Wednesday, October 7, 2009
favorite cookbook: jamie oliver's happy days with the naked chef
i think i have most of jamie oliver's cookbooks. i love his easy style and i find him very real and down to earth in the kitchen. i'm charmed by his accent (which i realize may say something about me that i don't care to delve into) and even more by his vocabulary. he makes me want to make meals that are pukka too. his recipes are easy to follow (or deviate from, as the case may be), he focuses on fresh, quality ingredients and he makes you feel like you'd be able to bung that up in no time, no problem.
but, the one of his cookbooks that i return to again and again is happy days with the naked chef. from the classic toad in the hole (p. 25) for a birthday brunch to his pancakes USA stylie (p. 40) on a sunday morning (we don't have bisquick here, after all, so we've got to make them from scratch) to the courgette (zucchini) salad (p. 96) as a side dish when the zucchini are coming out of our ears to the variety of dressings (p. 114-115) that i turn to whenever i'm feeling uninspired for that salad accompanying dinner to his stuffed bread recipe (p. 249) for which i've become mildly famous in our circle of friends...the recipes are delicious and repeatable. because they're generally made with a few simple, good quality ingredients, they make even everyday meals like a roast chicken feel a bit luxurious, but are also special enough to serve to guests. this cookbook is in my Big Five (the other four coming soon) and is the one i always turn to first.
if you were to buy only one jamie oliver (says the girl whose new jamie america book just arrived), happy days with the naked chef is the one. you won't regret it.