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Jamie Does... Hardcover – 15 Apr 2010
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Jamie Does... is Jamie's personal celebration of amazing food from six very different countries (from publisher's description)
There is only one Jamie Oliver. Great to watch. Great to cook (Delia Smith)
About the Author
Jamie Oliver started cooking at his parents' pub, the Cricketers, at the age of eight, and has gone on to work with some of the world's top chefs. He founded Fifteen restaurant in London and the associated charity, Fifteen Foundation, which trains disadvantaged young people to become chefs. There are now Fifteen restaurants in Cornwall, Amsterdam and Melbourne. Jamie has also launched a chain of high street restaurants in the UK called Jamie's Italian. Jamie writes for publications in the UK and around the world, including his own Jamie Magazine.
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'Easy twists on classic dishes inspired by my travels'
This is a well-produced publication which, I think, achieves what it sets out to do....gives the reader a taste of foreign country cuisine and the genuine encouragement to give it a go......if one can't physically visit and try the 'real thing'!
However, if you already have cookbooks which embrace these particular cuisines, Jamie Does.....Spain, Italy, Sweden, Morocco, Greece and France, may be on the limited side!
From the D/J flap:
'This new book of mine is all about fun, escapist recipes. It's an adventurous cookbook that embraces the big hitters from the incredible countries I've visited recently, as well as completely new things I've made up by taking cues from the influences around me. I've taken some of the most famous and exciting dishes from these beautiful places and tweaked tem so you can recreate the paellas of Spain, the tagines of Morocco and the risottos of Italy easily, and authentically, in your own kitchen........'
A plain hardback cover opens to 360 quality matt pages, split over 6 main chapters, each dedicated to the aforementioned countries sandwiched between Jamie's usual welcome and thanks pages, completed with a concise index, which is usefully enhanced by 'blue' entries indicating an essential ingredient described in one of the 6 chapters and 'V' for vegetarian dishes. In addition, bold entries show an illustrated dish.
Illustrations by David Loftus, as always - stunning atmospheric on-location shots mingling with those of the finished dishes.
Opening text to 'Welcome' on page 9, sums up the typical, unpretentious JO banter which has made him so famous and is characteristic in all of his cookbooks:
'If I've learnt anything over the years, it's to follow my gut...........
.....'So please, enjoy this book, have fun with these recipes, then go on your own short escapes...........'
In this last statement, as previously mentioned, Jamie reveals that his main goal is not only to portray a flavour of these countries in terms of trying out a new recipe but try and get away to them, too!
OK, however inexpensive it can be to get to these places, it is unlikely that many of us are able to do just that, but this book is a fair taster of the cuisine one could encounter.
Each chapter opens with a double-page picture, a general paragraph in blue text, followed by general information relevant to the country being visited.
Each chapter finishes with an 'Essential Ingredients' double-page spread.
Each recipe is clearly laid out with the title (and any relevant translation) in bold capital letters (sometimes white on a coloured background), the list of ingredients, number of servings, opening text - often with a historical slant - and the clearly laid out method.
Each page has the country at the top, for easy reference, and the page number also in the relevant language at the bottom, which is a nice extra touch.
A small taste of the recipes contained within:
Nice and Simple Spanish Gazpacho
Incredible Olive Oil Biscuits
Tinto de Verano Sorbet
Gorgeous Beetroot Gravadlax
Arctic Char Parcels
M'Hanncha with Date Sauce (aka 'Snakey-Cakey', in Jamie-speak!)
Simple Lamb Tangia
Souvlaki (Wicked Kebabs)
Mighty Meat Stifado
Honeyed Feta Filo Pies
Roquefort Salad with Warm Croutons and Lardons
The World Famous Tarte Tatin
Tried, to date, and eaten:
'My Favourite Paella'
which I made in my favourite shallow casserole, opening with the 'lug of olive oil', initially for the chorizo and pork belly, then the peppers, garlic, onion and parsley stalks, seasoning and saffron.
Then ...the rice, tinned toms and stock......and more seasoning....and Jamie's unassuming advice:
'......This combination of flavours will be absolutely beautiful, but you've got to help the dish along by doing your job and making sure each grain of rice gets the same amount of love. So every now and then, stir from the outside of the pan into the middle so you get a sort of pile of rice in the centre, making sure nothing is sticking to the bottom. Flatten the pile out with your spoon, then start the whole process again. After 15 minutes, the rice should be cooked but will still have a bit of a bite....'
Time to add the shellfish (and a further dash of stock) in my case!
In go the chopped parsley leaves and the freshly squeezed lemon juice.....from the lemon wedges which finally adorn the top.........as this handsome dish makes its way directly to the table for serving!
Well worth every minute of that aforementioned 'tender loving care'........and simply delicious with a glass of chilled Sancerre!
'Years ago, before I knew anything about Greek food, or knew any Greek people, I did a school project on the Acropolis.
I may not have come top of the class, but that didn't mean I wasn't full of excitement when I finally arrived in Athens and caught a glimpse of it on the horizon.'
Typical, down-to-earth Jamie!
Tonight, I am off to try the 'Pot au Feu', (pages 316/317 - pictured), with Jamie's recommended 'sunnier month' tweak!
Advertised as serving 4, I was initially surprised at the meat volume:
1 x 1KG piece of beef shin or brisket
1 x 400g piece of pork belly
300g French sausage
1.5kg whole chicken.........
but, Jamie goes on to reveal that there will be loads of 'meat leftovers':
'.....This recipe makes a great meal for four people, but there's enough meat to do you another couple of meals as well....'
but this recipe will require a seriously LARGE pot!
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