Sunday, 9 January 2011

Jamie's 30 Minute Meal Challenge

When I bought Jamie Oliver's new cookbook last year, Jamie's 30 Minute Meals, B & I agreed that we would pick one menu at regular intervals and put it to the test.
And so today we did just that.
B does cook. But anything with too many pots and pans and he feels out his depth. Which is why we thought trying recipes in this book might be fun and something we could do together.
And so we chopped and fried, and crushed and stirred. And though there were two of us in the kitchen it is fair to say that I could easily have done the preparation and cooking on my own.
B too. Though he might have taken a little longer than the 30 minutes just because he is not as confident as me.

And the result?

A perfect meal in 30 minutes. I'd certainly cook the potatoes like this again. We simply cut them into pieces and put them into a large mircowave bowl with seasoning and half a lemon. Cover with cling film and cook on high for 17 minutes. Remove the lemon, and crush the potatoes adding a teaspoon of whole grain mustard before gently stirring in. Lovely!

In the same time we also made dessert. A tin of peach halves in natural juice, heated gently with a cinnamon stick so that the juice thickens. Remove cinnamon stick and pour over custard.

To serve Jamie broke a shortbread biscuit on top but we served the biscuit whole. Just preference.

Simple and good.

The book wasn't written as a 30 minute challenge, but seeing if this was achieveable made it fun! We certainly didn't dash around the kitchen, or feel under pressure. Okay, I like cooking and I am confident, which helps. But even though these were new recipes and new ideas we were trying, it was straight forward and fun to do. Incase you are wondering, we did not prepare the ingredients in advance, simply had everything laid out to hand.

B seemed to enjoy it too. The meal got a thumbs up from both of us and we will certainly use the book again. I think home cooked food is so much nicer than shop bought, and this proved that even when you are in a hurry it can be done in 30 mins.

Have you got this book, or used it?

Who is you favourite chef or writer of cook books?

I have several Jamie Oliver books. But one of my favourites is by Nigel Slater. I love his calm way of talking and cooking, and as for his writing.... just brilliant. He has a magic way of using words and I especially like his book 'Tender'. You will no doubt hear more about this book once my allotment starts producing again, and it is this book I turn to for ways of using my glut of beetroot or tomatoes. Just thinking about it makes me think of summer and chopping in the kitchen. Happy days!

Hope you had a good Sunday. What have you been up to?
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