“She turned to the sunlight
And shook her yellow head,
And whispered to her neighbor:
"Winter is dead.”
~AA Milne, when we were very young
NOTE: I am away at the moment helping my mother with her treatment for lung cancer. I have set up a few posts to post whilst I am away as a special surprise. Some are new and some are reposts of old favourites that you may have forgotten, or if you are a new reader may not even have seen. I'll be back at the end of May, but in the meantime . . . Enjoy!
PS - I will only have sporadic internet use, so if you ask a question and I don't get back to you . . . it's not that I don't want to. It just may take me a while.
Friday, 9 November 2012
I'm sure you all recognize this cheeky chap! Yeppers, it's good ol' Jamie Oliver. No surprise to you I am sure but he's come out with a new cookbook to go with his new Series, Jamie's 15 Minute Meals. I purchased it as soon as it came out. One, I love Jamie Oliver recipes. Two, I am often pinched for time. Three, there isn't a new cookbook by Jamie that I can resist.
So any ways, I was contacted after the fact and asked if I would like a copy to review. Good news is I already had the book, double good news is I have been given a copy to give to one of you! And, I will send it anywhere in the world, as long as you don't mind it coming your way on a slow boat. (It will get there in the end, I promise.)
So anyways, Jamie's book. 15 Minute Meals. Last year I had the pleasure of reviewing his 30 Minute Meals book, which you can read all about that experience here. Obviously I was impressed because I bought this newest one, sight unseen, and it's just loaded with fabulous, tasty, nutritious and quick to prepare recipes. I haven't managed to get one done in 15 minutes yet, but in all honesty they are rather quick to do, so it's all good.
There's a wide variety of dishes, as you can see, for everything from soup to nuts . . . he even tells you how to cook fast, giving you an in-depth list of Kitchen tools and gadgets you will need and a full pantry list. Of course the timings are figured out taking for granted that you will have all of your tools and ingredients at the ready. Just doing that will take a bit of time, but they're still pretty quick recipes.
I have a really tiny kitchen, so I end up having to use the table in my dining room a lot as a work surface, so I do have to run back and forth a lot. It would be grand to one day have more space to work in and all up to date and modern kitchen appliances of course! (*hint* *hint*)
Just look at this fab looking Mexican Tomato Soup, with Chilli Nachos, Veggie and Feta Sprinkles. Looks delicious doesn't it???
Warm Chicken Liver Salad with Little Welsh Rarebits anyone???
How about Poached Fish with Coddled Eggs and Tomato Loaf?
There are even delicious looking vegetarian options such as this Veggie Chilli with Crunchy Tortilla and Avocado Salad.
A tasty looking selection of Toasties . . . who doesn't love a toastie?
Breakfast Smoothies . . .
Granola and much, much more.
Included is a complete nutritional breakdown of all of the recipes, including calories, fat content, sugar and saturated fat contents.
This is simple food that is nutritious and a total joy to eat. I just love this book. Of course you know I can't tell you about this book without showing you one of the recipes which I prepared myself. I chose to show you the Crispy Polenta Chicken Caesar Salad . . . for a few reasons actually. One, I had all the ingredients in the house. Two, I love Caesar Salad, and in particular Chicken Caesar Salads . . . and three, it's what I felt like eating, the most important reason of all.
This is how Jamie's looked. Looking gorgeous isn't it folks?
This is how mine looked. Scrummilicious! I loved that crisp coating on the chicken . . . along with the toasted Ciabatta croutons . . .
Look at that crispy pancetta and those lovely salty flakes of Parmesan cheese . . . I added some sprouting radish micro leaves for colour and dash.
The dressing was a tad on tart side, so I added a pinch of sugar, but this salad was totally delish and something I will make again and again. It did take me a lot longer than 15 minutes, but that's because I didn't have everything ready to begin with and I got a few phone calls when I was working at it, not to mention the door bell must have rang half a dozen times. Totally scrummy though! (Just as you would expect from Jamie!)
*Crispy Polenta Chicken Caesar Salad*
Rumored to take only 15 minutes. Not in my kitchen, but it didn't matter because it was gorgeous. Adapted from Jamie's 15 Minute Meals.
2 X 200g boneless, skinless chicken breasts
(about 1 pound)
1/2 tsp sweet smoked paprika
2 heaped TBS polenta (fine cornmeal)
For the Salad:
1 ciabatta loaf
1 clove of garlic
2 red chicory (endive)
4 slices of smoked pancetta
2 romaine lettuces
10 ripe cherry tomatoes
2 large jarred red peppers
1 punnet of salad cress
For the Dressing:
1 clove of garlic
40g of Parmesan Cheese, plus extra to serve (1/4 cup plus extra)
4 anchovy filets
4 heaped TBS fat free natural yoghurt
1 splash of Worcestershire Sauce
1 TBS red wine vinegar
1 tsp English Mustard
1/2 bunch of fresh basil
To begin, have all of your ingredients out plus a large frying pan on medium heat, a griddle pan on high heat and a liquidizer (stick blender)
On a large sheet of greaseproof paper, toss the chicken with some salt and pepper, the paprika and polenta. Fold over the paper, then bash and flatten the chicken to roughly 1/2 inch, using a rolling pin. Add a TBS of oil to the heated frying pan, then bang in the chicken breasts. Cook, turning after 3 or 4 minutes, until golden and cooked through. Cut 4 thick slices of ciabatta, placing them on the griddle pan. Char them nicely on both sides.
Squash the unpeeled garlic through a garlic crusher into the liquidizer. Squeeze in the lemon juice. Add the Parmesan and the rest of the dressing ingredients. Blitz until smooth, then season to taste. (I added some sugar because it was too tart for our tastes.) Rub the ciabatta toasts with a halved garlic clove and cut into soldiers. Quarter the chicory and add to the griddle pan with the pancetta to char for a couple of minutes.
Roughly slice the lettuces and arrange over a large serving board or platter. Scatter over the ciabatta soldiers. halve the tomatoes and slice the peppers. Add to the board. Slice the chicken, lay it around the salad. Drizzle with the dressing. Crumble over the crispy pancetta and snip over the cress. Use a speed peeler to shave over a little extra Parmesan if you like.
Jamie's 15 Minute Meals
Published by Penguin Books
Fully illustrated in Colour
Suggested retail price £26.00 but you can get them at Amazon for £11.00
And, if you would like to have a chance at winning your very own copy, just leave a comment at the bottom of this post. I don't require jumping through hoops or signing up to raffelocopter thingies, or twitter or anything else. Quite simply tell me you're interested. I'll pick a winner on Sunday, November 11th, which is my wedding anniversary. You might as well celebrate it with me!
Many thanks to Anwen at Riot Communications for supplying us with a giveaway copy!