Purchased this book as a gift for my sister who is a big Jamie Oliver fan. Having watched his American tour she desperately wanted to try out some of the recipes and so far has been totally impressed. If there is any criticism at all it would be that the quantities need to be halved in some instances for your average family of 4. Overall, she loves it and would recommend to anyone wishing to try authentic american dishes.
Clearly, Jamie isn't going to cover the entire sphere of American cookery in one book, but to my knowledge, this is possibly the first mainstream high profile book on the subject, so well done Jamie.
I've had an interest in different American cuisines for quite some time, and as an immigrant country the cuisines are obviously as diverse as the origins of the population which makes American cuisines far more diverse than those of Europe.
The public and media perception of US cuisine is obviously skewed to what it is familiar with, deep pan pizza, mass produced tex mex, and the ubiquitous soggy hamburger and fries. These are the imports of high margin, aggressive multinationals. But there is so much more to American food....
The problem is finding out about it. The cuts of meat, the commercial sauces, the regional differences within the US, etc.
I was delighted to find that Jamie includes a recipe for Beer Can Chicken, something rarely seen this side of the pond, but now the ONLY way I roast chicken (but Jamie gets it slightly wrong, the rub should go under the skin, not on it - is this a transcription error?) - this can turn even the most boring mass produced chicken into something special.
I already cook a number of dishes that Jamie covers, and these are some of my favourites, so I think Jamie's selection of dishes is spot on.
As an introduction to the more exciting and tasty American foods, this is simply an excellent book and highly recommended. All I would say is that it still a bit of a starting point. There are plenty of internet resources for developing recipes, and seeing how other people do the same things, and some commercial products that would be used in the US aren't referred to in Jamie's book, but they CAN be obtained occasionally in the UK.
I have used this book since Christmas and it is fantastic. Full of great recipes grouped together by regions within the USA so you can often find three courses together. The recipes contrast one another throughout the book so you don't have to stick with the same theme when looking for ideas. Pictures are great and step-by-step instructions are easy to follow. I just love that nothing is pretencious in this book, you know what you are getting and everything tastes super.
I've made a few of the recipes from the book and will update this review when I've cooked more. I've LOVED everything. The best thing about this book is that (if you're not well aquainted with some American cuisine) it is full of original recipes which don't look too daunting and are easy to make and yummy to eat.
So far I've cooked the Baby Back Ribs with Jamie's amazing BBQ Sauce - if there is one recipe to try it's this. There are a million ingredients in the sauce and its fairly time consuming considering its only sauce but the result is spectacular - sweet, spicy, flavoursome sauce with a big kick!! If you don't like heat, I would only use two chillies instead of 3. I made the Slaw and Potato Salad to accompany the ribs and it worked really well. I would reccomend his Coleslaw as one of the best I have tasted.
I also made the Red Velvet Cupcakes which were very tasty but nothing different to cupcakes I've made from Hummingbird.
The book is FULL of more recipes I am looking forward to making. The pictures and stories are engaging but just reading the book makes me want to cook everything in it. God Bless America!!
At first I didn't want to buy this, as flicking through the pages I saw just really unhealthy-seeming super-American stuff, like fried chicken, burgers and mac and cheese. However, these are just a minority. Of course, the classics are incorporated, but Jamie mixes it up with really creative ideas for salads, and more obscure cuisines, such as Navajo. The great thing about this book is that Jamie shows how much of a melting pot the US are: it is a mix of Native American, Italian, Creole (and through that, French, Spanish, and African), Mexican and South American, Asian cuisines... add some all-American BBQ recipes, and the result is amazing! Recommend the jambalaya, the peach cobbler, deep pan pizza, Navajo lamb, the cowboy meatballs, the Mexican breakfast, the southern pecan and apple salad, beer butt chicken.... it is all delicious recommended especially for those who like the staple ingredients in this book: tomatoes, avocados, chilli, paprika, peppers... minus point for being meat-heavy.however, some of the recipes could work without the meat. not so sure about all the BBQ recipes though.
It is great to see a recipe book written on the good apects of American cooking. It is not all pre-prepared and packaged food in this vast country and Jamie Oliver has managed to find interesting and easily cooked recipes for this book.
It is well laid out and the descriptions of the poeple and the food make for interesting reading - it is more than just a recipe book, a travelog as well.
The recipes are pretty healthy with plenty of emphasis on salads. Short of alligator, the ingredients are easily accessible in New Zealand. The recipes I have cooked have been tasty, have been well received and they look like the picture. The awesome apple pancakes were so easy to make and they tasted great
A big plus is that the book uses metric measures, unlike most books on American food
Overall a great recipe book that I know I will use often.
We moved to Georgia from the UK last year. We were sent this as a Christmas Gift, which I thought was a little strange at the time - an English cookbook about America bought in England and sent to the USA? But I have just bought 2 copies as gifts for people in England! It truly is full of authentic Georgia recipes - Pulled pork, Shrimp and Grits, Pecans, Mash, Collard Greens, Fried Chicken, Hush Puppies, Corn, Slaw, Ribs... The Louisiana section is excellent too - Gumbo, Crab, etc etc. There is lots of good background information too, about the way people live, cook and eat. PS Don't believe the hype - I have never been to so many fantastic restaurants, and eaten so much good food. And the barbecue competitions - y'all don't know what ya missin! (If you enjoy the Georgia section, then look out for Paula Deen cookbooks - she is Georgia's Jamie.)
I bought this book because I was so impressed with his ministry of food and it hasn't disappointed. I'm no cook and wasn't interested at all prior to using his books; they're simple to understand and i love the way he writes things so that you don't even have to think about the timings needed - genius!(ministry of food is probably aimed at us beginners)and he uses minimal ingredients, which you can expand upon as you gain confidence. Jamie's America is the next step up - definitely more complicated but probably still laughable to anyone with some cooking background. We love his chocolate/fruit/nut slice and anyway he recommends doing a roast. His recipes are generally foolproof and draw gasps from those eating your creations (my husband can't believe his luck). Can't recommend him enough! Have fun
Like the TV series this is a great book, but if you're a veggie like me beware, it's very heavily focused on meat recipes. At least my friends and family will be happy. I can't wait to try the cheese cake. I've already had the beans and they were yummy. Jamie as ever describes the recipes in a very easy to follow manor which makes cooking even for beginners easy. This book is really rammed full of recipes.
If you love America, you'll love this book. It's a great cookery book, with so many mouth-watering recipes. But it's also lovely as a sort of coffee table book, with amazing photos and some lovely introductions to each chapter that really evoke the places and the people that have inspired the recipes. It's a pleasure to sit down with a cup of coffee and just read it and flick through it for an hour. I've made a few of the recipes so far, and they have all been delicious. This is not your mid-week quick fix sort of cooking, but food to take pleasure in thinking about and preparing when you've got that little bit more time. It's probably not the sort of cook book I'd cook from very often, but I'm very glad I bought it, it's lovely!
I have most of Jamie Olivers cookery books and I am a big fan. I am not just giving it a 4 star rating for those reason though. This is a very insightful book into areas of America that get over looked. The photograph is excellent and so it is banter and Jamie's style throughout the book that makes you what to read on and get cooking. I have made the Down 'n' Dirty Cajun rice so far (which was really great and a different use of ingredients and a use if those green peppers that you get left with in the packs that you don't know what to do with) and can't wait to get started on the BBQ pork. The only reason I didn't give it 4 stars is that not every recipe from the TV show appears in the book which is a shame.