Jamie Oliver

Week 56: Chilli Con Carne Meatballs

When I told my lover I was making this recipe a look of horror crossed his face and he said those immortal words “you’re not going to attempt it in 15 minutes are you?”

Yep, that’s right, I’m having another bash at something from Jamie’s 15 Minute Meals. And no, I was not going to attempt it in 15 minutes (but I would still use every single utensil I own, as are the rules).  I’ve been making the bulgur wheat part of this recipe for a while, as an alternative to rice with other chilli; without the lemon though as it makes it taste a bit like a Yankee Candle…

To make this for four you will need: 300g bulgur wheat, a preserved lemon, a cinnamon stick, 400g lean beef mince, garam masala, olive oil, 3 jarred red peppers, 4 spring onions, smoked paprika, 700g passata (I couldn’t find a 700g jar so I think I used 675g or something like that), bunch of coriander, 400g tin of kidney beans, cumin seeds, and fat free yoghurt and a lime to serve.

I won’t write down the meathod as written in the book, because I didn’t follow it and it came out fine. To start get your liquidiser out and add the jarred peppers, three of the spring onions, a heaped teaspoon of smoked paprika, the passata, half the coriander and some salt and pepper and blitz it until it’s a smooth paste.

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Next, wash your hands and squash up the mince, salt, pepper, and a heaped teaspoon of garam masala. Next (and this seems to pie the important bit) wet your hands and divide the meat into 16 balls and rub them round into a ball shape and put them on a plate and put the kettle on.

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Heat a tablespoon of olive oil in a large frying pan and measure out 300g (a mug-full) of the bulgur wheat.  Add 2 mug-fulls of boiling water, a preserved lemon, a cinnamon stick and the the bulgur wheat to a medium pan (medium heat) and put the lid on. This needs to cook for about 15 minutes.

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Add the meatballs to the hot frying pan one or two at a time, and toss-roll the around each time you add them which seems to make them rounder… which is strange… Let them brown for about 5 minutes, rolling quite often to keep them cooking evenly.   Heat another pan and pour in the sauce from the liquidiser (slosh the liquidiser jug around with some water and add this to the sauce).

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Drain and rinse the kidney beans and add them to the frying pan with the meatballs with a pinch of cumin seeds and after a minute or so transfer the meatballs to the pan with the sauce with your trusty kitchen tongues – leave the kidney beans to cook for a bit longer before stirring them into the sauce too.

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By now the bulgur wheat should be done (as in all the water has evaporated and you’re left with wheat, the cinnamon stick and the lemon), remove the cinnamon and then mash the lemon into the wheat.  Plate it up with a dollop of yoghurt, some coriander and the other spring onion chopped up decoratively.

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It was very chilli-ish; the sauce was like a slightly hot tomato sauce – maybe it needed more paprika and longer to simmer. Maybe a bit more garam masala for the meatballs too? But the meatballs were a resounding success for the first time ever they were smooth and rounded and cooked like balls instead of lumps of knobbly meat. I might miss the coriander out next time too… Definitely one to make again, but not in 15 minutes!

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Week 39: Korean Fried Rice, Steak, Mushrooms & Pickles

Instead of cooking something tricky at the weekend and writing it up in time for Friday morning, like I usually do; this week I decided that I’d trash my kitchen with a Jamie Oliver recipe on a work night. Fool.

To make this for four you will need: 2 250g packs of cooked brown rice (like Uncle Ben’s or similar), a lemon, 125g oyster mushrooms, sesame oil, low-salt soy sauce, sherry vinegar, clove garlic, 2 x 250g sirloin steaks, 1 cucumber, 2 spring onions, caster sugar, 1 little gem lettuce, harissa paste, 100g baby spinach, 2 large eggs and some sesame seeds. I was cooking only for him and me, so I used half the quantities.

You’ll need a large frying pan at medium heat, and a griddle pan at high heat, and you’ll need to get your food processor out – but if you’re not fussed about making this in 15 minutes, and you’re a tidy chopper you can use a knife instead.

Put the cooked rice into the frying pan, with the lemon juice and keep stirring it regularly.  With tongs place the mushrooms on the griddle, and turn them over when they’re charred.  While they’re charring mix 1 tbs of oil, 2 tbs soy sauce, 1 tbs sherry vinegar, and a crushed up/minced garlic clove in a bowl.

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Slice the steak into 1cm thick strips, transfer the mushrooms into the marinade and lay the steak out on the griddle in one layer.  Slice the cucumber and the spring onion and tip into a bowl with a pinch of sugar and salt, a drizzle of soy sauce and of sherry vinegar, and scrunch it all together.

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When the steak is done to your liking put it in the bowl with the mushrooms and mix it all in with the sauce.  Tip the rice into a bowl, and put the a teaspoon of the sesame oil in the pan.  Crack two eggs into the pan and cook for a minute and a half on each side – sprinkled with sesame seeds.

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I’m not sure the best way to serve this.  The picture shows it all in separate bowls, which I did, and then we lobbed it all on to our plates – I could have done this in the kitchen and saved a load of washing up…

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It was OK.  If I make it again I’d use different mushrooms – the oyster mushrooms with were a bit like cold wet ears.  I’d also cut everything up with the knife, maybe leaving out the cucumber/onion mix out and bring it straight from the kitchen already plated up.

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And I wouldn’t make it on a work night.

 

 

Jamie’s 15 Minute Meals by Jamie Oliver (Penguin 2012 ISBN: 978-0-718-15780-7)

jamie 15min

Week 24: Beef Kofta Curry, fluffy rice, beans & peas

That processor has corrupted me, corrupted I say.  I’m power mad, and to prove it I cracked open Jamie’s 15 minute meals… one of the many recipes that requires electricity!

I know it irks you when I say these things, but I had no idea what a puy lentil was, or that it was a different thing to the orange art-class lentil.  I couldn’t get even a sniff of a puy lentil in Hammersmith and had to go searching.  But I had the rest of the ingredients.

To make this for four you will need: 1 x 250g pack of ready-to-eat Puy Lentils, 1 heaped tsp garam masala, 400g lean mince, 3 ripe tomatoes, 1 thumb sized piece of ginger, 2 spring onions, 1 red chilli, bunch fresh coriander, 1 tsp tumeric, 1 tsp runny honey, 2 heaped tsp Patak’s Rogan Josh Curry Paste, half a tin of coconut milk, 300g basmati rice, 5 cardamom pods, 200g green or yellow beans and 200g frozen peas.  Jamie also says to use fat-free natural yoghurt, a lemon and 2 uncooked poppadoms, but I didn’t bother with those.  I’m not sure how big a bunch I was supposed to get, but Sainsbury’s sold me this:

I reckon it was too big.

After trying the last two recipes from this book I decided to ditch the frantic 15 minute malarky and calm down a bit.  To start with I scrunched together the lentils, garam masala, mince, with some salt and pepper.  It made a brain:

I had a whole Sainsbury’s fail and could only get a 500g pack of mince (the butchers was miles away in the other direction, I still feel bad cheating on him) so it made a much larger brain than was intended.  Once you have your brain, wet your hands and divide it in half and then mould each half into 6 fat fingers.  They look like mice at this point, which was the exact moment my squeamish lover chose to pop into the kitchen to see how I was going.  Oops.

At this point Jamie says you should put them in the pan, but to avoid burning everything I skipped that bit and skipped straight to the exciting blender bit.  Speed freak.

In your powerful yet sleek liquidizer put in the tomatoes, peeled ginger, spring onions, half the chilli, the coriander stalks (although not all of them if you’ve accidentally bought a tree of it) the tumeric, honey, rogan josh paste and half the tin of coconut milk.  It will look like this:

Blitz that mother down.  Vroom.  Now time to start cooking, calmly and serenely.

Put a tablespoon of oil in your large frying pan and turn the heat up high, then boil the kettle.  When the oil is hot stick the koftas in the pan, turning them when golden.  Put the rice, 2 mugs of boiling water and the cardamom pods into a medium lidded pan and the (pre-halved) beans on top.  Put the lid on.

After a few minutes, give the liquidizer another quick blast, because its fun, and then pour the mix into the frying pan with the koftas.  Bring it to the boil and then simmer.  My pans don’t have tight fitting lids, so I had to weigh the lid down to stop the bubbly rice water from going all over my hob… which looked like this:

By now, I reckon you should be about 5 minutes before the rice is done, so open the lid of the rice pan, put the frozen peas in and give it all a good stir round.  After this Jamie says you should microwave your poppadoms, but I don’t have a microwave and forgot to buy the poppadoms, so I skipped it to take pictures.

Slice the other half of the chilli and the coriander leaves to artistically scatter over the dish.  Next time I make this I won’t scatter the chilli because it was really hot and gave me the hiccups.

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This was the first recipe from this book that I have loved, and the first where my lover has said I can make it again.

The quantities are to serve four, and rather than mess around with halving all the quantities I made the curry for four and the rice for two (150g rice, 1 mug water, 100g beans & 100g peas) and froze half of it.  It froze, defrosted and re-heated really well (although the koftas fell apart and were more like chunks than mice) so I will definitely make it again.  As a bonus I can use the other half of the tin of coconut milk, the other half of the bunch of spring onions and the other half of the pack of fine beans for Nigella’s curry in a hurry (https://newrecipenight.wordpress.com/2013/11/21/week-8-curry-in-a-hurry/) – no waste and I get to process stuff, Boom!

jamie 15min

Jamie’s 15 Minute Meals by Jamie Oliver (Penguin 2012 ISBN: 978-0-718-15780-7)

Week 17: Lamb Lollipops

I did it again, I reached for the 15 Minute Meals book.  Like last time there was a lot of mess, a massive panic, and the need to scrub my entire kitchen.

I’ve had my eye on this recipe since I got the book, and it took a bit of work gathering all the ingredients, but I finally got everything together.  To feed four the recipe calls for: 300g basmati rice, 8 cloves, 40g red lentils, 300g peas, 8 lamb cutlets, 1 tbsp garam masala, 4 spring onions, a red chilli, a thumb sized bit of ginger, 4 jarred red peppers, 1 tsp runny honey, splash balsamic vinegar, 1 tin coconut milk, and 2 tbsp Patak’s korma paste.

I feel just like a Blue Peter presenter when I spread all the ingredients out, but I found with the Lamb Meatballs (Week 11 https://newrecipenight.wordpress.com/2013/12/16/week-11-lamb-meatballs-chop-salad-harissa-yoghurt/ ) that for the timings to work, everything needs to be ready to throw in.  Of course, what I should have done was made sure the chilli, ginger, peppers and spring onions were chopped before I started – and so should you 😉

Firstly, put two frying pans on the heat and then put the rice in a saucepan with two mugs full of boiling water and the cloves.  Add a pinch of salt and put the lid on the pan.  Rub the shanks with salt, pepper, and the garam masala, bash them flat and put them in one of the frying pans with a tablespoon of olive oil.

In the other frying pan stir together the coconut milk, korma paste and the juice of half a lemon (pre-juice the lemon or you’ll read that and panic like I did) bring to the boil and then simmer for 5 minutes.

Mix the lentils in with the rice then two or three minutes later (the time that Jamie thinks you can chop up the spring onions, chilli, ginger and peppers) toss the spring onions, chilli, ginger and peppers in with the lamb, then stir the peas into the rice.

By this time it should all be pretty much cooked… having said that I had managed to pretty much boil the rice onto the pan because I’m a slow chopper.  Fluff up the rice and – depending on how you want to serve it – plate it up or put it in a serving bowl, the same goes for the curry sauce.

Toss the lamb with the honey and a splash of balsamic and serve.  Jamie recommended serving with a scatter of coriander leaves, scrunched up poppadoms and natural fat free yoghurt… but I ignored him.

The rice was delicious, I’ve never used a lentil without glitter and glue before, but I think they really added to the flavour – I’ll make the rice again with other meals.

The bit I would change is the cut of meat used.  Cutlets are really tricky to eat, there was a lot of rice on the floor by the time I’d finished and I ended up eating loads of the fat and still ended up leaving loads stuck to be bones.  Also, my lover hates meat on the bone and eating fat, so maybe cutlets wasn’t the best choice for dinner!

I would definitely make it again, just not with cutlets.

 

Jamie’s 15 Minute Meals by Jamie Oliver (Penguin 2012 ISBN: 978-0-718-15780-7)

 

Week 11: Lamb Meatballs, Chop Salad & Harissa Yoghurt

It took ages to work out what to say about this recipe.  It’s not that it wasn’t very nice, I just don’t think I did it right.

Lamb Meatballs, Chop Salad & Harissa Yoghurt is from Jamie’s 15 minute meals, by Jamie Oliver.  I bought this book in the spring after seeing 10 minutes of one program which made me think it looked a good idea for work day dinners.

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I would have chosen to make a different meal, but I was limited in the recipes I could choose.  The reason for this is simple,  the recipes are achievable in 15 minutes because all the ingredients have to be blitzed in one of the many different types of mixer/blender/tazer/microwave/Cern Collider that I just don’t own.

To make this recipe to serve four you will need:  400g lamb mince, garam masala, olive oil, pinch saffron, 1 fresh red chilli, 2 spring onions, half bunch coriander, 2 cloves garlic, 400g tin chickpeas, 350g passata, half cucumber, 2 little gem lettuces, bunch radishes, 2 tomatoes, 1 lemon, 1 heaped tsp harissa, 4 heaped tablespoons natural yoghurt, 8 wholemeal tortillas and an orange.

I am going to start by slightly deviating from the recipe, because with the benefit of hindsight I know that when I got this wrong it was the defining moment that this recipe went wrong.  Start off by putting the pinch of saffron into a cup, and just cover it with boiling water.  (Don’t fill the cup like I did, making some sort of weird saffron-y tea which took forever to boil down)

Put a frying pan on a medium heat.  In a bowl mix the mince with salt, pepper and a heaped teaspoon of garam masala.  Wet your hands and divide this mixture into four and roll each half into four balls.  Put them into the frying pan with about a tablespoon of olive oil.

To make the sauce finely slice the chilli, spring onions and coriander stalks – if you’re a slow chopper like me do this before you start doing the meatballs – put them in a pan with a table spoon of olive oil, and crush in a peeled clove of garlic (if you don’t have a garlic crusher, panic at this point and chop a clove up as quickly and finely as you can) fry for 40 seconds and add the saffron with the water, the passata and the drained chickpeas (make sure you drain them before you start rather than fling chickpeas all around the kitchen).  Cover and bring to the boil.

In a small dish swirl the harissa through the yoghurt.  Roughly chop the salad, lob it on a plate (or a serving board, if you have one – I don’t) and drizzle it with olive oil and lemon juice.  Microwave your tortillas.  If like me you don’t have a microwave it will say how to warm them in the oven on the packet)

If the sauce has stuck (mine didn’t) loosen it with a bit of kettle water and pour it into the meatball pan, and serve with a scattering of coriander leaves and orange wedges (if you can be arsed).

When I made this – as I mentioned above –  my main problem was that the sauce took forever to boil down and was a bit too like soup to have in a tortilla… with hindsight I can say that it was because I put too much water in with the saffron.

I thought I’d make the sauce and meatballs for 4 as per the recipe, and then freeze 8 balls and half the sauce, but we were still really hungry after we’d had half – so we ended up eating it all.  The sauce was really tasty and I will make it again, but first I need to sit and stare at the recipe and think how I could better serve it up – maybe more lamb and some sort of couscous/bulgar wheat?

When I work it out, I’ll report back!

 

Jamie’s 15 Minute Meals by Jamie Oliver (Penguin 2012 ISBN: 978-0-718-15780-7)