Thursday, 4 November 2010

Recipe Thursday - Jamie's Food Revolution by Jamie Oliver

A few weeks ago while reading "Weekend Cooking" at Beth Fish Reads, one of the contributors posted a review of a recipe from Jamie's Food Revolution.  This prompted me to borrow the book from my library. Over the past few weeks I have cooked and sampled six recipes from this book.  As a family we were pleased with each of them and are looking forward to trying more.

Son suggested that I go out and buy a copy right away regardless of the price. 

At the same time I have been able to watch a few episodes of Jamie's Ministry of Food.  This guy is cool; he has become my new cooking muse.  This all started out because he was disgusted with the poor quality of food available to school children in Britain.  He realized that many people no longer cooked proper meals at home and that they relied on take-out food every day of the week.  Eeks, what a rotten way to try and grow healthy children.

Jamie travelled to Rotherham, England to launch his Ministry of Food project which aimed to teach and encourage people to cook at home and to teach their friends and family how to prepare these easy to cook meals.  What a great concept.  I found myself cheering along Jamie and his Rotherham cooks.

This book starts with some information on the essential supplies and utensils that a kitchen needs and then talks about basic food stuffs needed to prepare many of the recipes.  It is them broke into food chapters including: 20 Minute Meals, Quick Pasta, Easy Curries, Simple Soups, and many more.

I six recipes from the book based on them all being out of my comfort level.

"My Sweet and Sour Pork"

This dish uses Chinese Five Spice Powder for flavouring and a small pork tenderloin for the most wonderful meat bites.   I chose to serve it on a bed of egg noodles instead of the usual rice.  The cooking time was very short and even the prep time was only about 20 minutes. 
"Tomato Soup"

I was a bit nervous about this one as it's already autumn and I didn't know how flavourful the tomatoes would be.  Not to worry, I found some lovely locally grown greenhouse ones.

Yes, that really is the whole tomato including stem in the pot.  That's exactly what Jamie said to do.  After cooking you use an immersion blender to make it smooth.  My blender is ancient and it couldn't puree the stem parts, so I would leave those off next time.  Great flavour.  I served it with croutons and added a dash or Worcestershire Sauce.
" Dressed Asparagus"

Simply cooked with a grainy Dijon mustard and oil sauce.  I wanted to eat the whole dish.
"Baked French Potatoes"

Much like scalloped potatoes, but none of the dairy products.  It was instead cooked in a chicken broth.  This made the tastiest of potatoes.  We were all clambering for more at breakfast the next morning.

This is a curried fish dish that uses both fresh and smoked fish along with hard boiled eggs.  I was going to prepare a more common dish that just spiced and then pan friend the fish, but when I turned the page I saw this one and changed my mind.  I was quite nervous to place this on the table in front of my family as I have not made a dish like this before.  They loved it.  A smaller amount of smoked fish would be more appealing to me next time I make it.
"Salmon en Croute" 

'En croute' means 'wrapped in pastry' and in this case I used store bought puff pastry.  I have had dished like this in restaurants before and paid a fortune, so I figured it must be real difficult to make.  Hah, what a sucker I have been.  It was so easy to roll out the pastry, set the fillet on top, season, add toppings and the scrunch the pastry up over the top.  I did it in about fifteen minutes with my kids and their friends watching.  Next time they can do most of it by themselves.  Of the seven of us at dinner that night, all of us ate huge servings and almost cried when there was none left.  We are now thinking of what else we can wrap in puff pastry and call 'dinner'.

I really enjoyed making meals from this book.  I will be buying my own.  I have also joined Jamie's site and look forward to receiving emails from him.  If you are looking for one cookbook to buy for the reluctant or insecure cook, then give this one a try.

Marg at The Adventures of an Intrepid Reader also tried the "Baked French Potatoes".  Click to read her review.


Miri said...

I've watched some of his shows but have never seen one of his cookbooks. Thanks for the review and the look of those delicious dishes! I may try that potato dish by adapting my scalloped potato recipe the way you suggest!

Jill said...

Oh, my goodness! Those photos are postitively mouth-watering. I just put this book on hold at my library. Thanks for letting me know about it!

Mary (Bookfan) said...

Wow, your post sold me on the book. I'm going to buy it! Each recipe sounds (and looks) delicious.

JoAnn said...

I was intrigued when I saw this on a previous Weekend Cooking post, too. The Baked French Potatoes look delicious!

Beth F said...

Those baked French potatoes really sold me. I love Jamie's attitude and his recipes. I doubt I'd use the tomato stems, tho.

Gilion at Rose City Reader said...

Yum! Your pictures make everything look so good!

That fish in puff pastry looks particularly good. I'm going to give it a try.

Rose City Reader