Ok, so it’s not like we spent a week with the man himself. More like his book. His newest book. His new ‘5 ingredients’ book to be specific.
Now, honesty is the best policy – when I first flicked through I didn’t think that much of the book. I liked the photography, and how each recipe had pictures of the five ingredients down the side. It’s clean, simple and easy to read. On first flick through, not that many of the meals caught my eye. It seemed to be a lot of things I’d seen before.
I have a few of Jamie’s books, his ‘Ministry of Food’ and ’30 Minute Meals’ and although I’ve always liked them, I found the ingredients list daunting. There seemed to be 30 things for each recipe and the cost adds up. Especially with the ‘Ministry of Food’ book, most recipe’s seem to have 20 ingredients.
Maybe that’s what made me go back for a second look – 5 ingredients is simple, easy and cost effective. Worth giving it a go right? I hate the mid week routine, rushed breakfast, rushed lunch and the coming home and having to work out what we’re going to cook for dinner that isn’t going to take all night and destroy the kitchen.
So in my constant effort to spice up week day meals. So we planned five dinners.
1- Smoky Chorizo Salmon
2- Smokey Pancetta Cod
3- Quick Asian Fishcakes
4- Chicken Noodle Stir Fry
5- Aromatic Lamb Curry with Spiced Lentils and Rice
One: Smoky Chorizo Salmon
The first thing we decided to cook was a salmon dish. Holly loves salmon so it seemed like a winner, plus it looked so colourful on the plate. We love chorizo, tomatoes, so it was a go.
We upgraded the fillets to a whole side of salmon. There were three of us eating so we needed to upgrade the recipe so it would serve three people. It took five minutes to prepare and was all cooked in one pan (that made my mid week washing up self happy). All the recipes are served without side dishes, so these aren’t included in the five ingredients. We served it up with new potatoes and it was honestly fabulous.
The skin was crispy, juicy potatoes and smoky chorizo. We’ve had it twice again since including with family and they loved it too.
Verdit – Winner!
Two: Smoky Pancetta Cod
Sticking with the fish theme. We went for another fish dish, but cod this time. We don’t eat much cod as sometimes it’s a bit meaty. It was served with lentils – which I’ve never cooked before with my life! So much so that I nearly didn’t cook them. The recipe has ‘pre-cooked’ lentils, so I nearly threw my uncooked lentils in the pan until I worked out they needed cooking first.
They were… interesting… cardboardy and ended up left in the bowl. On the whole the dish felt a bit mismatched and I’m reaaaaalllly not sure about lentils. But we’re left with half a bag to use!
Three: Quick Asian Fishcakes
Ok – so we didn’t just read the fish section of the book – I promise! But a friend at work also has the Jamie book and we got chatting. She recommended these fish cakes. She also recommended that we cook it with a potato and pea smash. Which we did!
These were fabulous – and super tasty! Holly wasn’t convinced by the ginger and coriander in the fishcakes but ate her own weight in potato and pea smash.
Four: Chicken Noodle Stir Fry
Mmmm… we love a good stir fry. Getting everything thrown in a wok and steaming away. Broccoli is a huge hit in our house. However, the peanuts we ended up leaving out as Holly & Mike aren’t fans. We cooked this when my mum was coming over for tea and served it with some Thai prawn crackers. It was a tasty, nice dinner. We made extra noodles and this easily served 4 of us.
It was a nice dinner but not as mind blowing as some of the others.
Five: Aromatic Lamb Curry
We love a good curry. I think we’re in danger of our local curry house learning out order – so this seemed well timed to find a new curry recipe. It was sublime. Mike cooked this one over the weekend. There were some surprises – aubergine isn’t something we’ve ever bought or really cooked with and it was tasty. The yogurt was fabulous as it toned down the heat.
We cooked it with lentil rice, partly to get rid of the half a bag of lentils we had left – and that was lovely. Maybe lentils aren’t so bad after all.
Verdict: Oh yes!
So, I maybe need to learn to to judge a book by it’s cover, or on first flick through. This is definitely a keeper.
If you fancy spicing up your mid-week dinner routine this is definitely a book worth getting!
Thumbs up Jamie.
Ps. Not a paid review – we genuinely love it!