He may have been dropped as the face of Sainsburys but Jamie Oliver has proved that when it comes to selling cook books, once again he is a best seller. His 30-Minute Meals Cook Book was only released just over two months ago but has already sold 735,000 copies and is topping the best-seller lists every week since it came out. This makes it the fastest selling non fiction book of all time despite the price tag of £26. Perhaps Jamie has tapped into the nations worry of not having enough time to cook decent, healthy meals from scratch and has hit the culinary nail on the head with his commonsense attitude to cooking. So what is all the fuss about and is it any good?
In his new book, it is all about being organised and by mastering a few tricks and staying focused in the kitchen, you can get a complete meal on the table in the same amount of time you’d normally spend making one dish. So how does he do it and it is really possible? I am not sure if a novice cook could master these recipes without a few practise runs but the more accomplished cooks amongst us will definitely want to take up the challenge. Tips such as boil a kettle if you are cooking vegetables or rice may seem old hat to us pros but even we may overlook short cuts like these. Also to start off with the produce that will take the longest time to cook is pretty much commonsense, but how many times have you seen a newbie start cooking something that takes minutes and leaving something else that takes longer until the end?
There are 50 brand new meal ideas in this book and they are all exciting, varied and seasonal and include side dishes as well as puddings and drinks. What I really like about this recipe book is that Jamie has written the recipes in a way that will help you make the most of every single minute in the kitchen. It is a very practical book but beautifully laid out with pictures accompanying all of the recipes. Each page has step by step instructions on each stage of the recipe with a picture to accompany it and tips on how to save time as you go along. Meals include Steak Indian-style, spinach & paneer salad, naan breads, mango dessert; Spring lamb, vegetable platter, mint sauce, Chianti gravy, chocolate fondue; Mustard chicken, quick dauphinoise, greens, black forest affogato and Green curry, crispy chicken, kimchee slaw, rice noodles. It just goes to show that with a bit of preparation, the right equipment and some organisation, hearty, delicious, quick meals are less than half an hour away. No wonder it is a best seller! Available from all good book shops and online at www.amazon.co.uk new from £11.00 and used from £4.99.