As a foodie, one of the things I get asked most often is, ‘what is your favourite cookbook?’, or ‘what cookbook would you recommend?’. For me, that cookbook always has and always will be Jamie Oliver’s Ministry of Food.
It is definitely my most used cookbook. It has pages stuck together from trying out so many of the recipes, and bits of desiccated coconut in the creases. But more importantly, this book has improved so many of my cooking techniques, and if ever I’m stuck for ideas it is always the book I reach for first.
Some other kitchen companions of mine include The Commonsense Cookery Book and Margaret Fulton’s Encyclopedia of food & cookery.
When I was younger, my Nanna Pat gave me a copy of The Commonsense Cookery Book which was her go-to while she was growing up (yes, this is the edition I still have on my bookshelf!), and I still do occasionally refer to it, though it’s completely falling apart! It is excellent resource for all those basic sauces, good old-fashioned chocolate cakes, jams and preserves, and 70s style casseroles.
As for Margaret Fulton’s Encyclopedia of Food and Cookery…Warning! This is a thick (and heavy) book which takes up plenty of room in your bookshelf. This book is so important in my collection as it revolutionised how I cook my scones. Unfortunately I do not have a family recipe that I go to, or use lemonade, or crazy amounts of bicarb and baking powder to make it rise, my simple trick is to use Margaret’s recipe which is just self-raising flour, milk and butter! It is so simple and it has never failed me! Go on, give it a go!
So back to Jamie’s Ministry of Food.
Whether you’re after a quick and easy meal, or need to impress family, friends or that special someone you can find it all in this one book. It also has so many everyday recipes, to which Jamie has added his special flair, that makes them not only really achievable but taste fantastic! Some of my favourite dishes are the Quick Salmon tikka with cucumber yoghurt (page 28), Pot-Roast Meatloaf (oldie but a goodie, page 161), Lasagne (seriously easy and so tasty, page 169) and lastly, a consistently good gravy (best you will EVER make, page 205).
The reason I would recommend this book to anyone is because of the value of the contents. Even a foodie like me will appreciate his basic ‘how to make perfect light and fluffy rice’, and what to do to ‘jazz it up’ a little more. He has a great concept for easy salad dressings which can all be made in a jar and great salad recipes, packed with flavour, to suit the dressings.
The thing that gets me the most with this book, and my main selling point when recommending it, is the roast section. Jamie explains how to cook every type of roast to PERFECTION! I kid you not, the reason I am famous for my Sunday Roast Pork is thanks to Jamie. I will now always stack my meat on a selection of veggies to increase the flavour of my gravy (which is another thing I am known for, thanks to Jamie).
So if I haven’t sold it to you already, why not check some of the recipes from the cookbook that are available online.
So, what’s your favourite cookbook or go-to kitchen companion? Would love to hear your thoughts!
Please follow and like us: