TITLE: 7 Ways: Easy Ideas for Every Day of the Week
AUTHOR: Jamie Oliver
GENRE: Non-Fiction > Cookbooks
PUBLISHED: August 20, 2020
PURCHASE LINKS: Amazon; iBookStore
MOBILISM: UK Edition; US Edition
Review: I look forward to Jamie Oliver’s new cookbooks every year, as he doesn’t let it get stagnant. Jamie evolves every year with something new that makes cooking more appealing than take-out and makes cooking a no-fuss and simple proposition to encourage people to get back in their kitchens; on those scores, Jamie's new cookbook does not disappoint.
7 Ways is a unique cookbook as it is the result of market research done by Jamie’s team of top 18 ingredients purchased by the UK public across their supermarkets; a simple but smart and brilliant concept. Creating a cookbook takes a lot of work and time, and I am sure that even Jamie Oliver didn’t realise how relevant the topic of his cookbook will become in 2020, one in which the home chef might not be able to find a lot of ingredients -- but he or she can make the same core ingredients in different ways!
I loved a part of Jamie's introduction that deals with the most common excuses for not cooking. He gives answers for each excuse made for not cooking or to avoid it. For example...
* I don’t have time
* I’m bored
* I don’t know what to cook
* I’m stuck in a rut
* I can’t find fancy ingredients
* I don’t know how to cook
* I want take-away (take-out)
“Whatever barriers you’re facing – and I’m sure they’re shared with other people – I’ve set out to give you the solutions in this book.”
7 Ways takes the 18 most frequently purchased ingredients and gives us 7 different ways to make new meals that require minimal time and effort with help of few pantry staples. It contains a lot of variations of family freezer favourites, fakeaways, and simple tray-bakes. The cookbook is divided into chapters based on items one usually picks up on regular supermarket runs – Broccoli, Cauliflower, Avocado, Chicken Breasts, Sausage, Salmon Fillet, Sweet Potatoes, Aubergine, Eggs, Mince, Potatoes, Peppers, Prawns, White Fish, Whole Chicken, Mushrooms, Steak, and Pork. Each ingredient section then contains 7 different ways to utilise them. Explaining using 5 Pantry staples and a lot of condiments in recipes, like mango chutney, curry pastes, black bean and teriyaki sauces, miso, and pesto.
“The five you need are olive oil for cooking, extra virgin olive oil for dressing and finishing dishes, red wine vinegar as a good all-rounder when it comes to acidity and balancing marinades, sauces, and dressings, and, of course, sea salt and black pepper for seasoning. Get these and you’re away!”
As in every cookbook by Jamie Oliver, 7 Ways also comprises a good amount of Vegetarian & Non-Vegetarian recipes. I tried a few recipes from the Mushroom & Cauliflower section (Vegetarian), which I enjoyed a lot. I look forward to trying more recipes from the book. Below is one of my fave go-to recipes from the book...
MUSHROOM CACIO E PEPE
CLASSIC PASTA WITH PECORINO CHEESE, SPIKED WITH TRUFFLE OIL & LEMON
SERVES 1 | TOTAL 10 MINUTES
75g dried spaghetti
25g pecorino or Parmesan cheese
2 chestnut mushrooms
½ teaspoon truffle oil
½ a lemon
Cook the pasta in a pan of boiling salted water according to the packet instructions. Finely grate the cheese and 1 mushroom into a small bowl, then add the truffle oil, a squeeze of lemon juice, and a couple of good pinches of black pepper. Add 2 tablespoons of pasta cooking water and mix together really well.
Drain the pasta, return to the pan, then beat in the mushroom mixture with a spatula. It should be shiny and not wet – intense in flavour and hot from the black pepper. Pour the pasta into your bowl and finely grate over the remaining raw mushroom, which will be fresh and nutty in flavour. Eat right away.
The cookbook has an ingredients list in visual and text formats for every recipe. I like that each recipe is accompanied by pictures of the completed dish, the recipes have a range of portion sizes from solo meals up to cooking for six, actual timings, and many cheats and shortcuts have been provided. This cookbook, even though it derives from market research, makes sense! I think it is one of the smartest cookbooks to come out this year.
7 Ways is a great cookbook for 2020 as it offers us a variety of meal recipes with the same commonly purchased items and make them in different ways.