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Jamie Goes British
Jamie's Great Britain - Jamie Oliver
Member Name: Andy.mack
Jamie's Great Britain - Jamie Oliver
Advantages: Nice easy to follow recipes that taste good
Disadvantages: A few of them appear to be reworking of old recipes
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.
Amazon Marketplace: £8.50
Summary: A decent British cookbook that has a wide range of recipes