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Jamie's Dinners


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This book isn’t about creating restaurant food. It’s about giving you quality options for the way you and your family live now. Most of the recipes use ingredients you can buy in any high street, and you’ll find accessible, affordable new ideas for all the old favourites: soups, salads, pasta, meat, fish, desserts, and creative veg; alongside some truly groundbreaking stuff. For example, there’s a whole chapter on the not-so humble sarnie. There’s a genius section called Family Tree, showing you how, by mastering one core principal, you can expand your repertoire as a cook and start thinking about food in a whole new way. There’s also The Top Ten: the best recipes for the ten favourite meals in the whole world, as voted for by thousands of people globally on Jamie’s website. You’ll also find a list of producers and suppliers, and tips on the best way to lay out your kitchen.

 

RRP: £20.00, <a href ="http://www.thebookplace.com/bookplace/spring2005.asp?CID=BGO733" TARGET="_blank">The Book Pl@ce</a> Price: £14.40

Just click on book jacket:

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I really like Jamie Oliver and admire the good he does training kids to be chefs and trying to improve school dinners.

 

However, his recipes are almost always a dissapointment. The exception to this is his Roast Chicken recipe in The Return of the Naked Chef, which is so good it excuses all the other ill-thought-out recipes I've tried.

 

Jamies Dinners was on special offer and I had enjoyed the series so I tried him out ... again. There are a couple of very handy ideas about packed lunches but the rest isn't up to much. The roast chicken is nowhere near as nice as the old one (probably cos he's trying to be low fat, in fairness). Stewed fruit, toasted sandwiches (from a sandwich toasters!!) and carrots and orange just don't cut the mustard. Even if he was aiming at beginners (which he is not) they would be much better off with Delia, who may be a bit stuffy, but at least she is precise. Jamie's glugs of this and dashes of that are bewildering to a learner.

 

So, I think Jamie should stick to theoretical food and lifestyle programmes and leave recipe design to the pros.

 

Rebecca

Rebecca

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    • By grasshopper
      I highly recommend  "Save With Jamie" Jamie Oliver's latest cookbook, for doing  what it says on the cover - showing how to "Shop Smart, Cook Clever, Waste Less". This is a perfect recipe book for young, busy people on a budget who may not have actually been taught to cook or shop, as the older generations were, but who are used to a variety of international tastes and spicy foods and want to cook them at home for themselves without high food bills.
       
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      It is packed out with really useful hints some of which our grandparents would have taken for granted - for example, always keep the dripping from a roast in the fridge,  a tiny bit of the fat is perfectly flavoured  for starting off the browning of ingredients in  a stew, soup or sauce, whilst the rich juice at the bottom is the perfect base stock. Jamie admits it is a saturated fat, but you are only using a tiny amount at a time and as a useful nutrition guide there is a colourful clear table at the back showing the amounts of calories, fat, saturates, carbs and sugar in each dish.  There are clear "jointing  a chicken" photos  and he notes that  the cost of a whole chicken is little more than the cost of two chicken breasts alone.  Put odd leftover  bits of cheese chopped or grated in a container in the freezer and they are ready to throw on top of pasta or use up in a sauce; put odd pieces of raw vegetable chopped in a vinegar pickle mix to add to sandwiches or cold lunch.
       
      This book has been criticised for the fact that Jamie uses some 'exotic' or expensive ingredients such as  many herbs and spices, a range of oils and vinegars, anchovies, olives, passata etc etc.  Don't be put off by the lists of what he has in his kitchen, it does not mean you have to stock every single thing as well, but as an author and a chef he has to provide a fairly comprehensive list.   The recipes here are straightforward, appetising and satisfying, the instructions are clear and the illustrations encouraging. 
       
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      As an aside, vegetable oil can be used instead of the finest extra virgin olive oil, passata is only a sieved puree of skinned  tomatoes so a drained tin of tomatoes sieved or liquidised will do just as well and olives and anchovies are acquired tastes anyway!  Use whatever veg is around in the fridge for mixes you have in a salad or stew or filling, it does not have to follow the original recipe spot on. Most recipes won't suffer if you leave some flavouring ingredients out, or use different ones you have already. As long as the basic meat and carbohydrate bulk such as rice, pasta, potato is there, you can use extra seasoning, a tablespoon of chutney, a pinch of sugar,  a dash of brown sauce, different herbs etc. Cook and have fun experimenting as well as saving.
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