Jamie Oliver’s Fifteen series followed Jamie’s quest to get a group of unemployed kids into the kitchen, arming them with all the necessities they will require to cook and eventually work in a restaurant of their own. Many of these kids had never cooked before, and thus Jamie needed to devise a way to take them from novice to competent in a short period of time.
In Cook with Jamie: My guide to Making You a Better Cook, Jamie leads us through that process. The book starts with the basics of food, how to shop and choosing the best ingredients. In an effort to arm you with all the information you will need to be a competent cook and a comfortable food shopper, Jamie takes you through the different cuts of beef, chicken, pork and lamb. Diagrams of each animal allow you to visually recognise the cuts you buy in the butcher.
Jamie sticks to simple cooking techniques and explanations, yet the breadth of the techniques he discusses means this book will appeal to all levels of cooking skills. For example meat is explained from roasting, slow roast, pot roast, pan roast, frying, stir frying, grilling, poaching, stewing and braising. Knife skills are also carefully explained, with a series of photographs illustrating the different techniques a cook should understand and master.
The recipes are all typically Jamie: simple, fresh and flavoursome. Try the Southern Indian crab curry or the slow-roasted pork belly with sweet fennel. Our favourite is the pappardelle with wild rabbit, olives and marjoram.
At the back of the cook Jamie has included a really handy list of tips and information about freezing, using up left-overs and food safety.
Title: Cook with Jamie: My Guide to Making You a Better Cook
Author: Jamie Oliver
448 pages, Hardcover
Published 30 October 2006