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Jamie's Great Britain hardback book is a hefty cookery book some 400 pages long. I love this book, it is a joy to read, flip through and look at, as well as use the recipes.
There's a variety of recipes from around the UK. Most of them have a traditional feel full of hearty goodness, but with a little Jamie about them. Like the Happy Fish Pie, a simple fish pie Jamie says 'makes everyone feel happy'. It certainly made my family happy.
There are soups, salads, Sunday dinners, curry, haggis, fish dishes, sauces, cakes and puds. All proud to be British, or adopted by the British folk. A few unusual ones, like Roast Quail Skewers and Golden Glazed Partridge, but mainly all good ole British classics you didn't think you could make like Scotch Eggs and Toad in the Hole.
I have made about 6 recipes from this book and the dishes have come out well. Some of the recipes have a lot of ingredients, but equally there are plenty with just a few. Oliver likes the reader to use fresh, free range produce. The Mighty Mulligatawny was a hit with my family, very filling and yummy. The Fishcakes Wrapped in Bacon were quite easy to make and made some salmon and cod go a long way because they were added to potato and breadcrumbs. There are lots more I want to try. Like the Steak and Kidney pudding.
The book itself has some gorgeous rustic photography. The food is pictured with burnt bits, and crumbs and dishes with chipped edges which makes the recipes feel more doable. There are lots of interesting pages to read, other than the recipes, like anecdotes, stories, pictures of pigs, landscapes and interesting British people. Most of the recipes have a little introduction, a word from Jamie about the dish and its origins. As you read them you can hear Jamie's voice in the tone of the writing. These little things are what make the book dear to me. When I first got it, I sat in bed reading it rather like a magazine.
I think it is a wonderful book, just as a book. The fact there are some wonderful recipes in it too is just a bonus.
Jamie's Great Britain is Jamie Oliver's 13th book containing recipes, we ignorantly as a nation believe to be British. Being fed up of generic, over priced restaurants dictating what we should eat and only giving those who can afford it the variety, Jamie battles to bring British food back to the working and middle classes, adding his own style to over 130 well know British dishes.
"In 2012. Britain will be hosting the Olympics for the first time since 1948, and the world will be looking at what we do, and how we do it. Thankfully, it's coming at a really great moment foor British food. I'm happy to say we've never been more ready or able to impress." - Jamie Oliver
The book looks very patriotic with a huge Union flag hanging behing Jamie Oliver, whilst he holds a huge plate of, one of Britain's famous dishes, the Sunday Roast. (OR IF YOUR NORTHEN LIKE ME SUNDAY DINNER)
The book has two very different types of writing syles. The first follows a conventional recipe style you see in most recipe cook books, with a list of ingredients followed by an easy to follow, step by step recipe. The second style is written similar to how your Mum would leave you instructions, on how to cook your dinner, and it is these recipes which are difficult to follow. They require no more skill then any of the other recipes, but without any ingredient list, you have to search and find them in the actual recipe. A huge PAIN. I would recommend, when reading these recipes, to have a book marker at hand to leave at the last point you got up to, as it is very easy to lose your place, due to its compact layout.
As already mentioned their is over 130 recipes in the book, to date i have done about 20. What i like about this book is the variety and affordability of the recipes, rarely costing more then a few pounds. I found, when doing most of the recipes, the ingredients I needed were already at hand in my cupboards. The meals produced have always impressed my family, as they are simple, recognizable British meals made to a professional quality.
Jamie's Great Britain is a must have for everyones kitchen. With easy to follow recipes of simple, but high quality food, I believe the book may reinvent meals times of Great Britain. However, no matter how much i love this book, i still have to say i prefer "jamie's 30 Minute meals". (HIS PREVIOUS BOOK)
With my birthday being towards the end of September and my love of cooking being well known by all of the family it was inevitable that, with a new Jamie Oliver cookbook out, that this would be one of my presents. This is the 16th official release from Jamie Oliver and early predictions see it being his 4th Christmas topping the book charts following its release, so when I received the books my hopes for its contents were certainly high. I already own 3 of his other cookbooks and have found them both easy to use and incredibly informative, so with that in mind I was particularly keen to try a few of the recipes in his latest release.
Who Is Jamie Oliver
He is perhaps one of the most recognizable people on TV from his early days as the Naked Chef to his appearances in Sainsbury's adverts and the long procession of cookery shows he seems to have made for Channel Four. He is a big advocate of promoting healthier eating and has made it a personal mission to try and get the country eating healthier and promote the use of natural ingredients. His books are best sellers, his shows are watched by millions and his wallet is being further swelled by the restaurants from his chain, Jamie's Italian springing up around the Country.
My first real encounter with his cooking style was through the Sainsbury's recipe cards and this gave me a good opportunity to browse, attempt and generally get a feel for his style of cooking. From there I moved onto buying his books and my opinion of him has changed dramatically, even to the point where I've watched his last couple of series on TV. Gone are the days I would dismiss any notion of cooking one of his recipe's, but then perhaps that is more a sign of a change in my attitude to cooking and my discovery of how much better food seems to taste when you prepare it yourself.
Jamie's Great Britain
Having bought Jamie's Italy and been very impressed with the collection of recipes it contains I was keen to get this book whether id got it for my birthday or not. The book has been released to coincide with a new TV series to be shown on channel 4. The book contains 120 recipes over 408 pages and includes a variety of different courses and styles from starters to deserts and roasts to seaside selections. Each recipe is well laid out with a picture of the proposed final product, although like many of these nothing I've made looks like the picture.
Like all of Jamie's books it is well set out with a clear and concise contents page, which sets out the different styles of recipe within the book. There are a good selection of British recipes that cater for vegetarians and carnivores alike. The index at the back is also helpful for navigating the books contents, particularly if you have a certain ingredient or style of dish you would like to prepare. The majority of the ingredients in the book can be purchased from any major supermarket, however smaller, more local stores probably would struggle with some of the required ingredients.
A few of the recipes have appeared in Jamie's books before and that would be my main gripe with this book, it's not a completely new set of recipes. A few of them are tweaks and slight alterations on his previous recipes I've seen him use elsewhere. There is also the minor gripe I always have with his books as his suggested ingredients are usually fair trade or organic. We've swapped these for cheaper alternatives though and it's still tasted good.
I think the most impressive aspect about the book however is the mixture of different recipes. There is a good blend that allows this book to appeal to the expert cook, the experimenters like myself and complete novices. I was also very interested by the section on condiments, within which Jamie guides you through the process of making your own condiments such as mayonnaise, mustards and flavoured vinegars. If you like to experiment in the kitchen then you'll certainly find something in this book for you.
Is It Easy To Follow
Over the last week and a bit we have, between us, tried a number of different recipes from the book and have found them all very easy. Most of the meals within the book are stated to serve either 4 or 6 and although there are only 2 of us we have found that all of the ingredients seem to be in whole numbers that are easily reduced down for 2. Once this is done the portion sizes are exactly what you require and leaves you feeling more than satisfied once you've finished the meal.
As long as you follow the recipes closely in terms of the timings for the meals everything cooks exactly how it should leaving you with a very tasty dish. One particular highlight that really showed the benefits of using a book such as this was the early Autumn Cornish Pasties, which were perfectly cooked. The recipes, just like Jamie's previous cookbooks are very easy to follow and make for a very simple step by step guide that results in some very tasty dishes.
Does It Taste Good
As well as the Early Autumn Cornish Pasties we have also tried the Summer Crab Salad, which as my taste for crab has developed was exceedingly nice. The flavours used within the recipe blend together well and I really enjoyed the complimentary flavours.
In addition Jen had a day off during the week and tried something we really liked the sound of but weren't particularly sure about and made the Granny Smith's Pork and Rice Salad. This is described in the book as being based on a Caribbean classic and it really works. The roast pork and apple really complement each other well, whilst the rice provides a nice accompaniment to add body to the meal.
Where To Get It
The book is available almost everywhere at the moment as it was only released on the 29th September and can be picked up on either amazon or in Sainsbury's for the very reasonable price of £10, which from what we've tried so far is a very good price.
Like the other releases from Jamie that we have on our cookbook shelf this is a really good book. I still prefer the style of the Hairy Biker's cookbooks over Jamie's but this is a book that I think I'm going to really enjoy cooking from. It has a good range of recipes and throws a number of flavours together that I would never have considered. All of the recipes we have tried have been delicious and with a very easy to follow and for that reason I would have no reservations about recommending Jamie's Great Britain.
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