Recipe Book Review: Jamie Oliver's Ministry of Food

Walking into a cookbook section of the bookstore can be one of the most overwhelming experiences ever.  It's hard making a decision on a quick flick through the book, while the bookstore owner eyes you wearily, making sure you aren't secretly jotting down recipes to avoid paying hard cash.

I have a plethora of cookbooks in my kitchen.  I sit in my lounge on Sunday afternoon looking at them, asking them to bring me inspiration to the everyday boredom of weekday cooking. I must admit however that I have only really cooked from about 5 of the 30 or so cookbooks that I have.

So how do you know if a cookbook is "good" or not. Well it really depends on your taste, but this cookbook would have to be the one that I use most frequently in my house.  It's accessible for all cooks, especially beginners. The recipes aren't too complicated, the ingredients are easy to find. 

Jamie Oliver's Ministry of Food cookbook is based on the premise that food should be easy, approachable and fun. It's the kind of book you would give to your child when they move out of home. Claiming to teach you how to cook in just 24 hours, I believe it does just that.  Jamie encourages you to learn a recipe out of the book and teach it to 3 other people. Creating a world wide food community of handing down recipes.

It's filled with classics, no complicated techniques, in fact recipes that you should be able to get first time every time. Every recipe has an image, I am one of those people who will not cook a recipe if I cannot see the finished product, and you can usually purchase this book on special for around $20- $30 dollars if you know where to look.

With simple classics like spaghetti bolognaise and Jamie's curry sauce, something a little more special with the Parmesan Chicken Breasts. This book is the perfect starter for those that want to begin their recipe collection.

He also has many "buildable" or alternative recipes, where he takes a base and then makes small changes to show you variations.

My next post I will be an adaption of Jamie's Fish Pie from the Ministry of Food. So make sure you check it out.


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