just a little inspiration from jamie...

my cooking mojo disappeared into the ether years ago now but jamie oliver seems to be bringing it back - just a little!

after reading lots of people raving about his 15 minute cookbook i got myself a copy around christmas time. we have had fun trying different recipes and have found several already that we have repeated more than once! the kids aren't as keen as we are but geoff and i are loving most of the meals.

with that success i went looking for the 30 minute cookbook as well. let me tell you it was NOT easy to find - i think i went to at least 12-15 stores in 2 states and a handful of different towns and suburbs before finding it (at QBD belconnen if anyone else is looking!)

the things i love most about each book are:
15 minutes - the fresh flavours and ease of cooking (once you can decipher his recipes, which is for the most part quite difficult)
30 minutes - the instructions are much easier to follow!

we've found with both books that you need to allow about double the time to make them, but that's still OK for us.  I do find the layout of the books, especially the photos, very overwhelming.

Here's what we've made so far:

15 minutes:

  • chicken dim sum, p 24 - bit of a disaster, chicken too bland, vegies way overcooked
  • spicy cajun chicken, p 28 - yum! we love it and have made it a number of times! i highly recommend trying the okra, it really is so good in this recipe!
  • chilli con carne meatballs, p 58 - we weren't keen at all. our garam masala has too much clove taste to suit and it just seemed bland and boring
  • beef kofta curry, p66 - not the best curry you'll ever had but definitely a hit in our house! flavours are just good enough to suit the grownups and the kids loved it. mind you, i made it with korma paste by accident and we have liked it that way each time!
  • Lamb kofte, p 108 - really easy and yum! we won't bother with the pitta next time (well, unless we find some superfresh homemade type ones) and i did rice rather than the gluten couscous. definitely on the menu again

30 minutes:

  • pregnant jools pasta, p30 - this was ok but we probably won't do it again. the frangipane tarts were nice though i'd use fresh berries next time rather than jam (i made my own gluten free shortcrust pastry)
  • chicken skewers, p 110 - yum! i did add extra flavours and vegies to the noodles (cucumber, grated carrot etc)
that's all from the 30 min book so far...

if you'd like to try some of the recipes, you can find some on his website http://www.jamieoliver.com/ and you can see photos of many of the meals i've made here http://bitethebook.com/2012/10/13/jamie-olivers-15-minute-meals/

the chilli con carne meatballs - i know they look good huh! was very disappointing :(

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