Oct 17, 2012

Jamie Oliver Cookbook Review & Giveaway!

Today I'm posting a review of a new cookbook, JAMIE OLIVER'S GREAD BRITAIN  I'm sure many of you who watch the Food Network are familiar with Jamie Oliver. Not only has he hosted his own cooking shows, The Naked Chef and Jamie At Home, he also has made it a mission to help ensure that children get a healthy lunch while at school. Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution really opened eyes and showed how desperately school lunches need to be altered.

And now Jamie has a new mission. It is to show what Great Britain, has to offer the culinary world.  In the beginning of the book, Jamie doesn't try to mask the common belief that his homeland hasn't been known as a leader in the food world. But his love and loyalty for his country are evident when he speaks of the dishes England is historically known for and where they originated from. And in some cases, origins are quite surprising. In the opening pages of this large, almost 400 page cookbook, Jamie's enthusiasm for the recipes included is clear. His intentions are to share not only classic dishes that the British are known for but also include some new classics that prove to be both delicious and current, as compared to other great culinary locales  without sacrificing the integrity of historical British food.

Jamie's personality certainly comes through in this big, beautiful book. It is colorful, interesting and fun, which is no surprise.  The recipe categories include Breakfast, which is one of my favorites, Pub Grub, Afternoon Tea, Sunday Lunch, New British Classics and even Wild Food, featuring recipes made with wild game, such as rabbit, pheasant and venison. There are also categories for vegetables, puddings, seafood and condiments. This cookbook definitely has it all.

I thought I'd share a recipe from the book that caught my eye right away. i know many of you, like me, are tea drinkers so this is for you. It's from the Afternoon Tea section:

Earl Grey Loaf

6 Earl Grey Tea Bags
14 oz Dried fruit, such as raisins, golden raisins, cherries, cranberries
1 Orange
1 Large Egg
1 1/2 cups sugar
3 Cusp all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
Pinch of salt
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1 whole nutmeg for grating
1 lemon

Put 4 of the tea bags into a measuring jug and add 1 1/4 cups boiling water. Leave to brew for a few minutes, then remove the tea bags.  Put the dried fruit into a large mixing bowl, grate over the zest of the orange and pour over the hot tea.  Give it a good stir, then cover and leave to one side for a few hours, ideally overnight - so the fruit sells and soaks up all the tea.  

When the fruit is compeletely rehydrated, preheat your oven to 350F. Line a 4-cup loaf pan with parchment paper. Whisk the egg and add to the bowl of fruit along with 1 cup of the sugar.  Add the flour, baking powder, salt, pumpkin pie spice and a few good gratings of the nutmeg, and squeeze in the juice of the orange.  Mix until you have a dough-like consistency (it might seem a little bit dry but it'll be fine). Spoon the mixture into your lined pan and bake in the oven for around 1 hour 10 minutes, or until cooked through.  

Meanwhile make your syrup.  Put the 2 remaining tea bags into a pan with 3/4 cup water and the zest and juice of the lemon.  Gently bring to a boil, removing the tea bags after a couple of minutes.  Add the remaining 1/2 cup sugar and bring back to the boil without stirring - keep it on a medium heat so that you have a steady boil for around 5 to 10 minutes, or until the mixture has reduced by half and you have a lovely golden syrup. Pour this into a jug. 

As soon as the loaf comes out of the oven, use a toothpick or a skewer to make lots of little holes in the top, then pour the syrup all over it.  Once the syrup has been absorbed, transfer the loaf to a wire rack and leave to cool completely. Serve with a cup of tea and some butter. 

I have not made this recipe yet, but I intend to, especially with the cooler weather on it's way. Just think how delicious it would be with a cup of Earl Grey! 

In my opinion, this cookbook may not be for everyone, but would be perfect for the cook who is looking for something different and wants to expand their culinary knowledge. There are recipes with ingredients that you wouldn't normally use but are fun and interesting to try. With that in mind, I think it would be a great gift idea for the advanced cook or someone who isn't afraid to cook outside the box. 

Thanks to Hyperion and TLC Book Tours, I have a copy to give away to a lucky winner. Simply leave a comment about this post along with your email address.  The drawing will be open until Saturday, October 20th at midnight and a winner will be drawn at random.  The winner's name will be posted on Sunday, October 21st here on Southern Girl Reads.   

For more reviews and thoughts on JAMIE OLIVER'S GREAT BRITAIN and for more chances to win your own copy, please check out the rest of the tour. A complete list can be found here.

I'd like to thank Lisa at TLC Book Tours for giving me the opportunity to participate in this tour. I have rhoroughly enjoyed reading through this beautiful book and look forward to trying out some of the recipes. 


  1. I didn't include Earl Grey Loaf on my list of recipes to try but you've convinced me to add it :) No need to enter me in your giveaway as I already own the cookbook :) Great review! :)

  2. thanks for this giveaway!

  3. I've long been a fan of Jamie Oliver, and this book looks great. Thanks for the giveaway.

    diaryofaneccentric at hotmail dot com

  4. That does sound delicious! I'd love to be entered in your giveaway. kathy(at)bermudaonion.net

  5. Sounds yummy. Please enter me in giveaway Lomazowr@gmail.com

  6. Thank you for the giveaway. We would love the cookbook. jtretin at aol dot com.

  7. What a wonderful book. thanks for this chance. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

  8. This cookbook is special. It would be welcome. Thanks. elliotbencan(at)hotmail(dot)com

  9. I do respect the work he did to try and make school lunches healthier. I love Earl Grey tea. Never thought to try it in a loaf.
    Mellsimons at gmail dot com

  10. Earl Gray Loaf -- oh, my! I love Jamie Oliver and I've been so pleased with each of his recipes that I've tried. I'd love to get my hands on a copy of this new cookbook!

    moecatj [at] msn [dot] com

  11. Don't count me in the giveaway as I just got this book and I love it. I already have so many recipes bookmarked, I'll have to add the loaf, sounds so good!

  12. Sounds like you really love this cookbook. I'll have to check out the tea loaf (I own the book already). I wasn't as impressed with the cookbook, but I think I'm in the very, very small minority.

  13. That loaf does sound good - and I'm primarily a coffee drinker! I can see how recipes with unusual ingredients would lessen the appeal a bit, but overall it sounds like a good cookbook.

  14. The Earl Grey Tea loaf would be a delicious treat this afternoon! Thanks for the giveaway.
    JQSteve at gmail dot com

  15. An Earl Grey tea loaf sounds interesting!

    I would like to be entered in the giveaway :)

    cynni _ universe @ hotmail com

  16. I love all of those flavors--I bet this tastes fabulous. I hope you get around to trying it.

    Please enter me in your giveaway. Thanks!
    krauscakes @ verizon . net

  17. I have a bunch of Jamie's books - have always liked his style although he is at risk of being overexposed, don't you think? Have a great weekend.

  18. This sounds good.


  19. I adore Jamie Oliver! I haven't read his GB book yet so I'm looking forward to checking it out!

    beths0103 at yahoo dot com

  20. That Earl Grey Loaf sounds really cool! When you do make it, how 'bout sending me some in the mail?!

    Thanks for being on the tour!

  21. This is a great cookbook. It's definitely not for beginners, and it's very British in some of its terminology. I loved the narration and explanations as much as the recipes themselves!
    2 Kids and Tired Books

  22. I like him and loved watching his school lunch revolution!! This cookbook certainly sounds interesting and I would love to sample some British fare!!

  23. Hi there, there is a new collection of book links going down at Carole's Chatter. This time we are collecting links to posts about your very most favourite cookbooks. Here is the link Your Favourite Cook Books Please do pop by and link in – maybe this nice one? Have a lovely day.

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