I chose this cookbook for the summer quarter because many of us will have a little extra time since school is out and things are a little more laid back. We might enjoy spending some additional time making some comfort food to enjoy with the people we love most in the world.
You are going to love flipping through the pages of Jamie Oliver’s Comfort Food cookbook. First of all, it's a heft of a book and it is packed with tantalizing recipes! Just looking at the photos alone had me drooling.
I also appreciate that the naked chef (more on that later) includes step-by-step instructions. These come in handy for the more complicated recipes.
The comfort food recipes I started out with are:
- Shepherds Pie p. 24
- Tear ‘N’ Share Garlic Bread p. 290
- Hummingbird Cake p. 358
- Insanity Burger p. 94
- Mashed potatoes p. 52
Each of these scrumptious recipes I've tried has been a success. In addition, I have to give an honorable mention to the Mayonnaise Four Ways on page 258. The Saffron version is my favorite, but you really will want to try all four. No store-bought mayo can compare to homemade.
Shepherds Pie is one of my husband's favorite dishes, so any time I see a new recipe for it, I give it a go. This one does not disappoint. I used leftover garlic bread for the bread crumb topping.
We've made the tear-n-share garlic bread many times and will probably be a go-to for gatherings and holidays. It's easy to double this recipe and make enough to save some for weekday meals.
The first time I made the Hummingbird Cake it was for Father’s Day. Since then, we've made it again on a couple of birthdays, and it never fails to impress. The first time I made it, I included the topping, but it was sweet enough without the extra sugar on top, so I usually just crumble pecans on top.
The insanity burger is really just so delicious, with the mustard brushed on and the lettuce and sauce combo, you just can't go wrong here. My kids are raving fans of this pub-style burger recipe that requires many napkins!
Pick Me Ups: Food to Raise Your Spirits
Jamie's comfort food is just that; it leaves you feeling like you've been wrapped in a warm fuzzy blanket. Unless it's summer, and then it just makes you feel like doing the happy-food-dance out by the pool in the intoxicating sunshine!
What do you think of when I mention comfort food?
Does food from around the world enter your mind? Maybe a nice Italian pasta is your idea of comfort; he's got you covered! If a cheese sandwich is your first thought, flip on over to page 276. This is more about technique than a recipe, but if you follow his instructions you'll have the tastiest grilled cheese sandwich of your life.
- Bun Cha Bowls – a Vietnamese classic
- Steaming Ramen – enough for eight people!
- Polish Pierogi – this one is a veggie version
- Masala Eggs (with flatbread of course)
About the Cookbook
This hardcover edition is gorgeous and with or without the dust jacket, it looks beautiful on the shelf or open on my kitchen counter.
For those of use whose hobbies include good food, this book does not disappoint! Indulge in delicious food and guilty pleasures with your friends and family or all alone. Either way, this cookbook will be the one you turn to when you want something really comforting.
You can stick with meals that you're familiar with like mini fish-n-chips, or you can step outside your comfort zone. Try chicken tikka masala, sticky toffee pudding, or katsu curry. Feeling adventurous? Why not give the lobster mac a try? And don't skip the magnificent marshmallows, pineapple upside-down cake, peanut butter and jelly brownies, and tutti fruitti pear tarte tatin! (Not all in the same day, though!)
Explore delicious recipes with a nod to every corner of the globe, not just the United Kingdom, where Jamie is known and loved.
This is not a cookbook you'd want to pick any recipe and start preparing for a weekday meal. These are more of the “spend time in the kitchen enjoying the process with a glass of something sparkly” kind of recipes. In the end, the book is what he says it is a comfort food cookbook for when you have a bit more time to spend in the kitchen.
Share photos of your creations using the hashtag #atastybitecookbookclub and join us in the Healthologist Community as we explore this cookbook in depth.
About the Author: Jamie Oliver, “The Naked Chef”
Do you watch tv shows about cooking? I rarely do, so I'm not gonna lie, the first time I heard of “the naked chef” my first thought was “Ewwww!” Not to mention, cooking naked could be dangerous. However, the “naked” part referred to the cooking, not the chef.
Apparently, Mr. Oliver's show was to be about the simplicity of the foods he was preparing and how it didn't need to be super complicated to taste amazing.
While he's definitely spot on with that concept, I wouldn't say he carried it through to this cookbook. Some of these recipes are a bit daunting, just the ingredient list alone can be tiring. However, when you factor in that we are preparing “weekend food” or “comfort food” it all makes sense.
Jamie Oliver Biography
Jamie Oliver started cooking at his parents' pub, the Cricketers, in Clavering, Essex, at the age of eight, and has gone on to work with some of the world's top chefs. He founded Fifteen restaurant in London and the associated charity, Fifteen Foundation, which continues to train disadvantaged young people to become chefs. There are now three other Fifteen restaurants in the world: Cornwall, Amsterdam and Melbourne. Jamie has also launched a chain of high street restaurants in the UK called Jamie's Italian. In 2005 Jamie led a campaign to improve the quality of school dinners in the UK and, through the Feed Me Better movement, caused the government to substantially change its policy towards school food. Jamie continues to write for publications in the UK and around the world, including his own magazine, Jamie Magazine. He lives in London and Essex with his wife, Jools, and their daughters, Poppy, Daisy and Petal.