Monday, August 2, 2010

cookbook stash: cook with jamie

My first cookbook I would like to share is one of my favorites of my collection: Jamie Oliver's Cook With Jamie. I received this cookbook two years ago as a Christmas gift and it has since been well-used.

The book is a nice hardcover edition with gold lettering and a ribbon bookmark. The nearly 450 pages are thick and sturdy, and each recipe has its own color photograph. The book does retail for the hefty price of $37.50, but for such a high quality product, I don't find this excessive. If you are still unconvinced, all the proceeds from the book are donated to Jamie's Fifteen Foundation, which trains young adults from tough backgrounds in the culinary arts.

The idea of the book is to teach its readers how to be a better cook. I think it's a good book for someone with basic cooking experience, but looking to branch out to more complicated techniques and dishes. There are six chapters of recipes (salads, pasta, meat, fish, vegetables, and desserts). Jamie gives advice on pairing alcohol with food, basic kitchen tools, how to shop for meats and fish, food safety, and techniques like cutting and freezing your food.

Jamie has a great command on flavors and what ingredients pair well together. He teaches you how to make your own pasta and salad dressing. He is extremely knowledgeable on the ingredients he uses and gives expert advice on preparing everything from squid to lamb shanks. There are recipes for everyone, foodies and homebodies alike. Jamie may be arrogant and unabashed, but he knows his stuff. How can you hate a guy who preaches the importance of eating fresh and local?

Cook With Jamie has become an indispensable volume in my collection. I consult it for just about all my cooking needs and have made recipes with great success. Anybody who wants to be more comfortable in the kitchen should add this to their own stash.

Best features: beautiful color photographs and detailed instructions
Recipes worth trying: Jools' favorite Saturday afternoon pasta, Mushroom risotto, Dinner-lady carrots, Creamy butternut squash, Rhubarb and custard
Yay or Nay? Yay! Great cookbook for anyone who loves to cook.
Purchase here: Cook with Jamie: My Guide to Making You a Better Cook

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