“Smoky Pancetta Cod” from “5 Ingredients”

Kirstin: I think this book should have another name. It should be called Red Wine Vinegar and five other ingredients. Because Jamie slips the vinegar in again with this recipe. And again, it’s not in the list of ingredients!
Anyways. This was a fab recipe. Miles is VERY keen to have it again. But neither of them liked the lentils. Their loss. More for us. And I rather liked the spinach too. Super easy. Super quick. Super tasty. I do love that about pancetta making everything around it yummy. But no one mention frog spawn when eating lentils again please.

“Smoky Pancetta Cod” from “5 Ingredients”

“Harissa Chicken Traybake” from “5 Ingredients”

Kirstin: I have been stressing about this recipe all day after the previous epic failure of a recipe. Also because as we all know, spatchcocking chickens is not my thing. But the harissa in this recipe was calling me.

I made sure to buy a small chicken, so as to ensure it was all cooked through with the spatchcocking malarkey. But again. Jamie. 5 ingredients. So cheeky. You can slip the red wine vinegar in there under the radar, with no quantities, but it’s still an ingredient. So I swapped it for the mint, which should never have been there in the first place. Honestly! Mint with chicken! I wasn’t quite sure how much red vinegar to add so I kind of made a paste with it. He also wanted me to TEAR the peppers. I’m not sure why a knife couldn’t work and to be honest it didn’t add any flavour to the dish. But all things considered, I have to admit that this recipe worked. The peppers were good. The harissa was good. The chicken was all cooked through and very juicy. I might even be tempted to make this again!

I know, right?

“Harissa Chicken Traybake” from “5 Ingredients”

“Crispy Skin Lemon Sole” from “5 Ingredients”

Kirstin: So here are some vegetables I prepared earlier. Not really, but there was a crucial dentist appointment this evening which interrupted our usual preparing and dining time and meant there was no natural light to take any pics by the time we did eat.
Now. About that actual eating and to get back to this recipe. It was a total disaster. I think that pretty much says it all. I could not get the fish to cook under the grill at all and so eventually decamped it into a frying pan and cooked it there instead. I liked the chillies. And the courgette with artichokes was also interesting. But I definitely will not be making this one again. Indeed, I might even rip the page out of the book so I am never tempted to make it. Oh yes. It really was *that* bad.
Also. What is all this 5 ingredients nonsense when red wine vinegar and olive oil are in the recipe but not counted as ingredients. Really? So not impressed.

“Crispy Skin Lemon Sole” from “5 Ingredients”

“Smoky Chorizo Salmon” from “5 Ingredients”

Miles: Who made this?

Kirstin: Me!

Miles: It’s amazing!

Kirstin: Because you weren’t too sure about the chorizo, were you?

Miles: Nooo.

Kirstin: You can never go wrong with chorizo. NEVER!

Tom: This reminds me of Jamie’s first book and that salmon with green beans recipe. We used to have it every week.

Kirstin: It does, doesn’t it? I might even make this one again too, but maybe not every week!

“Smoky Chorizo Salmon” from “5 Ingredients”

“Cherry Chocolate Mousse” from “5 Ingredients”

Kirstin: So I’ve never thought about how many ingredients are in a chocolate mousse, but I guess it’s less than 5 as Jamie adds some cherries to this to make it up to his required number. And I have to admit they work rather well, threaded through and on top of the very easy to make mousse. I’m not usually a maker of chocolate mousse but I could definitely see that changing with this recipe. I think Ella might agree as she loved cleaning the bowl after!

“Cherry Chocolate Mousse” from “5 Ingredients”

Cookbook of the Month, September 2017: 5 Ingredients by Jamie Oliver

Kirstin: We promised we would never, ever, ever buy another Jamie book.

Maureen: And yet, here we are.

Kirstin: We are such hypocrites.

Maureen: I feel a little bit dirty.

Kirstin: Faithful readers: don’t hate us for it! We’re sorry! So what changed our minds?

Maureen: I think what swayed me were the recipes in The Times and they were things I actually wanted to cook.

Kirstin: And I saw the pictures by David Loftus on Instagram, so that piqued my interest.

Maureen: I’ve got such mixed feelings about this. On the one hand, the recipes sound like things we would like to eat. But on the other hand, his last several cookbooks have been such disasters, I worry that will be true again. Also, he’s not the first to come up with this idea. But because he’s Jamie Oliver, he’ll sell a bazillion copies.

Kirstin:: Really? Do tell.

Maureen: John Whaite published a book last year with the same idea.

Kirstin: That is a shocker! Cheeky Jamie!

Maureen: I know, right? But John Whaite is not the first one to come up with either, though. I bought a cookbook probably 15 years ago that was the same idea. It was a disaster, but still, the idea certainly has an obvious appeal.

Kirstin: I’ve got to say that the fluorescent green on Jamie’s book kind of put me off.

Maureen: The green is a very strong colour, to be sure. The optimist in me though this could be a return to form for Jamie, but then I thought that about the last however many books he’s written that we’ve not liked and I worry that it’ll just be another annual Jamie Oliver disappointment.

Kirstin: When I saw the calorie counters at the bottom, it reminded me of the last two awful cookbooks, crossed with the 30- and 15-minute disaster zones when he talks about how long it’s going to take, because they’re all pretty fast. It doesn’t make me hopeful.

Maureen: Until I saw the TV show, I didn’t appreciate that he really wants us to get dinner on the table as quickly as possible, but that doesn’t always work. I don’t like to cook against a timer. Life is stressful enough sometimes.

Kirstin: Agreed.

Maureen: Remember when we learned what the title was going to be? I said to you, “When did Jamie decide that he hates food?” [We laughed. Oh, how we laughed.]

Kirstin: I don’t count the number of ingredients when I cook. When did it become such a thing?

Maureen: Saying that, it looks like it’ll be a great one for getting dinner on the table quicikly during the week.

Kirstin: It’s a good one for September, to be sure. It’s also got lots of good fish recipes…

Maureen: And vegetable recipes, and even desserts, for the first time in the long time.

Kirstin: [Dubiously] With five ingredients?

Maureen: Yes. I know. But we’ll give it a go. Again, the eternal optimist in me is hoping for the best.

Kirstin: This may really be the last Jamie book.

Maureen: We said that the last time. It appears that for us, Jamie is hard to resist. But that’s probably true of a lot of people.

Cookbook of the Month, September 2017: 5 Ingredients by Jamie Oliver