Gourmet magazine recently picked their top cookbooks for 2007. I agreed with some of their picks, but not all of them. One book that was missing from the list was Cook with Jamie. If you are a Jamie Oliver fan, and I admit I am, this book is a must. But if even if you’re not, this book is really worthwhile and very different from other cookbooks on the market. Subtitled “My guide to making you a better cook” it’s filled with all the little secrets that chefs learn in the kitchen.

So what kind of secrets are revealed? How to perfectly dress a salad so there is just the right amount of dressing, how to make really good schnitzel (a recipe taught to him by David Bouley), a technique for knowing when fish is cooked through that doesn’t involve breaking it apart, how to pick leeks in the market, how to properly store things in the freezer. I could go on and on.

In addition to all the tips and techniques, explained in the typically “easy-peasy” Jamie Oliver manner, there are the recipes. The thing I like about Jamie Oliver recipes is that they each seem to have that added element that elevates them into something special. It might be an extra sauce, or topping of crispy herbs or even an unexpected ingredient. There are 160 recipes that range from Ultimate Rib of Beef with Rosemary and Garlic Potatoes to Slow Roasted Pork Belly with the Sweetest Braised Fennel to Roasted Baby Leeks with Thyme. If you are like me, these are recipes you will want to cook. At just under $25 on Amazon, I highly recommend this book.

Cook with Jamie 28 October,2007Amy Sherman


Amy Sherman

Amy Sherman began blogging in 2003, because all her
friends and family were constantly asking her where
and what to eat. Three months after it launched,
Forbes chose her blog, Cooking with Amy, as one of the
top five best food blogs, praising her writing as
“smart, cozy and witty”. Since then her blog has been
featured and recipes reprinted in many newspapers and
magazines in the U.S. and the world.

In addition to regularly updating her blog, Amy is a
guest contributor to the Epicurious.com blog, and
Contributing Editor of Glam Dish. She also writes
restaurant reviews for SF Station.

Her focus on Bay Area Bites is primarily cookbook
reviews along with some interviews and current events.

Amy is a recipe developer and freelance food writer.
She is author of WinePassport: Portugal and wrote the new introduction to the classic cookbook, Jane Grigson’s Vegetable Book, published by the University of Nebraska Press. She recently completed 45 recipes for a Williams-Sonoma cookbook and wrote her first piece for VIA magazine.

She is currently serving on the board of the San Francisco Professional Food Society and is a member of the International Association of Culinary Professionals. Amy lives in San Francisco with her husband, tech journalist Lee Sherman.

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