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Jamie's Food Revolution: Rediscover How to Cook Simple, Delicious, Affordable Meals Paperback – April 5, 2011
"Rebound" by Kwame Alexander
Don't miss best-selling author Kwame Alexander's "Rebound," a new companion novel to his Newbery Award-winner, "The Crossover,"" illustrated with striking graphic novel panels. Pre-order today
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"His books make me want to sit down and eat."―Andrew Scalvani, New York Times
"...his take on "the good life" of gardening and eating close to the earth is so common-sense, so relaxed, that kitchen nerves don't intrude."―Orlando Weekly
"His enthusiasm and love of life are infectious."―Seattle Times
About the Author
Jamie Oliver grew up in his parents' country pub, the Cricketers in Clavering, where he started cooking at the age of eight, before studying at London's Westminster Catering College. He then went on to work with some of the top chefs in England namely Antonio Carluccio at the Neal Street Restaurant and Rose Gray and Ruth Rogers at the River Café. The author of such popular titles as The Naked Chef, Jamie's Kitchen, and Jamie's Italy, among others, he has written for the Saturday Times, served as Food Editor at GQ and Marie Claire magazines, and hosted the popular television show The Naked Chef. He is thirty-three and lives in London with his wife Jools and their daughters, Poppy and Daisy.
Author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more. Read it now
Top customer reviews
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* TONS of photos. Every single recipe has photos, both of the finished dish and of the preparation. Yay!
* He doesn't just give you the recipe (add 2 onions, chopped). He walks you though the process (Chop two onions and set aside). So you can usually cook as you read the recipe.
* He tells you what to serve with the recipes, and the recipes for suggested sides are in the book. Yay!
* Many of the recipes can be easily adapted for allergen-free cooking. My husband is senstive to gluten, corn, dairy, honey, legumes, and some nuts. That's a long list, and I was still able to adapt several recipes.
* He offers recipes for all meals: breakfast food, lunch food, suppers, desserts. You could use this as your only cookbook.
* The dessert section is amazing. We generally don't eat dessert in our house...at all. I think sugar makes you want more sugar, and it's a nasty cycle. But these desserts, while clearly luscious, include a lot of healthier stuff in the preparation, like fruit and oats. And the photos depict appropriate serving sizes. They look very elegant. I'm glad I'll have something wholesome to serve when company visits.
The not so good:
* There isn't any nutrition data for the recipes
* Some of the recipes, while simple, can take some real time to prepare (fine by me, but I'm not trying to whip together dinner in a frenzy when I get home from work)
* Many of the recipes serve 2 people. Which is fine, but it took me some time to adapt. I've purchased ingredients for a recipe only to realize later that I didn't get enough.
In the end, the recipes are quite good. These are not recipes that will show up in Gourmet magazine. And they won't all make the list of the world's healthiest foods either. There are several comfort food recipes...spaghetti, stew, cheesy pastas, roasts. But overall, I'm pleased. Even experienced cooks will be able to find some things of interest here. And this is an awesome collection for someone trying to transition to real food from a diet full of McDonald's and pizza rolls.
Update: I've cooked several more recipes from this book since I wrote this review, and I am growing more and more pleased. At first I blew off some of the recipes; I thought I didn't need another recipe for roasted chicken. But I made it, and it's great. I have cooked many recipes from the book now, and so far nothing has flopped. This is the only cookbook I own that I can say that about.
Update #2: I'm still cooking from the book all the time. I'm a complete convert. I've purchased copies for other family members now...even for my total foodie of a father-in-law. We are all fans, and the majority of my everyday recipes now come from Jamie Oliver. Everyone knows I'm a Jamie Oliver fanatic now, so when people like something I cook they don't ask, "Where did you get the recipe?" They ask, "Is this from Jamie Oliver?" I've become a proselytizer for the book. And still, after all this time, nothing has flopped.
Keep in mind that for some recipes you will need Amazon or a very well stocked grocery store. For example, Jamie is a big fan (obviously) of English mustard , like Coleman's. I would suggest springing for it, because I have had it (lived in Europe for 8 years) and it really does taste much different than your standard French's. Also, he uses Marmite which I think is a sweet yeast extract. I haven't used that product yet. Anyhow... on to the recipes.
Day 1: Chicken and Leek Stroganoff, pg. 34
I cheated and used penne pasta instead of the rice which the recipe calls for. I forgot to buy it, what can I say? DON'T USE PASTA. The sauce is quite thin and does not work with pasta. It would have been quite delish, though, with some rice soaking it up. This is a heavy recipe because it calls for cream. Having made it, I found it a bit bland. I think it is a good idea to cook the rice in some strong chicken stock OR to add a teaspoon or so of Better than Bouillion Chicken paste to the cream while it is bubbling. Also, Jamie uses lemon juice presumably to mimic the tang of sour cream which is typically used in Stroganoff, but the end result is pretty obviously lemony. I loved it... but it definitely needs to be served with rice cooked in chicken stock. This would also be fantastic with Broccoli tossed in.
Basically.... this is a VERY basic recipe. Make it once as Jamie has it written. Then mess around with it. Frankly, that's what Jamie wants you to do anyway. Learn the recipe, then learn to play with it. And this really is a great foundational recipe.
Day 2: Sizzling Beef with Scallions and Black Bean Sauce, pg 69
YUM. I loved this. A lot. Jamie's simple mixture of lime, soy, and black bean sauce will be my go-to mix for stir frying. I did add some stuff... I know, I know... I said I wouldn't change anything but I have a lot of veg in my fridge and I LOVE vegetabley stir fries. I added 1 carrot, chopped and two ribs of celery, chopped. And mushrooms. Because they rock. The one negative thing about this recipe is that Jamie asks for a thumb-sized piece of ginger finely sliced and, for me, that was too strong. I would have preferred the ginger grated, and maybe 1/2 the amount. I also used red pepper flakes instead of the chile in this because all I could get were jalapenos.
This recipe was a winner and is destined to become a staple in my house. His cooking times may leave you with slightly pink beef, though, especially if you don't have a gas stove and/or a big enough pan. I like it that way, but if you don't then consider yourself warned to increase the cook time a bit.
Day 3: Potato Leek Soup
Love it. Simple to make and cooks quite quickly. Make sure you use a high quality chicken or vegetable stock here, because there are very few ingredients so the stock's flavor will really make or break this. The recipe called for 1 lb of potatoes which, for me, is 3 fist sized spuds. I weighed them so I knew I had the right quantity, but for me I will add another potato in the future... it will make for a heartier soup. Yummy with crusty bread and a refreshing green salad. This is a keeper.
Day 4: I cheated and we went out to eat.
Day 5: I am cheating again... but only because I am not making a new recipe... I am making the sizzling beef and bean sauce again because it was so ridiculously yummy!
Day 6: Broccoli and Pesto Tagliatelle pg. 46
This was pretty good. Tagliatelle is fettuccini. The pasta is simply dressed with pesto and parmesan. You don't have to make the pesto from scratch, the recipe just calls for pesto and doesn't include ingredients or steps for making it (not that it's difficult). I took my cue from Jamie and used a jarred pesto. He calls for lots of fresh basil, so you still get that bright flavor of the basil as if you had made the pesto fresh. I also added a squeeze of lemon to my plate which I thought brightened it up more (Jamie uses this trick throughout the book, but doesn't call for it here), but my boyfriend took it straight and liked it well enough.
Bottom line, I would make it again as is but the BF wasn't into the pesto.
Day 7: Lasagne pg. 169
Wow. This was different. But GOOD. Jamie calls for Creme Fraiche along with the standard tomato meat sauce, which is totally different for me. No mozzarella in this dish, just parm. The parm is layered on top of the creme fraiche, a tangy combo that might keep you from missing the mozzarella. I admit, though, that I will probably add mozza to the top when I make this again... I just love bubbly, crusty mozza.
I thought it was a nice twist on what I know as lasagne... drowned in red sauce and mozza. The creme fraiche layer will lend itself well to layering with some roasted veg in the future. Oh, do spring for the creme fraiche if you can find it... I think sour cream (Jamie's suggested substitution) would be too sharp. I figured it is worth the effort to get a special ingredient because lasagne is a special weekend dish for us, not something I'm just going to want to toss together any old time. It is worth noting, though, that Jamie calls for Creme Fraiche in a lot of recipes and sour cream is a fine substitution I think, most of the time.
Overall, I am quite pleased with this book so far. It really is worth it to have added yet another cookbook to my collection.
Thanks for the lettuce trick, Jamie, and all of your efforts to get us cooking!