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I'm going to show you how to put a whole meal on the table in 30 minutes flat! Not just one dish, a whole spread of beautiful things.
If, like me, you love food, and have hungry mouths to feed when you get home after a long day, then allow me to let you in on a totally revolutionary new way of cooking. In this book I'm going to show you how to make a complete meal in the time you'd normally spend on one dish. What you'll be able to achieve in just 30 minutes will absolutely blow your mind. It's certainly blown mine!
This is not about compromising on quality. It's about being organized, working fast and using shortcuts and clever tricks to put insanely delicious plates of food on the table in no time. Each of the 50 meals inside has been carefully written so there's no faffing about - just good, fast cooking. I've created complete menus of food that go beautifully together and planned the recipes in a really unique, easy-to-follow way. This kind of cooking is all about using every minute wisely, having fun, and reclaiming your kitchen for the job it was meant for.
You might think it can't be done, but I promise you it can. Have a look inside to see the sort of meals you're going to get. Once you start cooking this way, not only will you absolutely love it; you'll never look back.
Having always been a fan of good food, and always wanting better food to be fast, this seemed like the perfect book for me. And it was. Now, I have held on to this one for a while - but only a few months as it arrived after a rather extended journey through the postal system after being sent in August 2011 as part of the relaunch to coincide with his TV show hitting our screens... so why did I hold off?
Simply - most of the recipes and meals in the book seem to suit spring/summer menus rather than the heavier, heartier winter meals... so what better time to trial them than our Summer! And (apparently) here it is... so time to blow the cobwebs off and give it another in-depth reading and perhaps trial a few.
Some of the dishes are just mad - in a good way - such as the "Eton Mess" - basically mashed strawberries and sugar, creme faiche or low-fat yoghurt, and crumbled meringue layered on a platter... totally earns the name in terms of look, but the flavour is something quite extraordinary! Jamie's version of single-serve cheesecakes, using Lemon Curd (though we might just use a Lime Curd instead) was inspired... though hardly what we would call a cheesecake... it's more like a layered trifle than anything else, in my mind. Still, damned scrummy!
The trick to this book is that it isn't just a recipe book for you to pick and choose individual dishes from - though there is certainly nothing stopping you from doing so - it carries a complete meal - often 3-4 courses - from start to finish. So you don't really need to fret too much, just buy all the ingredients listed, follow the instructions as given, and you'll end up with a full-on meal in no time! The instructions even interleave themselves so that you know when you can walk away from one dish and pay attention to another, knowing you'll be prompted at what point to return to that simmering saucepan or roasting dish in the oven... Brilliant and so stress-free!
Overall, I think this book is well on it's way to becoming a dog-eared family heirloom, passed down to my kids as they get promoted to kitchen duty. The food isn't always going to be inexpensive - some of the dishes are quite scary to price up actually - but if you have the budget, this is certainly the best helping hand to take you away from that chewy stirfry and limp salad and into the world of top-notch commercial-grade cooking in a home kitchen. Now, if you'll excuse me, I need to go add a few more items to next week's shopping list, because I feel a BBQ'd variant of Chicken Satay Skewers and Cheat's Pizza coming on...
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William Shakespeare (1564 - 1616), As You Like It