver Brand Manager
What I made: Lemongrass and Tamarind Stir-Fried Tofu
What I thought: I’m always on the hunt for new flavour combinations to try with tofu, and this one is firmly on my go-to list now! This recipe was so speedy (especially as I always use cheats pre-chopped garlic, ginger and onion) and really delivered on flavour – a great one to try, whether you’re new to tofu or are looking to change things up a bit.
Who: Ellie Morley, Digital Marketing Manager at Penguin Michael Joseph
What I made: Sweet Potato and Blackbean Traybake Curry
What I thought: This recipe was the perfect minimal fuss weeknight dinner, where the main bulk of work came from chopping. Once in the oven, you could sit back and relax while the oven did the work. The flavours were incredible, and the whole dish gave me at least four portions (making it a new go-to batch cook recipe). This recipe packed a punch and didn’t disappoint!
Who: Vicky Photiou, Marketing Director at Penguin Michael Joseph
What I made: Sesame Ramen with Caramelised Pork
What I thought: This was such a comforting and nourishing dish to have midweek. I can’t believe how easy the flavours were to create with quite simple everyday ingredients. Everything is prepared individually, but the steps were really easy to follow and it was quick to rustle up. I loved the additional flavour you get from the pork but would definitely throw in some prawns or chicken next time because it would work just as well, as Dominque says in the book.
Who: Charlea, Senior Creative Metadata Executive, Penguin Michael Joseph
What I made: Sweet Potato and Spring Onion Fritters
What I thought: This was such an easy dish to make, with only four ingredients and about fifteen minutes total cooking time. It’s such a simple recipe, but the delicious result makes you feel like a top chef. I’ll definitely be making these again as a side, snack, lunch, pretty much at every opportunity…
Who: Jason Backhouse, Manningtree
What I made: Miso Chocolate Fridge Cake
What I thought: This is a really simple recipe that my 12-year-old son and I enjoyed doing together. He found the instructions easy to follow and especially enjoyed crushing the nuts and biscuits. And best of all, they taste so yummy that I am making more for my colleagues this week. Not ideal if you’re on a diet though!
Who: Zainab Khan, Technology Trainer, Strategic Projects, Technology
What I made: Two Nuts to nibble and Thai Tuna Fishcakes
What I thought: I really enjoyed cooking both items. The nibbly nuts were so quick and easy to prepare, that I decided to keep both nuts together. I forgot to set the timer so the nuts were a bit overdone but nevertheless just as delicious. They are so easy to store and any leftovers will keep for other recipes.
There are always stacks of tinned tuna in our cupboard so was immediately drawn to the recipe for fishcakes. Again it’s a quick, easy-to-follow dish that you mix in one bowl and then fry. A great accompaniment to any rice and noodle dish, the cakes tasted even better the next day.
Who: Hanna Bailey, Anti-Piracy Manager, Penguin Random House
What I made: Auntie Dang’s Stir-Fried Soy Sauce Noodles
What I thought: The note for Auntie Dang’s stir-fry dish begins with ‘Auntie Dang was a legend in the kitchen […] and never followed a written recipe.’ Not following written recipes is something Auntie Dang and I have in common. Sure, I looked over the ingredients, but really it was enough to look at the picture of the cooked dish to know what I’d be doing: prep meat, veg, garlic, noodles, warm pan in hot oils, sizzle sizzle sizzzzzle, mix, sauce and serve. I left out the eggs. I added sesame seeds and coriander. For a quick and filling meal, this dish is all you need.
Who: Cristina Villiers, Customer Service Advisor, Customer Services
What I made: Spicy Pork Noodles
What I thought: I am a sucker for any kind of noodle dish so this recipe was destined to be one of the first I tried. It was so quick and easy – perfect for a mid-week dinner when you’re short of time. The ginger and chilli bean paste meant this dish delivered a really punchy and spicy flavour which I loved but could easily be toned down and adapted according to taste.
Who: Ella Watkins, Senior Publicity Manager, Penguin Michael Joseph
What I made: Peanut Hoisin Noodles
What I thought: I love noodles and eat them probably three times a week but I never know what to put on them and end up just using soy sauce! This sauce was so easy and tasty. I also loved the addition of leeks in a stir fry, you don’t need to cry while cutting up onions and the taste is amazing. A really simple recipe that tasted delicious – I will be adding it to my midweek repertoire!