Nothing causes a stir in the food-loving community quite like a new Jamie Oliver book. Arriving hot on the heels of 5 Ingredients and VEG, two books which totally re-imagined home cooking for the better, 7 Ways sees Jamie once again determined to inject a whole lot of flavour and creativity into everyday dishes. Where has his inspiration come from this time around? Well, from us, actually. He's done his research, choosing the eighteen ingredients that British shoppers buy most often, and dedicating a whole chapter to each ingredient. Each chapter contains seven deliciously different recipes, so you can reinvent your favourite ingredient over and over and never get bored. Cooking from a Jamie book is always a joy, what with his famously foolproof style and his passion for flavourful, nutritious food - so, naturally, we wasted no time in testing out these all-new recipes. From a crispy twist on Chicken Kiev to a wholesome Chickpea and Cauliflower Curry, scroll down to see how we got on with Jamie Oliver's 7 Ways . . .
Who: Ella Watkins - Publicity Manager, Michael Joseph
What I made: Filo Chicken Kiev
What I thought: Can you go wrong with chicken kiev? Garlic, parsley, melted butter? Tick. Tick. Tick. I’ve never had a chicken kiev that didn’t come from a box in the freezer so it was nice to see how easy it is to make yourself. It tasted delicious – and was a bit healthier than a ready meal! The pea mash and purple sprouting broccoli were the perfect accompaniments. Roasting the broccoli with red wine vinegar really added to the flavour, making it much more exciting than boiled or steamed veg!
Who: Claire Bush - Head of Marketing, Michael Joseph
What I made: Golden Parmesan Fish Bake
What I thought: This fish bake went down a treat with my housemate - she went back for thirds! And it was really easy to make - so a winner all round. I couldn’t find crème fraiche or sage in my local express supermarket, but I substituted for parsley and Greek yogurt and it still tasted delicious. We served it with some steamed kale and broccoli and loads of mustard on the side. This would be a great recipe to cook if you've got people coming over - you can prepare most of it and keep it warm on the hob, then pop the fish in, put it in the oven, and cook in just ten minutes when you're ready to eat. I'll be adding it to my list of favourite recipes!
Name: Vasu Sivasanthiran - Marketing Assistant, Audiences and Audio
Dish: Bombay Jacket Potato Spuds
What I thought: I like referring to Jamie Oliver’s recipes when I need a recipe that is simple enough to follow but can still deliver on flavour. Creating the ‘Bombay Jacket Potato Spuds’ was so easy and I loved the twist on a simple classic - perfect for those days when you want to try something new using easy ingredients and without spending hours in the kitchen! The carrot raita provided a freshness to the dish which made it light to eat and I will definitely be creating more eggs with mint in the future. The best thing about this recipe is that there is still room to experiment and add your own unique twist. The next time I make this I will try adding ingredients like red onions or coriander to add texture and pack in even more Indian flavours to this dish. I also I think cutting up the potatoes so they are really coated with the garam masala would be perfect for those who love their spice!
Who: Jessica Lockyer-Palmer – Marketing Manager, The Happy Foodie
What I made: Hoisin Roast Chicken
What I thought: Any cookbook that has a whole chapter dedicated to whole roast chicken recipes is a winner as far as I am concerned, so I headed straight to that section of 7 Ways to choose the recipe I wanted to test. That was the easy part. The hard part was deciding between the likes of sesame-coated, harissa-marinated, peri peri-rubbed and Cumberland sausage-stuffed variations. In the end it was this hoisin chicken that came out top thanks to the promise of chicken roasted with hoisin, clementine and chilli and served with steamed pancakes and all the accompaniments. I often think about a whole roast chicken as the reserve of a family Sunday roast when you have a lazy afternoon to dedicate to cooking and several mouths to feed, but I made this recipe for a midweek dinner for two and it couldn’t have been easier. While the chicken is roasting away you turn your attention to some quick prep of the spring onions, chillies and cucumber and before you know it you’ve put a fancy looking feast on the table (and on a Tuesday evening no less). The best part? Making a whole roast chicken for two meant we had plenty of leftovers and they were just as delicious turned into a hoisin chicken salad the following day. Hello, instant work from home lunch.
Who: Sophie Shaw - Marketing Executive, Michael Joseph
What I made: Seared Steak and Red Chimichurri
What I thought: This was so good! I love steak but tend to stick to the tried and tested steak and chips so this was a really good way to mix it up. It also looks quite fancy, so I feel like it would be a great recipe to make for friends, especially when you can tell them you made the sauce too! It’s pretty straightforward (the most complicated part is putting everything in a blender and making sure the lid doesn’t fly off) and only involved seven ingredients, but there’s still loads of flavour. Plus, it only took around twenty minutes from start to finish which is a real bonus! There isn’t that much prep or chopping involved and you can make the chimichurri sauce while the sweet potatoes are cooking. The recipe also makes quite a lot of sauce so you have enough left over for at least another meal - I think it would work well with chicken too. I will definitely make this again!
Who: Charlea Harrison - Creative Metadata Executive, Michael Joseph
What I made: Avocado Pastry Quiche
What I thought: As a self-declared connoisseur of avocado on toast, I have shockingly little range in my avo cooking, so this recipe was a welcome change. Both the pastry and the filling were super easy to make, only taking around ten minutes, and I used the same bowl for both so it was even easier on the washing up! I was really happy with how the quiche turned out – the pastry worked perfectly and overall it tasted really creamy, filling and utterly delicious. Also, I loved the wicked green colour!
Who: Genevieve Halbert - Marketing Executive, The Happy Foodie
What I made: Sesame Roast Chicken
What I thought: The 'whole chicken' section is the highlight of 7 Ways for me. Each recipe manages to put a totally different spin on the classic roast bird, and I will be making my way through all of them in due course! This sesame roast chicken is an especially fun twist - it's glazed with a mixture of honey and kimchi and then crusted with fragrant toasted sesame seeds. The crunchy salad with its silken tofu and kimchi dressing was a great addition, providing an element of zingy freshness that offset the rich, juicy chicken very nicely.
Who: Sophie Raoufi - Marketing Executive, Page Turners
What I made: Chickpea and Cauliflower Curry
What I thought: This was super easy to make, and all the ingredients were things you probably already have at home, or are easy to find in store. It’s full of very soft, fragrant flavours and though it’s a warming dish on its own, it would also work well served with curried cod or roast salmon.
Who: Vicky Photiou - Marketing Director, Micheal Joseph
What I made: Spicy Prawn Noodles
What I thought: This is a really tasty, light and super quick dish - I whipped it up for lunch in ten minutes!