Thursday, February 10, 2011
Cookbook watch: Instructional, easy cookbooks
Jamie Oliver's 30-minute meals. I have almost all of Jamie's cookbooks. I skipped the last one - the "Jamie Does..." since I was pretty disappointed with his America-book and when I looked through the European one, I wasn't wow-ed. So, I really debated whether or not to get the new one, but in the end, the great reviews made me give in and I'm glad I did. It's pretty unique - as the title implies, it has instructions and recipes for how to get a meal on the table in 30 minutes. Not a dish, mind you - a complete meal. With sides, and sometimes a starter or a dessert. I admit that I haven't tried anything just yet, and I'm not completely sure the book is for me - it's clearly geared towards those that don't want to free-style a lot in the kitchen, and that are perhaps less confident cooks. Like my husband. He's looked through this and has promised to try it out - and I think he'll like it a lot. The instructions are clear and detailed - but they are in order according to the entire meal, so if you just want to make one dish, you have to read carefully. Still, I find this a rather unique concept and I like the book!
The Barefoot Contessa - Ina Garten - is not very well-known to me - probably because I've never seen her TV-show. I have a few of her books though, and I love her latest one: "How easy is that?" As the title implies, it has easy recipes for cocktails, starters, lunch, dinner, vegetables and dessert. All are very approachable even for inexperienced cooks, but also suitable for those more adventurous. It's not super-simple three-ingredient stuff - but everything is easy and straightforward to make. On the top of my list: Roasted shrimp with feta, creamy parmesan polenta, and mocha chocolate icebox cake!
Someone else, also much more famous in the US than in Sweden, is Rachael Ray. I've watched the show occasionally though, and I enjoy the cooking segments. So, her new book, "Rachael Ray's Look + Cook", is totally fun! It relies on step-by-step photos, as well as written instructions (that are a bit hard to read though, as they're squished together to make more space for the photos) and thus perfect for those of you who prefers a lot of pictures to guide you along! And the photos themselves: mouth-watering! The chapters are "cozy food", "make your own take-out" and " fancy fake-outs" and then comes a whole other section of the book with more recipes, but no photos. I'm not sure I like that as much - I can see the point (to get more recipes in) but I really prefer to have SOME photo to show the final result. Anyway - there's a lot of quick and easy dinner ideas here, and I'll get a lot of use out of it!