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I thought that I would give this book a whirl after purchasing his '15 Minute Meals'. So what do I think of it? Well .....
Pros: - Most of the 'recipes' contain both a main course (with side dishes), and a dessert which is a nice twist - The recipes are balanced and very nutritious with the gratuitous use of fresh ingredients which I like - Jamie, unlike other celebrity chefs, utilises pretty normal ingredients that you'll either have in your cupboard or can easily buy - There are plenty of recipes for vegetarians, fish and meat lovers - The recipes are varied - ranging from pasta, currys, salads, soup and risottos etc
Cons - The 'Contents' page is bizarre. It consists of two pages with long lists of recipes on both, with no easily discernible sections (see photo). It took me a while to realise that the change in text colour had some loose meaning; Green text is vegetarian, purple is Italian, orange is chicken and fish, and blue is red meat. - There is no way that these meals can be cooked in 30 minutes. He says that you need to organise all of your equipment beforehand, but to me, this IS part of the meal preparation. - The 'method' is rather odd. Instead of telling you how to prepare each dish in the recipe and letting you decide the order in which you would like to make them, he lumps them all together. This means that you are preparing them all at the same time, so you are jumping from one dish to another constantly.
Still a good book though, with some tasty recipes.
The recipes are good but like everyone says are far from 30min. If you like to roepare ingredients before hand it is quite difficult as the instructions don’t allow for that. It is great if you liek making, cutting and cooking as you go and if you have and like to use a food processor. The results are great, not low in fat though but the book doesn’t promise that
Who wouldn't love this book, I mean yes there are a lot of ingredients that need to be bought and prepped, also u wouldn't say that it was necessarily going to make your food shop any cheaper (if you're buying it for that then forget it) but if, like me, you like to try new things, packed full of flavour but that's not going to take a load of 'one job' tools that you'll buy for one receipe but never actually use again then this is the book for you. Ok I think he might be stretching the 30min per meal a bit far as I'm along with prep it will take longer but not by much, so don't time it, maybe that's just me. I have enjoyed a far few recipes so far and it is nice to have a few new things out there that I could prob do during the week.
I first came across 30 minute meals from the Sunday lunchtime repeats on More4 during 2012. I took a few of the ideas (such as Asian greens) to accompany some of my meals and then decided to get the book. I was under no illusions that these can be done in 30 minutes - after all if you watch the show carefully you can see where they have edited it (for example if he's chopping 4 bananas it will show him chopping two, cut away to a pan and when it cuts back a couple of seconds later all the bananas are chopped). However once you get used to the meals and the techniques you should be able to get them done in around 40 minutes. And remember: these are full meals, not just one dish so unless your idea of cooking is sticking something in the microwave for 10 minutes or calling the local take-away this is still pretty good. Best of all though is the variety and tastiness of the recipes - even some of the ones that don't look particularly interesting.
Current favourites are the spinach and filo tart, vegetable rogan josh, quick ragu, piri piri chicken (complete with Portuguese custard tarts!) and the amazing cheats' pizza (seriously, this one does only take about 30 minutes without the desert). I can also be good to take some of the salads or deserts to serve with other meals.
I've bought this book for several other people as presents and everyone I know loves it. I think this is definitely the superior book to 15 minute meals and it is backed by the complete set of programs available to watch on 4OD if you need clarification on how to do things.
I love this recipe book! The layout is great, beautiful photos and the recipes easy and quick to follow once you get into the swing of things. I love this style of cooking. I have absolutely no imagination when it comes to throwing meals together. I find using this book makes it so much fun cooking because I know that at that in a short time I will have great tasting food on the table and plenty compliments from my Hubby. There is only the two of us in the house and I found that we were throwing a lot of food away. Planned meals stop the waste and therefor save on our grocery bills. They are easy to adapt for two people. As my husband does not eat veges I only cook for me. Intitially it cost a bit to get all the ingredients, but we did this gradually as we needed them. Really had to shop around though as some supermarkets do not stock some of the ingrediants, like fresh nutmeg for instance. Now we always have great tasting food on the table and to take to work for lunches. It's amazing what a few extra ingredients do to a dish :)) I read the introduction and the beginnign of the book first to understand how things work. Went to the trouble of re-arranging the kitchen and buying a few bits of kit and a food processor to make my life easier. It is also worth building up the ingredients and not "making do", becasue the meals are so tasty and different. Best money I have spent in a long time.
The book starts with a detailed explanation of what you need in the kitchen in terms of equipment and ingredients to prepare these meals. The recipes then detail the steps required to prepare the food along with photographs which help greatly.
Jamie's rustic approach to presentation will not appeal to those who want their food to look like works of art, In the same way, his ad hoc measuring of ingredients will not appeal to those who like the precision of cooks like Delia Smith. Jamie's approach is geared to fast prep and having the food on the table ready to eat in double quick time.
The test of food is ultimately about the taste and here Jamie scores high with big flavours and textures in his dishes. His dishes are also low in calories, healthy and nutritious which is what we need for every day meals. If you want lots of red meat and rich sauces then you need to look elsewhere.
Bought this because I keep doing the same recipes and there are now fewer of us at home to enjoy meals on weekends so I needed new ideas. Find it easy to follow and all the dishes have been good and the combinations excellent. It is simple not gourmet but it is hard even for an experienced person to do it in the time. So think about your limitations and do those bits before and then it does all come together quickly, It uses lots of ingredients but I like the way that one dish often uses the "other half" of what was need for another. Also gives good tips on what to look out for and pitfalls to avoid.
Pretty good cook book. We purchased it for half the price of the initial release price, which is about right for a hard back book of this type - not really worth the full price. We've tried a number of the recipes. Most very good and interesting. Uses ingredients we've all heard of, so that's good. Doesn't get too fancy either, which is also good - who wants to take hours looking for ingredients and preparing a meal? Not for dinner parties maybe, but as good a buy as any for general meal ideas. Talking of the preparation time, we were initially drawn by the "30 minute meals" title, although having watched the related TV series, we had already deduced that the title was possibly a little optimistic to say the least for us general public (in fact, tongue in cheek, one wonders how it doesn't fall foul of the trade descriptions act?, ah that's it.... it says "Jamie's...., so maybe he can) Granted, some recipes are quicker/easier than others, but should be called "meals under an hour?". So one point lost for optimistic title, but if you bear this in mind, it a decent cook book to add to your collection.