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4.7 out of 5 stars735
4.7 out of 5 stars
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If you can’t tell from the title of this review, I am so very impressed by this book. I own a lot of Jamie’s other books and certainly do like them, but I love this one for so many reasons…

I have posted a more in-depth review below as well as a full recipe list at the very end of this review but for those out there (and I know there are many of you) that want a quick summary of what’s hot and what’s not about this book, these first few paragraphs are for you.

What I LOVE about this book:

- The feel of the book, a small thing to some but the textured hard cover is lovely as are the individual recipe pages on good quality paper.
- The recipe images, there is an abundance for every single recipe, they are informative and inspiring (please see image uploads to see what I mean).
- The recipe formats and layout – you instantly see at the left of each recipe:
Number of servings
Time to make
Calories per serving
- Jamie’s intro at the beginning of each recipe, full of enthusiasm and instantly explains what the recipe is if unsure (a Pierogi is ‘basically a Polish boiled dumplin’… news to me!).
- The nutritional section at the back of the book, I always like to know the nutritional value of what I’m eating, it won’t spoil my chocolate brownie but it will make me balance my nutrition or exercise accordingly for the rest of the day.
- The recipes themselves are all dishes I WANT to and CAN make. See the recipe list at the end for yourself as this is pure opinion but these dishes are all my family’s kind of food and there is a great variety.

If you are not familiar with Jamie Oliver and his books I’d recommend trying out the trial recipes which are posted on The Times Newspaper’s website if you have access, at the moment there are 8 on there which, when you consider the book contains 100 recipes, it’s a great example of the type and styles of recipes in the book and it’s what we did.

Now normally in the first few paragraphs I’d write about things I dislike or I think could be improved with the book. Here I am struggling, really struggling. It’s sincerely everything I personally would want for in this type of book about comfort food; a nice variety of great looking food, with easy to follow conversational methods as well as hundreds of great images to inspire and educate. I sincerely don’t know what to put here for negatives. The book does, in my opinion, exactly what Jamie sets out for it to do, it’s a book I will definitely reach for when I want to make a weekend treat.

Ok and now for my even more in-depth review for those that are still with me, which I feel I must caveat with a statement about how I always try to look for constructive improvements a book / author can make for the reader, but sincerely in this instance it really is all positives, hence the 5 stars, I would wholeheartedly recommend it to Jamie Oliver fans and comfort food fans alike.

Firstly, as I mentioned previously, the book is a delight to behold, with a textured cover (I have uploaded a few images of this and a typical recipe page on this amazon product page!) and as with all of Jamie’s books that I have purchased, which is most of them now, the images from page to page are absolutely beautiful.

With there ‘only’ being 100 recipes in this rather thick book, you can see how multiple pages are dedicated to one recipe and with that are beautiful images as well as some great tips and information from Jamie every now and again.

This combination of images and great information (all with the usual great design and fonts Jamie puts into his books), make Comfort Food an absolute joy to browse and read even if not intending to cook from it anytime soon.

The book is split into the following 6 main recipe sections:

Nostalgia
Good Mood Food
Pick Me Ups
Ritual
Guilty Pleasures
Sweet Indulgence

Within each section there is a great variety of recipes so if looking for something specific it might be best to use the index at the back of the book. Worth noting the index has a nice touch whereby it marks recipes that are suitable for vegetarians with a ‘v’.

Where on earth Jamie gets his inspiration and invention from is beyond me considering we own at least eight of his books and have yet to feel like there are any repeats or rehashes from other books.

There is also a nutrition section at the back of the book, which lists calories, fat, saturates, carbs and sugar for every recipe. At the end of the nutrition section it acknowledges that the nature of comfort food means the recipes are often indulgent, but as a reader I sincerely appreciate just being informed on what I am eating.

Now on to the main thing for me with any book, the recipe pages and trials of the recipes.

The recipe pages are laid out in a great manner for me, as mentioned before each lists number of servings, prep time and calories. The first two certainly help when flicking through for inspiration and considering when I want to make these meals. Though most I think would be made on a weekend owing to their indulgent nature, there are plenty around the 30 / 40 minute mark if you wanted to do some mid-week too.

We actually did the chicken tikka masala mid-week and it was very true to time (I’m usually a little slow to prep anyway but the recipe states 1hr 20mins and I was about 1hr 30mins after having marinating overnight), and more importantly it was delicious. The recipe states serves 6 – 8 and it did 4 adults and two hungry teenagers comfortably.

My wife also baked the peanut butter and jelly brownies, as big fans of peanut butter in our household these were nothing short of phenomenal, it seems so obvious that nuts and chocolate work so well together but these really worked better than we had hoped and a real hit.

Well in summary, I really do think this book is fantastic. I expected it to be good as we have continued to like all of Jamie’s books and always find ourselves going back to them, I have no doubt we will do the same with this one but I will post an update in a few weeks’ time with how we get on.

Recipe list:

Nostalgia

Chicken Tikka Masala
Shepherd’s Pie
Beans on Toast
Super Schnitzel
Curried Fish Pie
Retro Layered Salad
Giant Sausage Roll
Jerk Ham, Eggs and Chips
Mushroom Soup and Pasta Bake
Chicken Kiev
Big British Meatballs
Posh Pot Noodle
Mini Fish and Chips
Condiments; curry sauce, tartare sauce, mushy peas, let’s chat pickles (not a recipe )
Chicken Shawarma
Shawarma accompaniments; amba sauce, silken houmous, tabbouleh, pickled veg
Double Whammy Toad in the Hole
Mum’s smoked Haddock
Proper Porridge

Good Mood Food

Gorgeous Gado Gado
Insanity Burger
Brazilian Feijoada
Katsu Curry
Irresistible Pork Buns
Nasi Goreng
Ultimate Crab Cakes
Happiness is a Bacon Sarnie
Chicken Satay
Black Cod
Ghanaian Groundnut Stew
Best Cornbread and Chipotle Butter
Beef Wellington
Divine Dosa
Hot Smoked Salmon Club Sandwich
Gnocchi and Squash Sauce
Top Quesadillas
Greek Egg and Chips
Pulled Pork and Sweet Potato Hash
Bloody Mary Beef

Pick me Ups

Best Bun Cha Bowls
Spinach, bacon and pine nut salad
Huevos Rancheros
Ultimate Black Daal
Steaming Ramen
Polish Pierogi
Superfood Salad
Masala Eggs
Blushing Spaghetti Vongole
Pho Sure, it’s Good
Massaman Curry
Ultimate Arrabbiata
Chicken Broth, Veg and Pesto
Kushari Al Forno
Drinks; Bellini, Tom Collins, Mojito, Smokin’ Bloody Mary

Ritual

Winter Nights Chilli
Gyoza with Crispy Wings
Cassoulet de Essex
Royal Pasta Dough
Play Time
Prawn Linguine
Crab Linguine
Bolognese Ravioli
Tortellini Primavera
Crispy Duck Lasagne
Proper Veg Lasagne
Ossobuco Alla Milanese
Risotto Allo Zafferano
Making Kielbasa
Cooking and Serving Kielbasa
My Bouillabaisse
Mayonnaise Four Ways
Overnight Roasted Pork Shoulder
Mighty Greek Moussaka

Guilty Pleasures

Salt and Pepper Squid
Number One Toasted Cheese Sandwich
Butter and Sage Gnudi
Pizza Perfection
Lobster Mac and Cheese
Tear n Share Garlic Bread
Southern Fried Chicken
Aubergine Parmigiana Sandwich
Sticky Chinese Ribs
Super Eggs Benedict
Chicken and Mushroom Pie
Beef and Barley Buns
Unbelievable Provencal Bake
Next Level Steak and Onion Sandwich

Sweet Indulgence

Dreamy Marshmallow Pavlova
Scrumptious Sticky Toffee Pudding
Pineapple Upside-down Cake
Chocolate Celebration Cake
Milk Tart
Chocolate Profiteroles
Double Vanilla Ice Cream
Mint Choc Chip Ice Cream
Salted Caramel Ice Cream
Rum and Raisin Ice Cream
Raspberry Ripple Ice Cream
The Jaffa Cake
Amazing Apple Pie
Jamaican Ginger Cake
Hummingbird Cake
Devil’s Double Choc Malt Cookies
Bonkers Bread and Butter Panettone Pudding Tart
Rhubarb and Potted Custard
Brazilian Teardrop Doughnuts
Molten Cheesecake
Magnificent Marshmallows
Beautiful Black Forest Gateau
Tutti Frutti Pear Tarte Tatin
German Coffee Cake
Peanut Butter and Jelly Brownies
Ultimate Hot Chocolate
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2929 comments|598 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 29 September 2014
This is a big book of amazing food porn. I've cooked several recipes already and they've been totally brilliant! Every page you turn draws you in more and more... It's definitely the most luxurious and exciting book Jamie has produced for a while. Perfect for weekend treats and dinner parties etc.. Nice one Jamie x
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on 2 October 2014
Such a beautiful book, every recipe looks incredible. I've already tried out the recipe for the molten cheesecake and it was divine! This book would make a great gift, as it feels really premium with its fabric cover.
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on 16 September 2014
Stunning photography, stunning recipes, stunning motivation to get in the kitchen and cook. Did I mention stunning photography? If I knew someone who had lost their appetite I would give them a copy of this glorious book to stimulate their taste buds. I loved ministry of food ..... I love this more. Thanks Jamie!
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on 21 December 2014
My family are in shock that I love this book as I'm not a fan of the TV programmes but this book is great. I've already made half a dozen meals from it and tonight I'm making the lamb of shoulder shepherds pie. This really is a great book - easy home cooking but it looks so special and my family are impressed.
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on 28 July 2015
This is one of my favourite cook books and I own a lot of them. I am also a fan of Jamie's, although I don't own a lot of his books.

At first glance I thought the dishes seemed a little bit boring. I mean, I had already cooked a chicken tikka massala, a shepherd's pie and, a chili con carne or a lasagna. Those are quite common recipes and sound like nothing special. But as I examined the recipes again, I saw that he doesn't just give a recipe for a lasagna, he gives the BEST recipe for a lasagna. I have cooked dozens of lasagna's in my life, but the crispy duck lasagna was out of this world. Granted, it took me nearly a day to prepare, but it was worth it. All the people at the dinner table, including a professional chef, were silent and shaking their heads in disbelief at how good a friggin' lasagna could taste! And not just the lasagna. I have also made a few great flavours of ice cream, a brilliant tikka massala, the best meatballs ever (according to my husband) and a brilliant steak and onion sandwich. All the recipes I've tried so far (about 20) came out great and there are still a lot more I would like to try.

So, the recipes may seem nothing special, because they're classics, (but then again...comfort foods usually ARE classics, aren't they?) but rest assured that you get marvelous versions of these classics. They're not quick and cheap recipes, because most recipes take quite a lot of time, but in my book a lot of great food is slow food. The long ingredient lists and long time it takes to prepare the dishes are not a problem for me, because I really love to cook and I'm willing to wait for something great. It's not a book I use when I want something quick and easy, there are other books for that, but a book I use to cook for loved ones on a day I can take the time to cook with love while singing along to good music and sipping from a glass of wine ;-)
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on 3 September 2014
Love, love, love this book.....once again Jamie has produced a fabulous cook book with recipes that really do work, the mac n cheese recipe is delicious and I cant wait to make the marshmallow meringue. I very much look forward to cooking the Brisket too. Jamie is a great guy who creates great recipes that are easy to follow for those of us that aren't chef's. I highly recommend this book if you are a Jamie fan and want to create so delicious comforting dishes for your friends and family this winter.
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on 31 March 2015
I do love the recipes in this book .... but they are generally quite elaborate/time consuming. I have enjoyed looking through the book and would eat all of it in a restaurant, but have not yet cooked anything! Example recipes include:

Bouillabaisse - 20 ingredients, including live lobster, crab, 4 whole fish, cockles/clams. I have no doubt it would be delicious, but this will not be a quick or cheap dinner.... of course that is not the point of the book.

Massaman curry - 20 ingredients including shelled unsalted peanuts, palm sugar, tamarind paste, silken tofu, etc. Again looks wonderful, but unless you have the time for the shopping and the cooking... might be a no go.

There are simpler dinners, but they need ingredients that will be harder to come by, or at least not store cupboard:

Huevos rancheros (tortillas) - need black beans
bun cha bowls - vietnamese noodle dish, needs pork belly for a start.

This is not a complaint ... I would gorge myself on all of the above! Just don't expect a load of quick dinners.
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on 8 September 2015
As a fan of Jamie Oliver since his first book I was a bit disappointed in this book. It is a nice book with lots of lovely photographs. However it seemed a bit padded out ie there are four pages dedicated to porridge, four pages to bread and butter tart, four pages to toad in the hole - you get my drift?
Other disappointment was that at least half the book is given over to recipes which feed 8-10 people and up to 14 people. How many home cooks feed that number of people?
Also, and this is probably the publisher here, every recipe has a paragraph printed explaining the history of the dish etc. This is printed in red ink in very small typeface which is very difficult to read. It also has numerous photographs of Mr Oliver eating his own food and many of his children which really has nothing to do with the cooking of food.
In summary this book is disappointing. I don't feel Mr Oliver has anything new to say.
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on 14 December 2014
Have used this book for a few of the recipes- the giant Yorkshire pudd and the moussaka. Neither were quick to do but both were really tasty and well worth the effort.
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