24 October 2022

Orlando Murrin's new cookbook Two's Company: SIMPLE

Orlando Murrin's new cookbook Two's Company: SIMPLE

Orlando MurrinFollowing on from the success of Orlando Murrin's last cookbook Two's Company, we were keen to catch up with him and find out more about his new book Two's Company: Simple, which contains 75 new recipes encompassing everything from week-night quick fixes and easy-yet-impressive mains, to indulgent desserts.

1 What is the inspiration behind Two's Company: Simple? 

Last year my book Two's Company went down a storm. So many people agreed with me that there is a dire shortage of recipes designed to serve two. While I was writing and testing that book, it occurred to me that a collection of easy, everyday recipes for two was also needed, including lots of non-meat options. And so Two's Company: Simple was born. 

2 Which recipe are you most pleased with in the book?

Since the book came out, I've been using it all the time. I know that may sound odd, but I'm in the same boat as everyone else – I'm busy and I usually want to get supper on the table within an hour, shorter if possible. One of my favourites is Penne alla Vodka, which is ready in the time takes to boil a pan of pasta and includes a comforting slug of vodka (or you can use gin). Another is Ham, Spinach and Mozzarella Galettes – they're on the cover of the book and taste as gorgeous as they look.

3 Which are your three key storecupboard spices for creating simple suppers?

I've tried to keep the recipes in this book truly simple, so you don't need to buy lots of extra ingredients that you only use once. Apart from pepper (Organic Tellicherry), my absolute must-haves are oregano; nutmeg - always freshly ground; and crushed chilli flakes. Crushed chilli flakes are the best way I know of adding an instant hit of excitement to a dish, and you will find them constantly cropping up among my recipe ingredients. 

4 Any top tips for reducing food waste when cooking supper?

All the recipes in Two's Company: Simple have been devised so you're not left with half-finished packs or leftovers. For ingredients that can only bought in family-size quantities, such as mascarpone and ricotta, I always suggest what to do with the remainder. My other major money-saving suggestion is that modern ovens don't need preheating. This is highly contentious, but I promise it's true. All the recipes in the book were tested from a cold start, and I explain the principle in the introduction. It's a tip that will change your life.

5 Which famous person would you most like to share supper with?

I did already! Last month I gave Delia Smith a Lifetime Achievement Award on behalf of the Guild of Food Writers (of which I'm President) and we ate together afterwards. In my opinion, the three people who have done most to shape the course of British culinary history have been Elizabeth David, Delia and Jamie Oliver. 

If I'm not allowed a food person, it would be Richard Osman. I've written a crime novel, coming out in early 2024, and I'd love to find out how he made such a huge hit with The Thursday Murder Club. 

We're delighted to feature some of the delicious recipes on our website so do take a look...

Two’s Company: Simple by Orlando Murrin, published by Ryland Peters & Small (£20) Photography by Clare Winfield © Ryland Peters & Small