Tag Archives: Jamie Oliver

Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution Cookbook Review – Good Old Chili Con Carne – Jamie is an artist

Jamie Oliver is an artist. Not because he can paint or sculpt but instead because he knows how to subtly use cinnamon in his cooking without the food tasting like an Atomic Fireball in a bowl.

Having grown up in New England, some of my finest culinary memories involve cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and ginger. When I smell those spices, I think of fall, pumpkins, warm buttery cookies, and rum flavored eggnog. Those spices weave a blanket of comfort.

It takes an artist’s touch though to not over use these flavors, a hint, a dash, a mere suggestion is what pleases the palate, not an overwhelming hit over the head. Which is precisely why I never order anything at a restaurant or bakery that is cinnamon flavored.

Cinnamon is over done. It’s everywhere and in the traditional American style – everyone assumes that more is better. Cinnamon doesn’t belong in a lot of the foods we find it in and it definitely doesn’t belong in coffee. Ever.

Too much is simply too much.

So imagine my dismay to find out that Jamie’s Good Old Chili Con Carne (Jamie’s Food Revolution) required:

  • 1 heaped teaspoon chili powder – so far so good
  • 1 heaped teaspoon ground cumin – this is also doable
  • 1 heaped teaspoon cinnamon – are you kidding me?

Ugh.

Not wanting to cheat on the recipe, after all the purpose of making these is test how truly easy and edible these recipes are, I reluctantly added the spices, including the dreaded cinnamon.

But a funny thing happened on the way to the table. The Chili started smelling good, I mean really good – good like in everyone who entered the kitchen mentioned how good it smelled. I can smell the cinnamon, each person told me as they walked over to the stove to inhale the fragrant chili steam.

This is all that was left after the kids attacked the chili

And then an even funnier thing happened at the table. Every single person who sat down couldn’t get enough of this dish. Even the kids who after noticing the beans (mom! You said you were going to start cutting back on the beans!) ate bowlful after bowlful.

I want to take this to school for lunch, I was told.

They all tasted the cinnamon but like an artist’s subtle wisp of pink in a skyline, it didn’t overwhelm the dish and instead cast it’s delightful glow over the entire landscape. As much as I have a love/hate relationship with cinnamon, when we make this dish again (oh and we will) I will not skimp on the cinnamon. It’s a full heaped teaspoon for us.

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Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution Cookbook Review – Burn-down-the-house Baked Cod Wrapped in Bacon with Rosemary

In an ongoing effort to review recipes from Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution Cookbook, the other night I made the Baked Cod Wrapped in Bacon with Rosemary.

Consider this review a cautionary tale.

The recipe itself couldn’t be easier. You take thick slices of a cod (or a nice firm white fish) dredge it through olive oil, chopped Rosemary (yum) and sea salt, wrap it in a good smoked bacon and then cook it.

What could go wrong eh?

Jamie Oliver's Baked Cod Wrapped in Bacon with Rosemary

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Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution Cookbook Review – Sizzling Beef with Scallions and Black Bean Sauce

Last night, based on a friend’s suggestion, we made the Sizzling Beef with Scallions and Black Bean Sauce (page 69, Jamie’s Food Revolution).

When I say we made it, what I really mean is that my husband Marc and my son Logan (13) made it. You see this was a test. Sure I can cook (when you make the decision to have 6 children, you either learn how to cook or you go broke) but Marc is more of the chicken nuggets, spaghetti and jarred sauce kind of cook. Go ahead and ask him about his love affair with canned cheese (you think I’m kidding?)

Part of Jamie’s Food Revolution is teaching people how to cook. With real ingredients. So I put the whole Revolution to the test, if Jamie could get Marc to cook a tasty healthy dinner that actually had flavor then I would give Oliver, the “well done” he deserved.

I went to the grocery store, got the ingredients needed for the recipe, dropped them off at the house and left to do my hour of exercise at the gym. You can do it, I assured my newly anointed cooks. Marc panicked for a few minutes before he and Logan settled down to prepare the pepper, rice, meat, and cilantro. (just as a personal aside, when I die, I want to be buried in a field of cilantro). Continue reading

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Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution – will the kids eat the beef stew?

Note – Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution series starts tonight 8-10 EST. You can be sure that I’ll be lining up all my ducklings to watch this with me. Based on what I saw on last Sunday’s sneak-peek, this should be mandatory viewing for anyone who has children.

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Jamie’s message is all well and good but I wanted to try some of his recipes out and see if my tribe of kids would find them palatable. After all, if the kids won’t eat it, then its useless in the fight to make them eat better.

This weekend we made the Beef and ale stew from Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution Cookbook (page 180). It was a lovely cool day up here in New Hampshire – perfect stew weather. Although the recipe took 3 hours to cook, much like the curry, once you combine all the ingredients, you just let it simmer and stir it whenever you walk by the kitchen. Easy enough and it gave the house a wonderful Sunday dinner aroma. Continue reading

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Cookbook Review – Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution – great stuff here

Jamie, you had me at “lovely charred marks.”

I got Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution Cookbook this weekend to give it a go, as he would say.

In case you live under a rock, Oliver starts a new reality show this Friday called The Food Revolution where he will attempt to change the eating habits of Huntington WV which had been deemed “the unhealthiest city in America.” The first episode was aired this past Sunday and you can watch it by clicking on this link. Jamie Oliver Episode 1

Anyone who is alive and breathing in the U.S should be watching this show and if you have children, it should be required viewing, Continue reading

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