MARCH 2011 COTM CELEBRATES JAMIE OLIVER MONTH!
You voted, and this month's main selections include The Naked Chef, The Return of the Naked Chef, Happy Days with the Naked Chef, and Jamie's Italy. I've been unable to format this in the way that smtucker and a few others did - I will work on it for the next month's selections. Please remember to paraphrase recipes or to post links to your favorites. On a personal note, I've never explored JO's books and am looking forward to this month. Hope to learn a lot and cull a few keepers in the following weeks. All of you are invited (encouraged) to jump in and start experimenting and cooking with JO right away; pictures are always welcome, of course!
[Edited by the Chowhound Team to include links]
THE NAKED CHEF:
Herbs and Spices
Salads and Dressings
Fish and Shellfish
Meat, Poultry and Game
Risotto and Couscous
Stocks, Sauces, etc. etc.
THE RETURN OF THE NAKED CHEF (aka The Naked Chef Takes Off
) Morning Glory (breakfasts)
Tapas, Munchies, and Snacks
Simple Salads and Dressings
Soups and Broths
Pasta and Risotto
Fish and Shellfish
Meat, Poultry and Game
HAPPY DAYS WITH THE NAKED CHEF:
More Simple Salads
Nice Bit of Meat.....
and Loads of Veg
The Wonderful World of Bread
street food and pizza
primi: first courses
secondi: main courses
contorni: side dishes
As I said, I'll do my best to format it in a more user-useful way for next month. I'm in touch with smtucker who will guide me through it. I would've done it already but I've been busy with Mardi Gras, away on a cruise, and/or sick with upper respiratory problems. Please jump right in and let's have a wonderful March!!!!
Fantastic Fish Pie (p. 159 NC Takes Off - a little confused about where this should go - doesn't seem right in the adjunct since it is a NC book, but I also don't see it listed here).
I've been wanting to make this for ages, and just hadn't gotten around to it. So I had very high hopes. I love fish pie, and an English fish pie is heaven. Was this heaven? No, but it was good. I think expectations were so high that anything at all not perfect made me feel let down. Anyway ...
Basically you make a big pile of mashed potatoes (he says you can add olive oil and salt and pepper - I did my usual mashers instead with butter and cream, and am glad I did). You are supposed to add 3 eggs to the boiling water so that you have hard boiled eggs to go in with the fish, but there is one item everyone in this house does not want to eat, and that is hard boiled eggs, so I skipped that. While the potatoes are boiling you slowly fry a chopped onion and carrot. Add cream to this and boil for a moment. Take off the heat and add cheese (he calls for either parmesan or sharp cheddar), lemon juice, english mustard and chopped parsley. Mix together. Put your 1 lb of sliced cod (or haddock) into a baking dish with some steamed spinach (I just used frozen that I squeezed dry) and the eggs if using. Pour the cream/onion/etc. sauce over. Top this with the mashed potatoes and bake for 25-30 minutes. Pretty tasty, but for me the mustard was maybe a bit much. Now, this may be because I didn't use the eggs, and didn't add anything to take their place; it could be that I added too much of the mustard. I normally like a mustard and cream flavor. But somehow the cod ended up tasting somewhat pickled. Still and all, we liked it, and plates were cleaned, small seconds had. But ... not as earth shatteringly good as I had hoped.
So, JO Month is coming to a close. I thought it would be fun to talk about what we've learned and what we've liked and disliked this month.
I started out pretty skeptical of JO, thinking he was just another celebrity chef, but after reading a huge pile of his books and watching some of his shows I've developed a real appreciation of his cooking, philosophy, and activism. He was unbelievably annoying when he first started out and I much prefer the more grown up Jamie.
I'm still not a fan of his handfuls, I prefer more precise measurements. I'm not an improviser. Things started to turn out better when I chose smaller produce. Onions are especially different - smaller onions that come in a bag seem closer to the size he's working with than the giant ones I normally use.
My two favorite books are the ones I bought (yay!) - Jamie at Home and Jamie's Kitchen. I won't be buying the Naked Chef ones even though I did like some of the recipes in them. My husband has really been missing stir fries this month, and I'm hoping after next month we move on from Europe and do some more Asian or Indian or Mexican!
I hadn't paid a lot of attention to him on TV, because his first couple of shows weren't CCed (I have a hard time understanding every last word in British English), so when I started noticing his cookbooks, I didn't pay much attention. Then, when JAMIE'S ITALY came out, I realized that here was someone like me, someone who loved and was greatly influenced by Italian cooking, but who didn't grow up with it at home. And I liked that he used egg yolks in pasta.
I didn't see him again on TV until JAMIE'S FOOD REVOLUTION on ABC in 2010. (What was up with him and the Food Network? He's got their sticker on a lot of his books, but I've hardly ever seen one of his shows on FN.) I liked that show. I didn't know how bad the situation was for kids who have to eat in school cafeterias. And ABC had CC.
Right after the start of COTM, I was diagnosed with diabetes. No surprise. Everyone in my father's mother's family had it, and it grabbed me in this generation. And I like carbs, so...
So I made beans from JAMIE'S ITALY, then remembered the parents of the kids in JAMIE'S FOOD REVOLUTION, and how a lot of them were diabetic. Jamie helped them, too. Healthy, simple cooking was the premise, so how could I lose?
So far I've made salmon with a tandoori paste, which came in a jar. I'd reconstitute dry tandoori spices in yogurt next time. Tonight I'm making meatballs, which I'll adjust somewhat. Little reminders like this, of things I haven't made, or even thought of, in years, help make this book even more interesting.
There's a number of simple Indian preparations--something new for me--that I'm going to make over the next few weeks.
A young friend is graduating law school this spring. I'm going to give him a copy of JAMIE'S FOOD REVOLUTION with the Le Creuset French oven I bought him.
I love the way he writes. Handfuls and lugs (I always thought he was saying "glugs") work just fine for me. That's how I describe a lot of what I cook.
re: Jay F
For a while, I'd forgotten that I first got the idea of making fresh pasta from watching Jamie's show .. he made it look easy and fast. (Alas, I'm not that fast!) Of all the fresh pasta recipes I've tried, I like Hazan's the best, just be sure to let it rest, covered in plastic wrap, on counter for about an hour.)
His food revolution show was great, too. So many people just don't know how to put simple, fresh food on the table anymore.
Well, I've done just a few -- 2 breads, 1 dessert (cookies), 1 pasta, 4 vegetables.
I was very happy with the bread & pasta recipes, liked just one (of four) vegetable dishes, and loved the cookies.
A measurement was missing in the book (cookie recipe) so I had to go online to find it.
I would be interested in exploring his Italian dishes more, pasta I had was terrific.
I'd say I haven't cooked nearly enough J. Oliver stuff to have an opinion worth posting -- but I'd certainly want to try some more --
not enough to buy more books though -- I'm happy but not Enthusiastic.
All, I'm just checking in to day all is well. I've had some recent life changes (all good, not to worry, just overwhelming) that is requiring my time and attention right now. I hope to get back to COTM in a few months. I'm bummed to not be cooking alongside you all for JO month, but I do look forward to eventually reading all of your reports. And, oh!, Dorie Greenspan for April. Wonderful choice!
Coincidentally, Jamie has a new TV programme starting tonight, but it's not about cooking! He's basically trying to get kids who've dropped out of school interested in learning again by creating a "school" with lots of really cool "teachers" who are actually experts in their field. So Cherie Blair is teaching human rights, David Starkey is a history teacher, Tinchy Stryder is doing music and poetry, Dominic West is teaching acting... Those kids are lucky!
Apparently Lord Winston, who's a famous scientist, was particularly inspiring...
reply to myself ha - - I have got doing the links and urls down now. Was trying to do them in a word document for some odd reason and then copy and paste here. Next month will be a breeze...I hope. Thanks for your help and patience. I knew what to do just not where to do it to make it work (too much on my mind lately). Anyway: problem fixed!!!! -Paula
Thanks so much Paula. I just did a quick search on FoodieView and they have links to 1881 Jamie Oliver recipes so if folks don't have a book and are looking for a recipe, this may be a good resource. Here's the link:
I've posted this on the Adjunct thread as well.
Speaking of Italian Gio, I couldn't resist picking up Conde Nast's latest special interest publication..."Gourmet Italian Kitchen." I sorely miss my Gourmet mag and, having a passion for Italian cooking, I just HAD to have this!
I didn't manage to get through it because mr bc picked it up and started putting sticky notes in it...lots of sticky notes so I suspect this was money well spent. The Lasagna on the front looks spectacular! (just in case you need another book!!)
Thank you, bayoucook. Will you be creating subthreads for each of the four books then? Or did you intend to have us post our reports from all four books in this thread?
Also, as promised, I set up the adjunct thread. Please post about your experiences with "all other Jamie Oliver" recipes in the adjunct thread: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/769171 By "all other" I mean any recipe NOT from Jamie's Italy OR any Naked Chef book.