Short­cut cook­ing from Jamie Oliver

Merced Sun-Star - - Community -

Clever cook­books with a lim­ited num­ber of in­gre­di­ents per recipe are not new, but this one from chef Jamie Oliver is no­table for its ease and verve.

Be­fore he gets to the cook­ing he names his five “pantry he­roes”: red wine vine­gar, sea salt, black pep­per and two olive oils, ev­ery­day and finer for fin­ish­ing, sta­ples that are not part of the in­gre­di­ent tally.

The book starts with sal­ads, mostly as the cen­ter of the plate, and then goes on to sim­ple pas­tas like one with canned tuna, ca­pers and tiny toma­toes. There are sec­tions on eggs, chicken, fish, var­i­ous meats (beef dishes are mostly steaks) and desserts. To keep the in­gre­di­ent count to five, Oliver bakes with sel­f­ris­ing flour and pre­made puff pas­try and re­lies on pre­pared Asian condi­ments and sauces. With co­conut milk and curry paste, you’re on your way to soup.

Along with plenty of in­spir­ing short­cuts, there’s a straight­for­ward recipe for potato gnocchi with as­para­gus, and a six-hour lamb shoul­der baked with chick­peas from scratch, not quick at all.

“5 In­gre­di­ents: Quick & Easy Food” is avail­able from Flat­iron Books ($35).

TONY CENICOLA New York Times

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