Posts Tagged ‘jamie oliver’

February 11th, 2008

Quiet Times Category: Other Foodiness, Recipes

I haven’t really got an excuse for my lack of blogging over the last week or so. I just haven’t felt our food worthy of blogging I suppose – it’s been quite normal and we haven’t really tried anything new… but here is a quick update!

Pancake Day
I made some pancakes last Tuesday. Hubby doesn’t like pancakes (except for Little Chef ones apparently, but I think that is more of a rekindled memory as he hasn’t been to a Little Chef for a very long time). Every year I make myself a couple of pancakes with lemon and brown sugar and try to tempt him into trying them to no avail. This year I think I won. Well, I won him over with the filling – ice cream and Dulce de Leche (sickly toffee sauce). I stuck to my lemon and sugar combination but here is Hubbys sickly sweet pancake…


Rhosneigr
On Saturday we took a day trip to the lovely beachside village that is Rhosneigr on Anglesey – it was a beautifully sunny day and it really did not feel like February. The kite surfers were out in force enjoying the good weather…


And we quickly visited the South Stack in Holyhead before heading home…


Sausages and Mash with Jamies O’s Red Onion Gravy
We spent most of yesterday having a good clean and clear out. I had intended on sitting down at some point in the day and deciding on the weeks menu’s but left it far too late. In fact we only just managed to get to a Sainsbury’s about 20 minutes before closing. With the rushing around we ended up with a rather satisfying dinner – chilli & corriander sausages with mash, purple sprouting broccoli and my trusty red onion gravy…

Red onion Gravy (for 2)
1 red onion, finely sliced
1 clove garlic, finely sliced (can be left out)
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
hot water & vegetable stock cube

Fry onions & garlic gently for 5 minutes
Add balsamic vinegar & reduce by half
Crumble in a little stock cube & add hot water – keep simmering & add water as required to consistency you require

December 2nd, 2007

Highlights from the Good Food Show Birmingham Category: Other Foodiness, Reviews

As the title says, these are our highlights from our first Good Food Show:

Jamie Oliver in the Supertheatre

We were quite lucky with our seats – very central & not too far back considering the number of seats they cram in! Anyway, the show was great. Jamie was very funny & there was lots of crowd interaction. He made three dishes. The first was hot smoked salmon in the biscuit tin – the smell of the salmon cooking was really fabulous. He then went on to make a warm chicken Cesar salad which looked divine. To top this off he made a beef stroganoff with mushrooms with a little help from his mushroom hero Gennaro Contaldo.

We also came across Gordon Ramsay, Rachel Allen, the Hairy Bikers, Angela Hartnett, Matt Skinner and Brian Turner.
We went on a wine masterclass - by mistake we booked one held by the Ian Harvey of the Birmingham Post Wine Club when we had wanted to go to the Matt Skinner one – but it turned out well & we tasted six South American wines. Hubby enjoyed this bit the most. I think he see’s himself becoming a wine connoisseur.

Tasting highlights
These included a pork pattie care of Jimmy’s Farm. Coming from a not-really-a-meat-eater I have to hold my hands up and say it was delicious. And thanks to Jules we may just have to order some from the online shop.

I also tasted a veggie pie & mash from Blenheim House – this was nice but the gravy was delicious. And we both had a ‘Duo of rich Belgian truffle’ which didn’t last more than 60 seconds – hence the half eaten one in the photograph!
We sampled some of Walkers warm, freshly cooked crisps. You added you own toppings – salt, pepper, chilli & rosemary etc.

I’ve also found a soft spot for Sloe Gin. We will hopefully be purchasing some of this soon to make cranberry sauce.

It was also very nice to see Gordon & Macphail of Elgin at the show. The shop in Elgin is really lovely with a room dedicated to whisky and then a room full of wines and spirits and a third room with delicatessen type goods.

Overall it was a really lovely day out & we may have to go back another year.

November 25th, 2007

Excuses, excuses, excuses Category: General, Recipes

I can’t believe it’s nearly been two whole weeks since I last posted. Where is the time going?

We* have been quite busy recently though so if you’ll allow me, I’m using that as my excuse. You see we moved into our two bedroom flat just over two and a half years ago. But until now it’s really been a one bedroom flat with a spare room so full of junk you couldn’t move in it. So we’ve emptied it, bought some carpet, have had a trip to Ikea, built some furniture, put pictures & blinds up and generally had a big clear out and have then (in a tidy manner, of course) have put back in what we need.

Its a really nice room now, even if I do say so myself. There is just one thing that’s missing and that’s a small 2 seater sofa. So another trip to Ikea is needed but we just need a vehicle bigger than out ickle C2.

(*I say we but I’m sure Hubby will disagree. But seriously, nothing ever gets done with out a project manager/supervisor/general all round bossy boots…)

Since making the Christmas cake I have cooked, I just haven’t had enough time to blog about it. So here is a little summary with pictures:

My first ever Toad In The Hole (Jamie recipe) – severed with the suggested red onion gravy it was delicious and I was very proud of my yorkshire pudding.

We followed this up with some Toffee Apple Crumble – in fact we’ve had this twice. Once made with normal eating apples and once with bramleys (rather than the 50/50 mix suggested by Simon Rimmer). We both much preferred the bramley only one as the sweet sauce is more than enough sugar to match the tangy bramleys.
I also turned this pile of chopped vegetables…


into one of our favourite soups – Lentil and Chestnut Soup


Ingredients

  • 1 small onion
  • half leek
  • 1 carrot
  • 1 stick celery
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 225g red lentils
  • 1.5 litres vegetable stock
  • 225g cooked chestnuts
  • double cream to serve (optional & not really needed)

How To Do It

  1. Finely chop the onion, leek, carrot and celery.
  2. Heat the oil in the pan, add the chopped vegetables and let sweat until soft.
  3. Add the lentils and stir, then add the stock.
  4. Bring to the boil and simmer until the lentils are very soft (about 40 minutes).
  5. Add the chestnuts and simmer for a further 20 minutes or so.
  6. Liquidise (I used my hand blender) until smooth.
  7. Sprinkle each full bowl of soup with parsley and lace with cream as required.
  8. Consume with lots of crusty bread and butter.

Its truly delicious.

Whilst I’ve been AWOL we also had Children In Need day at work and that means one thing – cakes, cakes and more cakes. I made my cupcakes with pink & white icing with flowers and I also tried some vanilla shortbreads – they were ok but a little soft & not quite as nice as I’d expected. Here they are among some of the other cakes brought in by my colleagues…


And last, but not least. Here is a lovely sunrise we had the week before last.


November 10th, 2007

Tunaballs Category: Recipes

Regular readers amongst you have probably noticed I don’t cook or eat much red meat. I’ve never been a big fan partly because of the taste. But the worst part for me is the smell of cooking meat, especially the browning part. It turns my stomach. So at home I stick to chicken which I can just about deal with and fish when Mr C approves!

To cut this story short, I was leafing through Jamie’s Italy earlier in the week and hit a small jackpot – tuna meatballs!

I made them last night and they were surprisingly pleasant. The cinnamon on the tuna was a great mix.

Le migliori polpette di tonna (Serves 4)

For the sauce:

  • olive oil
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 4 cloves of garlic, finely sliced
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 2 x 400g tin plum tomatoes
  • red wine vinegar

For The Tunaballs:

  • 400g steak tuna
  • olive oil
  • 55g pinenuts
  • 1 level teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • handful chopped fresh parsley
  • 100g stale breadcrumbs
  • 55g Parmesan
  • 2 eggs
  • juice of 1 lemon

How to Do It

  1. Chop the tuna in 1″ squares
  2. Heat a few tablespoons of olive oil in a frying pan
  3. Add the tuna, cinnamon and pinenuts. Season with salt & pepper and cook until tuna has browned on all sides
  4. Tip the tuna mixture into a big bowl and leave to cool for 5 minutes
  5. Once cooled, add the other ingredients and using your hands mix together
  6. Squeeze the mixture into small balls (slightly smaller than a golf ball)
  7. Pop the meatballs on an oiled baking tray and leave them in the fridge for an hour

As soon as the meatballs go in the fridge, start the tomato sauce:

  1. Heat 2 tablespoons of oil on pan and gently fry the onion and garlic until soft
  2. Add the oregano, tomatoes and season with salt & pepper
  3. Bring to the boil and simmer for 15 minutes
  4. Then using a hand held blender liquidise until smooth
  5. Taste for seasoning & add a dash of red wine vinegar if needed
  6. Once out of the fridge, heat oil in the same frying pan as before and gently fry the meatballs until golden all over – be careful as my first batch crumbled away into lots of bits!

Serve with the tomato sauce and spaggetti

I made 1/2 the tuna amount but the full amount of tomato sauce and have frozen it for next time – or another pasta dish.